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She Comes From A Land Down Under | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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She Comes From A Land Down Under

As expected, the Aussie contingent took Royal Ascot by storm yesterday, with Miss Andretti smashing the track record by two seconds in the King’s Stand Stakes, with her (male) compatriots finishing third and fourth in the race. Clearly, they are doing something right with turf sprinters in Australia — as the Antipodean sports press points out:

Miss Andretti’s win is the third in five years for Australian horses in the King’s Stand with the Newcastle-trained sprinter Choisir achieving Australia’s first success in 2003, followed by the rags-to riches champion Takeover Target in 2006.

If you are wondering why we hear little about these Southern Hemisphere speedballs over here, you may have surmised that there is an economic factor — as noted by Miss Andretti’s trainer, Lee Freedman (also conditioner of the great Makybe Diva):

Freedman said he understood the sentiments of Australian owners who, in some ways, had little to gain but prestige by coming to England where prizemoney is far inferior to Australia and future breeding potential is the greatest gain.

With so many of Australia’s better-performed runners being geldings, the latter becomes irrelevant.

Despite its international reach, we hear little about the Global Sprint Challenge here in the US; Miss Andretti seems as though she is on track to take the bonus, which requires the winner to have competed in races in all four of the participating countries (Australia, Britain, Japan and Hong Kong) and to have won at least three relevant G1 races in three different countries. That, gentle readers, is how we throw down a gauntlet — it’s a bit sad to think we can’t even get a simple cash bonus in place for the Triple Crown when compared with the complexity above.

And as for the champion mare herself, there’s a good chance we’ll see her run again in the near future — as in possibly this Saturday in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. She’s essentially clinched Horse of the Year honors in Australia at this point, but if she’s up for it, she may as well add another feather to her cap while she’s in Britain. It’s quite a change from her race last year in which her bit snapped and she essentially finished the race under her jockey’s instincts — US readers may find irony in that article which mentions that she had (at that point) ‘nine wins from only 13 starts.’ (She now has 16 wins from 25 starts). Do many US-based horses have as many as nine starts these days? But I digress…

It may not quite be lightning in a bottle, but I am listening to Melbourne popsters The Lucksmiths perform ‘Sunlight in a Jar‘ in Miss Andretti’s honor today.

Update: Not surprisingly, some people would like to offer large sums of money for Miss Andretti. She is a very popular girl!

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