Champion racehorse Winx at her new home in southwest Sydney. Picture: Lisa Grimm
Champion racehorse Winx at her new home in southwest Sydney. Picture: Lisa Grimm

Basking in the Winx afterglow

ON THE racetrack, she was the most famous horse in the world.

Alongside her record 33 consecutive wins are the broken hearts of her rivals.

And even now in the peaceful surrounds of her retirement to a paddock in southwest Sydney, the wonder of Winx lives on.

A month after the wonder mare's unforgettable farewell victory at Royal Randwick, her afterglow remains.

 

Data obtained by The Sunday Telegraph illustrates the once-in-a-lifetime impact the 25-time Group 1 winner has had on the sport of kings - and the Australian public.

The statistics provided by the Australian Turf Club show how one horse managed to take racing to its youngest-ever audience.

The grand mare dragged not the just regular racing faithful through the turnstiles.
The grand mare dragged not the just regular racing faithful through the turnstiles.

But also, why the ATC has been forced into the unprecedented position of closing memberships despite a waiting list in the hundreds.

Other figures related to the impact of Winx include:

- More than half of those who attended a Winx race day said they would return to the track.

- More than half of the general admission racegoers who attended her farewell race on Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day were under the age of 34.

Hugh Bowman and Winx thrill the crowd in her farewell appearance.
Hugh Bowman and Winx thrill the crowd in her farewell appearance.

- More than 70 per cent of general admission racegoers who attended days when Winx raced during the autumn said they were attracted to attend simply because of Winx.

- An extra 36 per cent of members attended Winx's farewell run at Royal Randwick compared to last year.

 

Hugh Bowman and Winx combine to win the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Hugh Bowman and Winx combine to win the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley said the aim for the sport of racing was to use the success and appeal of Winx as a platform to maintain an elevated presence in the business of sport and entertainment.

"Winx is a once-in-a-lifetime horse who has introduced a whole new generation of young people from children through to young adults to Sydney racing,'' Mr Barkley said.

Some households really jumped aboard the Winx bandwagon.
Some households really jumped aboard the Winx bandwagon.

"Racing in Sydney is the hottest ticket in town right now and the under 35-year-olds are leading the way in coming to the track.

"And we have set record crowds not seen in 20 years at each of our four racetracks.

"We have closed membership of the Australian Turf Club and have a waiting list of several hundred people now first in line wanting to join.

Hugh Bowman and the great mare say goodbye.
Hugh Bowman and the great mare say goodbye.

"The sold-out Winx farewell showed how the Australian Turf Club can provide a memorable and enjoyable race day across all members reserve and public spaces.

"We are looking forward to more race days like it in years to come, especially heading towards this year's Everest in October and the new $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens in November."