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Rekindling and Corey Brown bringing home the Irish-trained one-two-three and the European-bred first 12 in the Melbourne Cup, while jockey Ben Melham on Johannes Vermeer looks on in envy; inset, trainer Joseph O’Brien and owner Lloyd Williams reflected in the glory of the Cup

Did anyone else think Winx looked a bit jaded in holding off Humidor this year? She could be forgiven after 22 consecutive victories, most of them Group 1s, of which Australian racing seems to have just a little more than its fair share. There was a time when she would have bounded away from such insolence. This time she had to work. She is now at an age when mares are not expected to improve. How long before we see a headline, “Are there chinx?”. After two such wonders as Winx and Black Caviar (did you know that the latter’s name was a term used by city slickers for skimming money off post-communism Russian oligarchs?) is it reasonable to expect a third? Not likely is it, unless something very strange is happening to Australian mares. Well, you can say of course there was a third, Makybe Diva, winner of three Melbourne Cups and the glamour queen before the other two arrived. But she was British bred. So, as far as the Cup’s concerned, um, QED. With a bit of lip-licking about Tokyo and Hong Kong, let’s look back just a few weeks to the other meeting that

The Australians may be there at Sha Tin although they have their own large fish to fry, including a new one called “The Everest”

calls itself “world championships”. It isn’t, of course. For geographical and seasonal differences apart from anything else, there can be no such thing. The Breeders’ Cup, still lacking Far Eastern or Australasian participation, is still what it was first described in its early years: not so much an equine Olympics, more an equivalent of golf’s Ryder Cup which is to say a battle between the Americans and the Europeans, although sometimes it’s looked more like America v Ballydoyle – which ought to be an all-time mismatch but isn’t. Or at least not always. This was a very good Breeders’ Cup, although whether punters will ever again want it to be held “where the Turf meets the Surf” is doubtful. A string of huge-priced winners told its own tale that Del Mar is not a place where form from anywhere else in America, still less the world, holds up. Before Breeders’ Cup 34, I got the chance to interview Bob Baffert on the phone. He refused to even think about a mini-Michael Dickinson 1-2-3-4 in the Classic. He’s

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Profile for Thoroughbred Publishing

ITB_Dec2017  

Stallion Review 2017, including Frankel, Mickley Stud, a wealth of stallion statistics and an interview with Elite Racing Club, owner-breede...

ITB_Dec2017  

Stallion Review 2017, including Frankel, Mickley Stud, a wealth of stallion statistics and an interview with Elite Racing Club, owner-breede...