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"It's hard to imagine the great mare being beaten.''
This was form guru Gary Crispe's declaration on the eve of champion galloper Winx contesting the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Crispe, a respected analyst and compiler of the Australian Timeform ratings, said Winx's comeback win in the Group 1 Winx (formerly Warwick) Stakes last month indicated she is going as well as ever.
"She might be a seven-yearold now and some doubted her dominance at 1400m. However, she swiftly put paid to her opponents in a clinical manner, returning a Timeform rating of 126, two pounds shy of her best ever run first-up over this distance which was achieved in 2017," Crispe said.
"The win was characterised by her blistering acceleration and it wouldn't surprise me if she gives her peak Timeform rating of 134 a nudge in coming starts. This win clearly underlined her longevity at the highest level and signalled to her rivals that, if anything, she has lost none of her ability to dominate rivals like few horses can."
Crispe maintained only bad luck could deny Winx a 20th Group 1 win and extend her famous winning streak to 27.
"While the quality of the race is strong with six of her seven opponents being Group 1 winners, it will require a weight-adjusted Timeform rating for a male runner of 130 or higher to defeat her if Winx repeats her first-up win," he said.
"If she runs to her peak Timeform rating, it would mean one of her male runners would need to go to a 138 rating to beat her. None of her rivals has ever come close to those numbers.
"The mare Unforgotten, a stablemate of Winx, has a peak Timeform rating of 123, well below Winx's ratings."
Crispe said there were no concerns over Winx not racing for a month, as trainer Chris Waller galloped her between races a fortnight back to "clean out the cobwebs".
"Winx, second-up from a spell will present as fit as she needs to be at this stage of her campaign and with stablemate Religify likely to ensure a solid tempo again, the race would seem to set up perfectly for her," he said.
With Winx appearing so superior, the race is for second.
"Timeform-adjusted ratings suggest Unforgotten will be Winx's immediate chaser,'' Crispe said.
"She is coming off a dominant win in the Chelmsford Stakes at this course and distance a fortnight back, beating Ace High.
"Le Romain can bounce back off a below-par effort in the Tramway Handicap, where he was trapped off the track throughout under a big weight."
Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Friday 14th September 2018, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 59.