Cox Plate favourite Winx a $100 million black hole for bookies

Winx and Hugh Bowman have been a costly combination for the bookies.
Vince Caligiuri

Winx and Hugh Bowman have been a costly combination for the bookies.

Champion Winx has proved a $100 million nightmare for bookmakers in her 12-race winning streak, and if she makes it 13 in Saturday's Cox Plate it will be more pain for the bagmen.

Winx has made a habit of delivering losing days for corporate bookmaking houses as punters have supported her heavily at every chance. The more than $7 million in prizemoney she has earned is only a fraction of what has been paid out in winning bets.

"We launched just as Winx started stringing together her win streak and she's easily been our most costly horse," Crownbet chief executive Matthew Tripp said. 

More than 80 per cent of punters are backing Winx this weekend.
Bradley Photos

More than 80 per cent of punters are backing Winx this weekend.

"Black Caviar was once my bogey horse but Winx is not far off taking her mantle as the worst-performing horse of my bookmaking career.

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"Whilst it is great for Australian racing to see her run around, bookmakers would be certainly better off if she didn't."

Winx has already provided a series of horror results for the bookmakers winning the Epsom and Cox Plate last year and the Doncaster in the autumn.

Her popularity is amazing and a victory on Saturday will strip more than $8 million from Crownbet. It is similar story at all the other major firms as punters back her to the exclusion of all other runners. 

"More than 80 per cent of our punters have put their money on Winx this weekend; it would be a great result for the business if she got beaten," Tripp said.

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Winx's trainer Chris Waller is aware of the responsibility that comes with the great mare and the expectation she will win.

"I just know from last year to now how she has lifted my profile," Waller said. "I had won premierships but people just know who she is and what she has done, and [that's how they] know me.

"They put their money on her and there is the expectation that comes with every win.

"We have to get her to Saturday in the best possible order. The preparation has been to peak on Saturday and everything is going to plan."

Winx started $4.60 favourite when she romped to victory in the Cox Plate last year, but was smashed at betting houses in the final 48 hours. Since then she has had another seven wins.

The presence of Hartnell in the Cox Plate has meant bookmakers were prepared to take risks with her and punters have responded with their cash.

Ladbrokes were determined to offer the best price for Winx in the Cox Plate after Tuesday's barrier draw, and bet $2.30 before the weight of money saw that price shorten.

"She is the best of her generation and the punters love her," Ladbrokes' Paul Di Cioccio said

"It is not just our racing punters, but the general public, which want to back her because of the media coverage she gets.

"You put up a price and she invariably starts shorter. We were $2.30 after the draw but are at $2 now and that will probably be a good price by Saturday the way the money is coming."

Unlike Black Caviar, which was often at unbackable prices for punters, Winx has got out to a quote where punters can feel comfortable backing her.

"They think at anything around the $2 mark with her as a bonus because they can't remember her losing," TAB's Glenn Munsie said. "She is the most popular horse in the country because she just keeps winning and they are playing with our money.

"She is the only loser in the Cox Plate book.

"They usually back her in multis because she is so short, but in the Cox Plate they can back her straight out."

 - Sydney Morning Herald

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