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Looking for genetic key to Winx’s success

   When the 7-year-old bay mare Winx, under very skillful positioning on the small Moonee Valley track by Hugh Bowman, cruised to an untroubled win on October 27 in Australia’s top wfa race, the $5million Cox Plate, it gave her a record fourth success in the race and took her winning sequence to an Australasian record 29, 22 of them at Group1 level.

  Winx was appearing for the 39th time, recording her 33rd career win and pushing her earnings to over

a massive $22milion in taking her fourth Cox Plate. She is one of the world’s top ten by earnings and successive wins and challenges as one of the greatest racehorses in thoroughbred history.

  Foaled, reared and marketed (sold for $230,000 at the Gold Coast to her syndicator and part owner Magic Bloodstock - Peter and Patty Tighe) for John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds by Coolmore at their Jerrys Plains Hunter Valley stud, the Chris Waller trained Winx has risen to the pinnacle of excellence from a pedigree of no exceptional qualities.

   Like thousands of much lesser lights, she is by a first class racehorse, Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Ire) (by Danehill’s Mr. Prospector close relation Machiavellian), and from a family which has produced little else of consequence in recent generations.

   Exported to Japan on July 27 of this year, Winx’s mother, the 2002 foaled Vegas Showgirl (NZ), was a good tough NZ 2yo, but in recording seven wins did not rise above Listed class. She has had seven foals in Australia for three runners and two winners, the other being the Snitzel colt El Divino, annexer of the Group 3 Kindergarten in Sydney. 

  No other Group 1 or Group 2 winners or placegetters are under Winx’s first four dams, but each of them is by a sire, in ascension, Al Akbar (by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Success Express (USA), Voodoo Rhythm (USA) (Northern Dancer), Sovereign Edition (Ire) (by Sovereign Path) and Stunning (GB) (by Star Kingdom’s sire Stardust), who generated toughness and durability.
  The only other successful Group1 performer in the first seven generations has been his fourth dam’s half-brother El Khobar (by Gabador (Fr), a winner in Australia (Doomben Ten Thousand) and America and sire of winners. His sister Gamine was the grandam of New Zealand Derby-G2 winner Classic Wave and a half-sister was the grandam of Cosmic Planet, a Planet Kingdom winner of the Gloaming Stakes-G2, second Spring Champion Stakes-G1 and fourth Caulfield Cup-G1.

  The greatest previous achievement of the family, one established in this part of the world in the 1840s with the importation of a mare by the name of The Giggler, was under Limelight, a half-sister to Spotlight, Winx’s seventh dam.Two descendants of Limelight have been NZ produced Hall of Fame inducted Galilee (18 wins from 36 outings, won Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Sydney Cup – by six lengths under 9 st 7 lbs (60.5kg) and Sometime (won Caulfield Cup).

  Winner of five of 12 starts, including two Group1s, the Dubai World Cup (2000m) and Churchill Downs Stephen Foster (9 fur, 1800m), Winx’s sire, the Sheikh Mohammed (Dubai), bred, raced and stood (America and Australia) Street Cry, was a big loss when put down at 16 in September 2014.

  He has world wide statistics of 1086 winners (71.2% of his runners) of 3745 races and over $179million. Among 125 stakes winners have been 20 successful at Group1 level, including Winx and a Queen of American racing, Zenyatta.

    Renowned for her Winx like finishes, the subsequently Hall of Fame inducted Zenyatta ran in 20 races and won the first 19, 17 of them in Group 1 (13) or 2 events.

  Other American stars by Street Cry have included Street Sense (three Group1 wins included Kentucky Derby, Breeders Cup Juvenile) and Street Boss (dual Group1 winner). Both Street Sense, a visitor to Australia five times, 2008 – 2012, and Street Boss (Darley’s Northwood Park, Vic), currently on his eighth trip out to here, have had Group1 winners in both hemispheres.

  One of Street Sense’s Australian offspring, Hallowed Crown (dam by Danehill), won the Golden Rose and Randwick Guineas and now has very good chance of succeeding as a sire from use at Darley, Hunter Valley. His first crop are two.

   The Champion Australian sire 2015-16, Winx’s sire Street Cry could have a good sire dynasty in Australia. Besides visiting Street Boss, sons currently at stud here include Australian born Pride of Dubai (dam by Danehill; dual G1 2yo winner, in use Coolmore Studs Australia and Ireland, current yearlings), Hualalai (dam bred on Encosta de Lago – Danehill  cross, retired to the Toole’s Ducatoon Stud, South Australia this year), Last Typhoon (mare bred on Red Ransom (USA) – Last Tycoon (Ire) cross, winner at 2000m, to Bullarook Park, Vic in 2017) and Wolf Cry (out of Redoute’s Choice mare, winner, 3rd ATC Breeders’ Plate, Skyline Stakes, Lonhro Plate; to Larneuk stud Vic 2017).   

  Although he has been dead for four years, Street Cry continues to contribute class to Australian racing. At the end of October he was second to Snitzel by earnings on the sires list and had four stakes winners to his credit including Winx.

 

Story | Brian Russell Bloodstock Media Service - Australian Thoroughbred