|It's not often owners rejoice when running second, but the top notch effort by our Group 1 winning mare FOXPLAY to almost pull off "the impossible" and defeat the great Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes on Saturday at Randwick, was an especially memorable day in racing, for all her "girls only" group of owners. FOXPLAY and Winx have become good companions for about a year now and as well as being stabled next to one another at Chris' Rosehill stables, they spelled together before this preparation and generally have a "the 2 of us " mentality these days. |
On Saturday at the races, it was "every girl for herself" however when the barriers opened in the 1,400 metres Warwick Stakes and as has been widely documented, Winx missed the start and the field was 4 lengths off and gone in front of her after only about 60 metres. The racing public nationally (and internationally as well if the truth be known) collectively held their breath as the mare got herself up and going, immediately giving Group 1 horses a 3-4 lengths start. Surely this might cause her a major problem. Our" little tiger" FOXPLAY settled in behind the leading duo after leaving the barrier well and she travelled sweetly for the first 600 metres of the race, before taking the rails run right at the point of the home turn when the leader rolled off the fence.
When FOXPLAY and Kerrin McEvoy shot clear in the straight and at one time were almost a length and a half in front of the second horse, the high drama of the day gave those on course a sense of stunned disbelief that FOXPLAY just might hold off Winx who by then had angled to the middle of the track and was starting to power to the finish line. The question on everyone's lips was "will the finish post come too soon for her?" As we know the answer was no, because guided by the remarkable skill shown by Hugh Bowman, Winx was able to hurtle down the middle of the track to literally reach FOXPLAY 2 strides only from the winning post and win by a narrow margin.
Never have non winning owners shown more elation to run second, as the owners of FOXPLAY recognised the tremendous effort by their great little mare to almost hold out Winx. On Sunday morning the 2 mares headed to the beach at Botany Bay for a stroll in the water, as both the owners of Winx and FOXPLAY relived a great race and a special memory; certainly one that we all won't forget quickly. Well done to all the FOXPLAY owners on a great performance by your much loved girl FOXY.