Few things in horse racing command as much excitement and hype as a long unbeaten record. The air of invincibility is one that is difficult to comprehend until it takes hold. Following her devastating second Cox Plate triumph, there is no doubting that Australian super-mare Winx now possesses an aura like no other Flat horse in training.
Chris Waller's superstar is ready to embark on a well-earned break, it has been confirmed, but there is plenty more to come in 2017. Unbeaten in 13 starts, connections firmly believe the best may still be ahead with Winx.
Waller has confirmed that a third Cox Plate is on the agenda and Winx commands pride of place in the horse racing ante-post betting for that contest, but what else lies in store for her and…can anyone stop this runaway train?
Safe to assume, the powers that be at Royal Ascot will do whatever they can to attract Winx to Britain next June. She's likely to feature at The Championships in Sydney next April, giving her plenty time to recover and journey to Europe. Convincing Waller and company to make that trip may be more difficult however.
Almanzor confirmed his place as Europe's leading middle distance performer when winning the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in October. Jean-Claude Rouget's star is a teak tough performer and a tussle with Winx in the Prince of Wales's Stakes would make headlines the world over.
There surely isn't any clash with more heavyweight potential than this one?
Should Winx's connections decide not to head for Europe, perhaps they could be tempted with the riches on offer at the Dubai World Cup in Meydan. The timing is not perfect, but the prize money on offer rather softens that blow. California Chrome won the big prize in 2016 but perhaps Bob Baffert's rising star Arrogate might turn up in 2017 at Meydan.
A stunning winner of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga this term, Baffert is readying his charge for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Finding a racing surface to agree on might prove tough, but a potential clash between the stars of American and Australian racing in the desert would certainly whet the appetite for fans.
In the wake of Winx's Cox Plate demolition job, much of the talk centred around the mare going to Europe in order to prove herself. Trainer Chris Waller however suggests that maybe the cream of European racing ought to consider travelling Down Under to face Winx in her own backyard.The Australian Turf Club have backed Waller's stance and will be doing their utmost to entice some leading names to Sydney in the spring.
Aidan O'Brien's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Found would make a tantalising rival. A wonderfully consistent mare, she has proved herself repeatedly in the best company.
The Ballydoyle supremo is weighing up a trip to America for the Breeders' Cup and he says Found's owners are yet to decide on plans for 2017. If she is to remain in training, what a thrill it would be to see Found and Winx lock horns.