'Captured hearts': Winx bows out with final win before retirement

'Captured hearts': Winx bows out with final win before retirement

Seven-year-old mare Winx won her third consecutive Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday to finish her illustrious career with a 33rd straight win, a record 25th Group One victory and almost $19 million in prize money.

In her usual style, Winx held back until the final bend before powering to the finish line to deafening roars from the crowd.

Asked how he felt, jockey Hugh Bowman said: "It's over, isn't it?"

She leaves racing rated one of the greatest horses of the turf and 40,000 fans packed Randwick to see her for the last time.

Japanese-bred Kluger, a G2 victor in Japan for Carrot Farm who had not won a race since 2016, finished second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, with Godolphin's veteran G1-winning Hartnell a distant third in the field of nine older runners going 2,000 meters (1 1/4 miles) on good turf in front of a packed house of 43,833 at Randwick racecourse.

Owner Chris Waller said: "It's hard to explain without getting too emotional".

"At the end of the day, she's just a horse, she's a good one, but she's just a horse", he said. "Everyone watching around the world", he said.

In the Queen Elizabeth, Bowman settled Winx off the rail and in sixth position as Mark of Time showed the way early. America, Europe, Africa, all over Australia.

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"I can't describe her in words".

"She's captured the hearts of a lot of people around the globe".

Adding to the moment, Winx became the 100th Group One victor for Waller.

Winx had had another Group One win in the George Ryder Stakes at Sydney's Rosehill on March 23 and overall had 37 wins from 43 starts. "She is the most unbelievable, supreme athlete I think I've ever seen".

Winx, who has banked more than A$26 million (HK$146.21 million) in prize money, will now head to the breeding barn in what could be another hugely lucrative career.

Such is her legend that Winx has become more than just a horse in Australia.

He said it was a special moment to share the win with Winx's fans around the country.

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