Federico Tesio got it only half right when he came up with his famous line that the only measurement worth a dot in horse racing is the winning post.

Winx's historic victory proved that.

Sure, the Moonee Valley winning post registered something late Saturday that passed into legend. Wow.

But the moments around trainer Chris Waller and Hugh Bowman on Saturday proved beyond doubt they are every bit the level of champion as the horse they adore. The pair gave new meaning to grace under fire.


It started when the hugely informed Francesca Cumani, almost as an afterthought, thrust the microphone into Hugh Bowman's face as he climbed aboard Winx to leave the back parade ring and walk onto the track in front of the adoring 32,000-plus sell-out crowd.

Bowman wanted to get onto the track and into something that would relieve just a fraction of the crushing pressure.

"Tough week?". Bowman answered with the courtesy that is becoming his trademark, even if he'd rather have been sweeping Bourke St with a toothbrush.

Finally: "Better let you get out there."

"Yeah, let's go get 'em." It wasn't until after the job was done that he revealed former jockey Greg Childs approached him minutes after he and Winx had scored their remarkable second successive Cox Plate a year ago.

"Greg said: 'Nothing will prepare you for what you're in for next year'." Childs knew. He won successive Cox Plates on Sunline and he admits, even a decade and a half later, the stress he went through before Sunline finished a close third to Northerly trying to equal Kingston Town's three-peat was something to be avoided.

The country boy from Dunedoo was literally 30 seconds speechless with relief as the outrider on the pony with the microphone sidled up when Winx halted in the back straight.

Typically, his first thoughts were not for himself. He broke into a Chris Waller eulogy. "... (this) is taken for granted. It's not a matter of just having a good horse. To prepare that horse for race after race at this level is remarkable. It's so strategic. Chris and the whole team, I salute them."

Waller and Bowman have become great mates. They could be identical twins. Australian sport broadcasting icon Bruce McAvaney stated the obvious to Waller that Humidor had given the huge crowd a fright trying to chase Winx down.

"Yeah, a helluva fright. But I'd been preparing myself for it because you don't expect to win 22 in a row."

But there were comforting thoughts, said Waller. "No horse has ever come off her back and beaten her."

McAvaney pointed out Waller's luck. Yes, 10 per cent of A$15m is, well, a lot of money. Typical Waller: "I've got some friends doing it pretty tough at the moment and it makes this so special," he said as he cried.

Crying nearby was Bowman's Scottish wife Christine. "I've been like a horse walking the box for two weeks," admitted Bowman, almost as an apology. Even through her tears his wife nodded.

Winning posts decide the financial side of racing.

Poise, humility and emotion come from a different place.