Goodbye, Winx, and thanks for the memories

April 8, 2019

In every sport, you get the occasional star who appears from nowhere and just seems to be in a league of his or her own. Brian Lara, Paula Radcliffe, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, the list goes on.

But when that famous sports star has four legs, big brown eyes and eats a diet of hay and grains, the phenomenon is even more special. Winx has dominated the world of Australian horse racing in a way has not been seen in living memory. It is the stuff of legends, and without doubt, there will be films written and songs sung about her heroics in years to come.

But that is for the future. Right now, we need to relish the most special racehorse the nation has ever seen. And we will get to see her in action one more time before she rides off into the horizon for a life of retirement and, one can only assume, parenthood.

Put 13 April in your diary

Whether you’re a regular racing enthusiast who studies the odds and actually knows what “good to firm” really means, or a fair weather fan who might wager a dollar or two every year on the Melbourne Cup, you need to drop everything and pay attention on 13 April.

This will be Winx’s last ever race, and if she wins it, that will be an incredible, unprecedented, 33 wins in succession. It will be a run of wins that has lasted for just short of four years, and most amazing of all, at seven years old, Winx is still in her prime.

Horses typically retire at around nine, maybe even older. Winx is going to bow out at the top, something plenty of human sports stars talk about, but few have the resolve to do. But surely there will be no ill-advised Michael Schumacher or Muhammad Ali style comeback here. So let’s settle back for one last display from the most special horse of this, or perhaps any, generation.

Will she win?

Of course she will win. OK, in seriousness, we can take nothing for granted, but a glance at the Unibet horse betting odds for 13 April will tell you everything you need to know. Winx is 1/10 on to romp to glory in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and with the news that her stablemate, The Autumn Sun has been withdrawn, it is hard to see any other horse that has a hope of even coming close.

If you can get along to Randwick to cheer her on in person, it will be well worth it. Organisers are expecting a repetition of the scenes at Rosehill a couple of weeks ago, when around 24,000 fans cheered her on to her 32nd victory in succession, then greeted her in the winner’s enclosure with almost deafening chants of “Winxy, Winxy!”

Randwick is certain to be a sell out, and the scenes could be even more emotional. After all, how often do you get to watch a sporting superstar bow out at the top of her game?