As expected, Winx has been named Australia’s Horse of the Year for her stellar season which has included wins in the Cox Plate and Doncaster Mile.
Unbeaten since the Australian Oaks in April of 2015, the Chris Waller-trained mare is on target to defend her Cox Plate following wins this season in the Warwick Stakes and George Main Stakes.
She polled 59 of the 60 votes cast by members of the racing media nationwide for the award announced on Thursday night in Sydney.
“Winx is not just one of the greatest mares we have seen for many years, she is now adored by the public and has become the ‘people’s horse’,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.
“We have seen crowd figures swell whenever she races and she’s now taken on a ‘Black Caviar’ type status.”
Waller and Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman were also honoured as the leading Group One winners of the seaon.
The world’s highest-rated sprinter Chautauqua was also voted Australia’s best for his wins in Australia and the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong.
The Waller-trained Preferment, winner of three Group One races during the season, was named the champion stayer while Winx was the middle-distance performer of the season.
Golden Slipper winner Capitalist was the leading two-year-old, English the three-year-old filly and Tarzino the three-year-old male.
WINNERS (and their best wins):
HORSE OF THE YEAR
Winx’s seven 2015/16 wins: Group One: Doncaster Mile, WS Cox Plate, Epsom Handicap, George Ryder Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes, (1600m). Group Two: Apollo Stakes, Theo Mark Stakes.
2YO: CAPITALIST (trained by Peter & Paul Snowden) – Golden Slipper, Magic Millions)
3YO Filly: ENGLISH (trained by Gai Waterhouse – All Aged Stakes against older horses)
3YO Colt or Gelding: TARZINO (trained by Mick Price – Victoria Derby, Rosehill Guineas)
Sprinter: CHAUTAUQUA (trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes – TJ Smith Stakes, Manikato Stakes, Chairmans Sprint Prize, Lightning Stakes)
Middle distance: WINX
Stayer: PREFERMENT (trained by Chris Waller – The BMW, Australian Cup, Turnbull Stakes)
Champion Sire: STREET CRY (Sire of Winx)
Jumper: ZANTECO (trained by Darren Weir – Grand National Hurdle & JJ Houlahan)
Bart Cummings Award for leading Group One trainer – CHRIS WALLER (15)
Group One Jockey of the Year: HUGH BOWMAN (12 – including two in Hong Kong)