Photo: Bee Buck Photography
The Magic Millions yearling sale going on this week drew in both Chris Waller, Winx’s trainer, and John Gosden, who conditions Enable and is serving as an advisor to Godolphin. Australia’s Channel 7 took advantage, speaking to both — including about the big question about the world’s top mares.
Who would win a race between them?
“You’re trying to draw me into saying one’s better than the other,” Waller said with a smile. “It’s almost impossible.”
Gosden answered it a bit more directly.
“I think if you want to ask me a straight question, if they went a mile and a quarter on fast ground, I think Winx would win. I’d be bold to say that,” he said. “A mile and a half on soft — now that might be more of the European conditions, and that might just suit us. Our filly has a high cruising speed. When she goes, she can really accelerate, and she sees out the mile and a half well.
“I’d be happy to meet Winx at a mile and a half on soft. I think I’d duck it at a mile and a quarter on fast ground.”
Winx V Enable.
Who’s corner are you in and why? pic.twitter.com/nimoLyEpgg
— 7HorseRacing ?? (@7horseracing) January 12, 2019
The matchup is likely to never happen.
Winx is in the twilight of her career at age 8, training up to a final series of races. Waller said “the plan is to try not to let her be beaten,” with the daughter of Street Cry riding a 29-race winning steak into the Feb. 16 Apollo Stakes at Royal Randwick.
“Any signs of her not being as dominant,” he added to Channel 7, “she’ll be retired, and she can be a mom.”
While critics have cited lack of competition when overlooking her accomplishments, Waller seemed to agree somewhat.
“I think what Makes Winx so good is he’s 10 percent better than a majority of horses she races against,” he said. “That allows her to win each and every time. It allows her to overcome distances that she runs in. It allows her to win the first race of the preparation — the last race of the preparation — good tracks, wet tracks.”
Rather than point to a single great performance, Team Winx will focus on the mare’s longevity as her legacy.
As for Enable, who will race on as a 5-year-old, Gosden confirmed a third straight victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the goal for the Juddmonte Farms homebred.
“Look, I ran her unfit last year and just got away with it,” Gosden said. “I think it was the injury and then the fitness that made it a rather difficult year. But she still goes and wins all the races and does something that hasn’t been done before — the Arc and the Breeders’ Cup in America. Let’s hope we have a clean run at it this year.”