The best and worst of racing was on show in Australia on Saturday as the world’s best mare Winx dominated yet again, a Group One was called off mid-race and a jockey lost his life.
The eyes of the racing world focused on Royal Randwick for the second day of The Championships and Winx was the main attraction, cruising to a 17th straight victory in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Chris Waller’s superstar beat poor-old Hartnell by five-and-three-quarter lengths in the A$4 million feature.
Her autumn campaign is now done, so she gets a well-deserved break before chasing a third Cox Plate.
The controversy at Randwick came during the Sydney Cup, when it was declared a no-race after Almoonqith and Who Shot Thebarman fell just after the winning post, the former breaking down badly and eventually being euthanised.
The problem was some of the jockeys didn’t hear the race get called off and completed the course as normal.
The Sydney Cup has been called off mid-race! https://t.co/hKV8ohNorK— 7HorseRacing (@7horseracing) April 8, 2017
It was decided on Monday that the race will now be run at Royal Randwick on April 22.
The New Zealand raiders continued their excellent recent run in Australia with the Murray Baker and Andrew Forman-trained Bonneval proving far too good in the Australian Oaks, while Waller claimed the other Group One on the card when Kerrin McEvoy helped lift Foxplay over the line in the Coolmore Legacy Stakes.
The tragedy happened in the northern New South Wales town of Warialda, where 48-year-old Darren Jones was killed after a three-horse fall.
The incident has also left apprentice jockey Melanie Bolwell in a serious condition and she remains in hospital with bleeding on the brain. Our thoughts with all affected.
Very sad news with the death of jockey Darren Jones after a fall at a country race meeting today. Thoughts to his family and friends— brad davidson (@braddavo) April 8, 2017
Darren Jones, the king of Tamworth. Absolutely devastating. We have lost another great man. RIP— Chantelle buckley (@Chantellebuckle) April 8, 2017
Over in England and jumps racing’s biggest event the Grand National Steeplechase was on at Aintree with One For Arthur becoming just the second Scottish winner in the history of the race.
Jumping at 14-1, the Lucinda Russell-trained jumper nor jockey Derek Fox, were perturbed by two false starts, pulling away late for a convincing victory.
The other good news was all 40 entrants to the 6,900m classic made it back to their boxes safely.
WATCH: One For Arthur takes the National for Scotland! pic.twitter.com/LVpGMGZkBP— Aintree Racecourse (@AintreeRaces) April 8, 2017
The first leg of Japan’s three-year-old fillies’ Triple Crown, the Grade One Oka Sho, was held on Sunday at Hanshin and it was Reine Minoru who caused an upset.
Jockey Kenichi Ikezoe settled her just off the speed and then she proved too strong in the home straight, holding off the challenges of Lys Gracieux and favourite Soul Stirring.
The Yushun Himba and Shuka Sho are the final two legs the Triple Crown.