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You win some... you lose some....

Wow, great excitement! A weak field in a Group Three race at the prestigious Goodwood Stakes Day has grabbed attention, and a last minute nomination means our Little Miss Hussy is off to gallop with thoroughbred big guns...The only problem is that it's in Adelaide, South Australia, a short 750+ kilometres away.

She joins two other stable mates for the overnight drive in the huge Cranbourne Mornington float to Adelaide - travelling in style courtesy of a fellow runner in the $500,000 Goodwood Cup! Arriving Thursday gives everyone just two days to adjust to the new surroundings before the National Stakes race...It's a precious cargo as all three arrive as favourites in their respective races...

Our flight to Adelaide is full of owners and support staff for the Richmond Footy Team and there is, forgive the pun, an air of competitive excitement as we take off for the one hour trip. We are learning never to have things fixed in the diary that can't be moved... We thought we were going to Scone in NSW next week!

Morphettville Race Club is only a 15 minute ride from the airport and we tumble out of taxi's to a perfect sunny 28 degree autumn day. You can't say we're not a keen bunch, and we're all here bright and early for first race of the day.

To answer my earlier question "Do I need a hat for Morphettville?" the answer, after a quick look-see of the other patrons, is "No"! This might be one the biggest events in the South Australian racing calendar, but hats, as I am about to find out, are sooooo out... unless you are in your eighties or having a really bad hair day!

Images taken from

For those wishing to have a bit of hat interest, fashions have moved towards a variety of fascinators or the only slightly more substantial hatinators...or at a stretch the minimalist look of a comb with some jewels and feathers. The cover-your-head, protect yourself from the sun, type of hats that I have at home are so yesteryear it appears.... But hey never mind, that appears to be a good excuse to go shopping at some point...

We gather at our girl's stall, to find her reasonably relaxed and Bookies favourite. She pricks her ears as we crowd in for a last minute inspection and wins hands down for having the biggest cheer squad around...

We follow her into the mounting yard for the pre - race briefing by our jockey who knows her form having ridden her to her first win. This is however an altogether bigger event... I feel like offering our jockey a sandwich before his ride - he looks like he has been on a starvation diet for the main race later in the day. Too late! Before we know it, he's jumped on board and they've cantered off to the starting stalls.

There is a delay and the Starter jumps down from his stand to assess a last minute straggler. Hurry up! Our girl is waiting! Little Miss Hussy has drawn barrier two which is good news. She jumps out to a fine start but is boxed in and struggles to get going, ending up in third place. We are all stunned...

Our Strapper who has sat amongst us storms off to collect her charge and we head down to hear what the Jockey has to say about the race...

It is an altogether quieter group of owners who watch and re watch the race in the Owners and Trainers bar. A little yellow ticket we were given on entry gets us a glass of champagne... but somehow it doesn't taste quite as nice as after a win!

Our horse came third in a Group Three race, and has taken her winnings to over $100,000 in three races. It is interesting how expectations have been quickly raised because this is amazing, but there is a deep sense of disappointment and a feeling she today she was not able to prove how good she was.

However there is a saying that 'You learn more from a loss than a win', and today's loss has certainly been a bonding experience for those owners present. One of whom has taken his first ever flight on an air plane to be here! Looking on the bright side the bookies odds will hopefully be more in our favour for the next outing!

We head over to see her back in the stalls, she is no longer relaxed. In fact you could say our Miss Hussy looks mightily cheesed off with coming third, she kicks out at the wall behind and the strapper decides to take her for a calming shower. Back she comes still on her toes and looking like she could do it all again.

She is taken walkabouts and is offered the chance to enjoy a few mouthfuls of well earned grass, but she is not impressed. Did no-one bring an apple or a carrot for the lass? So perhaps a quick trip to the ladies room is needed?

Yes would you believe it, there is a Ladies room! The strapper having whistled for her to pee with no joy, takes Little Miss Hussy off to a private room covered in straw - it works. Phew what a relief!

As she returns the Farrier is called over, her stablemate has returned coming second in his race, having lost a shoe on the way to the start. If I was into astrology, I would really believe that we haven't got our stars or planets aligned this week!

Oh well, there is always another day. We certainly know that there is more to horse racing than winning. We have a lovely camaraderie developing amongst our Owner group. We have enjoyed the opportunity to meet like-minded people with whom we share the horse ownership experience.

Our Little Miss Hussy is now off for a few weeks break and to enjoy some winter sun on her back. Happy Hols!

Little Wandering Wren
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