They must have been waiting for her.
Sydney’s sensational, sun-soaked Royal Randwick was set to sizzle last weekend, was just a shame that no-one bothered to turn up. They’re a tad left of centre, the folk up in NSW.
Decked out in our sharpest Saturday attire, and dressed to the bloody nines, we embarked upon Day 1 of The Champs full of hope. Darls, winners, jars, maybe sneak into the marquee?
She stepped out for an exhibition gallop and teased us. Yet these Sydney-siders, they knew better – they’d wait for the main course next week. But we’ll get to Winxy shortly.
We arrived and backed Shraaoh in the Cup lead up, he ran second.
We backed Madison County in the Derby, second.
We missed Ringerdingding in the second, because were we ever likely to get there for R2 after a night on the sauce? You guessed it, he got the choccies.
Was it to be one of those days?
What about Santa? He was our best of the day. Do we launch?
Is the Roman Pope catholic? (Careful, there’s a touchy topic if ever I’ve heard.)
All of a sudden those Super Dry’s, of which we’d had better tasting razor blades after rolling in dusty as ever, went down like mother’s milk as Santa Ana Lane swooped over the top like Bonecrusher and made a meal of the hot TJ field, towelling up his rivals. High fives, back-slapping, cheers big ears, general ‘look at meee’ type behaviour as we kicked onwards & upwards in to the Stables on the rooftop under the guised ‘names’ of Michael Mouse and Presley, E. on the guest list door.
The Champs Day 1 – a success (on some fronts, anyway).
But no-one in Sydney cared. They were setting themselves for Winx Day. Saturday, 13th April.
The sun sets on the champ’s career on Day 2 at Royal Randwick, and what a sight it will be.
She’ll turn more heads than the B-list Insta darls rocking their snazzy active kit on the Bondi to Bronte trail, don’t you be worrying about that.
The Rock Star treatment one more time.
Nice of her old sparring partners, Hartnell and Happy Clapper, to front up for one last hurrah, one final dip at the champ, and get their backsides kicked just once more to draw the curtain on the most memorable racing tale our nation has ever seen.
Remember when Hartnell was tipped to beat her on Cox Plate Day 2016? Flying, wasn’t he? Best Bets’ head tipster had him on top as well. To be fair, he’d just given Jameka a lesson in the Turnbull, who herself just pissed in in the Caulfield Cup and did so looking like Might And Power. Maybe he had the arsenal to bring down the reigning Cox Plate champ?
The Heavyweight Clash it’d been billed as, ala Sunline v Northerly, or Bonecrusher v Our Waverley Star. Winx & Hartnell.
The mare had none of it. Wind burn, she gave him.
We knew she was a star, you don’t break the Cox Plate race-record by fluke, nor win it by four lengths without some level of ability.
But when she put Hartnell away, and creamed him by eight lengths, we knew we had had something incredible on our hands.
Four years to the day since Gust Of Wind sailed by to claim ATC Australian Oaks glory, beating home a smart 3yo filly in CJ Waller’s hands. Who’d have thought the runner up would amount to this.
23- Group 1 triumphs, 33-wins on the trot, $7-bajillion dollars in prizemoney. But the spectacle? Priceless.
The joy she has brought to the legion of fans, participants, stakeholders, and newcomers is unparalleled.
She’s put this great sport on the front page for the right reasons, that in itself, a difficult ask.
To indulge only once more, watching each of her 4 x Cox Plate triumphs live in the amphitheatre that is Moonee Valley is something to take away with me for a bloody long while. I never backed her. But never needed to.
Sydney will be treated to something very special on Saturday. Expect Bruce to drop his customary catch phrase, too.
Decent card as well, and they might finally draw a crowd.
Come on, Sydney. Do yourself a favour and witness history one last time.
She’ll be worth the wait.