Third time lucky for mighty Winx?
WINX'S trainer Chris Waller and part-owners Debbie Kepitis and Peter Tighe are hoping it is a case of third time lucky for their champion mare in her quest to finally win the Longines World's Best Racehorse Awards in London on Thursday morning (AEST)
This is the third year in succession Winx has been a finalist for the most coveted and prestigious award in world racing.
No horse has ever been a three-time contender but Winx is yet to claim the honour. She was third in 2017 behind American champ Arrogate then controversially relegated to second behind Arrogate again last year.
Winx's main challengers for the title of 2018 World's Best Racehorse are English trainer John Gosden's duo of Cracksman and Enable, America's unbeaten triple crown winner Justify and multiple Group 1 winner Accelerate, and Japan's super filly Almond Eye.
On the eve of the awards ceremony, Team Winx were escorted by event organisers on a sightseeing tour of some of London's most iconic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square before discussing their thoughts on the possible outcome of the Longines World's Best Racehorse title.
"It would be fitting if Winx could finally win the award,'' Waller said.
"The last two years she has been named the best turf horse in the world only to be eclipsed for the top award by an American dirt track horse.
"The award is for the highest rating for one race but Winx's strength is she is dominant every start but doesn't necessarily win by big margins.
"Winx's racing style is to sit back, stalk her rivals and run them down. Hughie (Bowman) knows when to ease up on the mare so we can go through a series of races to make sure she is racing just as well at the end of his campaign as she is at the start.''
The Longines World's Best Racehorse Award is determined by a ratings figure as judged by a panel of international handicappers with Winx and Cracksman both achieving a 130 rating prior to the release of the final rankings at today's award ceremony.
"If Winx wins, loses or draws the award, we are still very honoured to have our mare included among the very best horses in the world for a third year,'' Tighes said.
"There is a criteria for the award, we are not about changing the criteria, we don't analyse it and we don't have any say in it. If Cracksman reaches that same figure as Winx and they share the award, then so be it. They are the rules.''
Kepitis said the fact Winx has been a contender for three successive years is recognition of her ability and the strength of Australian racing.