For a fleeting moment, jockey Mark Zahra considered he might have been a chance of a huge boilover in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Gailo Chop.
But within the blink of an eye, champion Winx levelled up and then careered away over the final 200m to win by nearly four lengths.
“The kick Gailo Chop gave me at the top of the straight usually wins you a race,” Zahra said.
“Especially for him, when he gives me that sort of feel he just wins but she just went straight past like I was standing still.
“He ran into a once in a lifetime mare, unfortunately, but it was good to be a part of it anyway.
“You never like getting beaten, even if it is Winx, but I’m just happy for him because he’s had such a good prep and he tries his heart out.”
Seven-year-old Gailo Chop took his career earnings past $4 million with the $755,000 earned for his second placing.
Happy Clapper ran third, an effort jockey Kerrin McEvoy said was full of merit given he was held up on the turn but said they were all running for a place.
“He could have finished closer,” McEvoy said.
“He might have run second.”