Maybe it was the weather. The hard rain that lashed across the Flemington racetrack. Maybe it was a hard act to follow the superb Cox Plate Day. Maybe it was the lack of Winxmania.
Maybe, like sex, the build up was more exciting than the main event. Maybe it was the early start? And the glut of racing across Australia. On tracks where the going was Good. It seems to make winning that much easier. Like at Ascot in Perth where William Pike didn’t let down the forty thousand and turned water into wine.
For whatever reason, viewing this year’s Melbourne Cup Day on television and from afar just didn’t do it for some of us. There were moments when we actually nodded off.
Good for racing. It’s an expression bandied about sometimes almost too liberally. That something or another is “good for racing”. Most times, it rarely is.
Yesterday at Moonee Valley, everything and everyone came together. Even those who weren’t privy to have been there. That international audience. Like many in Hong Kong who were seeing the magic of Winx for the first time. It really was good for racing.
Social media, especially Twitter, where often bile spills over into a feeding frenzy of negativity, was filled with positivity. No one tried to crash the party and dampen the mood with the usual handwringing. None of that now tiresome self righteous indignation. Those sour grapes of wrath. There was no bringing up of the usual cornflakes of personal agendas. No trolls allowed. Only positivity.
It might have answered the question about who’s really in charge. And it’s not Charles. Winx winning the Turnbull Stakes on Saturday was not just a Houdini act. It was an extraordinary horse showing off. Playing. Toying with everyone. Probably exploring new ways of winning.
It’s basic psychology: When good things happen to good people there’s a feeling of happiness that’s contagious. It’s been mentioned here many times: It’s The Likability Factor.
So when popular Italian jockey Alberto Sanna won the first race of the Happy Wednesday Goes Korean night- his tenth winner during his short term riding stint in Hong Kong, which has now rightfully seen his license extended until the end of this season- we cheered him on. The Italian girls in the Beer Garden screamed loudest for “Mambo Italiano”. He seems a good man, grateful to be here and knowing there’s always room for improvement.
There’s been Tom Quealy and Frankel, Luke Nolan and Black Caviar and today there’s Hugh Bowman and Winx. Not to take anything away from the other partnerships, but in this modern era of horse racing, there’s something magical about Team Winx Bowman.
With a very engaging group of owners who really seem sincere about sharing their joy every time their mighty mare gives her opponents whiplash and probably an inferiority complex, and a trainer in Chris Waller who, try as he might, can never hide his emotions, and which is great to see, Hugh Bowman and Winx are Hepburn and Tracy, Bogart and Bacall, Bonnie and Clyde, William and Kate, Beyoncé and Jay-Z…
In how many awards shows do the best actually win? How many Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes and Emmys have got it all wrong with awards going to the wrong people and others being snubbed? How many times was the brilliant Al Pacino passed over for an Oscar before receiving one almost as an apology for hitover-the-top performance in “The Scent Of A Woman”? In this #MeToo year, the Academy Awards have decided to pass on actor James Franco.
Arrogate being named this week as Longines World’s Best Racehorse Horse by being the highest rated racehorse have many up in arms. But what’s done is done and who’ll remember any of this tomorrow? Anyone remember Oprah’s #TimesUp speech at the Golden Globes that trended for around six hours last week?