THE Mighty Mare did it again — and you better believe Bruce McAvaney delivered a rollercoaster commentary moment to match the drama on the track.
McAvaney froze watching champion seven-year-old Winx explode down the straight to win the Group 1 $500,000 1600m George Main Stakes on Saturday at Randwick.
The Channel 7 commentators emotional rollercoaster was captured by a behind-the-scenes camera inside a Channel 7 studio.
Seeing McAvaney’s pure elation at Winx’s record 27th consecutive race win was every bit as dramatic as the bay mare’s phenomenal charge to win by four lengths from Le Romain and Egg Tart.
The veteran Seven sport star appeared a broken man when jockey Hugh Bowman and Winx found themselves a nose behind Le Romain with 200m to run.
“She’s in trouble,” he said after biting his finger nails down to the quick.
He never should have doubted.
Moments later, Winx exploded.
She burned the field in the final 150m and did it easy in the end.
Seconds after saying she was in trouble, McAvaney pounded his desk in delight as he declared: “She’s got it”.
His grin was a thing of pure, unbridled elation.
— 7HorseRacing ? (@7horseracing)
“She’s just colossal,” McAvaney said.
What a ride, eh!
McAvaney’s supporters rode every bump and every surge of the race with the veteran caller.
— Ladbrokes.com.au (@ladbrokescomau)
— Rebecca Trbojevich (@RTrbojevich)
Love watching Bruce watching winx!! ???? https://t.co/DXYx2WgQOn— andrew lloyd (@drewboi8)
The win took Winx’s career earnings to almost $20 million and set another stunning list of records.
It was her eighth consecutive Group 1 race win — joining Black Caviar.
It was her 20th total Group 1 win — the first horse to ever reach the milestone.
The champion horse had to do it tough. She was seven lengths behind the race lead with 800m to run.
Jockey Hugh Bowman admitted after the race he had to force Winx to push like few times before, getting the whip out down the straight — but not excessively — to push the champion to win No. 27 in-a-row.
Le Romain finished second and Egg Tart came home to finish third ahead of Ace High.
Trainer Chris Waller said: “She’s just very, very special.
“She’s the star.”
The win has cemented her as one of the greatest the racing world has ever seen.
The fact that she had to fight for the win on Saturday, just showed another championship characteristic of the horse.
She more than doubled her margin in the last 100.
Words can’t sum her up anymore.#winx— Adam Peacock (@adampeacock3)
Still always some nerves watching Winx. Not sure why. Never in doubt, really.— Shayne Hope ? (@shayne_hope)
— TAB (@tabcomau)
Winx last galloped to victory in August, snapping Black Caviar’s record of 25 straight victories, and becoming just the 14th horse to win 30 or more times in a career.
Waller is expected to follow last year’s Spring Carnival preparation for the Mighty Mare and have her chase her 28th straight win in the 2000m, $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on October 6.
She will chase her 33rd career win (from 39 races) in the 2040m, $5 million Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 27.
“Her run beyond Saturday is not locked in yet,’’ Waller said.
“It is likely to be in Melbourne but we haven’t given up on keeping her here.
“She can go two weeks, four weeks, where ever she goes. I said at the end of last preparation it is one run at a time and we will stick to that.”
Waller said one run at a time was the best strategy because Winx isn’t getting any younger.
“She’s in the twilight of her career, she’s not showing any signs of slowing down,” he said.
“I think that’s partly due to the fact we’ve looked after her and the owners haven’t put me under any pressure to continually send her out and try to win prizemoney. It’s not about that for them, it’s all about the horse and as soon as she starts to tell us she’s starting to slow down or had enough, she’ll be retired and she can be a mum.”
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy said he has never seen a horse as good as Winx.
“I’ve ridden Winx in a couple of track gallops and she is the best I’ve ridden in my career,’’ McEvoy said.
“I remember Better Loosen Up as a kid, I heard about Kingston Town, I’ve seen Might and Power, Makybe Diva and Black Caviar but Winx is without doubt the best I’ve seen.
“I’ve chased her home in many races. She doesn’t have any peer that’s for sure.’’