WHETHER they won or lost over the course of a remarkable two-day Moonee Valley Cox Plate meeting, punters left the track privileged to have witnessed two of the most outstanding performances of the spring carnival so far.
It is said that the Valley is where legends are made, surely the performances of G1 Cox Plate winner Winx and G1 Manikato Stakes winner Chautauqua give each claim to that status.
The Manikato, billed as the latest of a series of heavyweight bouts between Buffering, Terravista, and Chautauqua, was a nail-biter for punters, at least until the hot favourite Chautauqua and jockey Tommy Berry found clear running with 300 metres to run after enduring 900 metres in traffic.
“He’s out! He’s out!” someone shouted.
And then it began.
The roar of the crowd, at first panicking, as they compared the favourite’s position to the leader, Srikandi, and the fast closing winning post exploded into communal joy as grown men embraced and jumped around hollering as if they’d just won lotto.
Berry rose in his irons to salute his late brother Nathan and slapped Chautauqua’s shoulder for a job well done. Punters slapped backs and punched the air then rushed to the replay screens to marvel again at the sprinter’s irresistible late burst.
On Saturday a similar turn of foot shocke...