While Winx’s mum Vegas Showgirl often bathes in the limelight of her daughter’s breathtaking performances, the descendants of her dad, Street Cry, have made, and are making world headlines on the track.
The shuttle stallion Street Cry died in 2014 in Australia, and his ashes are now buried beneath a plaque interestingly, given history, close to Vegas Showgirl. His ashes at Darley’s Kelvinside stud are just a few kilometres from Vegas Showgirl’s new home at Segenhoe in the Hunter Valley, where the mare is in a paddock in foal to Exceed and Excel.
The moderate race performer Vegas Showgirl has become a tourist attraction, although Segenhoe was trying to play this down this week, with stud managers wanting to keep things calm with the mare due to give birth later this year to a half brother or sister to Winx.
Street Cry died of a degenerative nerve disorder which caused acute lameness, but not before he made an amazing contribution to the world’s racing ranks. His daughter Zenyatta, now at stud in the United States, was the 2010 American Horse of the Year, having won 19 of her 20 starts, showing all the exuberance of Winx, she set all types of records, winning two Breeders Cups and breaking the world record of Rock of Gibraltar for eight Group 1 victories in a row. (Winx’s amazing 16 run winning streak has been punctuated by the odd Group 2 win). She is one of the best mares ever to race in the US. Everyone says Zenyatta displayed the same tenacity and athleticism now being seen with Winx, although she was known to run on from back in the field, while Winx races handy.
Meanwhile, Street Cry’s other descendants are taking racing by storm, just as Winx did by demolishing her opponents in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on Slipper Day.
On the weekend, Street Cry’s grandson, the Australian-bred Rapper Dragon, the son of Street Boss, who stands at Darley’s Northwood Park in Victoria, won the Hong Kong Derby, becoming the first horse to win the Hong Kong Classic Series. Ridden by the Brazilian “Magic Man” Joao Moreira, he beat the fancied Pakistan Star by almost two lengths. His trainer, Australian John Moore, says Mudgee’s Gooree-stud bred gelding Rapper Dragon will only get better, which is a scary thought.
Meanwhile, Winx continues to set Australian racing alight with her electrifying wins. Defying the bog at Rosehill, she missed the start in the George Ryder, before cruising past the field, and then showing an incredible turn of foot to leave her rivals floundering, under Hugh Bowman’s wise steering.
Her next big challenge will be the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick during the Championships, in which she will again start a short-priced favourite. Her effort in the Ryder drew tears from her Kiwi-born trainer Chris Waller, who was lost for words. A third Cox Plate later this year looks at her mercy.
Darley’s head of sales, Australia, Alastair Pulford, said it appeared Winx was more versatile than Zenyatta in her racing style. There was not other horse in Australia at the moment like her. “I don’t know if we’ll ever see another Winx. She is just the product of an amazing combination of genes. She has that amazing athletic ability to settle anywhere in a race. She is an absolute super star.”
And while Winx goes on to more amazing marks, her dad’s progeny and their progeny continue to make their marks in the racing world.