April 13, 2019
Today was a record breaking day with a sold out General Admission and total crowd of over 43,000 guest’s descending on Royal Randwick to witness super mare Winx in action.
At the helm of the day’s celebrations were star model and ATC Autumn Racing International Guest, Sailor Brinkley Cook, 2019 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Ambassador Jesinta Franklin, ATC Autumn Ambassador Kate Waterhouse, Singer Samantha Jade and Pentathlon Gold Medallist Olympian Chloe Esposito. While a stable of TV stars from the Seven Network were also trackside including My Kitchen Rules duo Matt Gawthrop and Luke Stewart and Home and Away cast members.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was seen trackside enjoying the festivities, alongside the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and swimming legend Dawn Fraser, who got up close and personal with Winx on-course for a special photo after her race.
But, the main event was Winx. The world’s best horse who claimed her 33rd consecutive win and 25th Group 1 in the $4 million Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick came in wide, breezing through the field before pulling away to win ahead of Kluger and Hartnell to claim victory. Kluger looked a threat as the finish line loomed in sight, but could not rein in the incredible mare, who finished one-and-a-half lengths in front.
An emotional Hugh Bowman said he was humbled to ride the adored thoroughbred across the final post for the last time as crowds cheered.
“[I’m] so proud to be a part of it. It has been very real for me all day, with the amount of people here, it is just amazing,” he told the Seven Network.
‘All over Australia. This horse has captured the hearts of a lot of people around the globe,’ Bowman said.
Owner Chris Waller, who was also celebrating a 100th Group One win thanks to Winx, said he was glad the fairy-tale ended as he hoped it would.
“I hadn’t thought about winning a race like today ever in my lifetime. And it is such a special moment to share it with not only my beautiful wife and my beautiful children, but the beautiful people who have been right behind Winx,” he said.
Co-owner Debbie Kepitis commended Winx for her final victory, saying the ‘amazing’ athlete never disappoints.
‘She is brilliant. She’s a credit to everybody that works with her,’ she told reporters.
‘She touches a lot of souls in very much ways. And for that, I’m very grateful.’
The day was one of triumphs on the track, and off the track, one that will go down in history. Racegoers dressed with style and elegance for the world-renowned Longines Prize for Elegance, presented by Vogue’s Edwina McCann and judged by Jesinta Franklin, Mildred Elwood. Attendees revelled in the new trackside additions, the TAB Betting Barn, featuring a Heineken Bar and special elevated viewing platform of the home-straight. While The Botanic presented by Veuve Clicquot, overlooking the Theatre Of The Horse, provided a vibrant garden party setting with Musicians and DJs providing live entertainment within the space to be seen at The Championships.
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