More Winx history; 2YO title fight
WINX has secured an unprecedented fourth Horse of the Year, The Autumn Sun should win the three-year-old award - but who wins the champion two-year-old title?
The Brisbane and Adelaide carnivals are unlikely to have a major bearing on the 2018-19 Australian Champion Racehorse Awards although Winx is a certainty to retain become the first four-time Horse of the Year winner.
The mighty mare ended her race career with another perfect season with eight wins from as many starts including seven at Group 1 level in the Warwick Stakes, George Main Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Cox Plate, Chipping Norton Stakes, George Ryder Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Winx will become the first to win four successive Horse of the Year titles - Black Caviar and Sunline are the only other three-time winners - and is almost certain to win the champion older horse, miler and middle distance categories.
The Autumn Sun's wins in the Golden Rose, Caulfield Guineas, Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas will earn him three-year-old honours but the two-year-old category is not so cut and dried.
Did the James Cummings-trained Kiamichi do enough with her Golden Slipper win and dead-heat for third (with Castelvecchio) in the ATC Sires Produce Stakes or will her flop in the Percy Sykes Stakes count heavily against her?
Microphone, a stablemate of Kiamichi, will have his admirers. He didn't miss a top two finish in six starts, winning four and coming off his second in the Golden Slipper to win the Sires.
Castelvecchio was quite outstanding in the Champagne Stakes last Saturday, as he was winning the Inglis Millennium back in February to make a late surge at the top two-year-old award.
But the fact Castelvecchio met Microphone twice and finished behind him both times might give the Godolphin colt a slight edge.
WINX TRUMPED IN TIMEFORM
Santa Ana Lane eclipsed Winx for the highest Timeform-rated win of the season with his outstanding TJ Smith Stakes on day one for The Championships at Royal Randwick.
The brilliant Santa Ana Lane demolished a crack field of sprinters to win by a widening three-and-a-half lengths and return a 130 rating.
This eclipses Winx's best rating for her final season of racing which was 129, a figure she achieved three times winning the George Main Stakes, Cox Plate and Chipping Norton Stakes.
But Winx was directly responsible for the three highest rating races of the Sydney autumn carnival which was the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes and Apollo Stakes in that order.
"Winx was magnificent winning all four autumn carnival races, running to a Timeform rating of 126, 129, 128 and 123 respectively,'' said form expert Gary Crispe who compiles the Timeform ratings.
"The TJ Smith was the highest rated Timeform sprint race for the season, eclipsing the 2018 Everest and Darley Classic.
"Santa Ana Lane returned a Timeform rating of 130 in the T J Smith Stakes and 126 winning the Darley Classic. Redzel ran to 126 in the 2018 Everest while Sunlight ran 119 winning the Newmarket Handicap.''