Punters, cop an eyeful of this. You won’t see a better sort today.

September 21, 2013

I’ll be having a decent perv at the track today, that’s for sure.

Eyes for one, and one only. A leggy, athletic type. And I won’t be the only one.

Atlantic Jewel is a good sort in anyone’s lingo. How could you not be impressed?

So strong. Such a presence. They’ll be flocking around her.

In some ways, she’s crept up on us. Strange, for a superstar who hasn’t tasted defeat yet.

We knew she was good. Dazzled us this time last year. But she’s now in rare air.

The good judges are comparing her with You Know Who. The Mighty Mare. And this is where it gets a little uncomfortable.

When Black Caviar just kept winning, I didn’t think there would be another. I couldn’t imagine being so involved again. Especially so quickly.

But while BC is making wonder babies, Atlantic Jewel is crushing rivals in exactly the same way. They can’t get near her.

Sure, there have been others. I lost my heart to Makybe Diva. When she won the third Cup, I felt like carving our names into the nearest tree.

Truth be told, and this must not go further than these pages, my first love was from the other team. As a young impressionable bloke, how could you not fall for Gunsynd? And I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about Super Impose rattling home to win the Epsom, on the odd lonely night.

So where does this latest Super Sort rate? For my money, today is the big test. This is a crackerjack field in the Underwood.

She will have to be every bit the champion she’s being labelled to win it. Bossy has a huge wrap on Puissance de Lane. And I keep thinking of those slashing wins by It’s a Dundeel last campaign.

Listen to Michael Rodd, and none of that matters. She could be the best we’ve seen. How fickle does that sound, just months after my former flame smashed every record we had?

What a race it will be. And I’m loving the fact that it’s the final event on the card at Caulfield. Finally, some smart programming.

Can she make it ten from ten? Probably. The thing is, it’s no beauty contest out there.

We’ll be cheering, and whistling. Only the best sorts attract such fanfare. Get ready to roar. Racing has a new Queen.


A right Royal celebration. How I helped the Queen party after Royal Ascot.

June 22, 2013

My phone rang seconds after they crossed the line.

I knew who it would be. The Royal Britannia call alert confirmed it. Her Majesty just can’t help Herself.

“Did you see, did you see?”, the Queen asked, going close to losing that dignified tone we know so well.

Indeed I did Ma’am. I had watched her flying filly Estimate cross the line to win the Gold Cup.

The cameras told it all. High in the Royal box, they captured the smile of a successful owner. It doesn’t matter who you are, that thrill of victory is impossible to hide.

Those around the Queen forgot about protocol. There was jumping, and yelling. Like any winning camp.

I reminded Her Majesty she was supposed to present the cup. Was there a Plan B?  Of course there was. One of the children was down there somewhere. There was no way she was missing out on this. The first Monarch to win her own race.

Mid-sentence, the call ended. That happens often between us. More than likely a security issue. Some bloke from MI5 cutting the line to Brisbane yet again.

You might not be aware, but the Queen loves racing in Australia. And I happen to be her main contact. There are frequent calls and texts.

When Beartracker won at Eagle Farm a few years back, the Royal congratulations were swift. ‘We are happy for you. Wish we’d taken the 10s last night.’

The messages weren’t so positive during Pintuck’s well-publicised battle with wet tracks last year. Apparently Prince Charles had taken a liking to the giant gelding, and was losing plenty of the Royal inheritance. ‘We are not amused. Find a dry track or you might be visiting the Tower. Permanently.’

Try telling that to the trainer. Rob Heathcote just shook his head, and made mention of the evils of rum.

As I pondered that strange conversation, the phone rang again. The presentation was finished, and Her Majesty wanted a chat. It’s what winning owners do.

I asked if she was going to have a tipple in the committee room? “One would love to, but these pesky cameras are still following me. It will have to be a cup of tea. Tell me, what did you do after the Bear’s great victory at headquarters?”

“Well Ma’am, funny you ask. They were serving the beer in seven-ounce glasses. So we had seven. Then they told us we had to go, because race two was about to start.”

“So you won the first race? One can imagine how that day ended up.”

As usual in such conversations, I played down our shenanigans. It’s not the done thing to let the Queen know you were singing The Gambler as they were coming back to scale after the last.

“Your Majesty, make sure you enjoy the moment. Soak it in. Remember us after Pintuck’s one and only win. We thought there would be plenty more. Now he’s a prancing showjumper. And we haven’t been back in the committee room.”

Security were obviously worried, because the line went dead once more. It was time for bed. I was happy for a fellow owner.

It showed that racing is not about the money. Last time I looked, the Queen wasn’t short of a quid. But nothing could buy the excitement of that victory.

The joy of racehorse ownership, on show for all to see. If only Her Majesty had been allowed to break into a bit of Kenny Rogers at the end of the day. I’ll explain it to her on our next call.