Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Breakfast with The Queen

Moonee Valley Breakfast Program

Not being a morning person, it would have to be something pretty special that would get me up at 4.00 am. 

That something was the free Moonee Valley Breakfast with the Best, where wonder mare Winx was the star attraction, having her last jumpout at the Valley before the Cox Plate.

So I dragged myself into the shower shortly after 4.00 am, fed the cats, made a coffee to go, and headed off in the dark to the station to catch the 5.03 am train. At Flinders Street I caught another train to take me to Moonee Ponds and got to the track shortly after 6.00 am.

Quite a few people had made the effort to attend the Breakfast with the Best, no doubt to see the star mare. There was quite a crowd around her stall, but I managed to find a vantage point and snapped a few photos while Winx was being saddled up for her exhibition gallop.

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Winx fans gather around her stall

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Winx in her stall being prepared for her jumpout

Dawn was on the horizon when I took the above photo, so the light was terrible for photography.

Artificial light, also not good for photos,  illuminated the track when Winx emerged for her gallop, and paraded up the straight before doing a circuit.

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Winx parades along the outer rail

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Pre gallop, Winx comes back along the rail

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Winx at the top the straight on her jumpout

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Winx with stablemate Egg Tart return after their jumpouts

It’s a pity the light was so poor when she raced up the straight, but it was lovely half an hour later, when I caught up with Winx again being walked.

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Winx in the walking ring

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Winx with devoted strapper Umut Odemislioglu

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Chris Waller at a press conference in the stalls area

Winx stablemates Egg Tart and D’Argento were also being walked.

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Egg Tart in the walking ring

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D’Argento in the walking ring

Also strutting her stuff was Sunlight who is contesting the Manikato Stakes on Friday night.

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Sunlight prior to her jump out

I did not partake of the free breakfast, nor did I purchase any merchandise.

The Merch stall was doing a roaring trade, and there was a wide variety of Winx related items available, such as caps, stubby holders, t-shirts, key rings and cuff links etc.

The Barrier Draws for both the Manikato Stakes and Cox Plate were both drawn this morning, though I didn’t hang around for them, heading home (via bus & train) after being at Moonee Valley for over two hours.

It was well worth getting up early for the event; something different to do and a mini adventure of sorts. And I discovered yet another way to get to Moonee Valley - by train, though the station is a fair (walkable) distance from the Moonee Valley racetrack.

There are only four more sleeps till the Cox Plate – still my heart – I can hardly wait.

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