Explosive, exciting, dominant – the superlatives abound when describing the win of odds-on favourite Winx in the $500,000 Group I Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Chris Waller’s filly, with Hugh Bowman aboard, made an absolute mess of her opposition, streaking clear to win by a big space.
Bowman settled further back then he would have liked, but approaching the turn began a forward move out four and five wide before giving the daughter of Street Cry full rein turning for home – and she exploded!
Blake Shinn aboard the Peter Moody-trained Imperial Lass shot clear into the straight after enjoying a handy trail and looked momentarily likely to cause an upset, but then the dark blue colours of Bowman came steaming down the outside, and the race was all over.
“I got her into her rhythm,” Bowman told Sky Thoroughbred Central. “She was comfortable, therefore I was comfortable.
“She didn’t feel like she was going to let down like that. She’s done it with authority.”
The official winning margin for Winx ($1.95 fav) was 3-1/2 lengths. Robert Smerdon’s Ungrateful Ellen ($12) wound-up through the ruck to claim second with Imperial Lass ($51) hanging on for third, a further half-length away.
The win gave Chris Waller a remarkable 13 Group I wins for the racing season, and his first win in the Queensland Oaks.
“The pressure is on when you’ve got a favourite in a big race,” Waller said. “She’s got class and a turn of foot. To have that extra gear or two makes a big difference.
“Good horses makes things look easy. She was dominant.”
Although not a confirmed starter in next Saturday’s Group I Queensland Derby (2200m), Winx has rocketed into $2.80 favouritism with Sportsbet.