The past decade has been home to a multitude of incredible moments at the Spring Racing Carnival, from Melbourne Cup wins to long-standing – and not so long-standing – records being broken. Unsurprisingly, more than a handful of these moments belong to a couple of the greatest horses in history in Winx and Black Caviar, and we’ll start off our list of the most significant racing moments from the past decade with the former of those.
1. Winx breaks Black Caviar’s record
It might not have been the biggest race she won in her extraordinary career, but Winx’s win in the eponymous Winx Stakes was certainly among the most notable. It was the first race of her seven-year-old season, and when she won it she extended her winning streak to 26 and broke Black Caviar’s Australasian record in the process. The win didn’t come without a few anxious moments – by jockey Hugh Bowman’s own admission, she struggled to keep pace with the field in the early stages. Once she hit the straight, however, Winx’s famed acceleration came to the fore, and she stormed past the field to win comfortably and steal away the record which Black Caviar had only held for five years. Winx would go on to extend that streak to 33 wins.
2. Black Caviar’s greatest ever win?
And speaking of Black Caviar…it’s not easy to pick the best win in a career which saw her take out each and every one of the 25 races in which she entered, but why not give it a try? The vote goes to the 2011 TJ Smith Stakes, her first ever appearance in Sydney and a race which to many appeared like one of the best chances for her undefeated streak to be snapped. The field in this race was quality, arguably as good as she ever faced in Australia, with all but one of her opponents winning at least one Group 1 in their careers – Hay List the most notable among them. Sure enough, turning into the home straight it was Hay List who appeared likely to snatch it from her, bolting clear from the pack and continuing to increase his lead. With just 300 metres to go Black Caviar was still close to five lengths in arrears, but it might as well have been all for show. Hay List would have won it in a canter were it not for the champion mare, but she mowed past him to win by nearly three lengths.
3. Prince of Penzance comes from the clouds to win the Melbourne Cup
There have been plenty of notable wins in the past ten years in the Melbourne Cup, but perhaps none have been more memorable than that of Prince of Penzance in 2015. The win was incredible for a number of reasons – the first of which being the jockey that rode him to victory. In winning the race, Michelle Payne became the first ever woman to salute at the event, more than 150 years after it was first run in 1861. Making the win even more memorable was the fact that Prince of Penzance jumped at odds of $101. He was given virtually no chance of victory, but with 100 metres to go he grabbed a lead which he would not relinquish.
The past ten years of Australian racing have been laden with memorable moments. Black Caviar and Winx are unsurprisingly the owners of more than a few of them, with their extraordinary careers spanning much of the 2010s, while the momentous and unlikely victory of Prince of Penzance rounds out the list of the past decade’s biggest moments from the Spring Racing Carnival.
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