Culture Buff

Detail from the cover of WINX

22 June 2019

9:00 AM

22 June 2019

9:00 AM

It is possibly lying on a Royal bedside table. Certainly we know that a week or so ago, a copy in a red-checked bag was taken into Buckingham Palace.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison presented the Queen with a copy of Winx: The Authorised Biography by Andrew Rule. It is hard to imagine a gift more closely aligned with Her Majesty’s horse racing interests and expert knowledge. One can imagine that it was well received.

The brilliant career of Winx is well known: four Cox Plates, 29 consecutive wins of which 22 were Grade One races; perhaps she is ‘The world’s greatest racehorse’. Certainly a book about her racing success will be enjoyed by her many fans.

Winx may well have found her ideal biographer in Andrew Rule, an admired writer, especially of true crime, but also of almost any story needing a good teller. With his colleague John Silvester, he made ‘Chopper’ Read a sort of folk hero which in turn helped launch the movie career of Eric Bana.

Horses have always been in Andrew Rule’s life. Raised in East Gippsland, he regrettably came to the conclusion that he was too small to be a mounted policeman and too big to be a professional jockey.

Becoming a writer meant that he was the biographer in waiting for a phenomenon such as Winx. He constructs the story from interviews with her owners, her breeder, her trainer and her rider. These are people to whom the Queen would, no doubt, be able to easily relate.

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