The 2011/12 racing season comes to a close on Tuesday. It has been a wonderful season of racing, with many highlights, as well as some lowpoints. We unearthed several superstars, while unfortunately we lost some as well. Here is my review of the 2011/12 racing season.
Gee, where do you start? Helmet and his Caulfield Guineas battle with Manawanui, Craig Williams and his gem of a ride to get Pinker Pinker home in the Cox Plate, Black Caviar and her stunning Spring/Autumn followed by her win at Royal Ascot, Pierro winning the triple crown in Sydney, the amazing Autumn/Winter of Manighar…And there are many others that could be named. But which one comes out on top? For me, it was Craig Williams and the Cox Plate. If you can, get a replay of the race and look at how much ground he saved on the mare by sticking towards the inside, which was the no-go zone for the majority of the afternoon. It was a 12/10 ride from Williams, which it had to be from him in order for her to win because Jonathon Riddell on Jimmy Choux produced a 10/10 ride on the kiwi champ. Williams produced one of the great big race rides we will ever see.
One of the big disappointments of the season was Americain. After a stunning win in the Zipping Classic in Novemeber of last year, he was sent to David Hayes for an Autumn campaign. He failed to shine at any stage. Yes, he was ridden poorly in the Australian Cup…Should we mention the BMW? Hopefully Mosse never rides in Australia ever again because he rode the worst possible race we will ever see. In saying that, he followed that with a shocker in the Queen Elizabeth behind More Joyous. Hopefully he can bounce back now that he is back in France and has another crack at the Melbourne Cup.
A tie between Black Caviar and Pierro. The wonder mare won nine from nine this season and she was just awesome. We all got very excited about her chances in England after two effortless wins in Adelaide…But as we all know, she came within a nostril of being beaten in the Diamond Jubillee. Travelling halfway around the world had taken its toll and judging on the way she presented in the mounting yard, you could tell she wasn’t 100%, but as always, the champions overcome adversity to find the line, and she did just that.
Pierro is the next superstar of racing in Australia. He took all before him in the Autumn, with victory in the Golden Slipper before destroying Black Caviar’s sibling All Too Hard in the Sires Produce and toying with them in the Champagne Stakes. It takes a very special horse to win this triple crown and he is certainly that. He is my early tip for the Cox Plate.
I’d have to say Corey Brown. Sure, he has ridden plenty of winners this season, but gee he has produced a few howlers. What has been more disappointing is the fact he didn’t boot home a group one winner. I think his season was summed up best by his ride on Ichihara in the Kindergarten Stakes. If you want to see a slaughter, watch the replay of that race. The one thing in his favour going into the next season is that he has been booked to ride classy mare Secret Admirer in the Spring.
One To Watch?
I’m really keen to see what Maluckyday does in the Spring. Plagued by injury, but when he is right, he is one of the better stayers in Australia. He cannot perform at WFA level at this stage. That has been proven hence why he could be worth a cheeky $5 each-way ticket for the Melbourne Cup a $51. If he remains injury free and recaptures his form from two years ago, then he’ll go very close.