I was driving along yesterday listening to the radio and heard a song with a clever verse.
“Midnight in a crowded room
I would have had to come up and talk to you
Anywhere, I don’t care
Forever’s gotta start somewhere.”
And while that’s about a relationship starting, the words ring true for everything in life. Especially momentous things.
Which brings us to today – June 4.
On this day way back when Queensland was still dominating State Of Origin, and Barak Obama was attending White House briefings and not Toronto Raptors games, a 2YO filly stepped out and raced for the very first time.
Jason Collett rode her and she wasn’t overly well wanted in the market. She came up $5.50 following a pair of average trials, which belied the word on the street – that being that she could run a bit. But she was brand new so she soon drifted to $7.20, before a late rally made her a $6 chance.
She had a stablemate in the race, a filly named Lucy’s Look who was favoured by both the stable and by the punters. Lucy’s Look, who had won a trial in good fashion, later turned out to be useful, winning at her 3rd race start and going on to have a decent career of 19 starts, a couple wins a few placings and $140,800 in prizemoney.
She too was on debut in this race and after a sluggish start travelled back 2nd last most of the way, winding up 7th of 10, beaten 12 lengths.
On pace from the get go in this race was a real flying machine from Newcastle. Kris Lees trained her and she came to this race with a pair of wins from her first two starts, both achieved by leading and racing away impressively.
Blake Shinn rode her and her name was Felines. She had so much pace and when she broke clear of the pursuing pack, she lengthened and kept drawing away from the field.
Oddly enough, Jason Collett and the great Hughie Bowman both went on to win races on her, Hughie at stakes level. She was 5th at Gr 1 level one day too on her way to winning $496,890.
Yeah Felines was pretty handy and on this day she was a tyrant on the lead. Another well in the market that day was Uratta Belle. She was a maiden, but had already placed at stakes level and was well tried in betting late on this day firming in to start at $4.40.
She sat off the pace, back in 5th but kept her eyue on the flying Felines and made a decisive move as they turned, racing up to the Kris Lees filly before the acceleration of that filly proved too good for her.
Uratta Belle just couldn’t match motors late and was far from disgraced finishing 3rd.
She was over 5 lengths from the winner. But she won two starts later and had a decent career earning $100,000 in stakes.
It was a good race, however it was Collett’s mount that captured the applause and the admiration of race caller Mark Shean, and eventually the flying Felines. This was because she had no pace early, was 11 lengths from Felines with 600m to go. Was on the fence and being ridden along.
Yet when Collett got her to the centre of the track, balanced her up, that now familiar unique cadence increased noticeably and she went out after Felines with dogged determination, eventually collaring her 75m from home and pulling clear to win by ¾ of a length.
Her speed over the final 200m was the telling factor.
It was extremely impressive and this debut win on this memorable day, June 4, was the first of 37 wins for her.
She won $26,451,175 in prizemoney and changed all our views on what makes a champion and who the best of all time was.
Yes…today, at about 2.05pm this afternoon, 5 years ago – WINX won her very first race start.
And that’s when forever got its start for the GOAT!
Watch her win: