Australian supermare Winx extended her unbeaten streak to 26 in a race named in her honour at Randwick on Saturday and eclipsed Black Caviar’s record in the process .
Winning at the highest level for the 19th time, Chris Waller’s charge produced her usual late burst to please her adoring fans.
Ridden as usual by Hugh Bowman, she was briefly outpaced in the seven-furlong contest, a trip short of her best, but nothing could live with her when she hit top gear.
“You look for signs of her losing that dominance but I haven’t seen one ounce of it,” Waller told www.skyracing.com.au.
“If anything I’ve seen improvement and it’s quite staggering.
“This isn’t about me. It’s about this amazing animal. What she’s doing for sport and Australian racing, we should all take a bow and say well done Winx.”
Bowman said: “It’s been a while since she has run over this distance. It is a bit short of her best.
“Glyn Schofield on Kementari and I came around the corner together. I thought I was near my top. She was struggling at the pace of this distance.
“But when she balanced up and saw the winning post, what can I say, she is incredible.
“You see the crowd building from the start of the day. Parents are bringing their kids out to see a horse of the calibre we may never see again.
“I’m lost for words. I am so proud of her.”
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is looking forward to seeing Hadith make her belated reappearance in the Shadwell Prix de la Nonette at Deauville on Saturday.
The daughter of New Approach won twice at the backend of her juvenile campaign, but has not been seen on a racecourse since the latter of those victories in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket last November.
She faces no easy task on her return to action, taking on seven rivals at Group Two level, but Appleby is hoping for a positive performance to set her up for a profitable end to the season.
He said: “She hasn’t run since she won the Montrose as a two-year-old, but she’s a filly we’ve always liked.
“She had a small setback in the spring and we said we’d save her for an autumn campaign.
“Her preparation has gone well and I hope she’ll be competitive, but whatever she does, I’m sure she’ll improve from it.”
Hadith is one of two Godolphin representatives along with Andre Fabre’s Musis Amica, who makes her first start since being narrowly denied by the Karl Burke-trained Laurens in the French Oaks.
Give And Take and Mrs Sippy, trained by William Haggas and David Simcock respectively, also travel from Britain for the 10-furlong contest.
It promises to be a big afternoon for Appleby, with the Newmarket-based trainer also saddling Al Hilalee and Beyond Reason in France.
Al Hilalee made a huge impression on his Newmarket debut and steps up to Listed class for the Criterium du Fonds Europeen de l’Elevage.
Tom Dascombe’s dual winner Great Scot, Paul Cole’s Duke Of Hazzard, the Mick Channon-trained Certain Lad and Julius Limbani from Archie Watson’s yard also feature in a nine-strong field.
Appleby added: “I think Al Hilalee won on raw ability at Newmarket as he was very green that day.
“Mentally he’s come forward since then and I think the step up to a mile will suit him.
“I think he’s a middle-distance horse for next year really. He’s got a stout pedigree.”
Beyond Reason is the only British-trained representative in the Group Two Shadwell Prix du Calvados.
The daughter of Australia returns to Deauville three weeks after edging a Group Three over the course and distance.
“She is a course and distance winner, obviously. I think she’s got to step up again to win on Saturday, but we feel that she has,” said Appleby.
“She’s a very nice, straightforward filly and if she can just raise her game a notch, then she should be bang there.”
The prospect of tackling World No.1 Winx in a race named in her honour is undoubtedly a formidable task.
Kementari, then a three-year-old finished third, beaten a length and a half, behind Winx last March in the G1 George Ryder Stakes at their only meeting.
It can be expected that Kementari (Glyn Schofield) will have improved and matured since then, and he will need to have if he is to end Winx’s 25-win sequence.
For Cummings, though, the challenge is relished.
“He came through his first-up run in great order and in the end he was just training so well.” @JamesCummings88 on G1 winner #Kementari ahead of tackling #Winx in the G1 Winx Stakes @RoyalRandwick this Saturday 🇦🇺 #TeamGodolphinhttps://t.co/xh6k07VTgF— Godolphin (@godolphin) August 15, 2018
“It’s just going to be a pleasure being part of a great day,” Cummings said.
“He’s a good, young horse on the way up who showed last start that he’d come back in great order.
“We definitely have great respect for Winx, but there’s a bunch of nice horses, it’s not only her that we have to beat.”
Those prospects include the G1 Rosehill Guineas winner D’Argento and G1 Spring Champion Stakes and G1 Victoria Derby winner Ace High.
Kementari made his seasonal debut over 1,200m in the G2 Missile Stakes with a second placing that made the 1,400m of Saturday’s race look ideal at this stage of his preparation.
There’s no doubt it will also suit Winx who has won this race for the past two years when it was known as the Warwick Stakes. Her record, and her presence in it this year, prompted a name change and an elevation to G1.
While there is no denying the daughter of Street Cry, Cummings is satisfied Kementari will perform to G1 standard in a race that fits perfectly into his spring campaign.
Worldwide times for @winx_horse return ⏰— World Horse Racing (@WHR) August 15, 2018
🇦🇺 Sydney 15:00 AEST
🇬🇧 London 06:00 BST
🇺🇸 New York 01:00 EDT
🇺🇸 San Francisco 22:00 PDT
🇫🇷 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 Paris/Berlin/Rome 07:00 CEST
🇯🇵 Tokyo 14:00 JST
🇨🇳 Beijing 13:00 CST
🇦🇪 Dubai 09:00 GST
🇿🇦 Jo'Burg 07:00 SAST pic.twitter.com/b6Kk5DtUOS
“It’s a natural progression for him where it sits, two weeks after the Missile Stakes and two weeks before his next run in the Memsie at Caulfield.”
“He came through his first-up run in great order and in the end he was just training so well.
“His work on Tuesday morning was the best of any of ours, so we’ve got no hesitation running.”
As well-prepared as Kementari will be, he also has the vagaries of the weight-for-age scale to contend with.
When he last met Winx she had to give him half-a-kilogram, this time he has to carry 1.5kg more than her.
While she is attempting to win her 26th consecutive race on Saturday, Winx is also looking for her 30th overall victory and her 19th G1.
Success would take her racetrack earnings beyond A$19 million.