In case some racing fans might have been sleeping under a rock, Winx made her final appearance and took her rightful lap of honour at a completely packed out Randwick racecourse yesterday.

Of course, the Queen of racing won and those of us who have been part of her remarkable journey cheered. Long live the Queen. And a huge Thank You to Team Winx and its Captain Chris Waller. The big question after the party and celebrations are over is, And now what?

The big man from Racing New South Wales thinking that the same, or pretty similar sized crowd- and those “younger people”- will rock up again next weekend showed that the Man Who Would Be King is as delusional as ever. But no one dares challenge him.

Like Trump, and Nero, Pete has his followers and enablers and a media who are happy continuing to be Cling-Ons. It’s safety in numbers.

As for Sky’s Ron Dufficy blurting out after the impressive win of Hong Kong-owned Classique Legend, who’s bound for here and the yard of Caspar Fownes, something along the lines of “Is he too good for Hong Kong?” was a tad whacked out. Maybe even insulting. Or it was the tall poppy syndrome obscuring his view. Whatever, it showed just how fragmented the racing industry is.

Thankfully, Hughie Bowman kept everything in perspective by keeping it real and opening up about how having a supportive wife and young family has made him realise and think about the priorities in life.

If one hasn’t been down that path, there’s no point explaining how what he said was beyond Winxmania. It was about the human spirit.

Back to business…Following Favourites Day on Happy Wednesday night where even the Six Up paid something like half a tuppence, today at Shatin looks laden with booby traps. There are big fields and which could mean big value, especially as the main chances in most races are drawn out further than the nearest McDonald’s.

The Zac Attack, for example, has a full book of rides but five of these are drawn barriers 10,11,11,14 and 11. Will he ride his one hundredth winner of the season today with him hovering on the 99 mark? He should, but one doubts he’s concerned about it.

It’s not exactly as if he’ll be presented with a huge Dim Sum cake out of which Kate Beckinsale will pop out. It would be nice, however, if this were to happen. The Kate Beckinsale part.

Still with barrier draws, the Magic Man whose powers seem to have diminished in recent weeks since being struck down by the Why Cuckoo Kakas, has to contend with barriers 11,14,10 and 14 in some of the races in which he competes. Maybe he’ll bring back a McHappy Meal for us?

Other than the Australian Zac Attack, the Mauritian Magician Karis Teetan, the Brazilian Magic Man and Vincent CY Ho, the other rider to follow might be the Italian chihuahua Umberto Rispoli.

Following a double on Wednesday, things are falling into place and going big, bang, bong with the somewhat underrated rider suddenly attracting the attention of plenty of trainers and owners offering him winning chances. Funny place this- the topsy turvy world of horse racing.

RACE 1

A watching brief is suggested.

These two runners from the John Moore yard seem the most interesting based on their breeding.

Aethero (5)
Gala Night (6)

RACE 2

Surely the Zac Attack would have got his ton by now?

Adonis (3)
Otouto (4)
Lucky Storm (10)
Richcity Fortune (6)

RACE 3

Aquila (4)
Sunshine Universe (3)
Hong Kong Win (8)
Marvellous World (10)

RACE 4

Voyage Star (3)
Shining Ace (10)
Diamond Legend (12)
Sonic Fighter (1)

RACE 5

Fortune Patrol (4)
Best Effort (9)
Little Fantasy (12)
Enjoyable Success (2)

RACE 6

Brave Baby (4)
Yichuan Blitz (7)
Victoriam (6)
Eight Trigrams (8)

RACE 7

A very very tough looking race with two of the better chances- Dor Dor (6) and Dashing Dart (14)- drawn barriers 14 and 12, respectively. Who will win? Absolutely no idea.

For a real roughie NOT mentioned below: Heroic Guru (11). Why? History has proven that whenever Ben TH So rides for David Hall- and he doesn’t ride for the stable often- the partnership has often delivered- and at huge odds. Or have been part of some very successful big plunges.

Simple Elegant (7)
Dashing Dart (14)
Dor Dor (6)
Smart Rocket (12)

RACE 8

Lucky Hero (3)
Alcari (6)
Charizard (10)
California Turbo (2)

RACE 9

Four horses stand out- if back to his best after a slight setback and break from racing, Big Party (4) for regular rider Grant van Nieke, Honest Way (5), Racing Fighter (3) and the very promising Mr Croissant (14) that’s been given to Regan Bayliss and is drawn barrier one over this 1200 metres race.

Drawn next to him is Racing Fighter (3) with Purton aboard and who won’t be making things easy for young Bayliss.

For us? We’ve always looked forward to attending any Big Party.

Big Party (4)
Mr Croissant (14)
Honest Way (5)
Racing Fighter (3)

RACE 10

Oh jeez, no! Unicron Jewellery is going around again for the Size-Moreira tango whereas Earth Trilogy makes another return, this time with Zac Purton aboard and drawn barrier 14. Deal us out of both. They’re sure to start under the odds.

Defining Moment (10)
Southern Superstar (4)
Super Elegance (7)
Travel First (12)

RACE 11

When looking at the card, the runners that stood out were Champion’s Way, Superich, and possibly Kasi Farari. A couple of problems: Both Champion’s Way and Kasi Farari are racing up a class after a series of impressive wins and with all three runners drawn out wide- 14,11 and 10, respectively.

Whereas once upon a magic man, barriers held no fear for Joao Moreira, since his return from Japan, these outside draws have too often proven to be hurdles.

Of course, the Brazilian superstar is no ordinary jockey. He’s a superb horseman and perhaps these recent blips could be put down to various problems beyond his control.

With this race being over 1400 metres, both Champion’s Way and Fasi Harasi have been hit with double bogeys- promoted up a class and then being handicapped further by these unfriendly barrier draws. Still, they’re good young gallopers and it would be silly to leave them out.

Having said this, and one’s budget permitting, it might be an idea to include value chances Hinchinlove (7) and Jade Fortune (12).

In keeping with “tradition”, the Kwok racing dynasty have two runners- the Tony Cruz trained Beauty Spirit (8) who’s racing up a class after his last start win, which seems a bit of a harsh penalty, and Beauty Icon (11) for Paul O’Sullivan with the very under-utilised Matthew Chadwick aboard.

In fact, especially after his perfect handling of Pakistan Star after being finally reunited with the enigmatic galloper after a stable change and running in the Chairman’s Cup last week over an unsuitable 1600, Chadwick and O’Sullivan seem to be forming a regular partnership. Let’s hope so.

Matthew Chadwick is too good a rider to be watching races from the sidelines with good rides going to either average or out of form jockeys who can’t keep up with the leading pack.

Champion’s Way (4)
Kasi Farasi (14)
Beauty Spirit (8)
Hinchinlove (7)

#HKracing #Winx #HughBowman #horseracing