A record crowd has descended upon Randwick to watch champion racehorse Winx cruise to her 17th consecutive win.
The attendance of 26,801 outweighs the 25,535 people who witnessed Black Caviar’s final race at the 2013 TJ Smith Stakes before the grandstand was reconfigured.
Punters dressed in the mighty mare’s signature colour, blue, wore Winx hats and waved flags to cheer her to victory in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
The win was a relief for Winx’s part-owner Debbie Kepitis.
“Thank you so much to everybody that loves this horse. Keep loving her,” she said.
“She is amazing and that was phenomenal.”
Lloyd Menz, perhaps Winx’s biggest fan, spent the past five weeks decorating his jacket with 16 hand-drawn cards for each of her previous wins.
“I just wanted to have something to celebrate Winx, not just her winning streak but also the fact that she’s an animal with personality and joy,” he said.
He also sported a cheese cutter hat in the colour of Winx’s silks, including a white pompom.
“I thought she must be a sassy lady so I sort of tried to get in the mood.”
The 72-year-old Canberran has now seen four of her 17 wins and isn’t sure if he has room on his jacket for any more.
“If it gets to 20 or 25 I’m going to be in deep, deep despair,” he said.
In the Fashion Chute Sydneysider Dimity Vanderpot also paid tribute to Winx with her head-to-toe blue outfit adorned with gold bee-shaped jewellery.
“Blue is a very royal colour and I think bees are very royal as well, they always talk about the queen bee,” she said.
“Winx is the queen of racing at the moment and the Queen named Royal Randwick sometime ago, so it’s a nod to her as well.”
Vanderpot, a finalist in the Longines Prize for Elegance, chose a dress by Bulgarian designer Maria Queen Maria and hat by Brisbane-based milliner Sophie Allport.