If This Horse Beats Winx, Every Insufferable Pom Will Laugh At Us
Winx steps out in her final race in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Sydney's Royal Randwick this weekend.
You knew that of course, and you no doubt also know that she's gunning for 33 straight wins in an unbeaten streak that has lasted almost four years.
Her rivals on Saturday? She's beaten most of them too many times to count. They include Happy Clapper and Hartnell, who are both champions in their own right, but who are like fat little ponies at a school fete compared to Winx.
But there's one new horse on the scene which is making racing fans a little nervous. It's a horse called He's Eminent, and it's an English galloper which recently came down under, and ran a cracking second in its first run here.
Here's that race:
He's Eminent is second favourite ($20) behind Winx ($1.06) this weekend. In statistical terms, that means the great Aussie mare is 94 percent likely to win the race, while He's Eminent is just a 5 percent chance.
But here's the thing. If the unthinkable were to happen and He's Eminent wins, the Poms would laugh at us forever, because they've never really rated our champ.
In October last year, ahead of the Cox Plate in Melbourne -- which purists regard as Australia's greatest race, and which Winx went on to win a record fourth time -- British TV racing commentator Matt Chapman said "back home, we feel Winx is beating fairly moderate horses".
He was not the first to espouse an argument which has always been rooted in mean-spiritedness rather than facts, because Australian racing is undeniably world class.
As evidence, when we send a horse on a hit-and-run to England, it usually wins. Black Caviar was in terrible shape after it didn't handle the plane journey, yet it still won at Royal Ascot.
Australian horses have always been among the world's best. But if He's Eminent wins this weekend, or even gets close to Winx, the Poms will be chortling "I told you so".
And to be fair, it would not be easy to argue as He's Eminent was not exactly a superstar back home. In its last four runs before coming to Australia, it did not finish in the top four. And none of those races had more than eight horses.
READ MORE: Whoa! Winx Lashes Out, Kicks Hole In Sign Ahead Of Final Race
Anyway, let's look on the bright side. Winx will almost certainly win and He's Eminent will probably turn up its hooves like the sad English plodder it is.