In Horse racing occasionally you will see or hear of a horse who led the race from the beginning to end, but more often than not, the front runners, run out of puff before too long and end towards the rear of the Field. This was seen in the 2008 Melbourne Cup where the three hot fancied Irish runners, led very early and set a very fast pace but then faded quickly before finishing by occupying 3 of the last 4 places in a field of 21 starters.
So generally, Jockeys don’t like to find themselves at the front too early, but sometimes it happens, whether they like it or not. The other day, Jockey Blake Shinn unexpectedly found his horse well in the lead and was extremely worried that His horse had peaked to early, but as the horse was traveling easy and as he felt the horse still could find a couple of lengths if he had to, he maintained his race game. Sure, his ride was nearly run down in the finish and only won by the narrowest of margins in the race’s 148-year history, but he still won.
Why? Because he didn’t give up or panic and try and dictate things mid-race but maintained the race he found himself in. Sure it was not what had been planned, hoped or even expected, but he kept going and won because of it, (and a whole heap of luck too.)
Yes, he was worried, but didn’t panic. In the after race interviews he was asked how he felt about winning and he repeatedly said, “relieved”, because He knew that he had found himself at the front too early but there was little he could do then about that then, and as the horse was traveling easy and as he felt the horse still could find a couple of lengths if he had to, he maintained his race game, and history shows Blake Shinn to be the Winning Jockey of the 2008 Melbourne Cup at the age of 21.
Often we will find similar situations to Blake in our own lives and race-plans. Sometimes, whether through bad planning, or just pure circumstance, we will find ourselves in situations we don’t really want to be in and we can be tempted to pull our horse up or try and change tactics mid-race, when in fact all we should be doing is continuing on and making the best we can of a bad situation. Sure, unlike Blake in this situation, we won’t always win the Melbourne Cup on our first try. But we will have more successes than failures, if we make the most of what life serves up in every race, rather than if we only try when conditions suit us.
So, how is your horse running today and are you making the most of what each race throws at you? Or are you still waiting for perfect conditions to even begin your ride?