Wonder mare Winx has blitzed her rivals to win the $500,000 Group 1 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m)by six-and-a-half lengths in front of a crowd of 20,282 at Flemington.
The six-year-old champion was unstoppable, taking the lead with 300 metres to go, to leave the rest of the field in her wake and cement a 21st consecutive win, in her first appearance at Australia’s premier racecourse.
Winx’s trainer Chris Waller used the Seppelt Turnbull Stakes as her final lead up run as she prepares to chase her third Cox Plate victory.
“She’s a brilliant horse and whatever you ask her to do, she does. She makes us all look great, and it’s just great the public embrace her,” said Waller.
Winx’s key rival in the Seppelt Turnbull Stakes, the Darren Weir-trained galloper Humidor, finished third, while Lindsay Park’s Ventura Storm was second.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Interim Chief Executive Neil Wilson said it was a special day for Flemington.
“For this impressive crowd to witness the greatness of Winx for the first time at Flemington was a truly memorable occasion and one I’m sure many Melburnians will treasure for years to come,” said Mr Wilson.
In other notable races on Seppelt Turnbull Stakes Day, Amelie’s Star booked her entry into the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup with victory for 2015 Emirates Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren Weir in the $300,000 Group 3 Bart Cummings (2500m), while Lindsay Park’s Keen Array took out the $200,000Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).
Meanwhile, the celebrations for premiership-winning Richmond AFL players continued, with a number of Tigers stars in attendance at Flemington to see their gelding Main Stage win the UCI Stakes.
The largest Seppelt Turnbull Stakes Day crowd since 2009 enjoyed additional facilities at Flemington, with the course bolstered by additional screens, food and beverage outlets and Winx merchandise to ensure all racegoers could be in the moment of Winx.
All profits from merchandise will go to the National Jockeys Trust, as well as proceeds from the auction of signed saddlecloths from the Seppelt Turnbull Stakes, including Winx’s saddlecloth.
In the Parade Lounge, 3AW’s Ross Stevenson hosted the sold out Love Letter to Racing event, where guests heard from passionate racing enthusiasts including radio presenter Tony Leonard, writer Andrew Rule, former sports star and racing enthusiast Simon O’Donnell, and VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott about their personal relationships and experiences with racing. All proceeds from the event, including the raffle and live auction, will be donated to the National Jockey’s Trust.
Children and their families got into the spirit of Winx with Winx-themed hobby horse racing, silks and face painting, while in The Atrium and The Terrace racegoers could enjoy a themed Absolut Winx cocktail.
General admission precinct Saintly Place held extra significance on Seppelt Turnbull Stakes Day, as it was the first time the public could view the entire trophy collection bequeathed to the VRC by Cups King Bart Cummings.
Racing returns to Flemington in four weeks when the VRC lifts the curtain on the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 4 November, followed by Emirates Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 7 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 9 November, and Emirates Stakes Dayon Saturday 11 November.
For more information head to Flemington.com.au
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