Dunedoo product Hugh Bowman admitted to same pre-race nerves but after guiding Winx to her 14th straight win on Monday, trainer Chris Waller admitted it’s hard to see the champion mare getting beat again.
Winx made a winning return before an after-work audience at Randwick on Monday, with Bowman cruising to a two-and-three-quarter length victory.
And after seeing Winx equal the legendary Phar Lap’s consecutive win record, Waller all but ruled out bad luck ruining her spectacular streak.
Should the unthinkable happen, this is how it will go down according to the trainer who is setting records to match those of his great mare.
"It's going to take a champion to beat her or it's going to take her to fail to get beaten," he said.
"We'll be hoping for those two things to stay away and she'll continue on winning."
Rated the world's best racehorse on turf, Winx joined Sydney in heading off to work on a Monday.
More used to plying her trade on a Saturday, it was business as usual for Winx in the Apollo Stakes.
After her first appearance at the races since her second Cox Plate triumph was delayed 48 hours because of Sydney's stifling heat, Winx made the wait worthwhile.
Locally owned and bred hope Shiraz led for much of the journey but faded down the straight and had to settle for a ninth-placed finish.
Dubbo’s Peter Whealey, one of the owners of Shiraz, had admitted prior to the race it was going to “be excellent win, lose or draw” because of the hype surrounding Winx and there would have been much excitement as the Kim Waugh-trained gelding led the field into the straight.
But Bowman and the raging $1.14 favourite were not far behind in fifth and by the 300m she joined the leaders before Bowman asked her for a final effort.
It was left to Hartnell ($12), beaten eight lengths into second place by Winx in the Cox Plate, to do the chasing again and the Godolphin warrior ended up finishing ahead of the Waller-trained Endless Drama ($26) in third.
Surprisingly, Bowman said there were some anxious moments before Winx set up her winning lead.
"When the sprint went on at the 600 (metres) she was left flat-footed for about four strides and it was foreign land for me because she just does it for me all the time," he said.
Without really knowing, Waller said he sensed Winx had coped with the recent heat as well as any horse in his stable.
For Shiraz, the event was his second over 1400m after trainer Kim Waugh had opted to step him up in distance.
The seven-year-old, who has scored 10 wins from 27 starts and earned roughly $685,000, is likely to race over 1400m in the city again in the next two to three weeks if he pulls up from Monday’s run with no issues.