Record-breaking mare Winx wins final race in Australia

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SYDNEY — Seven-year-old mare Winx won her third consecutive Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday to finish her illustrious career with a 33rd straight win, a record 25th Group One victory and nearly $19 million in prize money.

Winx was ridden by Hugh Bowman and trained by Chris Waller.

“It’s over,” Bowman said. “This horse has captured the hearts of a lot of people around the globe. I am so proud of her. Maybe we will never know how good she really is.”

Waller said he was glad Winx’s final race ended in her typical style, moving up from mid-field with about 150 meters to go.

“I hadn’t thought about winning a race like today ever in my lifetime,” Waller said. “And it is such a special moment to share it with not only my beautiful wife and my beautiful children, but the beautiful people who have been right behind Winx.”

On March 2 at Randwick, Winx set the record for most Group One wins with her 23rd, breaking the former Group One record held by retired Irish horse Hurricane Fly.

Winx had had another Group One win in the George Ryder Stakes at Sydney’s Rosehill on March 23 and overall had 37 wins from 43 starts.

Winx also won the Cox Plate, Australia’s weight-for-age championship, a record four times at Moonee Valley in Victoria state.

Pegasus on Jan. 28, Florida Derby on April 1 at Gulfstream

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Gulfstream Park announced the schedule for the 2022-23 Championship Meet, highlighted by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Jan. 28.

Also on Pegasus day: The $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, as well as the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Gulfstream’s top Kentucky Derby prep race, the $1 million Florida Derby, will be run on April 1 as part of a card with 10 stakes races. Other top 3-year-old preps at Gulfstream in early 2023 include the $150,000 Mucho Macho Man on Jan. 1, the $250,000 Holy Bull on Feb. 4 and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth on March 4.

The Pegasus is returning for a seventh time. The format has changed several times in the race’s infancy; the purse structure for the Pegasus World Cup no longer requires owners to put up $1 million apiece for a spot in the starting gate for what was, at its inception, the world’s richest race with a purse that reached $16 million.

This much has remained constant: Winning the Pegasus changes a horse’s resume. No Pegasus winner has ever finished worse than sixth in the yearlong earnings among North American horses, and two past winners – Arrogate and Gun Runner – are two of the three highest-earning thoroughbreds in U.S. history.

Gulfstream’s Championship Meet runs from Dec. 26 through April 2, featuring 60 stakes races, 35 of them graded, and worth a combined $13.6 million.

Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud

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LONDON – Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland after winning the Gold Cup at Ascot three times, has been retired to stud.

Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, said he felt it would be unfair to make the horse come back next season as a 9-year-old after time away with a bruised foot.

“It has been a fairytale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivarius, bred in Ireland and the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races – including seven Group One races – and earned almost 3.5 million pounds (now $3.8 million) in prize money.

Stradivarius won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.