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Rosehill meeting banner day for Winx Bowman

From Deane Cummings: March 2018

Winx won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday and moved her record to 24 consecutive wins. It was her 17th win and the Group 1 level.

Even though she had to beat only five others, this race was not the sort of runaway she produced last time out in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes, where the gap between Winx and the others could have been measured with a calendar. Second place runner Happy Clapper and third placer Kementari made a race of the Ryder. Happy Clapper was less than a length back and Kementari was less than two lengths behind Winx.

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Her next race will be in three weeks when she goes for the tie for consecutive wins with Black Caviar. It will be the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000 m) at Randwick on April 14.

There are already early wagering markets open and it would seem now is the time, as Ladbrokes will give punters $1.20 at the moment.

After the George Ryder Stakes, trainer Chris Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman offered their perspectives.

"It's pretty special, I try not to get too caught up in it," Waller said. "I, like everybody else who is a racing or sporting tragic have to be pretty proud of her today."

"It was a bit of a tactical race, there was no pressure early," winning jockey Hugh Bowman said. "I actually never went in behind Brenton (Avdulla - Kementari) because I could just feel I was getting away from them a bit."

Bowman bagged two Group 1s on the day, the other than the Ryder being the Rosehill Guineas (2000 m). He took third in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes and second in the Darby Munro Listed (1200 m) to make it a nice day's work. In the Golden Slipper Stakes, Bowman was a disappointing 14th out of 16, but he stayed on Performer for the entire race.

Waller still will not confirm or deny suggestions that Winx is headed to England. "We've got to talk about coming back if she went to Europe and race in her fourth Cox Plate, she can only really go there for one run, possibly two, but we've got to put all the cards on the table," Waller said.

The other big race of the day, well, one of them, the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes for the juveniles, was won by Estijaab ($8.50), with Oohood ($17) taking second and Magic Millions winner Sunlight ($5) crossing in third. Pre-race favourite Written By ($4.80) was unplaced in fourth.

Estijaab runs for the Hawkes operation and she is showing every indication of being a champion for years to come. Since she started competing at the Group level, she has taken a second in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes and won the Group 2 Reisling Stakes.

The race was a gripping one. Estijaab won by a neck and between her and seventh-place finisher Fiesta, the span was just over three lengths.

Estijaab took home the top prize of $2 million in the world's richest race for two-year-olds and produced an impressive show of unadulterated speed by coming out of the 14th barrier to get the better of several that were drawn much better.