Winx just did the unthinkable. Never has there been such a dominant Cox Plate win. Never. Wow. Just wow and double wow and a thousand wows and some more wows after that.
The official margin was probably about a million lengths. That's how easy it was. Actually it was eight lengths, which is the greatest margin in Cox Plate history.
The Melbourne Cup is the race that once-a-year punters care about, but for racing purists, it's all about the Cox Plate. If the Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation, the 2016 Cox Plate will go down as the race that stopped every racing argument ever.
Name a champion. Think of Makybe Diva, Might and Power, Bonecrusher, Sunline or So You Think. All of them won Cox Plates comfortably, but never was a win achieved with such arrogance. Winx made the rest of the field look like bush hackers from the back of Bourke.
Even Kingston Town -- the only horse to win three straight Cox Plates (1980-1982) -- never made a field look as second rate as this.
Hartnell, unbeaten in its three previous runs, was toyed with even though it finished runner-up. Filly Yankee Rose ran third, and will now be strong favourite to win The Oaks at Flemington in Melbourne Cup week.
That's 13 wins straight and the last two Cox Plates now for Winx. The five-year-old mare doesn't run two miles which means we won't see her in the Melbourne Cup, but you'll be seeing her in the racing history books forever, and hopefully lining up for her third Cox Plate next year.
Have we said "wow" enough times yet? No we have not. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
Earlier today we argued that if Winx wins, she might be better than Black Caviar. The Channel Seven crew started the same argument after the race. "They are different types of horses," was the consensus, but it's beyond question that Winx has now won more prize money, and has won a bunch of tougher races against better fields at a wider distance range.
Winx settled midfield in the run and made her move with about 800m to go. Hartnell took off first, but Winx stalked her, then pulled clear on the point of the turn. The race was over at that point and it was just a matter of how far.
Winx started at the skinny odds of $1.70. Despite its defeat, Hartnell remains Melbourne Cup favourite at $4.60. The fact a horse can be favourite for the Melbourne Cup despite being beaten by eight lengths is yet another measure of how good Winx really is.
"Unbelievable. Obviously I thought she could win, but not like that," said trainer Chris Waller after the race.
Waller is an unassuming Sydney-based Kiwi not prone to exaggeration. But no praise was too high for Winx, who stripped 14 kilos heavier and more muscular for this year's Cox Plate.
"365 days has gone into today. It's not easy."
The dawn-to-dusk routine of a racehorse trainer might not be easy, but Winx sure made the running bit of the equation looks like a piece of pie. What a mare. And what a 'mare of the night variety for the horses who chase her.Suggest a correction