National

Winx inspires all, even little boys

By AAP Newswire

Little mates Jude and Matthew love their footy but their favourite sports star wears hooves not boots.

Dressed in their blue and white silks, the boys were at Randwick racecourse on Saturday to cheer on super mare Winx, their hero who has taken racing's appeal beyond just the worn-out punter or well-heeled owner.

Like Black Caviar before her and the likes of Makybe Diva, Kingston Town, Bernborough and Phar Lap, Winx is the latest horse to bring racing to the masses.

Even little boys.

Five-year-old Jude Hudson was two when Winx was last beaten and Matthew Watkins, nine, has only ever seen her win.

"Because she's fast," they both respond when asked why they love Winx.

Jude runs around the house dressed in his silks, wearing goggles given to him by Winx's jockey Hugh Bowman and a pair of cricket whites with "Bowman" embroidered down one leg.

He and his dad Adam have races in the park as Winx and her old rival Hartnell.

"Jude's always Winx, because he has to win," Adam says.

Her owners completely understand the impact the world's top ranked racehorse has had on the Australian public, and on them.

Part owner Debbie Kipitis can't walk through the Randwick stalls without getting stopped every stride by punters asking for selfies and wanting a chat about her super horse.

"I get stopped because they can't stop and talk to her," Kipitis said.

"She has done amazing things on the track but what she's doing off the track is phenomenal.

"She's bringing racing to kids and the general public that don't really pay attention to it.

"You couldn't get a better advertisement for racing."

Punters of all ages gathered around her stall on Saturday, wearing Winx caps and shirts and holding Winx flags waiting for her to arrive and prepare for the George Main Stakes and her 27th consecutive win.

"It's so touching and I love the feeling she gives so many people," Kipitis said.

"It gives people something to aim for, it opens people up to something different."