Champion mare Winx loses first foal weeks before expected birth

Sydney (AFP) –

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All-conquering Australian mare Winx has lost her first foal just weeks before giving birth in a blow to what was expected to be a lucrative breeding career.

The champion galloper, the best on the planet at her peak, won 33 consecutive races over a four-year unbeaten streak before ending her glittering career in April last year.

Winx, who banked more than Aus$26 million (US$18.5 million) in prize money, headed to the breeding barn with experts predicting each of her foals could fetch more than a million dollars.

So sought-after is her bloodline that her niece sold for Aus$750,000 last year.

But her first pregnancy with stallion I Am Invincible ended in tragedy this week during its final month.

"Our thoughts and attention at the moment are on Winx ensuring that she remains healthy, as anyone in this situation would respect," her former trainer Chris Waller in a statement.

It did not give details on Winx's condition, aside from noting the "traumatic" nature of the events.

Winx set new standards on the track in her 33-race streak, surpassing legendary sprinter Black Caviar's Australian win record.

In doing so she claimed 25 victories in highest-level Group 1 races and an unprecedented four Cox Plates.