2018 was certainly a stellar year of Thoroughbred racing around the world. It produced a U.S. Triple Crown winner, a first English Derby for Godolphin and made Stradivarius a millionaire. But, for many, it was the performances of the queens of the track that made this such a memorable one.
With four absolute stars – Almond Eye, Enable, Monomoy Girl and Winx – set to stay in training, TRC is asking you the reader to vote for the one you believe is the best.
Winx, who has won 29 consecutive stakes races, including a world record 22 G1s, won all seven of her contests in 2018, including a historic fourth straight victory in the G1 Cox Plate, Australia’s top middle-distance weight-for-age race. Chris Waller’s 7-year old daughter of Street Cry even picked up a Secretariat Award, an annual accolade created by Penny Chenery that recognises the international horse that combines popularity with racing excellence.
And the good news announced by Waller today is that Winx will stay in training in 2019 - with the aim of signing off in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Australia's second richest mile-and-a-quarter race after the Cox Plate, at Randwick in April. Winx won the Queen Elizabeth in 2017 and 2018.
Despite injury curtailing the first half of her season, the brilliant Enable ended it with a record of 3-0, achieved in England, France and America. The extraordinary globetrotting daughter of Nathaniel claimed a second Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a first Breeders’ Cup Turf.
One horse who could stop the Juddmonte filly claiming a third Arc next October – and win a coveted first one for Japan – is trainer Sakae Kunieda’s sublime Almond Eye, who last month added a Japan Cup to her filly Triple Crown achieved this year. Though the 3-year old has only raced in Japan, her jockey, Christophe Lemaire, has absolute faith in the daughter of Lord Kanaloa and believes she “will be competitive with Enable” at ParisLongchamp.
Stateside, Monomoy Girl was unquestionably this year’s dominant filly. The daughter of Tapizar danced every dance, finishing first in all seven of her races (she was placed second for interference in the stretch at the Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing). The six-time G1 winner capped a supreme season by winning the Longines Distaff on Breeders’ Cup Saturday to cement her position as the best dirt filly in the U.S.