Jockey Hugh Bowman aboard mighty mare Winx.
Jockey Hugh Bowman aboard mighty mare Winx. RAFAL KONTRYM

Winx's magic spell draws out race fans at Middlemount

HORSE RACING: The "Winx factor” is being attributed to a massive increase in early bookings for the 30th anniversary Middlemount Race Club annual meeting on Saturday, August 4.

Hang on a minute. What the heck has the mighty race mare Winx got to do with the annual Middlemount races out in the Coalfields?

Sounds like fake news, you are thinking?

Not so.

It seems that the appearance of Winx's managing owner, Brisbane's Peter Tighe, at the Middlemount club's 30th Anniversary Ball in the township a few months back has really ignited interest in the upcoming race day.

The fact that a small country race club could attract such a high-profile racing industry ambassador was a coup in itself, making Middlemount the envy of more upmarket provincial race clubs throughout Queensland.

Tighe charmed the race club guests in attendance and brought with him one of the three Cox Plate trophies that the super mare Winx has won.

"Peter went out of his way to assist us in every way. People were enthralled by his presentation and having the opportunity to hold such a prestigious trophy as a Cox Plate,” MRC spokesman Bill Gray said.

Peter Tighe, managing owner of Winx, celebrating his 3rd Cox Plate.
Peter Tighe, managing owner of Winx, celebrating his 3rd Cox Plate. Contributed

He said subsequent to that successful evening, interest has been rekindled in the race day on August 4.

"Our bookings for the club marquee area, which can hold 500 people has been booked out,” he said. "We actually have a waiting list.

"This has never happened so early out from the race day previously. Peter's (Tighe) presence that night in Middlemount certainly got the locals buzzing about our 30th anniversary race day.”

Just for the record, Winx, the winner of $18,998,424 in stakes - yes that is correct - will resume racing in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) in Sydney on August 18, chasing her 26th consecutive victory.

A proactive race club, Middlemount has increased prizemoney as well as an extended six race program for Saturday fortnight.

Some $55,000 in prizemoney will be distributed and that does not include an array of trophies for the winning connections of each race.

Little wonder trainers from throughout the regions make Middlemount in August a must attend meeting.

There is a full schedule of entertainment including a fun fair for children and teenagers.



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