What about Winx?
I’m fortunate to be included in a select camarilla of mature bucolic males who meet for coffee very Wednesday morning at a specific time (10:00am) and location. Let’s call ourselves the Midweek Brotherhood. Unbridled imagination could conjure up some more colourful epithets and elaborate sobriquets? Men-of-the-land are well represented with a smattering of urban professionals. Views tend to favour News Limited and Fox News outlets rather than ABC and Rural Press/Fairfax Media. The latter are nonetheless represented in the cadre. Luminary establishment institutions such as the RAS of NSW, Cattle Council of Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Association are signified. The Hunter Valley and New England areas predominate. One of our cabal is an ex-Wallaby with a strong rural pedigree. Pedigrees can be revealing. Early entrepreneurs who were awarded King William IV Travelling Fellowships via a mandatory legal interview process at the Old Bailey feature in at least one extended lineage. A member of the Rum Corps Rebellion who apprehended Governor William Bligh has passed down a smidgeon of his genotype. Heritage views are to the fore with a smattering of small ‘l’ liberalism from the minority urban professional sector. At least three of our corps are writers and even authors. Rick Wright boasts a pedigree littered with erudite creators; he is a poet to boot. He produced the following very eloquent and topical tribute to super mare ‘Winx’ at a recent gathering. He has the advantage of knowing the Bowman family of ‘Dunedoo’ very well. It has a personal piquancy. I also attach Banjo Paterson’s ‘Do They Know’ (1902) for comparison. I wouldn’t want my views on anthology either!
WHAT ABOUT WINX? (2017)
Herewith the link to the U-Tube reading of the poem:
By Rick Wright
A beautiful tail like a brides’ wedding veil, she stands so alert and alive,
With a beautiful sheen on her coat glossy clean on racing she just seems to thrive.
With his heart on his sleeve like you wouldn’t believe in colours of white on the blue
The jockey selection just rides to perfection he comes from the bush “Dunedoo”
He’s ridden a lot with quality stock taught well from a very young age,
As light as a feather in all sorts of weather he’s top of his field at this stage.
He knows it’s his duty to nurse such a beauty, protect her from start to the end
Hugh’s quite laid back and she’s not just some hack, just watch as she comes round the bend
She puts on a spurt as she kicks up the turf and the colourful crowd starts to scream
They all cheer as one because she has won it’s not just some wonderful dream.
She likes to attack from way out the back a pleasure to watch such a horse,
If it’s dry or wet just make sure you bet; she’ll win on any racecourse,
She cuts through the field but if they don’t yield she’ll simply go wide and go round
She runs her own race at a hell of a pace and covers extraordinary ground.
It’s champagne for “Winx” that everyone drinks as she goes for the line at a dash,
The bookies may jeer as the beer drinkers cheer, it’s over as quick as a flash,
And here’s to the owners and trainers; enjoy her and all her success,
Forever forgiving she makes life worth living; she really is one of the best
Rick added the following after win 20 in succession:
WINX AT YOU
It’s all in the breeding and feeding; the owners have such things in hand,
She answers the crowd with her racing but there’s so much we don’t understand,
In saying it is horses for courses this filly is perfectly bred.
The owners respond with a wonderful bond and I’m sure she is very well fed.
Is it the number of paces, or is it the length of her stride?
And will we see more of her races and how does she win when so wide?
She’s captured the heart of the Nation by winning and so many times.
She’s even the subject of poems; she herself has such rhythm and rhyme
Do they think winning twenty is plenty and when will she be put out to stud?
I hope we admire whoever the sire and one day there’ll be tears and of blood.
You don’t have to go to the races; stay home and just sit on the couch
This “Winx” is pure gold with a heart big and bold; in racing she’s far from a slouch.
She’s now even got her own franchise in colours of white and the blue,
Well ridden by Bowman the jockey such a thrill for both me and for you.
With so many chances she gives all the answers
When she comes home and flies’ past the post
Line up the drinks and have one on “Winx”
Sixty seconds has gone at the most. Rick Wright
Do They Know? (1902)
By Banjo Paterson
Do they know? At the turn to the straight
Where the favourites fail,
And every last atom of weight
Is telling its tale;
As some grim old stayer hard-pressed
Runs true to his breed,
And with head in front of the rest
Fights on in the lead;
When the jockeys are out with the whips,
With a furlong to go,
And the backers grow white in the lips —
Do you think they don’t know?
Do they know? As they come back to weigh
In a whirlwind of cheers,
Though the spurs have left marks of the fray,
Though the sweat on the ears
Gathers cold, and they sob with distress
As they roll up the track,
They know just as well their success
As the man on their back.
As they walk through a dense human lane
That sways to and fro,
And cheers them again and again,
Do you think they don’t know?
I wish gratefully acknowledge Ray Thomas and ‘The Daily Telegraph’ for the action depiction of ‘Winx’ in; ‘The Championships’ (ATC).