As Saturday came to a close, scone-based trainer Paul Messara was conflicted.
During the day two immensely emotional moments occurred in his life.
The first was finding his beloved mare, Alverta dead in a paddock.
The second was watching the horse his father part-owns called The Autumn Sun doing a performance only Winx was capable of.
“It was a bitter-sweet day for me, that’s for sure,” said Messara.
“We lost Alverta to a lightning strike. It hit her and, well…She was a very special mare to me.
“She was my first metro winner, also my first stakes winner and was my first ever Gr 1 winner.”
Alverta (Flying Spur-Grilse) won the Hawkesbury Guineas for Messara when he was just starting out as a trainer, then 2 months later in the winter of 2008, went to Queensland and scored in the Gr 1 Winter Stakes (Tatts Tiara) over 1400m beating Absolute Glam and Fritz’s Princess.
She later won the coveted Gr 1 Coolmore Stakes at Rosehill and was 3rd behind the great Starspangledbanner in the Gr 1 July Cup up that gruelling Newmarket hill in England.
She won 8 races all up and over $1.1million in stakes.
At stud she produced 3 named foals, all of whom won and she has a 2YO by Dundeel on the ground and a weanling by the same sire too.
“The only good thing about the day was watching The Autumn Sun do the impossible and win that Gr 1,” he added.