Winx’s sister fails to fire on debut
Covent Garden, Winx's little sister, missed a place as another equine blueblood won on debut at Canterbury Park on Wednesday.
Sixgun, a full brother to Group 2 winner Splintex, finished powerfully to run down Camerlengo to win the Harry Angle At Darley Handicap (1100m).
The Chris Waller-trained Covent Garden, a half-sister to all-time great Winx, settled in fourth position on the rail but started to struggle in the very heavy conditions before the home turn before fading to finish sixth.
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Prominent breeder-owner John Camilleri, who bred and sold Winx as a yearling, has retained Covent Garden to race.
Covent Garden, by Exceed And Excel, is out of Vegas Showgirl, the dam of mighty mare Winx, winner of 37 of her 43 starts including her last 33 races in succession, earning a world record $26.4 million prizemoney. Covent Garden earned $1485 for her effort.
"She is a lovely type of horse, similar in shape to Winx with a few similar attributes in how she stands and holds herself," Waller said after sounding a pre-race warning about the track.
"She is a very straight-forward horse to work with. This is a small step today.
"She's a lovely type who has been given every opportunity."
Winx won a world record 25 Group 1 races during her four-year winning streak which featured four Cox Plate and four wins in both the Chipping Norton Stakes and George Ryder Stakes, three wins in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, George Main Stakes, Warwick (Winx) Stakes and Apollo Stakes, plus her successes in the Doncaster Mile and Epsom Handicap.
Winx is in foal to champion sire I Am Invincible and is due to become a "mum" for the first time during the spring breeding season.
At Sale 25 minutes earlier, another former great race mare, Makybe Diva, was represented by her filly Sublime Diva, who ran on for third in a 1728m maiden.
A daughter of Brazen Beau, the three-year-old raced ungenerously early before chasing doggedly to the line under Patrick Moloney. Trained by Colin Little, the filly is raced Tony Santic, principal of Makybe Racing and Breeding Pty Ltd.
Makybe Diva, the only horse to win three Melbourne Cups (2003-04-05), has now produced seven foals to race for five minor winners with only one stakes performer, Divanation who ran third in the Listed Warrnambool Cup last year.
Originally published as Winx's sister fails to fire on debut