SPORT

35 Minutes After Winx Won, The Sydney Cup Descended Into Shocking Tragic Farce

That was not good.

08/04/2017 3:35 PM AEST | Updated 08/04/2017 4:50 PM AEST
Twitter//Andrew Price

The sky is blue, the grass is green, and Winx just won her 17th straight thoroughbred horse race. Because of course she did.

But the biggest and most unexpected story of the final day of The Championships at Randwick was the awful turn of events in the Sydney Cup, which was abandoned mid-race after two horses fell and were deemed to be impeding the progress of the field.

The horses that fell were Who Shot Thebarman, who ran third in the 2014 Melbourne Cup, and former Geelong Cup winner and Melbourne Cup runner Almoonqith. The latter horse was sadly put down.

Almoonqith stayed on the track, so stewards decided to abandon the race with about 1000m to run. Half the field stopped racing nearing the home turn, while a few jockeys kept going, seemingly unaware of the chaos going on around them.

This is the side of racing no one likes to see.

Meanwhile Back to Winx.

In winning the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick, the wonder mare took her prize money to some astronomical total above $10 million which your correspondent is unable to tally precisely now due to beer. But it's a lot.

More importantly, she thrilled the throngs of racegoers who packed Sydney's premier racecourse on a rare sunny day by winning as emphatically as everybody knew she would.

Five-and-a-quarter lengths was the margin. If ever a race was over at the halfway mark, this was it. Winx's regular jockey Hugh Bowman sat there as calm as the Sphinx. On the turn he made his move. And that was that. Winx pulled ahead of regular rival Hartnell and blew past every other horse so quickly she gave them a cold -- not to mention a deep inferiority complex.

Afterwards, Bowman said "I love her". Which pretty much made the entire racecourse melt.

Winx, who is so versatile over a range of distances, track conditions and racing patterns (she can race forward or back in the field) must now surely enter the conversation as Australia's greatest racehorse since 1920s icon Phar Lap.

She'll have a bit of paddock time now and be back in the spring to target a third straight Cox Plate.

Meanwhile your correspondent is now heading home to ponder various imponderables, like how one thoroughbred can be so much better than every other, and how a sport which can be so uplifting when horses like Winx are involved can also be so unspeakably tragic.

Good afternoon.

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