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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Champion mare Winx winning her fourth Cox Plate

As we all celebrated the wondrous return to racing of Winx on Saturday, everyone in Australia was filled with immense pride.

Something about seeing a freak-of-nature does that and of course our whole identity is tied up in one form or another with this mare.

We are good by osmosis simply because she is.

But the more she wins, the greater her reputation grows, the grander the increase in prizemoney (which is $23,080,674) – the more annoyed I get with….India.

Yes India, or more specifically those who operate the racing industry over there.

Simply because they allowed a horse to be called Winx.

Most racing territories in the world recognise and honour true champions by placing lifetime bans on those names ever being used again.

Exactly like jerseys being retired as a mark of respect, a la Wayne Gretzky’s number 99 – never to be used again. And Jackie Robinson’s number 42 in baseball has been retired across the MLB.

Our Registrar Of Racehorses (the august body that filters names for horses) certainly does.

For instance, you can’t get and never will be able to have such lofty global superstar names as: Secretariat; Frankel; Danehill; Enable; Phar Lap or John Henry. The list of greats goes on, but oddly (an explainable anomaly) there is a horse racing in Australia named Justify (same as the recent American Triple Crown winner).

Normally that would not happen here but he was named about a month after the US version was, and well before the US version became a household name through his Triple Crown efforts.

So what’s with India?

The horse called Winx in India was born in 2014 and named in 2016.

He’s by Stardan from Bold Request.

And he was named AFTER our Winx had already won 6 x Gr 1 races and been placed in another Gr 1 contest.

To be fair, she hadn’t reached global phenom status like she is today…..but come on, 6 x Gr 1 wins then they are allowed to name their own version.

And to rub salt into the wounds, the Indian Winx is a joke, a pathetic facsimile to ours.

He’s had 13 race starts and not even run a place in any of them.

A phone call from our Registrar Of racehorses to his Indian counterpart may be in order.

This name-stealing business is not the first time either: in Algeria a horse raced named Black Caviar seven years after our own Black Caviar was born.

It too was a utterly useless on the track, racing 5 times and finishing last on 3 occasions, missing a place on all attempts.

And Phar Lap, yes our legendary Phar Lap made an appearance in Turkey in 1981. The Turkish version racing 21 times and winning 3 lowly races.

Anyway, we are comforted by the fact that somewhere in great mystical cosmos…..the universe or God is recognising that champions need and should only be allowed once.

 
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