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11 November 2010

The racehorse is spendidly unscientific.

I have quoted Les Carlyon in my title today. In Chasing a Dream, Les wrote "The racehorse is spendidly unscientific. The great ones do what they shouldn't be able to do. The racehorse is proof that two plus two can still come up nine".

Caulfield Guineas Day always promises to be something special. This year's renewal was no exception. I photographed this day every year since 1995. It is one of my 'I am unavailable for consultation' days that is marked in black on the annual racing calendar. I've photographed some truly great horses here over the year, and can honestly say that in 2010, this day was TRULY special. I went thinking if just of these potentially very special horses won, then it would be a good day. Remarkably all three won. I speak of course, of the undisputed champion of Australian Racing, So You Think, the world's best sprinter Black Caviar, and that mighty mare More Joyous. The weather was glorious, the images fabulous, there is not much more to add, really!

Race 4. For those of us lucky to be photographing the real thing, Black Caviar (Bel Esprit - Helsinge) resumed from an injury enforced spell and just strolled away with this. It was my first look at her. I should have done the race from the home turn, which is how easily she won this race. At The Valley I did not make the same mistake twice.

Race 5. Now this horse is the real deal. I was unable to be at the Underwood Stakes or Memsie Stakes, much to my disappointment, so this was my first look at last year's Cox Plate winner for the new season. I was pretty sure he'd win, and so stood at the 100m mark. So You Think (High Chaparral - Triassic) and Steven Arnold powered away with the G1 Yalumba Caulfield Stakes. His great trainer, Mr Cummings, was not present on track, but the horse made up for his absence. He absolutely stole the show.

Race 6. Just when you thought the day couldn't possibly get any better, along came More Joyous (More Than Ready - Sunday Joy). She was fresh off her G1 WFA triumph a fortnight earlier in the George Main Stakes. She was tackling Melbourne and Caulfield for the first time, and shouldering 58kg in the Toorak Handicap. Many good horses have come unstuck in this race. She met 14 other opponents and came from barrier 10, and absolutely wobbled around that home turn. Yet she won going away despite the fact that no horse had carried more weight to victory since All Shot in 1972 (in fact the great Gunsynd carried 58.5kg in 1971) and that it was also a weight carrying record for a mare.

See..... Great horses do great things.

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