Officially, Australia’s champion mare Winx and the English star Cracksman stand together as world’s best racehorses for 2018.
In practical terms, however, Winx begins 2019 on her own as the best racehorse in training anywhere in the world.
Both Winx, a daughter of Darley stallion Street Cry, and Cracksman received a peak ranking for the year of 130 in the World’s Best Racehorse Awards announced in London this week.
But with Cracksman retired and about to begin a new career at Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud, Winx is alone at the top and ready to add to her 29 consecutive wins when she resumes racing in the G2 Apollo Stakes over 1,400m at Randwick on 16 February.
Winx’s ranking of 130 was earned in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick last April, her 25th consecutive victory.
That figure was then enhanced by her four subsequent wins in 2018, all at G1 level and culminating with her two-length defeat of Godolphin’s Benbatl to claim her fourth G1 Cox Plate.
Cracksman’s peak was achieved in his six-length win in the G1 Champion Stakes at Ascot on 20 October, seven days before Winx won the Cox Plate.
The Best Racehorse award also raises Winx higher among Street Cry’s 20 G1 winners, a group that includes the great American filly Zenyatta, the Kentucky Derby winner and sire Street Sense, G1 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking and dual G1-winning Australian juvenile Pride Of Dubai.
For trainer Chris Waller, the latest award is justified by Winx’s extended dominance, as well as her undoubted brilliance.
“I’m sure there might have been a horse in the world over the past three years that could have beaten her on a given day. That same horse wouldn’t have beaten her consistently over that three years,” Waller told Australian Associated Press.
"It's what separates Winx from a lot of great horses.
"She is doing it for a long time and it's not easy to get to this level and then to sustain it.”
Winx’s part-owner Debbie Kepitis said she regarded the World’s Best Racehorse Award as “a tremendous honour.”
“It touches your heart, because we know she’s good, we know how she wins. But to have her recognised as the world’s highest rated horse is the ultimate.”
Winx is preparing for a campaign that is to be her last.
She is expected to have up to four starts, the last of them in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April, a race she has already won twice.
Winx’s record stands at 33 wins from 39 starts, 29 consecutive victories, 22 of them at G1 and a prizemoney total of A$22.9 million.