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Cox Plate Day the highlight as 2010/2011 racing season draws to an end

July 31, 2011

The 2010/2011 season, which officially ends tonight, may have run for 365 days, yet it is one race meeting which sums up the main story of the year.

That race meeting is last year’s Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley.

Every racegoer over 35 reveres 1982 Cox Plate Day as legendary – that was, of course, the year that Kingston Town won his third Cox Plate, while Manikato won the Moir Stakes.

In 2010, globetrotting champion So You Think won his second Cox Plate, while the still unbeaten mare Black Caviar won the Moir Stakes.

Granted, they also both won on Caulfield Guineas Day.

But the cauldron of Moonee Valley, the crowd atmosphere, the heartbeat of punters packed to the brim made the Cox Plate meeting of 2010 one of the great highlights of the past season.

In time, it will invoke similar emotions for my generation as 1982 does for older racegoers.

Of course, there were many other stories, but really the season revolved around two horses – Black Caviar and So You Think – two incredible horses, two amazing stories, two champions.

On a personal level, it was incredible to experience my first Warrnambool May Carnival.

I also never thought I would leave Flemington feeling disillusioned and depressed after a Melbourne Cup, but that was the case in 2010.

It hurt to see So You Think – a horse which had captured my attention at his first start and had rewarded me emotionally and financially – run a gallant third.

It was nothing about monetary gain, instead about the disappointment of seeing a great champion defeated in what proved to be an insurmountable challenge.

In time, I have come to appreciate the sheer class that Americain displayed that day, I honestly don’t know if anything could have beaten him!

It was a sublime performance, and I look forward to seeing him return on Tuesday night.

In many years, the likes of More Joyous and Sepoy would have done enough to win the Australian Horse of the Year title.

The fact they have been relegated to no more than bit players shows the class of the top two horses to race in Australia this year.

However, with a couple of notable exceptions, the three year old crop has been a disappointment, with a lot of inconsistency amongst the bunch.

That said, there do look to be some gems among the crop, as there are every season.

Shamrocker became the first filly since Research in 1989 to win the AJC Derby, also beating the males in the Australian Guineas.

Yet she was beaten in two Oaks!

Jimmy Choux, Lion Tamer, Lights of Heaven and Scarlett Lady all look like they have the potential to go on with the job and I look forward to seeing them compete as four year olds in the new season.

However, it wouldn’t surprise to see a new horse on the scene – a la Maluckyday in 2010.

And so the curtain drops on what has been a remarkable season of racing.

We’ll wake up tomorrow and every horse miraculously ages one year.

Before long, we’ll be in the thick of spring action, and the cycle starts all over again!

Bring on 2011-2012!

Tomorrow, Andrew Hawkins gives his thoughts on the ten horses to watch in the upcoming season.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2011 12:27 pm

    Hello Andrew,

    I enjoy your racing posts, too few blogs about the sport of kings IMHO.

    Also write about racing on my hodge podge blog. Needless to say I am obsessed with racing and have followed it on and off for 50 years.

    • August 1, 2011 1:10 pm

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks very much! I’m glad you enjoy them.

      It would be great to have more bloggers about racing, hopefully with spring carnival coming up there will be a few more!


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