It’s 3am on Monday and Tiger Woods is vying for the lead in The Masters.
There hasn’t been this sort of electrical energy at Augusta since 2005, the yr Tiger beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff.
Whereas loads of nice golfers have donned the inexperienced jacket prior to now 15 years, none of them had been Tiger Woods.
You see, golf, like most sports activities, wants champions.
When Patrick Reed received The Masters final yr, it was properly famous within the media. However the story didn’t final greater than a day and it definitely didn’t lead all information bulletins across the globe.
When Tiger Woods wins, it’s an enormous deal. And he doesn’t even must win for it’s an enormous deal.
Golf’s biggest of all time is a strolling headline. He’s large cash for TV networks and field places of work.
No Tiger, much less hype.
The identical will be mentioned about horse racing.
Outdoors of a handful of races – the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper – racing in Australia struggles to interrupt into mainstream media.
The one time that modifications is when champions step out onto the monitor.
What Winx did for the racing business on Saturday can’t be measured. The environment at Royal Randwick was unprecedented for a Sydney race assembly.
In reality, I doubt Sydney has had that a lot environment at any occasion because the 2000 Olympics. The excitement on the monitor definitely surpassed any State of Origin match.
Maybe the one factor that comes shut within the post-Olympic period is Steve Waugh’s final-ball SCG century within the 2002-03 Ashes.
The problem for the racing business, similar to the PGA, is to maintain the momentum rolling when the champion is not there.
How can racing leverage the large public curiosity for Winx into extra common attendances and elevated column inches?
You can not replicate what occurred at Randwick on Saturday, however you’ll be able to construct on the momentum and use it to remind those who the racetrack is the place desires are realised.
There’ll by no means be one other Winx, however there’ll be one other champion.
The following technology
I’ve written a lot about Winx prior to now 12 months and I don’t assume there’s far more so as to add, apart from she’s a freak of nature.
Her win on Saturday was top quality.
However who’re the contenders to take her crown as Australia’s greatest racehorse?
A filly who raced on Saturday may very well be within the combine.
Australian Oaks winner Verry Ellegant looms as the true deal. She had points within the spring below the care of disgraced coach Darren Weir, however turned a nook since being transferred to Chris Waller in Sydney.
The three-year-old’s Oaks win was top quality and he or she may emerge as a superb center distance horse within the spring.
A Caulfield Cup wouldn’t be out of the equation, whereas I’m positive Waller can have the Melbourne Cup at the back of his thoughts.
“It’s onerous to say if she’ll keep or not, time will inform, however the most effective is but to return,” the coach mentioned on Saturday.
“We’ll be remembering Verry Elleegant’s win right here. It was an amazing race and he or she’ll have an amazing spring.”
It could be untimely to declare a horse with two races below his belt to be the following Australian champion, however all indicators have been good for two-year-old Tremendous Seth.
One other horse beforehand within the care of Darren Weir (karma, a lot), the Anthony Freedman-trained colt received by six lengths on debut at Ballarat final month and was despatched out a $1.65 favorite at Caulfield on Saturday.
His win was extremely spectacular, working excessive of some good horses to win comfortably.
The son of Dundeel ought to recover from additional, too, and can be one to look at within the spring.
“I’ve solely had him a short while – he got here from Darren Weir and I do know they’d a superb opinion of him – and he received very well at Ballarat and as we speak was in all probability not that a lot harder however the way in which it turned out, he needed to be fairly good to do what he did,” Freedman mentioned.
“You’d like to assume he may run a pleasant mile within the spring. He’s nonetheless doing a number of issues unsuitable however he’ll work it out.”
Freedman recommended a tilt at a Flemington race on Anzac Day was an possibility, as was a visit to Brisbane for the winter carnival, however I think Tremendous Seth can be spelled and requested to return in August to organize for among the wealthy three-year-old occasions.
The opposite doubtless contender for the crown may very well be rising Tasmanian filly Mystic Journey.
Educated by Adam Trinder, the three-year-old has received 10 of 13 profession begins, together with six victories in a row.
She confirmed expertise final spring, successful a Listed occasion at Caulfield and a Group 2 at Moonee Valley, however took the following step this autumn with victories within the Group 1 Australian Guineas and the inaugural All-Star Mile.
Bought for simply $11,000, the daughter of Wants Additional has already collected greater than $three.2 million in prizemoney.
I dare say she’ll be focused at some spring classics and we’ll get a good concept of the place she sits within the pecking order then. However don’t be stunned if she turns into Australia’s subsequent surprise horse.
The weekend punt
I assumed issues had been wanting grim after the primary three races produced no consequence for followers of my alternatives.
Issues barely improved when each-way tip American in Paris ran third at Caulfield, paying $2.80 for the place.
However it exploded when Sydney Cup choice Shraah saluted for Jay Ford within the 3200m function on the large worth of $13.80 and $5.10.
When you invested $20 on every race, you’d have spent $100 and picked up a tidy $217. Not dangerous when solely certainly one of your 5 alternatives wins.
Preserve checking again on Fridays as my alternatives will turn into a daily function on a weekly foundation. I additionally be sure to maintain a working tally so you recognize simply how properly (or poorly) I’m going.