Queen Winx adds third crown
SUPERSTAR mare Winx joined an illustrious club of three when she was named the winner of the 2017/18 Australian Racehorse Of The Year for a third consecutive year.
Winx now sits with fellow freakish mares of modern times, Black Caviar and Sunline, as the only horses who have won three Australian Racehorse Of The Year awards.
Winx was given the accolade at Thursday night's ceremony at Forum Melbourne.
Winx, who will attempt to stretch her winning sequence to 28 in Saturday's Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes, also was named the Champion Middle Distance Performer and the 2017/18 Victorian Racehorse of the Year.
Winx had eight starts for the season and won them all including six at Group 1 level.
Her trainer Chris Waller, regular jockey Hugh Bowman and co-owners Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke were all on stage to accept the awards on behalf of the mighty mare.
Not surprisingly Winx received the maximum votes from the 50 judges who voted on a 3-2-1 basis with 150 votes.
Waller also received the Bart Cummings Award for the most Group 1 winners (13) trained in the season.
Bowman was presented with the equivalent award for jockeys, having registered nine wins at the elite level.
Waller described training Winx as being part of a dream as he collected the Racehorse of the Year award.
"It's quite surreal. We've not really woken up we're involved in it," Chris Waller said.
Waller said he was more relaxed than he was a year ago when training Winx.
"You've got to put the pressure of training her into perspective. If she wins or gets beaten it's not going to change anything. In terms of pressure its not like she's getting on a plane and fighting for Australia."
Hugh Bowman described Winx as a very special athlete.
Part-owner Peter Tighe said owning Winx was a humbling experience.
Star sprinter Redzel finished second with 42 votes and Happy Clapper made it a Sydney trifecta with 40 votes.
Anthony Freedman's Shoals, who won three Group 1 races, was named Champion Three-Year-old Filly which was the only Victorian trained winner of a National award.
The Lloyd Williams-owned Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling was named champion stayer award after his Melbourne Cup win.
Sydney trained horses won five of the seven nationally voted on awards.
Redzel won the Champion Sprinter Award, Estijaab the Champion Two-Year-Old and Trapeze Artist the Champion Three-Year-Old colt or gelding.
Gold Medals was named Champion Jumper.
AUSTRALIAN HORSE OF THE YEAR
40 Happy Clapper
35 Trapeze Artist
CHAMPION MIDDLE DISTANCE
CHAMPION THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY
CHAMPION THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT or GELDING
134 Trapeze Artist
These awards voted on by a panel of 50 on a 3-2-1 basis.
CHAMPION JUMPER (Australia)*
30 GOLD MEDALS
VICTORIAN RACEHORSE OF THE YEAR**
*Voted on by a panel of Victorian and South Australian media
** Voted on a panel of 40 Victorian media and handicappers.