The Best Moments of 2019
History made, milestones achieved and superstars emerging. As the curtain closes on 2019, we look back on some of our favourite moments:
Melody Belle’s Triple Crown Glory
The golden girl of New Zealand Racing, Melody Belle, made history when she became the first horse to complete Hawke’s Bay weight-for-age Triple Crown - the Tarzino Trophy, Windsor Park Plate and Livamol Classic. Regular jock Opie Bosson summed up the effort perfectly, "To win these three Group 1 races at 1400m, 1600m and 2040m, it takes an amazing horse.”
Glory Days in the Auckland Cup
Group 1’s are always momentous, but there was something particularly special about Glory Day’s performance in the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup. Not only did the staying star provide her large group of owners with their biggest win to date, she also provided trainer Bill Thurlow and jockey Sam Collett with their most significant career moment.
Six starts for five wins, including the Sacred Falls Hawke's Bay Guineas and Al Basti Equiworld NZ 2000 Guineas - it was a pretty good first year for the exciting three-year-old Catalyst! He was the talk of the town leading up to his first Group 1 assignment and did not disappoint, putting his rivals to bed with the devastating turn of foot he has shown all season. The win was made all the more special by giving trainer Clayton Chipperfield, his first Group 1 win.
Wise Men Say - the toughest of them all!
Grit, determination, sheer toughness; all requirements of a Great Northern successor and Wise Men Say fitted the brief to a tee when he took out the Network Visuals Great Northern Steeplechase at Ellerslie Racecourse. Having also won in 2017, recording the slowest time in living memory of 9:31:50, the Raymond Connors' trained steeplechaser did it again in 2019, this time nearly 45 seconds faster at 8:48:79.
Winx’s Final Hurrah
Amid celebration and relief, tears of sadness and joy, and in front of the largest crowd Randwick has seen in the past decade, Winx’s final race was run and won. Her win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 13 was her 33rd consecutive win, 25th Group 1 win, and 37th career victory.
2019, you’ve been one heck of a ride. Bring on 2020!