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Racing Rants (Edition 1) – Who should win Australian HOTY?

July 27, 2011

Blake Redden (1st Past The Post Racing) and Andrew Hawkins (Andrew Hawkins Racing) present the first Racing Rants – a discussion of issues and news affecting the racing industry.

This week, Blake and Andrew look at the Australian Horse of the Year as the season comes to a close.

Blake Redden: G’day Andy, welcome to the first edition of Racing Rants.

Andrew Hawkins: Hey Blake, Racing Rants, what a great name! Yeah, we tend to rant – but it’s all good!

BR: Today will be the first part of a series of discussions about racing and the industry as a whole, hopefully they will be insightful and provide enjoyable reading for the viewers!

AH: Yes, these discussions will hopefully ignite a bit of debate and provide a bit of entertainment for the readers!

BR: I can already sense your excitement when we touch on the first topic, it’s on everybody’s lips in Melbourne at the moment.. Who will be Australian Racehorse of the Year?

AH: The Australian Horse of the Year is a great place to start as we approach the end of the season. Trust me, it is also on the lips of everyone in Sydney.

BR: It’s pretty clearly going to be a race in two and many will claim that Black Caviar has already secured the title with her feats in the spring but there is no doubt So You Think has much appeal to the racing purist. How do you see it at this stage?

AH: I have to say, it is the first year where I truly believe both horses would be worthy of the award. I mean, in effect, you have four horses who in some years would be worthy winners – I’m thinking of Black Caviar, So You Think, More Joyous and Sepoy. More Joyous has done just as much as Typhoon Tracy, while Sepoy is one of the best juveniles of the modern era. And yet, they is no way they will win the award.

BR: Look, I think that based on his Spring exploits, So You Think would be the clear winner. Heck, I thought he was home when they cornered for home in the Cup, what he did through the entire spring was unbelievable. We won’t see another horse campaign like that in the next 2 decades!

AH: And there is no doubt Black Caviar is incredible. She is the most explosive horse I have seen. But So You Think definitely has a case, even excluding his overseas exploits. Has any galloper been so consistent in the weight for age races in recent times? Usually you see a horse win the Cox Plate but fail to back up well in the Mackinnon. But So You Think was so dominant. I reckon it will be closer than people think.

BR: I completely agree, he brought so much excitement in to the spring with his imposing figure and picture perfect mane! But what really detracts from his chances is the fact he missed the autumn. There is no doubt in my mind that he would have won the Australian Cup, the BMW, everything he raced in. But he didn’t.

AH: Yeah, that’s true. I was privileged to see Black Caviar twice this autumn, in the Newmarket Handicap and the T J Smith Stakes. She has definitely brought people to racing, but then again, so did So You Think.

BR: But while Black Caviar was burning up the eastern seaboard he was playing tiddlywinks in Ireland! She gave Australia exactly what we needed, a reason to come to the track. Even more in her favour is the fact that she is unbeaten! The only time they have comeclose to her is when she pulled up sore in the Danehill! Gee, I reckon as much as So You Think may have deserved to be a joint winner if he stayed here during the autumn, there is no doubt in my mind she should and will win it convincingly!

AH: Well, I think there are two things that will sway it. The unbeaten aspect will definitely play on the minds of the judges – if only So You Think had settled in the Melbourne Cup! And that’s the other thing, too – Black Caviar overcame adversity. She had to carry a large weight for a mare in the Newmarket Handicap, yet won with ease. Not every race was handed to her on a platter. Well, they didn’t really with So You Think either. But he couldn’t win the handicap – that being the Melbourne Cup. I do expect Black Caviar to win, but in the end I think it’s a line ball call. I think that the only fair thing to do would be to award it jointly to both gallopers.

BR: There we have it, Black Caviar is odds on to win the title but there is no doubt we have seen two of our greatest gallopers ever this season. Hopefully we continue to see them both in and out of Australia over the next few years, I’m sure they will do us proud!

AH: I’m sure they will Blake, we may even see Black Caviar visit So You Think at stud sometime in the future! But that’s all for Racing Rants this week, we’ll be back next Wednesday!

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