We tried to point it out in Saturday's Weekend Herald story. Not quite sure we achieved it.

Simply, it's just that probably the majority of race watchers believe that: 'Winx lines up, Winx wins.' Oh that it would be that easy.

If you truly understand what Winx and Chris Waller have gone through to record those record-breaking breathless 26 straight victories your hair would literally stand on end.

That Waller's hasn't is because of a temperament not born in Hell or Heaven but in a place none of us have heard of.


Hugh Bowman comes from the same geography. No one in the world understands what Winx is capable of and the exact speed she is travelling at in a race like Bowman.

Yet when when the champion mare lunged alongside Kementari, the horse thought capable of testing her on Saturday, six wide on the home turn, Bowman, and probably Chris Waller, must have thought: "Oh, tell me this isn't the day we've dreaded."

Momentarily Winx appeared as flat as a pancake. We were all harbouring Waller and Bowman's thoughts.

Bowman to Racenet: "Glyn [Schofield on Kementari] and I came around the corner together. I thought I was near my top because it's been a while since she's run this distance [1400m] and it's short of her best. She was struggling at the pace of this distance."

A stride or two later, Bowman clicked he was, yet again, on the back of no mere racehorse. At that point - 80m into the home straight - Winx appeared she could do no better. Champions can always do better.

"When she balanced up and saw the winning post, what can I say, she is incredible. She's amazing."

From 'No better', Winx went through two more gears to put a big space into the opposition.

It may have looked easy, but for five seconds, there was doubt in everyone's mind.

Think of Waller here. He had the job of having Winx ready to win first up from a spell. Ready enough so the race would not damage her for what is well known as the 'second-up syndrome', because there is a long way to go to the record fourth Cox Plate attempt.

If you think it's easy having Winx do what she did on Saturday and not be too ready and risk going over the top before the Cox Plate, think again.

When Sunline retired, I asked Trevor McKee to name the three most difficult elements of training the great mare. He declared one. Without doubt, he said, the most difficult element was every time Sunline came back from a spell, he and son Stephen had to have her ready to win at Group 1 level because they were essentially the only ones available to her.

That's a knife edge none of us want to tread. That's the sword Waller was standing on 10 minutes before Saturday's race when he looked as though he was having an egg sandwich on the beach on a Sunday.

And, truth be known, trainer Jamie Richards would have been thinking of the possibility of potential disaster moments after Melody Belle just got her nose in front to beat Julius by the barest margin in Saturday's $100,000 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa.

Melody Belle had not raced Sydney in the autumn and while a win is a win, a brutal first-up battle with a talent as huge as Julius, with better fitness on his side, is a long way from desirable. It will be four or five days before any noticeable sign of lasting fatigue will be noticed in the quality mare.

Waller is fortunate that Winx is so good and so much better than her opposition, there is lesser chance of her being flattened by a first-up run. But that is lesser chance, not no chance.

Someone made the comment on Saturday as the field went in the barriers 'imagine the pressure on Hugh Bowman'. Actually, Bowman says he was relaxed. He had already had his thrill watching the crowd.

"You see the crowd building from the start of the day. Lots of children here and that's what I love and that's what I love the most. Parents are bringing their kids out to see a horse of the calibre we may never see again. They only come along once in a generation. She is such a special athlete. I'm lost for words. I am so proud of her." And we're proud of the entire Winx team, the big Melody Belle team and the team around Julius.