Winx’s astonishing winning run continued on Saturday as she created history by becoming the first horse to win four Cox Plates (1m2f) and record her 29th consecutive victory at Moonee Valley.
The Chris Waller-trained mare jumped perfectly from the gate before settling into a steady rhythm under regular jockey Hugh Bowman in the Group 1 contest, which has been run since 1922.
As the field turned into the home straight, the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Benbatl mounted a challenge to the wondermare but the daughter of Street Cry found an extra gear to cruise home and win by two lengths.
A decision on whether the great Winx will continue racing or retire to the paddocks will not be made until next year.
Magna Grecia a ninth Trophy winner for O’Brien
While Aidan O’Brien may not have enjoyed his best season in Britain, his stable continued its end of season form as Magna Grecia battled to a hard-fought success in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy (1m) at Doncaster on Saturday.
It turned out to be a dramatic contest as the eventual runner-up, Phoenix Of Spain, encountered problems when delivering what looked like a winning run only to be denied by Magna Grecia by a head.
The stewards took a lengthy look at the result to see if Magna Grecia had impeded Phoenix Of Spain but ultimately left the placings unaltered.
Magna Grecia’s victory provided his sire, the Irish National Stud resident Invincible Spirit, with his 18thwinner at the highest level. Bred by Woodnook Farm, Magna Grecia is out of the Group 3-winning Galileo mare Cabaret, who is one of 1,095 lots catalogued for the Tattersalls December Mares Sale later this year.
In a thrilling finish to the Group 3 Teddington Royal British Legion Stakes (1m4f), Morando and Young Rascal dead-heated for first place.
The William Haggas-trained Young Rascal had hit the front under jockey Jim Crowley two furlongs from home and seemed to be destined for victory, but it was Rob Hornby and his mount Morando who began to close on the leader.
When the line came, Hornby and the Andrew Balding-trained Morando had clawed backed the deficit and crossed the line with Young Rascal. It went to the judge and after a lengthy wait, the result was called a dead-heat.
Also at Newbury on Saturday, trainer Marcus Tregoning and jockey Martin Dwyer combined with Mohaather, who was an impressive two and a half-length winner of the Group 3 Molson Corrs Stakes (7f).
Rey De Oro continues Lemaire’s fantastic season
It was a third Grade 1 in the space of three weeks for French jockey Christophe Lemaire as he partnered the Kazuo Fujisawa-trained Rey De Oro to land the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (1m2f) at Tokyo on Sunday.
The victory followed the jockey’s successes aboard Almond Eye in the Shuka Sho and the Japanese St Leger on Fierement.
Former Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira and his mount Sungrazer had set the pace throughout only for Rey De Oro to unleash a devastating turn of foot that propelled him to a one and a half-length victory.
Royal Meeting strikes for Bin Suroor
Saeed bin Suroor, fresh from bagging the Caulfield Cup in Australia with Best Solution, took another Group 1 when Royal Meeting captured the Criterium International (7f) at Chantilly on Sunday.
Sheikh Mohammed’s two-year-old son of Invincible Spirit won a Yarmouth maiden on his debut in September and took the step up to the top level in his stride, readily seeing off the filly Hermosa by three quarters of a length.
Holdthasigreen, a six-year-old gelded son of Hold That Tiger, recorded the first Group 1 victory of his career in the Prix Royal-Oak (1m7f).
In a messy race, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Flag Of Honour tried to jump the all-weather crossing, causing interference to his rivals, including Godolphin’s Brundtland, four from four coming into the contest.
Tony Piccone kicked on aboard Holdthasigreen and the gelding stayed on well to hold off Called To The Bar, with Morgan Le Faye third and Brundtland a somewhat unlucky fourth.
In the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud (1m2f) on Saturday, Wonderment gave Coolmore Stud sire Camelot a top-level triumph, as she saw off the colts Sydney Opera House and Fox Tal in the juvenile staying contest.
At Leopardstown on Saturday, Guaranteed gave owner-breeder-trainer Jim Bolger a Group 3 strike in the Eyrefield Stakes (1m1f), the son of Teofilo proving too good for the Aga Khan’s Masaff.