Well the World Cup has been run and won, and we are safely back in Tassie enjoying the beautiful blue sky and green paddocks of Armidale.
Yes the World Cup was pretty amazing, but racing in Dubai lacks the ‘heart and soul’ and atmosphere of Australian racing. Why? Well I think its a combination of things – the fact that only the very wealthy (ie Sheiks) can afford to race horses in Dubai, there is no betting, and racing is relatively new so it has no real ‘history’ to it. There is no doubt the facilites are amazing, and Meydan must be one of the world’s best racecourses, but you just can’t buy atmosphere. The grandstand is so huge at Meydan that it was only half full and that certainly didn’t help with atmosphere. It seemed as if the Australian contingent (about 12 people all sitting behind us) were the only ones that felt able to stand up and yell in a race – everyone else was pretty subdued.
Now we really did stand up and cheer when Ortensia released her powerful burst of speed to come from last to win the sprint on World Cup night. What a wonderful win and a great training feat by Paul Messara.
How great was it to arrive home to a beautiful blue sky and green paddocks? – something you just don’t see in Dubai. Yes it pays to travel occassionally if only so you realize what a great place home is!