Hugh Bowman stood with the eyes of the racing word on him, looking more like a boxer who had just gone 12 rounds than a jockey who had just cruised to yet another victory.
He was bloodied, with a swollen lips and, at times, tears in his eyes as he spoke about the incredible journey he's had with Winx.
The cut lip came courtesy of a headbutt from the champion mare, one delivered when Bowman tried to kiss her after an incredible farewell victory at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
"It all began in the dust of Dunedoo," Bowman said in one post-race interview.
While Winx winning her final race to make it 33 straight victories and 25 Group 1 wins came as no shock whatsoever, the outpouring of emotion and appreciation left Bowman, trainer Chris Waller, and so many others lost for words.
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More than 43,000 people - the biggest crowd at Randwick this century - were on hand to witness the win.
"It has been very surreal for me all day with the amount of people here. It is just amazing," Bowman said.
"Everyone watching around the world. America, Europe. Africa. All over Australia. This horse has captured the hearts of a lot of people around the globe. There is really nothing more for me to say."
Winx has charged home to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) from a gallant Kluger and also Hartnell and Happy Clapper, Group One winners in their own right and two of the champion mare's greatest rivals during her historic streak.
"She's shown no signs of going backwards," Bowman said.
"We came here as confident as we've ever been and what a journey it's been. It's hard to believe it's the end actually.
"It's going to be nice to have my life back.
"To be in a position to ride such an amazing horse is a great privilege, I feel the emotion. At the end of the day, she is just a horse, she is a good one, but she is just a horse."
As usual Waller watched the race in seclusion and when he emerged he was dumbstruck.
"I don't know what to say. I can barely talk," Waller said.
"What can we say."
The win brings down the curtain on one of the most glittering careers in Australian sport.
Now a seven-year-old bay mare, Winx was bought at the 2013 Magic Millions yearling sale for $230,000.
She retires and heads to stud having earned $26,451,175 in prizemoney with 37 wins and 3 seconds from 43 career starts.
The last time she failed to win was when she finished second in the Australian Oaks on April 11, 2015.
Since then, it's been a four-year journey few will forget.
"Her longevity sets her apart," Waller said.
"If she had gone overseas as a younger horse, would she be here now?"