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The People’s Champ: How Winx Won Australia’s Horse of the Year Title

winx horse of the year

Winx has recently been named as Australia’s Horse of the Year. The unanimous number of votes earned Winx the prestigious Australian Horse of the Year Title. Winx has won 5 times at the top level including 2 major racing events. Winx’ spectacular wins in the Doncaster Mile and Cox Plater were significant for her to earn the title.

It was a perfect season for champion mare Winx in 2016. Winx has stayed unbeaten since competing at the Australian Oaks in April 2015. The Chris Waller-trained mare has been unbeaten in 7 starts which earned her 59 of 60 votes cast by members of the racing media.

“Winx is not just one of the greatest mares we have seen for many years, she is now adored by the public and has become the ‘people’s horse’,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.

The Pressure is High for Team Waller

winx chris waller

Expectations from Winx were very high since everyone expected that she will win every race. This included the highly-anticipated awards at the Four Seasons Hotel, which has been a surprise that one vote went to the world’s highest-rated sprinter Chautauqua.

Waller says that the pressure makes him think that Winx is not his horse anymore. Winx’s superstar status has made her the “people’s champion” which put her into the limelight.

“The public certainly have their say, and have ownership of the horse, which is great. It’s good to have people talking about the horse you train, but the pressure for the horse to perform is different. It’s not that she has to win, but we like to make sure she just can’t be beaten.”

Team Waller’s Winning Note

winx racing

The Waller stable received a number of awards aside from Winx’s Horse of the Year title. Stablemate Preferment was named champion stayer after winning the Australian Cup, The BMW, and The Turnbull Stakes.

Chris Waller also received the Bart Cummings Award for his 15 group 1 winners. Winx’s jockey, Hugh Bowman, took out the leading group 1 jockey with 10 wins in Australia, including eight from Winx and Preferment.

Here is the list of winners:

WINNERS (and their best wins):

HORSE OF THE YEAR

WINX

Winx’s seven 2015/16 wins: Group One: Doncaster Mile, WS Cox Plate, Epsom Handicap, George Ryder Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes, (1600m). Group Two: Apollo Stakes, Theo Mark Stakes.

2YO: CAPITALIST (trained by Peter & Paul Snowden) – Golden Slipper, Magic Millions)

3YO Filly: ENGLISH (trained by Gai Waterhouse – All Aged Stakes against older horses)

3YO Colt or Gelding: TARZINO (trained by Mick Price – Victoria Derby, Rosehill Guineas)

Sprinter: CHAUTAUQUA (trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes – TJ Smith Stakes, Manikato Stakes, Chairmans Sprint Prize, Lightning Stakes)

Middle distance: WINX

Stayer: PREFERMENT (trained by Chris Waller – The BMW, Australian Cup, Turnbull Stakes)

Champion Sire: STREET CRY (Sire of Winx)

Jumper: ZANTECO (trained by Darren Weir – Grand National Hurdle & JJ Houlahan)

Bart Cummings Award for leading Group One trainer – CHRIS WALLER (15)

Group One Jockey of the Year: HUGH BOWMAN (12 – including two in Hong Kong)

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