As Winx tops our countdown as an obvious number 1 on the Top 10 Horses of 2017, we can take a look back at some of the horses with bragging rights over the super mare. Just 6 times in her 32-race career has she failed to finish first, a statistic that sets her apart from champion sprinter Black Caviar, who finished her career unbeaten.
At the top of the list is a horse that has amazingly beaten Winx to the finishing post in 5 out of 6 meetings together. For the now retired First Seal, many were left wondering about what could have been for the mare after trainer John Thompson discovered a rare hoof condition that ultimately hampered her career, ending with 6 wins from just 21 starts including the Group 1 Flight Stakes, beating Winx by 3L.
Winx was a runner up to First Seal in 2 races, as well as being unplaced in a further 3 in which First Seal either won or placed in. First Seal definitely had the edge on Winx early in her career, and barring injury, a later Winx-First Seal match up over 1400 or 1600m would be very interesting. A foal by Snitzel is expected out of First Seal in 2017.
The last horse to beat Winx was Gust Of Wind back in April 2015. In a whirlwind career of just 14 starts, Gust of Wind was made famous for the maiden win at Scone, which has to be seen to be believed. Just 3 starts later, Gust Of Wind claimed her first Group 1 Victory, beating Winx in the Australian Oaks at Randwick. The now retired 6-year-old was also placed 4th in the 2015 Caulfield Cup behind Mongolian Khan, Trip To Paris and Our Ivanhowe, and then 6th in the 2015 Melbourne Cup won by Prince Of Penzance.
Including Winx, Gust Of Wind also adds big names Who Shot Thebarman, Fame Game, Hartnell, Lucia Valentina and Protectionist to an impressive list of world-class horses she has also beaten home. Currently residing in the Hunter Valley, Gust Of Wind is also expecting a foal by Snitzel in the next 12 months.
As for current horses that can say they’ve beaten the 3-time Cox Plate winner, recent ATC Stakes winner Slightly Sweet was 2.1L in front of Winx when finishing 3rd in the Light Fingers Stakes at Randwick in 2015, and again just 2 weeks later in the Group 2 surround stakes at Warwick Farm with Slightly Sweet again running 3rd in a race where Winx failed to place, this time 4L behind First Seal.
The 6-year-old mare trained by Jason Coyle now has 5 wins from 26 starts, earning $495,185 prize money. One for the black book, Slightly Sweet is 1 of just 11 horses that have beaten Winx past the finish line, and the only one who has not been retired since.
Full list of horses that have beaten home Winx: First Seal, Adrift, Slightly Sweet, Peggy Jean, Onemorezeta, Mossfun, Supara, Amicus, Fenway, Thunder Lady and Ballet Suite.