gary still

Kick a Kah

Gary Still

I’m absolutely shattered that two months was added to her sentence.

The “false and misleading information” didn’t relate to a racing enquiry. It was a Covid enquiry for which she is already serving three months. She's the darling of the turf with an unblemished record. Her reluctance to snitch on a mate has seen her crucified.

I wish they had been content with the three months. Justice had already been served and the racing industry and public were more than satisfied.

Her sentence has gone from appropriate to brutal.


Bowman's ride on Farnan

Gary Still

Suspending Bowman for that ride has opened up a can of worms. Only a fraction of runners can get the hindsight perfect ride.

Its the jockey's role to find the right pace and position for his runner and find the right time to launch a finish. In trying to negate the oppositon, or when the oppositon are trying to negate you, its not always possible to get what you want..

There's been many rides where I thought a jockey was committing suicide, yet still won. The idea may have been to bring undone a legitimate threat, run the oppositon off their legs, leaders bias and so on.

Bowman will surely win an appeal.. 

Would you believe it?!

Gary Still

Here's a finish that should make your eyes pop!

Living The Dream

Gary Still

Living the Dream was $3.70 favourite in Melbourne Race 3 yesterday and going backwards with 250 metres to go.

There are some punters that like to bet in running which means to bet while the race is in progress. During the brief duration that Living the Dream seemed spent, there was still $130 bets alive believing that Living the Dream could win. The smart punters were living the dream as they began to rake up all this sucker money.

Unfortunately for those smart punters, Living the Dream, became a living nightmare as the horse rebalanced, pushed its way through a gap and won. The trading charts on Betfair reveal that $100 changed hands at odds of 150/1 to 250/1. If that wasnt bad enough, an amount of $8 changed hands at 1000/1. In other words, about $30,000 was won and lost during this moment.

If you backed it at $3.70 you should be happy with the win. If you backed it at 1000/1, you will no doubt be enjoying a Merry Xmas!

View the finish here: 

I don't see any discussion in the media about what Craig Williams did in the last 50 metres of the Melbourne Cup. He did a lot more than stick the horse's head out on the line.

An era of duds?

Gary Still

Gladys, earlier this year (in March) you claimed that BC and W's victims were "duds". You assured me that you'd provide a basis of measurment to verify your claims and compare field strengths from different eras.

I reminded you twice more and you replied that it was coming and to be patient.

Well, we've been waiting for over 7 months now, Gladys. Where is it??

JMac's perspective on Winx

Gary Still

This interview with JMac took place just before Winx's final race...

"I could say that having seen Winx’s rump disappearing into the distance in the home straight so many times, I’ll be glad to see the end of her! 

As a competitor, she’s been, shall we say, something of a nuisance these past four years; you can get pretty sick of running second to her – that feeling where you know that although you’re on a top-quality performer doing its best, there’s no way you’re going to beat that mare. It’s happened to me five times, as well as two thirds. Three of those seconds have come at the top level, in Group 1 races. 

But more seriously, Saturday is going to be a sad day when we say farewell to Winx after the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She’s been simply amazing, and, as will be shown by the massive crowd that packs Randwick to see her offshe’s done so much for racing in her phenomenal 32-race winning streak. 

She’s the best horse in the world, the best I’ve seen, and, I would say, the best horse Australia has ever produced. And of course all of that makes her easily the best horse I’ve ridden. 

Some might have forgotten that bit, given the famous partnership she’s formed with Hughie Bowman. But I was lucky enough to have ridden Winx, way back in win number three of the streak – the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill, in September, 2015 – when Hughie was briefly suspended. Three years and many wins later, their partnership was important enough for trainer Chris Waller to not start Winx in a race when Hughie was again outed. But in 2015, thankfully they were happy to call on me. 

Of course Winx wasn’t Winx then. And although her win felt pretty special to me, there was no way anyone could have predicted the way she’d follow up that winning hat-trick. But she sure gave me a thrill and it’ll be a memory I’ll treasure forever. 

What turned her from “promising” to superstar? The confidence that comes from winning might have played a part, but mostly I think it was just simple maturity and development – a bit of filling out; more muscle on the bone. Early doors, she had potential, but she was a very light, spindly thing, a very lean kind of machine. She was known to enjoy wet tracks, and probably that’s what most people thought of her – they painted her as a wet-tracker. But to me, you could see she always at least tried really hard. 

She’d pin the ears back and push to the line, and you could see she had a strong will to win. 

When I rode her in the Theo Marks, yes, she gave me a good feeling as we went to the barriers. Jockeys can tell a good mover underneath them, like a racecar driver in a Formula One machine. It’s not like I was saying “wow” or anything on the way to the gates. But I certainly said it after the race. 

As became her trademark, we settled near the back in that 12-horse field. That wouldn’t be such a problem, but we struck interference coming to the home corner that stopped our momentum and gave the leaders a big headstart. Halfway down the straight, we had to make up about six lengths in only 200 metres to get the chocolates. If it wasn’t Winx, there’d have been no way, but she powered to the line and got there in the last couple of strides. 

I also own the dubious title of being in charge for the equal-smallest margin of her streak – at 0.2 lengths, or a half-head – but it was just an incredible performance. I’ll always look back on it, shake my head and say, ‘How the hell did she do that?’  

Nothing Special to Look At

There’s been a lot of investigation into how she does do it. Famously, she’s nothing special to look at. She’s no Black Caviar, who was this big, beautiful mare, built like a brick shithouse, and with a great big stride. Winx is different in that while she doesn’t have an exceptionally long stride, she’s just so economical in the way she moves. She can increase her stride rate when she wants, and just skims across the turf. She just gets faster, and faster, and faster, and all with this wonderful, smooth, economical action. 

Riding against her, getting beaten by her, is different to any other horse. Most horses take a hundred metres to get past youWinx does it in a couple of strides. One second she’s there beside you, the next second she’s gone. 

No one likes getting beaten, but it’s awesome to behold, especially when you think your horse is travelling really well! 

A year after I’d ridden Winx, I was the bloke staring at her backside in second place in three of her four starts in her spring 2016 campaign: on Hartnell in the Warwick Stakes at Randwick; on Hauraki again in the G1 George Main, and then in the big one, when Hartnell took her on again as she attempted a second Cox Plate, at Moonee Valley.

What a buzz that week was. It was hyped as a two-horse war between my bloke and her. The build-up felt like a football grand final. 

As hopeful as it might sound today, I thought we were a genuine chance to beat Winx that day. With me doing the steering, Hartnell had bolted in in his three starts since that Warwick Stakes second. The most recent was the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, over roughly the same distance as the 2,040-metre Cox Plate. He’d brained ‘em, winning by more than three lengths over Jameka, who strolled away with the Caulfield Cup at her next start. 

And it wasn’t just me, but a lot of people thought Winx was vulnerable in that Cox Plate. The market suggested it, with Winx at $1.80 – cricket-score odds for her – and Hartnell at $5. No horse has started as short against her since. 

I made my plans with trainer John O’Shea. We knew if Winx was ever going to get beaten, you couldn’t come from behind her to do it. From barrier seven, to her barrier three, I jumped out ahead of her, and kept a good couple of lengths in front of her throughout. Going down the School Side with about 700 metres to go, I made my move and sent Hartnell towards the lead. I knew Winx was gonna come at some point, but Hughie brought her up alongside us earlier than I anticipated. 

You’re Freakin’ Kidding Me

Towards the turn I was urging Hartnell on, but on my outside there was that familiar white bridle again. And Winx was moving so easily. To be honest, I was a bit deflated. Hughie later told the press he heard me cry out something like “Oh Jesus Christ”, as if it just wasn’t fair! We did exchange some words, but I think it was more like me singing out “Oh you’re freakin’ kidding me!” … or words to that effect. 

As Hartnell battled on in his usual gallant style in the straight, I just saw Winx go further ahead – four lengths, six lengths, eight lengths on the line. I was just gobsmacked. It wouldn’t have mattered where we’d sat. And that’s the beauty of Winx. She could’ve waited another 400 metres to make her run and still beaten me. She could’ve gone a lot earlier and still won by a big gap. 

From there, she’s only got better.  It’s testament to the great job my fellow Kiwi Chris Waller has done with her, the patience of her owners, the work of the stable staff, and Hughie. 

You know when Winx is running, because that day in the jockeys’ room, Hughie doesn’t say much. He’s a man of few words on most days, actually, but on Winx days he really goes into the zone. He’s done an incredible job with her the whole way through. I can only hope one day I get to have a partnership with a horse like her. You’d reckon it’s pretty unlikely though! She’s just improved with age, and I agree with Hughie’s comment this week that she could comfortably go on racing, and winning. 

I’ll be out there trying to beat her again, one last time, on Saturday, when I’ll be on the second favourite (again!) in He’s Eminent. I’m sure Happy Clapper and Hartnell would love to know it’s the last time they’ll see Winx, having run second to her five and four times respectively. I don’t think the unthinkable will happen in Winx’s swansong, but I don’t think it’ll be as easy for her as her last few runs. And I do think He’s Eminent has a chance – though it would help greatly if Winx stands in the gates when they open.

Yes, it’s been a bit frustrating to have run second to her so often (and third twice). Someone worked out she cost me almost $100,000 in prizemoney through those five seconds, so I’d be a good bit richer if she wasn’t around! But just to ride against her is amazing. She adapts to any race conditions. She sits wide, she sits in. You can’t outsprint her, and you can’t outstay her. She’s won from 1100m to 2200m, and I reckon if they’d put her in a Melbourne Cup, over 3200m, she’d have got the distance and won that as well, because she just relaxes so well, and knows when to switch on. 

She’s had longevity, being unbeaten for nearly four years. She’s turned up and performed on 32 straight race days. Every time. That’s just extraordinary for any horse, but especially for a mare, since hormones mean mares can often have an off day, or lose interest forever. 

She’s just got no chinks in her armour. She’ll always come out on top. A bit like the mighty All Blacks, she’ll just find a way to win. And all of that is why – although they say you shouldn’t compare champions of different eras – I’m happy to do it with her. I’m happy to put her on top, by herself, against any of the historical greats you care to name: Phar Lap, Tulloch, Bernborough, Kingston Town, the lot. 

She’s that good, and we’ve all been blessed to have had her in our lifetimes."



Gary Still

With the very few discussion threads that exist on this forum, I strongly suggest the use of "ADD COMMENT" for each post, rather than "Add Reply". 

If "ADD COMMENT" is used, a person that visits the thread will see all posts made on one page (similar to Groupies thread). If "Add Reply" is used, the posts are concealed until the "View reply" button is clicked. Viewing replies for a single conversation could involve multiple clicks, which some will find tedious





Never ever give up

Gary Still

One of the most extraordinary finishes I've ever seen.

French athlete Flora Guie (pronounced Gay) is running 4th after the baton change for the final leg. The French commentators are saying throughout the last lap that it is now impossible for France to win but the excitement reaches fever-pitch in the last 100 metres, when Guie does the impossible

Its not only that the she never gave up, but that she retained her composure, her rhythm and her focus, despite the odds. Cruel justice for the leader, who stopped to a walk after trying to "fry" her immediate opponents.

Would like to see some input on Quinellas, Exactas, Trios, Trifectas and First Fours.

Lay out your numbers in a box, with master, or in pyramid style and if possible, indicate the size of your outlay.

Good luck.


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