On the 25th March with coronavirus isolation orders in place, Eagle Farm was a ghost town. There were no spectators only essential staff trainers, jockeys, strappers and racing officials. There were no owners jumping out of their seats to cheer on their horses, nor was there any roar of the crowd as the field galloped and battled their way up the long Eagle Farm straight.
When Back the Rock thundered down the straight under the guidance of Michael Hellyer to salute the judge at the long odds of $51 there was only the solitary voice of his strapper cheering from the sidelines. It was surreal but it was a great win and made even more special because as Danny explained in his post-race interview Back The Rock is not the soundest horse and being a solid 17.2hh means that it takes some skill to keep him fit whilst not pushing him too hard. We hope that the next time he starts the isolation orders have lifted and his owner will be present to celebrate his victory.
Photo courtesy of Trackside Photography