The Roar
The Roar

Matt Nicholls

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Joined June 2018

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Northerly a good horse, but didn’t go overseas and didn’t win in Sydney.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Provincial is still country in my book, but noted.

Five horses to back this Saturday

Gun horse who was probably ruined by McDonald, who wanted to make him into a Caulfield Cup horse.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Tie the Knot was hopeless in Melbourne and beat up on some weak Sydney horses. He was probably better in the late 90s than he was in the early 00s, hence why I left him out.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

I take your point Scout, but the times don’t lie. Winx simply smashes rivals because she’s just too fast. It wouldn’t matter who you rolled up against here.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

I think All Too Hard would have been a better horse than Pierro if they stayed racing, but that means nothing in the breeding barn. Starspangledbanner, Starcraft and Haradusun were all in my list of about 40 when I started this exercise. It’s been a golden period for Australian racing.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Thanks Geoff. We have been blessed to have lived in a golden era. My personal favourite was a horse called Hornets’ Nest, a real enigma who could do wonderful things on any given day. I have fond memories of the time he knocked off Puissance de Lune at The Bool. I think PDL was about $1.14 that day.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

There’s a lot of people arguing for Northerly to be above Sunline and they usually always point to the Fighting Tiger’s 3-0 record against the Kiwi mare.

However, I’m going to say it again, the two times Northerly beat Sunline in Cox Plates, the mare did all the work and Northerly ran her down. Sunline had already won two Cox Plates and been around the world, winning races abroad, before Northerly faced her. You could argue that Sunline had already peaked.

And in the one time they raced over a mile, Sunline was coming into the race on the back of a win on a heavy 10, which was probably closer to a heavy 12. She wasn’t 100 per cent that day.

It’s an opinion game and I’m not dismissive of Northerly supporters or the horse, but I think Sunline was the better of the two. She had more wins, won overseason, won more prizemoney and did it in an era where mares were simply not regarded as being as good as their male rivals.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Hard to knock Winx on any measure. You can say she hasn’t beaten much, but then you can just go to the clock and the times don’t lie. She’s a freak.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

How could you have Leica Falcon in among this list?

Leica Falcon won five races and no Group 1s. I’m assuming you are taking the mickey, but I just thought I’d clarify in case.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Funny you say that Nathan because I was going to write a summary that would have had the disclaimer along the lines of “All Too Hard didn’t make this list, but it’s my opinion that the half-brother of Black Caviar was talented enough to be a top-five horse and challenge the likes of So You Think.”

I feel like ATH had the bigger future between him and Pierro, who was also classy.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

She was superb at her best, Roarpete.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Hi James, Balmerino was retired well before I was born. This is a list for the best 20 horses to have raced in Australia over the past 20 years.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

It was extremely tough to split the two. Black Caviar’s venture to Ascot holds huge weight with me, but her inability to be tested at anything above 1200m gave Winx the nod. I don’t count the 1400m attempt as it was a canter.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Correct. Zipping was a war horse, but just lacked that tiny bit of class that gets you those elite Group 1s. Still a star.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Thanks Scott. Presentation came up superbly. A strong team effort.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

I like Lloyd, but I wouldn’t have Zipping in the top 30. Efficient a good stayer, but probably a victim of injury. Another major win and he would have been a contender.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

Best sprinter, whereas Winx is best middle distance. And when you consider our middle distance races are worth a lot more, you have to put a higher rating on the middle distance horse. Trust me, it’s no knock to be second to Winx.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

You can only beat who you race and Weekend Hussler blew most rivals away. He was probably ruined by McDonald, who tried to make him into a 2000m+ horse.

Top four horses are mares because they are the top four horses. So You Think would have nudged the top three if he had been allowed to race on.

The 20 greatest Australian racehorses of the past 20 years

I know who Ms Robinson is, but I think you need to do a bit more reading.

Tough questions are lacking in the racing industry

There needs to be the option of life bans. Horse training is a privilege not a guaranteed right. If you don’t want to adhere to the rules, go work somewhere else. In the case of Weir, the use of jiggers are a serious animal welfare breach.

Tough questions are lacking in the racing industry

Kosta definitely has value to the Kings if they are only interested in Ws. He’s no superstar but those are few and far between. If his birth certificate said he was 25 he’d be playing 26-30 minutes a night. Instead he’s dumped for the youth. Which is fine. But it makes no real sense for the Kings, who haven’t played in the post-season for 13 years.

They just need to win. They have enough young talent. Playing Kosta 15 mins a game won’t hurt their direction, it will only help.

Youth is not always the NBA's best policy

Bias is one thing, but have tracks fall apart is another.

In regards to Moonee Valley a few weeks ago, at least it was put on the record that the track wasn’t going to be 100 per cent due to the fact it was still needing time from its winter maintenance schedule. As per usual, it raced perfectly on the weekend when the rail was in the true position.

The problem with Sydney tracks is that they don’t have an even coverage of grass and appear to be sticky, even when it doesn’t rain. It was a warmish winter so I can’t see what the excuse is except they are perhaps in need of a decent break.

Sydney's tracks are simply not up to Group 1 standard

I agree. I only said “worst” because it was the first time out of the placings. Should run a big race tomorrow at better than each-way odds.

Spring is in the air – a look at Saturday's biggest races

Grunt is a good horse, but even Mick Price thinks he’s better suited at Flemington. He’s got class on his side and might be able to power over the top.

Tom Melbourne is a nice horse but couldn’t have him tomorrow.

Keen on Oohood. Looks a nice price.

Spring is in the air – a look at Saturday's biggest races