If there was ever a moment when any flicker of doubt about Winx winning the Gr.1 WFA Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday was dispelled, it was as the six-year-old Street Cry mare thundered around the course in her well-documented track gallop on Tuesday morning.
Jockey Hugh Bowman was trying his best to keep the champion mare in check, but she was quick, strong and inspiring. The crowd gathered for the traditional Tuesday gallops before the Cox Plate meeting watched collectively holding their breath at the power on display.
Trainer Chris Waller had woken during the night concerned about the crowds reaction his star in case it caught her off guard, but after the gallop he called the silence respectful, and later a very surreal moment.
Not surprisingly the House Full sign for The Valley went up on Wednesday.
This will be one of those sporting moments in history to watch the mare win her third Cox Plate to equal Kingston Town, 22 wins in succession, equal Black Caviars 15 Group 1 victories and be the second shortest priced favourite after Phar Lap in 1931.
There have been long priced winners in the Victorian Spring Carnival so far, but TABs Nick Quinn summed it up.
It is almost impossible to see Winx failing to win the Cox Plate for a third straight year, but in the past fortnight we have seen blowout results in the Caulfield Guineas with Mighty Boss and in the Caulfield Cup with Boom Time and there are a small number of punters anticipating that it will happen again in the Cox Plate, he said.
No matter those optimists todays race will be one for the ages. There is no guarantee Winx will be seen again in the southern hemisphere spring and there are the tantalising prospects of campaigning in the UK and France next northern summer. The trip might also might bring a mating to a leading stallion to southern time.
That is all conjecture. In the meantime there is the prospect of the power of the 2017 renewal of the Cox Plate on Saturday. The small field gives Bowman options to be wherever he wants, back, wide, wherever, it will make no difference.
The tote will be betting on the Mooney Valley meeting, starting at 7am. Bets on offer are Win, Place, Exacta and Double. The races will be shown live on Tellytrack. thoroughbrednews.com.au