Have you ever been part of sporting history?
Were you there the day Cathy Freeman ran the race of her life in Sydney? That life-changing, golden lap.
I have mates who were. Magical, they called it. Bordering on a religious experience.
What about the tied Test at the Gabba? Back in ’60. Were you at the Vulture St end for the final over? The great game’s greatest game.
It was the biggest crowd ever. Around 400,000 that day. That’s if you believe everyone who said they were there.
If only I’d been around back in 1930. Phar Lap achieved the impossible. And then some.
He won the Cox Plate in a canter, then lumped more than 62 kilos to win the Melbourne Cup. He also won three other races that Cup week. Four wins in seven days. All that, after being shot at on the morning of Derby Day.
The cheap seats at Flemington would have been just fine. Anywhere, just to witness such perfection.
The huge crowds cheered themselves hoarse, over a horse. Most had nothing in their pockets. It didn’t matter. Big Red lifted their spirits like no politician could.
I reckon I heard a similar sound a few months back. The day the roof nearly lifted off Doomben. What might now rank as my greatest racing moment. The day Black Caviar came to town.
I wrote about it that night. Basking in the glory of a magnificent win in the BTC Cup.
“This was one, furious, magnificent roar. The stands shook. Form guides quivered. Chills multiplied. Just before 4 o’clock, on Saturday May 14, sporting history wasn’t made. It was amplified.”
And so she’s back. We’ve been counting the days. Officially rated the world’s best. The mighty mare with the ability to make the most grizzled racegoer giggle like an X-Factor fan.
You don’t need me to explain what’s in store today. But I will, because it’s so damn exciting. Win number 14 is a few hours away.
They’ll be hanging from the rafters at Caulfield. When she surges past the post, with Luke Nolen sitting quietly, possibly doing the crossword, Black Caviar will equal Phar Lap’s number of consecutive metropolitan victories.
If you’re lucky enough to be there, savour it. Every sight and sound. Especially the sound. File that roar away.
The rest of us will be watching from afar. At the track, and in pubs and clubs. We’ll be loving it too.
If you’re at home like me, gather the kids. And Grandma. Let them feel that exhilaration. They don’t need to be race fans. That’s the beauty of it.
Enjoy today. Embrace a champion, and the wonderful, all-Australian cast around her. Play your part in sporting history. We all have a role. Cheer like crazy. You might never get the chance to do it again.