Just when you thought it was safe to ignore horse racing for another year, three of the coolest things just happened in The Oaks at Flemington.
The first cool thing, sequentially, was filly Lasqueti Spirit leading for the entirety of the 2500m race around Flemington Racecourse, at the ridiculously long odds of $126. Lasqueti Spirit had never previously won any race anywhere, and you kept thinking, OK, here's the part of the race where this silly roughie falls in a great big hole. But it kept extending its lead.
The third cool thing, sequentially speaking, was Usain Bolt presenting the winning trophies. Because why not?
But the coolest thing of all was what happened as jockey Brenton Avdulla crossed the line. Avdulla stood high in the irons to celebrate at least 20 metres from the winning post.
Standing in the irons is a huge no-no because theoretically, it threatens the horse's chances of winning. But he was only starting.
After passing the post, still high in the irons, his backside nowhere near the saddle, Avdulla bowed. Then bowed again.
"That is so good, and what about the balance," enthused Channel Seven's Francesca Cumani.
"Will he get a fine?" asked another member of the Seven team.
"Yeah, yeah, he'll cop a decent fine there, but he'll take that," former jockey Simon Marshall answered.
First prize in The Oaks is $600,000. A jockey's cut is typically 5 percent, plus another 5 percent "sling" from the owners. So if Avdulla just made $60,000, you can understand why he'd be willing to give away a lazy $1,000 for his theatrics.
A Melbourne boy, Avdulla now plies his trade in Sydney. He only flew to Melbourne a couple of days ago, so you can understand why he was so excited to win one of the marquee events on Melbourne's spring racing calendar. Good for him.
And thanks for the entertainment, Brenton. You just reminded us that even a dangerous sport like yours should still be fun.Suggest a correction