Ask yourself this: what is the one thing, the very most earnest of racing things you’d like to see happen?
Keep the answer in your mind for a moment.
The saga of this question begins with one of those facts that is so big and so obvious (like Uluru), that no one ever comments on it anymore.
Namely: the Match Race.
We need it back and right now is the perfect moment to do so. The TAB can handle it, while ALL corporates could too.
Aussies would punt on it at every class level of the population on a pro-rata scale without parallel in any country in history…. (Seabiscuit vs War Admiral included).
The best 3YO colt we’ve seen in Australia since Kingston Town ruled our racetracks back in 1979. Up against Mystic Journey, who is the best 3YO filly since probably Sunline.
Flemington would be the best venue for the mile race as it’s neutral ground – she is up from Tassie and he is down from NSW.
And organisers should bee agitating sponsors to the tune of $1.5million. $1million to the victor, $500,000 to the runner-up. And maybe even talk to Tabcorp about a percentage of the monies invested being split 2 to 1 re the result also.
The front pages of the newspapers would be awash with images of the contest. Sunrise and all the news bulletins would soon over it. The connections of both runners would be interviewed and become celebrities.
The build-up would be astonishing with everyone in every interview whether political, sporting, musical et al, all being asked the big question: “so what’s your tip for the Match Race?”
Because it has everything that titillates, excites and captures imagination: Boy vs girl; elite vs pauper; north vs south; NSW vs Tasmania; stallion elect vs wonder mare.
And don’t forget bragging rights too. The mantle of Best Australasian 3YO is on the line.
You’d have to set the ledger at $1.95 each of two. Fixed Odds betting only and leave the prices at that.
So who wins? Here’s the tale of the tape.
The Autumn Sun vs Mystic Journey: Unpacked
Their respective stats are stunningly similar.
THE AUTUMN SUN – 8 starts: 7 – 0 – 1 for $3,138,121
MYSTIC JOURNEY – 13 starts: 10 – 0 – 0 for $3,262,600
The Autumn Sun has won 4 x Gr 1 races (all against own age), 3 over 1600m.
He has run 1:33.72 for 1600m at Randwick, just 0.99sec off the track record
He has run 1:35.58 for 1600m at Caulfield, just 1.29sec outside the track record.
Mystic Journey has won 1 x Gr 1 and the $5m All Star Mile against all ages (stronger than most Gr 1) over a 1600m.
She has run 1:35.40 for 1600m at Moonee Valley, just 0.98sec outside the track record.
She has run 1:34.77 for 1600m at Flemington, just 1.28 outside the track record (and raced 3-deep all way).
She would lead him in the race and if she crept 3 lengths or more clear by the time they turned, he would not be able to run her down.
So Mystic Journey wins the match race.