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Notes on a Champion - Winx as a foal

4 min read

With Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) set to create history as she bids for her 26th consecutive win in her own race, the G1 Winx Stakes at Randwick, TDN AusNZ had a chat to the team at Coolmore to find out what she was like as a foal.

Coolmore Australia's foaling manager Patrick Sheehan and stud manager Jim Carey reflect on the early days of a mare that would reshape thoroughbred history.

John Camilleri's Fairway Thoroughbreds bred Winx, having purchased her dam Vegas Showgirl (NZ) (Al Akbar) for $455,000 at the 2008 Magic Millions Broodmare sale. Five years later, her second foal a filly, by Street Cry (Ire) was sold for $230,000 to Peter Tighe's Magic Bloodstock.

The rest, as they say, is history.

TDN AusNZ: 'Quality foal'." You must be pretty satisfied with that assessment?

Patrick Sheehan, Foaling Manager Coolmore Australia: "She foaled during the day, which is relatively unusual and I don’t remember the foaling, which would suggest that it was pretty straightforward! She was a leggy, pretty filly as a very young foal. Looking back on it, it’s not surprising that she has continued to improve as she has matured. She was managed conservatively early on because she was so leggy and a bit weak looking. I have seen her at the races since and you can see the frame that she had as a foal is still there, but she has just strengthened right up into it”

Winx pictured at a few hours old with her dam Vegas Showgirl. Photo: Coolmore

TDN AusNZ: Physically, was she more like Street Cry or her dam, Vegas Showgirl?

PS: “Peter O’Brien bought the mare for John Camilleri and she was a very pretty mare. Winx was a lot like her mother as a foal. She was a lovely colour and had a very attractive head. I didn’t see Street Cry in the flesh but have seen pictures of him and have seen plenty of his progeny – we also had Pride Of Dubai through our system on the farm and he stands here now – but Winx clearly inherited the strength that Street Cry is known for passing on, although it wasn’t until she got older that it became obvious”.

TDN AusNZ: What was her temperament like from Day 1?

PS: “Vegas Showgirl could be tough to deal with at times and it became obvious when Winx was a weanling that she was also strong willed. There was no malice in her, but she was never a passive horse and from I’ve read of people who have worked with her at Chris Waller’s, she is no pushover now either!”

Winx pictured as a yearling. Photo: Coolmore

TDN AusNZ: She's now won 25 consecutive races, including 18 Group 1s, which is remarkable. But could you mention some of the other multiple Group 1 winners born on the farm?

Jim Carey, Stud Manager Coolmore Australia: “There are 55 Gr.1 winning graduates of Coolmore Australia, who between them have won 100 Gr.1’s. We are hoping that Winx can make it 101 today. Prior to Winx, Laisserfaire and Elvstroem had shared the honours as the winning most graduates of the farm in terms of Gr.1 wins with 5 each.

The likes of Redoute’s Choice, Special Harmony, Fastnet Rock, Scintillation and Haradasun are amongst the most well-known multiple Gr.1 winning graduates of the farm, while more recently, the likes of Sea Siren, Pride Of Dubai and Oh Susanna were all born and raised here.

The success of graduates of the farm in recent years has been phenomenal and a great endorsement of the farm and the team behind it. Since the start of 2015, 18 graduates of the farm have won in Gr.1 company; Vancouver, Unforgotten, Inference, Pinot, Avantage and Catchy to name but a few. Hopefully there are plenty more to come!”