What Winx has in common with Zenyatta and Phar Lap
Winx (Courtesy of Steve Hart/Sky Racing)
by Alastair Bull
When champion racemare Zenyatta retired, it’s doubtful anyone would have expected her sire Street Cry to produce another mare as good as she was.
But there’s now one of similar stature in the form of the Australian superstar Winx, rated the top turf horse in the 2016 World Thoroughbred Rankings.
Winx earned that mark courtesy of an eight-length demolition of her rivals in October’s 1 ¼ mile W.S. Cox Plate (G1), Australia’s leading weight-for-age race. It was her 13th consecutive win, and she made it 14 when winning the Apollo Stakes (G2) Feb. 13 in Sydney.
Winx hasn’t reached Zenyatta’s winning streak of 19 that includes several Breeders' Cup wins, and she has a way to reach the 25 recorded by another great Australian mare, Black Caviar. But her Apollo Stakes victory equalled the best streak of the New Zealand-bred Australian racing legend Phar Lap.
Winx adds to the outstanding record of Street Cry (by Machiavellian). His progeny have excelled on dirt and turf, in the northern and southern hemispheres. His other stars include Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense, Caulfield Guineas (G1) winner Whobegotyou, and Melbourne Cup (G1) winner Shocking. He’s also produced the promising stallions Street Boss, sire of Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Cathryn Sophia, and Street Sense, sire of grade I winners Wedding Toast and Sweet Reason.
The champion mare’s maternal line is a New Zealand one. Her dam Vegas Showgirl, a Listed stakes winner in New Zealand, is by Al Akbar. He was one of the best sons of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Success Express, counting the Levin Classic (G1) among his victories. His record as a sire was modest, though his opportunities were limited.
Winx’s next three dams were all unraced. However, his second dam Vegas Magic (by Voodoo Rhythm) also produced the black type-placed Black Magic Maggie, and his fourth dam Vegas (by Stunning), is a half-sister to the outstanding Australasian 1950s sprinter El Khobar.
Winx carries a relatively small number of two Northern Dancer lines in her pedigree – one in the seventh generation – though the great stallion’s dam Natalma also appears in the dam line of Machiavellian.
Vegas Showgirl continued on her work as a broodmare when her daughter El Divino won a group 3 juvenile race in Australia. Their efforts led to her yearling son by top Australian sire Snitzel fetch $Aus2.3 million (about $US1.5 million) at the Inglis Easter Sale last April.
Winx returns to racing this weekend on Feb. 25 in the Tab Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick.