What’s tonight’s must-see sporting event?
The battle of the south-east between the Broncs and the Titans? Nope.
The AFL’s bumper clash between the Cats and St Kilda? Close, but no cigar.
It’s not a football match. Nothing to do with the World Cup.
Think racing. The half million dollar William Reid Stakes, under lights at Mooney Valley. It will be done and dusted in just over a minute.
Not so much the race. More the horse that will win it. The world’s best sprinter. A mare with a behind that makes Beyonce look like a stick figure.
She’s the unbeaten superstar. Ten starts, ten wins. All on city tracks.
Last time out, she won the time honoured Group One Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in a jog trot, while jockey Luke Nolen sat quietly up top, dunking a Tim Tam in his cup of tea.
Lets put all of this in some sort of context.
Imagine Johnathon Thurston kicking fifty consecutive goals. Blindfolded. Brett Lee taking ten wickets in an innings. Twice. Craig Lowndes lapping the field at Bathurst. On a scooter.
You get the picture. She’s a flying freak. And tonight, hundreds of normally sane people will hop on buses all over Victoria, and head to the Valley. They’ll join thousands of others, to experience a little piece of sporting history.
We love a true champion in the racing game. Think back to Phar Lap. Blokes tossing dodgy hats skywards, as Big Red won again. Hope, somehow, during the darkness of the Depression.
When Makybe Diva started winning Melbourne Cups like they were lucky dips, it seemed everyone was on. Friends who didn’t know form guides from fetlocks started quoting winning margins. My missus even knew those famous Santic colours.
But this is different again. To not taste defeat just doesn’t happen at the top end of the racing game. Wise old heads tell you every win gets you closer to a hard luck story. So can she be beaten?
There are two question marks tonight. There’s been rain this week. Will she handle an affected track? More importantly – can she carry the burden of me jumping on the bandwagon?
Her trainer Peter Moody is a Queenslander. Of course. He says’s she’ll be winning again. He’s a bushie at heart. But no mug. The boy from Charleville knows how important it is for racing to have a genuine superstar. And he wants to give everyone the chance to see her in action.
She’ll race in Sydney next month. Then in Brisbane during the winter carnival. Can you imagine the scenes if she’s still unbeaten in May?
So, for the next chapter in this amazing tale. 8.45pm Queensland time. Leave the footy for a bit, gather the kids and neighbours around Sky Channel, and watch the champ in action. It won’t take long. Then book your seat on one of the Brisbane buses. And start practicing how to throw your hat in the air. You might never get the chance again.
What a superstar. Eleven from eleven. And eased down again! Sydney and Brisbane fans are in for a treat in the coming months. And well done TVN – easier for them I know, but they captured the magic of the night at the Valley magnificently. How often do you get to soak up scenes like that? The earlier protest caused all sorts of dramas for Sky, only crossing to Greg Miles as they jumped, and then leaving straight after the win. Even a minute of colour would have been nice for the biggest night race in memory. That’s something to look at on another day..