Hugh Bowman has stated many times it’s hard to believe the journey he’s had with Winx.
From a racing fan growing up in Dunedoo to arguably the most recognisable jockey in the world, Bowman knows he owes plenty to the mighty mare.
But he’s played a major role during Winx’s 29 straight wins and during that time he’s developed a genuine bond with the Chris Waller-trained superstar.
That knowledge has him feeling more comfortable than ever heading into Saturday’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Bowman, Waller, and Winx are aiming to win the $5 million for a fourth straight time.
"Is she better, it's very hard to judge but I don't think she's gone backwards,” Bowman said.
"I'm a little more comfortable this year than I was last year."
Waller had little else to say on Friday, with his mare being the talk of the town all week.
"She's well," Waller said.
"One more sleep to go, that's about all I can say.
"She's 100 per cent. It's getting closer and closer. And everything is perfect."
Winx is striving to do what no horse has done before in Australasia's weight- for-age championship.
A year ago she joined Kingston Town as the only three-time Cox Plate winner but come Saturday afternoon the seven-year-old could stand alone.
Waller is convinced Winx is as well as ever and goes into Saturday in basically the same condition as before her third Cox Plate last year when she repelled a strong challenge from Humidor to better the 2040m track record she had set in her first Cox Plate in 2015.
Humidor, part-owned by Dubbo’s Lloyd Walker, is among Winx's main rivals again while two northern hemisphere visitors, Benbatl and Rostropovich, and one New Zealand mare, Savvy Coup, have taken up the challenge in the field of eight.
Following Tuesday's barrier draw, Winx was the $1.25 favourite ahead of Benbatl at $8.50.
Winx had firmed into $1.22 by Friday afternoon.
Winx was handed barrier six of eight at Tuesday’s draw.
"I'll have her comfortable as I always do,” Bowman said.
The Cox Plate will jump at 5pm on Saturday afternoon.