Prizemoney record to be cherry on top for Winx
Chris Waller and Winx will have the last laugh over America's Bob Baffert and Arrogate if the champion mare retires a winner before a sell-out crowd at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Arrogate was twice controversially awarded the Longines World's Best Racehorse title over Winx before the Australian wonder mare finally won the coveted honour last year.
But if Winx can win her farewell race, the Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick, she will usurp Arrogate as world racing's greatest prizemoney earner.
Winx, who is aiming for her 33rd win in succession, can take her earnings to $26,336,675 if she wins the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The pound sterling is the currency used by international racing authorities as standard for prizemoney comparisons and at the current exchange rate, Winx would vault to £14,393,121 and leapfrog Arrogate on £13,671,323 as world racing's leading stakes winner.
Waller said that it would be yet another wonderful achievement in Winx's storied career if she won her final race.
"The fairytale is only a few days away,'' Waller said at Rosehill trackwork on Thursday morning. "It has been four years since this journey started. It's been an amazing ride for a lot of people, including our families and friends, the racing and sporting world, and now the public has come along for the ride.
"We are proud to be able to showcase Winx to a sell-out crowd. There is no better feeling when you are among it.''
A Winx farewell win and another world record would be a fitting finale for the great mare.
Waller conceded he would never get another champion like Winx but was comforted by a conversation he had with Baffert four years ago.
"I met with him soon after (2015 US Triple Crown winner) American Pharoah was retired,'' Waller said.
"Bob told me that it will be hard to replace American Pharoah but then he gets Arrogate (Dubai World Cup, Pegasus World Cup) and last year Justify (2019 US Triple Crown).
"You just never know where the next good horse is going to come from.''
Despite a minor trackwork incident, when Winx lashed out and kicked a sponsor's sign on the mounting yard fence after trackwork on Thursday morning, Waller has been happy with the mare's preparation for her career swan song.
Winx had an easy gallop under race jockey Hugh Bowman on the Rosehill course proper, after which Waller declared: "She's ready to explode.
"What we've seen this morning, that's just her being bright and full of herself, and that is what I wanted to see today.
"She has done plenty of work, she is very fit and, as Hugh said, she has never been better. On Saturday morning it will just be keeping everything simple.
"Basically, the work's done now."
Bowman described Winx's gallop as "very good, very strong''.
"She's certainly ready for a peak performance this preparation, I believe," he said. "It will be a decently run 2000m, so I'm looking forward to it."
Bowman, who has won 31 races on Winx, maintains the great mare is racing as well as ever despite being unbeaten over the last four years.
"I can honestly say that I feel that she's as well going into this Saturday as she's been ever in that four years," he said. "That says a lot to her constitution, a lot to the management of Chris Waller and his discipline over the years not to just go that extra run here or there.
"I've no doubt she could have won another five or six or seven Group 1s in that time, easily, if Chris had decided to go one extra run or two extra runs per preparation."
Waller then took his cue to dismiss speculation Winx could have one more race start at Royal Ascot later this year before being retired to stud.
"You could question why we are retiring her when she is going as well as ever but the fact is there is nothing left to prove and we want her to retire safely,'' Waller said
"Why would we go to England, why would we go to America, why didn't we go to Dubai, why didn't we go to race Almond Eye, why didn't we go to an Arc to race Enable - there are so many questions you can't answer.
"But she has never raced in a straight line before, she has never travelled to another hemisphere to race, because we have chosen longevity over that.
"The fact is she is getting older, she is going to be a mum, and we have more respect for that than we have to take her overseas to please a small amount of people.
"We just want to get the win out of the way (Saturday) - hopefully it is the fairytale ending.''
Winx can reach the Timeform pedestal
Winx can challenge her peak Timeform rating with a farewell win in the Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick.
The mighty mare is at prohibitive odds of $1.06 to end her celebrated race career with her 33rd win in succession.
Form expert Gary Crispe from Racing and Sports said Winx was clearly superior to her eight rivals and should easily dispose of them.
"Winx sits with a Timeform master rating of 134, just two pounds behind Black Caviar, Allez France and Habibti as the highest-ever rated filly or mare in the history of Timeform,'' Crispe said.
"It would be a fitting finale that if circumstances permit, Hugh Bowman gives everybody one last look under the 'bonnet' and just maybe she will give that 134 Timeform rating a nudge.''
Winx's opposition on Saturday includes old rivals Hartnell and Happy Clapper, former English stayer He's Eminent, who was fourth in the 2017 Epsom Derby and was placed in the Irish Champion Stakes, dual Australian Cup winner Harlem and Japanese visitor Kluger, who ran a creditable fourth in the Doncaster Mile last Saturday.
"While there is plenty of depth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field, none of those rivals pose any serious threat to Winx,'' Crispe said. "On weight-adjusted Timeform ratings Winx, who chases Randwick win number 20, has a sizeable edge on her rivals.
"Happy Clapper has raced Winx 10 times for five second placings, while Hartnell has been runner-up four times from seven match-ups.
"It is great to see them in the field for one last try to spoil the great mare's farewell party.''
Crispe said Winx had been a wonderful advertisement for racing and had created so much interest in the sport.
"Her departure will leave huge gaps in the lives of those most close to her like trainer Chris Waller and his staff, her owners as well as her rider Hugh Bowman, who has partnered her in 31 of her wins to date,'' he said.
"Another Winx win will give her three consecutive Queen Elizabeth Stakes, something that has never been done previously. The mighty Tulloch won three but not in succession.
"Three Queen Elizabeth Stakes trophies will sit nicely alongside her four Cox Plate wins, four George Ryder Stakes, four Chipping Norton Stakes and three George Main Stakes - what a truly amazing record.
"I'm sure all of Australia, and the world, will be watching the big race.''