She's the hottest thing in horse racing. So hot, in fact, that non-racing people know who she is.

Super mare Winx has won hearts across the nation as she's broken the hearts of her competitors.

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So once a year, those with a passing interest in racing ask: If Winx is the best horse in Australia, and probably the world, why isn't she in the Melbourne Cup?

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Those in the know are tempted to reply with a question of their own: After three Cox Plate wins in succession, what else do you want from Winx?

For the past three years she's stormed into our faces to rule Sydney in the autumn, and by spring is commanding the attention of the most casual observers of racing as she takes Melbourne by storm.

Winx, unbeaten in her past 22 starts, and with her own Twitter account befitting a modern-day turf superstar, is like that.

She hasn't had a horse finish in front of her since April, 2015.

She's got a miraculous motor and freakish stride rate: in full motion she takes 170 strides - 30 more than the average racehorse.

Combine that with the ability to sustain that, and even up the tempo at the end of a race when she should be fading, and you have an out and out champion.

Winx (L) through the water at Altona Beach during a recovery session. Photo / Getty
Winx (L) through the water at Altona Beach during a recovery session. Photo / Getty

SO WHY NOT THE CUP?

But she won't be lining up in the Melbourne Cup, for a number of reasons. Just like last year. And the year before that.

Firstly, she wasn't nominated for the race. It was never in the plan.

Which leads logically to the second point - she hasn't been trained to run the 3200m distance, which is another kilometre - and then some - further than the 2040m she ran last Saturday to win a record-matching third Cox Plate.

That's no mean feat. Only one other horse had done that: the mighty Kingston Town.

Third, it just wouldn't make much sense for her to line up in a handicap race like the Cup, which sees horses weighted according to ability and form.

The better your horse is, the more it carries. Winx is so good, she'd get a truckload of it - probably assigned an unprecedented 60kg, which is a big ask, even of a superhorse.

Especially of a superhorse who has never raced beyond 2200 metres. Yes, that matters.

Winx races under weight-for-age conditions: set weights decided by age and sex. Those are the conditions of the Cox Plate - which many purists regard as Australia's best horse race.

The Cup has a bigger profile and pull. The Cox Plate is the one trainers want to win.

Fourth, she's six years old now, has won 26 times in 32 starts - 22 of them in succession.

Along the way she's amassed $15,627,925 in prizemoney. She's won more money than Cup heroine Makybe Diva. She's equalled Black Caviar's record of 15 Group 1 victories. She doesn't need a Melbourne Cup win to tell us she's amazing.

Could she win a Melbourne Cup? Some say yes, if she was trained for the distance.

Others say the 3200m may prove her Achilles heel, as it has many others, and a gruelling campaign for a tilt next year at the age seven could risk her breaking down under the demands of extra training needed to get her that far.

Last week's Cox Plate was hard-earned - not the eight-length record margin cakewalk of the previous year - but perhaps her greatest victory.

She won by less than a length, but in a track record time which underlines her greatness. Jockey Hugh Bowman used the whip just once, at the 100 metre mark. When your horse is giving everything, you don't need it to ask for more.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Naturally, a press conference announcing what's next for Winx created a storm in Melbourne today.

Was she running next week? Not running and taking a rest? Not running and retired? Perhaps running for PM?

Anything's possible with this mare.

The news was, she's not running for a bit. She's off for a holiday No more starts this campaign.

There's talk she'll go overseas to tackle international races in England, Japan, Dubai and further afield: no less than eight overseas racing jurisdictions have registered an interest in luring the mare to their tracks.

But there are risks with taking a horse overseas: the change of hemispheres, seasons and toll of travel weighs heavily on perfectly-tuned racing machines. And at home, there's the lure of an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate.

For now though, she's off to the paddock for a rest.

So no, you won't Winx in the Melbourne Cup. You don't need to.

She's in a class, and race, all of her own. And it's daylight second.