This isn’t exactly in the realm of financial advice, but I watched the TV news at the weekend to see the final run, and win, by the famous racehorse Winx.
I am not a great punter or follower of the gee gees but now that Winx has retired I feel something should be done to recognise her and her remarkable achievements.
I turning to you to see if you might have any ideas about what could be done to ensure her memory is kept alive for future generations.
Dear Winx Fan
I must say I am one step ahead of you on this one, just as Winx was a step ahead of every other horse she went up against in her brilliant career.
Too right this nation of ours should do something to recognise and remember Winx for her record string of 33 consecutive race wins.
You may not pick me for someone involved in the Sport of Kings, but the old Morrie has had an interest in the racing industry for yonks.
It all started years ago when I was having lunch with a couple of mates at the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane. It’s always been a well-known watering hole for those involved in racing.
A bloke none of us knew sidled up to us and started chatting about this and that. To cut a long story short, by the end of lunch — around nine o’clock that night — when the others had left I had a deal with this bloke (whose name I can’t mention for legal and health reasons) that saw me become a 50% shareholder in a horse of his.
It was gelding by the name of Fine Cotton and I must admit the beast soon impressed me as being what I like to call a “10”, because that’s the position he usually finished in any field.
Naturally, as a cautious business person and with Fine Cotton failing to place in race after race, I started to lower my exposure by selling off my shareholding. In fact I sold it off several times over so that within a few months my 50% grew to represent 715% of the beast.
I soon found out that my fellow half-owner had been doing the same. I had always known he was a man I could do business with in the special way I tend to do business.
So between us we had sold at best guess 1900% of the horse, which really wasn’t a problem because of Fine Cotton’s habit of crossing the finishing line pretty much just before the next race started.
His record meant he was only ever entered in restricted races. But then suddenly out of the blue he won a couple of novice handicaps.
Good news, you might think. But you’d be wrong. You see my co-owner and I had dozens of Fine Cotton’s owners on the blower asking us where their share of the prize money was.
Because of the odds against him, the payouts we faced were substantial. The manure was really starting to hit the fan. So we struck on a plan to give Fine Cotton a bit of a lay day after entering him in a race at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, and we engaged another horse to run in his place.
Now I have never liked red tape and have always objected when shiny arse bureaucrats insist on playing by “the rules”. They just get in the way of innovation and imagination, two of the essential ingredients in a booming business.
The idea of substituting a player on a footy field is well accepted. Body doubles in the movies are used every day of the week. So why not on a race track?
Now the horse we chose to use, Bold Personality, was a bay with no markings, whereas Fine Cotton was brown with white patches on his hind legs.
So I popped down to the local hardware store and bought a tin of Dulux acrylic then dropped into the chemist for a bottle of Clairol hair dye and together with my co-owner and our local trainer we set to work and soon stood back and couldn’t tell the difference between the two horses.
The trouble was that before, during, and after the race — which incidentally Fine Cotton/Bold Personality won by a short –half-head — others could tell the difference. I have always blamed myself for that because I used a roller instead of a brush on his hind legs.
But regardless, the substitution was exposed and the rest, as they say, is history. Luckily because of my decision to sell my interest in the horse, at least on paper, there was never any detectable link between me and Fine Cotton. The same went for my co-owner and we both escaped the stewards and the coppers who descended on the track much faster than Fine Cotton ever ran.
I give you this bit of background just to show how much I love the racing game and all who are involved in it.
So, yes, I think we must commemorate Winx and because of her unique record on the track we need to do that in a way that hasn’t been done previously. The recognition she deserves needs to have a global impact.
So I have already written to Pope Francis at the Vatican to seek his help and support.
I think Winx has done such a marvellous job in bringing joy to so many in the world that she should be made a saint. I know such an honour is usually reserved for humans, but I reckon the Pope could make an exception in this very deserving case.
I have set up a special fund to help me mount the worldwide campaign to secure Winx her rightful honour. It’s going to cost a motza, what with all the promotional activities that need to happen, plus the personal representations I’ll need to make in Rome.
So if you want to help, just send a donation — one or two Ks at the bare minimum — to my new fund and I’ll get things moving at my end.
Send a cheque made out to Canonise Australia’s Super Horse.
Bugger it, to save your time and mine, just make it out to CASH.
I’ll be in touch.
Morrie Bezzle is chairman of Black Caviar Black Caviar Surf n Turf Restaurant Pty Ltd, chief executive of Makybe Diva Gourmet Steaks (Paris), and general manager of Phar Lap Far East Lap Dog Dog Food (Hong Kong) Pty Ltd.