Group One racing on the eastern seaboard has ended for the year with Winx standing head and shoulders above her rivals in Sydney and Melbourne.
The 2015 Cox Plate winner began her defence of Australia’s weight-for-age championship with victory in the Warwick Stakes in August and added the Group One George Main and Caulfield Stakes before her breathtaking performance at Moonee Valley.
She is Australia’s highest ranked racehorse and has not been beaten since April 2015 when she finished second in the Australian Oaks.
And although she was expected to win the Cox Plate, she was not expected to win the way she did.
The anticipated match race between the mare and Godolphin’s Hartnell was over almost as soon as it began with Winx dropping him on the turn and opening up an eight-length gap.
Treatment for a slight abrasion suffered in the race made the decision not to push on to the Emirates Stakes an easy one for her trainer who was already planning her next campaign.
The Cox Plate is the middle leg of the spring triple crown with Jameka winning the first, the Caulfield Cup, after being trounced by Hartnell in the Turnbull Stakes.
The Ciaron Maher-trained mare was elevated to the head of Melbourne Cup markets but overtaken in the lead-up by Hartnell.
But it would be Lloyd Williams who came up trumps with the leviathan owner claiming a record fifth win in the race he covets most as Almandin wore down Irish horse Heartbreak City with Hartnell a long third.
It was a second Melbourne Cup win for Kerrin McEvoy who won his first on Brew in 2000.
While the Cup wasn’t a blow-out for punters as it had been the year before when 100-1 chance Prince Of Penzance won, the VRC Oaks revived those memories.
Aided by a daring ride from Brenton Avdulla, the Lee Curtis-trained Lasqueti Spirit strung the field out and kept on going to score a spectacular win.
The Derby was a little closer and Prized Icon gave James Cummings a significant win as he became the fourth generation to train the winner of the blue riband.
GROUP ONE WINNERS THIS SEASON
Memsie Stakes: Black Heart Bart. Darren Weir. Brad Rawiller.
Makybe Diva Stakes: Palentino. Darren Weir. Damien Oliver.
Golden Rose: Astern. John O’Shea. James McDonald.
George Main Stakes: Winx. Chris Waller. Hugh Bowman.
Underwood Stakes: Black Heart Bart. Darren Weir. Brad Rawiller.
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes: Bon Aurum. Ciaron Maher. Kerrin McEvoy.
Moir Stakes: Extreme Choice. Mick Price. Craig Newitt.
Epsom Handicap: Hauraki. John O’Shea. James McDonald.
Flight Stakes: Global Glamour. Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Tim Clark.
The Metropolitan: Sir John Hawkwood. John Thompson. Blake Spriggs.
Turnbull Stakes: Hartnell. John O’Shea. James McDonald.
Spring Champion: Yankee Rose. David Vandyke. Dean Yendall.
Caulfield Guineas: Divine Prophet. Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes. Dwayne Dunn.
Thousand Guineas: Global Glamour. Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Kerrin McEvoy.
Caulfield Stakes: Winx. Chris Waller. Hugh Bowman.
Toorak Handicap: He’s Our Rokkii. David and Ben Hayes and tom Dabernig.
Caulfield Cup: Jameka. Ciaron Maher. Nicholas Hall.
Manikato Stakes: Rebel Dane. Gary Portelli. Ben Melham.
Cox Plate: Winx. Chris Waller. Hugh Bowman.
Victoria Derby: Prized Icon. James Cummings. Glyn Schofield.
Cantala Stakes. Le Romain. Kris Lees. Hugh Bowman.
Coolmore Stud Stakes: Flying Artie. Mick Price. Hugh Bowman.
Myer Classic: I Am A Star. Shane Nichols. Dean Yendall.
Melbourne Cup: Almandin. Robert Hickmott. Kerrin McEvoy.
VRC Oaks: Lasqueti Spirit. Lee Curtis. Brenton Avdulla.
Darley Classic: Malaguerra. Peter Gelagotis. Ben Melham.
Emirates Stakes: Awesome Rock. Leon and Troy Corestens. Stephen Baster.