What makes a champion? Heart? Talent? Breeding? A combination of all those things? When it comes to equestrian champions, a champion race horse, it is sometimes a mystery and an enigma, when trying to decipher just what makes a true champion. Right now, we have the mighty mare, Winx, unbeaten on thirteen straight victories, with two of them being back-to-back Cox Plates. The Cox Plate is the greatest weight for age contest in Australia; experts declare this race to be this nation’s true test of a champion. The Melbourne Cup, as hugely popular as an international event as it is, is just a handicap event.
Breeding Champion Race Horses
Winx is very close to being the best race horse in the world right now. She decimated her opposition in her most recent Cox Plate victory, winning by more than eight lengths. Before Winx, we had Black Caviar, a champion sprinter who won twenty-five races from twenty-five. These included thirteen Group One races; and she was named world champion sprinter four years in a row. This impressive record will take some beating; and we are now seeing her progeny about to take the field. Will the bloodlines deliver a next generation of champions?
If it does it will be like free horse racing betting, if you can get on earlier enough in the sequence of wins, before the odds become minuscule. That is the only trouble with champion race horses, like Winx and Black Caviar, because for punters, the odds become prohibitive. Also, other owners and trainers try and avoid pitting their horses against these champions. We saw Winx running against just two other horses in a high stakes race last spring, because the competition feared her too much. Black Heart Bart was courageous, but just didn’t have it in him to bother Winx.
The race crowds love a champion, however, and they come out en masse to see horses like Black Caviar and Winx. The stands are full and the cheers are loud. Breeders spend inordinate hours studying bloodlines in an attempt to breed champions. Matching sire with dam and spending big dollars, often times, in that mysterious world of breeding thoroughbred horses. It has been the obsession of princes and kings, over the centuries, to seek the thoroughbred champion. To strut up the concourse and see their horse salute the winning post. To experience the rare elation of racing a true champion. This is the goal of all owners and their trainers.