That was the prelude to the day's big spectacle and the farewell victory for Winx, after which Waller was back in the winner's enclosure again after the $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup.
Hugh Bowman has been aboard Winx 30 times during her current winning streak and in 32 of her career starts, though he was aboard for one of Winx's rare defeats, a runner-up effort to the classy First Seal (Aus) (Fastnet Rock ) in the G1 Coolmore Flight S.at Randwick in October 2014.
Winx, unlike so many human athletes, has been able to end the journey on her terms.
Japanese-bred Kluger, a G2 victor in Japan for Carrot Farm who had not won a race since 2016, finished second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, with Godolphin's veteran G1-winning Hartnell a distant third in the field of nine older runners going 2,000 meters (1 1/4 miles) on good turf in front of a packed house of 43,833 at Randwick racecourse.
"This horse has captured the hearts of a lot of people around the globe. It was just great to see so many people get behind her".
"In terms of the general sporting public, Winx has gone way beyond being just a figure in horse racing - she is a major sporting figure in the country".
But what of Winx, the wonder mare who goes into retirement after 33 consecutive wins.
The crowd said much of it for him as Winx rounded the field approaching the home turn in a carbon copy of most of her wins over the past two years.
Dubbed the "Usain Bolt of horse racing" by some, Winx has earned its owners more than $16 million in recent years as well winning worldwide recognition through awards such as the 2018 Longines Horse of the Year alongside Cracksman.
Winx came in wide before breezing past her challengers with 200 metres to go.
"I can't describe her in words".
She smashed legendary sprinter Black Caviar's Australian win record last August when making it 26 in a row, and surpassed retired northern hemisphere jumper Hurricane Fly's then-record 22 Group 1 victories at the Chipping Norton Stakes last month.
"She isn't an easy ride for sure, it is actually quite hard to get used to", says McDonald. "She is the most unbelievable, supreme athlete I think I've ever seen".
"But she should get away with it in the Oaks because she might just be better than them and away from the top three or four the class of the race falls away a bit".
R5, 3.50pm (NZtime) A$1 million Arrowfield Sprint: Avantage. No different than I was previous year before the Queen Elizabeth.