Success Days will take on Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Picture: Racing Post UK
Success Days will take on Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Picture: Racing Post UK

Irish raider tries his luck against world’s best

IRISH trainer Ken Condon says he has Success Days ready to run well in Saturday's $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, but declared Winx one of the greatest racehorses of all time in any part of the world.

Success Days will try to stop the champion from winning her 25th race in a row.

He will come out of barrier eight, which Condon says is another stumbling block after already contending with a long trip from the other side of the world.

"Without doubt Winx is the biggest obstacle though," he said.

"She's extraordinary and it will be a privilege for us to see her in the flesh. She warrants her place in the top echelon of Australian racing history."

It's taken a while for Winx to finally be regarded as the world's best horse, but she still has to share that title with Gun Runner, despite the fact she has won more Group 1 races than he has had races.

"I even had to ask, 'Well what was she equal first with?'" Condon said.

 

Trainer Ken Condon says Winx’s longevity is a true sign of greatness. Picture: AAP
Trainer Ken Condon says Winx’s longevity is a true sign of greatness. Picture: AAP

 

The ratings are done on a "peak performance" rather than consistency over a long period of time, which has been controversial, but Condon has no doubt which horse is No.1 at the moment, Winx.

"My personal favourite was Dancing Brave," Condon said.
"He was a superb horse with a devastating turn of foot. He ran the last furlong in the Arc (de Triomphe in 1986) quicker than they ran the last furlong in the sprint race that day.

"The handicappers have Frankel up there as one of the best of all time, but it's very subjective to try and compare horses from different eras.

"All they can do is be the best in their own era and what Winx has done ... is quite remarkable.

"She does it on a consistent basis and, for me, longevity is a true sign of greatness."

Condon was hoping for a rain-affected track for Success Days but that would seem highly unlikely and after the barrier draw the raider drifted from $26 to $35.

He has amassed six wins from 18 starts, including the Group 2 York Stakes three starts back, and Condon said 2000m was the grey's perfect distance.

 

Success Days will take on Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday. Picture: Racing Post UK
Success Days will take on Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday. Picture: Racing Post UK

 

"I've been delighted with his work," he said. "His gallops have been strong and his last one was over seven furlongs (1400m). But Winx is a mare that has a big following and the record she's put together has been tremendous and she'll be a tough nut to crack."

Winx drifted from $1.15 to $1.18 after drawing wide in gate 10, but it didn't stop one punter quickly putting $124,500 on her to win and shortly after she came back in to a $1.15.

Meanwhile, jockey Kathy O'Hara said Single Gaze would run a strong 3200m despite drawing poorly in gate 21 for Saturday's $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup.

It will be the Nick Olive-trained mare's farewell to racing.

She is coming off a two-length fifth to Almandin in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on March 31.

"I didn't want to draw barrier one and be cluttered up, so that's a plus, but I didn't make a plan for barrier 21 either," O'Hara said.

"She's been great for my career and we've both been through a lot together, and she's in career-best form."

 

Kathy O’Hara will have to overcome a wide gate on Single Gaze in the Sydney Cup, which will be the mare’s final race. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography
Kathy O’Hara will have to overcome a wide gate on Single Gaze in the Sydney Cup, which will be the mare’s final race. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography

 

Almandin remained a $4 favourite after drawing gate five, and last-start Chairman's Quality winner Sir Charles Road was the biggest firmer after receiving barrier four.

He came in from $11 to equal second favourite with Aloft at $8.

Trainer Kris Lees will have two Sydney Cup runners, with Dourkhan gaining a start after the scratching of Adelaide Cup winner Fanatic on Tuesday.

Trainer David Hayes told stewards Fanatic had an injury to her near fore leg.

Doukhan will join stablemate Admiral Jello in the Sydney Cup.

with AAP



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