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Nation Gets Its Equine Bradman

Monday, 15th April 2019

Australia has always had a proud sporting history, with its sporting heroes indelibly intertwined with culture and identity. In an age of social media where any flaws in sports stars are mercilessly exposed, sometimes due to Darwinian self-destruction, it has become increasingly difficult to find public idols whose derring-do on the gladitorial stage is mirrored by flawless behaviour off-court. Perhaps, ironically, just Roger Federer in recent decades ticks that box. The consequent dearth of qualified protagonists is illuminated each Xmas when yet more publications on Sir Donald Bradman appear in book-shops. In Winx, the sporting public have found not just a modern day Phar Lap, but an idol that has transcended sporting codes, and infiltrated every nook and cranny of a country whose population since Bradman has evolved into a giant melting pot of migrant diasporas. Devoid of any scuttlebut, drug addiction or rumours of philandering, Winx is the clean-cut heroine we can all identify with, albeit with two exceptions. The daughter of Vegas Showgirl kicked a sponsor’s hoarding and, then, just a few days later head-butted her rider High Bowman after he'd nursed her to victory 32 times in-a-row; with over $26 million banked and a few world records that seems quite forgivable. As she now prepares for a change of lifestyle, the Australian Turf Club captured the mood (see beow) as she rode off to a new career.

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