Source: Blood Horse via Twitter.
Horse racing fans have had their say online and Australian wonder-mare Winx has emerged as the winner of the 2018 Secretariat Vox Populi Award. She was up against a hugely competitive field of four but U.S voters decided that the 33-time winner was the queen of thoroughbred racing.
Winx saw off stiff competition from Enable, whose victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe capped off a tremendous 2018, and triple-crown winner Justify. Connections will be presented with the custom-made trophy at Santa Anita racecourse in January 2019. She follows in the footsteps of American Pharoah, who picked up the award in 2015, and two-time winner California Chrome who was successful in both 2014 and 2016.
She made it 29 races unbeaten at the end of October with an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, finishing two lengths ahead of Benbatl. Fans were blown away by another terrific performance from the 7-year-old whose success was part of a tremendous card at the Melbourne track. Cliff’s Edge, Mystic Journey, and Ventura Storm were also winners on this particular card with the latter also featuring in the 2018 Zipping Classic in November. He was beaten by The Taj Mahal in that particular race with the JRA Cup winner was tipped up by Oddschecker to make it back-to-back victories in the Grade 2 event.
She has acquired legions of fans during her unbeaten sequence and has accrued over $17million of prize money during her time on the turf.
Justify may have enjoyed tremendous success during his short career, but it’s Winx’s longevity and ability to reproduce top-class performances on a regular basis that have helped her achieve worldwide notoriety and legendary status amongst racing fans. The Sydney-trained mare is unbeaten since April 2015 and has struck up a great understanding with jockey Hugh Bowman, who has been on board for 27 of her last 29 victories.
The award was founded in 2010 by Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat, and recognises racing excellence. Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of the award’s founder, praised the public’s decision, saying, “Winx represents everything we envisioned when we created this award and reaffirms her notion that a beloved horse will captivate fans and draw interest to the sport no matter where they race.”
Winx becomes the first International horse to receive the award and her fans took to social media following the announcement to express their delight at the decision.