Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By Graham Potter | Friday, October 26, 2018

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

Winx, the world’s highest rated racehorse, has already distinguished herself with an unprecedented high level of achievement but, even so, her reputation will take off into a new stratosphere if she wins her fourth consecutive Cox Plate on Saturday.

That would be a success which beggars belief surpassing the three wins in the race of the mighty Kingston Town in the early eighties, a record that most thought would never be equalled, never mind beaten.

Everybody knows and acknowledges Winx’s quality … well almost everybody.

Earlier in the week British racing pundit Matt Chapman, obviously seeking his fifteen seconds of fame, make this provocative statement when speaking on racing.com, “Back home we feel Winx is beating fairly moderate horses.”

You can give him credit for bravery. He said that when speaking to a room full of Australians.

Chapman later clarified his view by adding, “I have never ever slagged Winx. In fact, I’ve spent most of the last two or three years defending her back home. I think she (Winx) is incredible, but I’m also a realist. I deal in realism and form … (the fact is) the general opposition in Australia at a mile-and-a-quarter is a very, very weak division.”

Chapman also had a go at Winx’s number one spot in the world.

“Cracksman, after his win in the Champion Stakes over the weekend, (a six-length romp at Ascot in his final career start) … well, if the handicappers do their job properly he would now be the best horse in the world.”

Chris Waller wasn’t having any of it.

He spoke for all Australians when he said, “I was very, very surprised and disappointed (by Chapman’s comments). That just puts a mockery on Australian racing, which is regarded as close to the best in the world, and I'm sure our punters and followers of racing would be disgusted by those comments.

“I think he's a bit of a dickhead for saying it really. You're in a foreign country, you (should) have a little bit of respect.”

So, does Chapman even have a dog in the Cox Plate fight?

Chapman is a good friend of and, in his own words, “a huge, huge supporter” of Saeed Bin Suroor. Chapman is quick to point out that the Godolphin trainer, “is a four times champion trainer back home who has won just about anything worth winning around the globe … apart from a Cox Plate.”

Saeed Bin Suroor runs Benbatl in the Cox Plate and Chapman issued a warning to Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman regarding Benbatl’s challenge.

“Back home he (Benbatl) will be nowhere near what our two best mile, mile and a quarter horses are … that’s Enable and Cracksman … but Hugh Bowman will not want to sit ten lengths behind Benbatl because this is one of those very strange European horses that seems to run better when he runs abroad.”

“Oisen Murphy, Benbatl’s jockey, is a great young jockey. He is going to be a champion without any doubt whatsoever. If he goes on the front end, which I think is what Murphy will do, Hugh Bowman does not want to be that far behind him.”

Winx is currently quoted at $1.25. Benbatl, at $9, is the only other runner quoted under $16.

More articles

Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best