Racing: Winx, $10k stakes make hectic week

By Mike Dillon

Hartnell beats the others by lengths and Winx leaves him five lengths in her wake. Photo / 123RF
Hartnell beats the others by lengths and Winx leaves him five lengths in her wake. Photo / 123RF

What a week it's been and it ain't over yet. Winx once again made us all go "wow".

Thoroughbred Racing announced an increase of the minimum stakemoney from $7000 to $10,000 and classy young Adelaide jockey Josh Cartwright told a stewards hearing that he had got to 50/50 about taking his own life on the drive home from the Morphettville races on January 14 after dangerously aiming his mount into two rivals for which he has been suspended for 18 months.

Everyone assumed Cartwright had crashed into the horses wider on the track 300m from the finish to assist his girlfriend Anna Jordsjo win the race on the leader, $4 favourite Murti, which she did.

Cartwright told the hearing nothing could be further from the truth. "I was actually pissed off that she won because we'd had an argument just before the race."

The talented horseman blamed his brain fade on emotional issues, exacerbated by overwork from training a team of horses in addition to race riding.

Leading South Australian steward Johan Petzer said it had been an unprecedented case of recklessness, but commended Cartwright for his forthrightness with stewards and Petzer said the industry would do all in its power to assist the jockey with his personal issues. Cartwright publicly thanked his girlfriend, who he said had been his mainstay through the worst month of his life.

Cartwright said he wasn't sure he'd come back to race riding.

They all come back.

On the subject of Winx thank goodness for Hartnell.

Without him we'd all be wondering how good the horses behind the galloping machine actually are.

Hartnell would win a group one race anywhere in the world.

Hartnell beats the others by lengths and Winx leaves him five lengths in her wake.

How good does that make her?

Peter Moody, in the wings, is right. Only misfortune could beat her.

High profile Cambridge trainer Murray Baker welcomed raising the minimum stake bar to $10,000, but says it needs only to be the start.

"The board at Thoroughbred Racing has done a damn good job here, but the money is long overdue," says Baker.

Never has good governance been more necessary than right now in tough times and at the helm is the hugely talented Dr Alan Jackson, not only very canny in his approach, but a massive enthusiast of the industry.

Jackson and his board are determined to push through with a raft of improvements that it's clear should have been addressed long ago.

- NZ Herald

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