Wendy in Wonderland set for Gympie
TURF legend Bart Cummings called the bay gelding a quiet achiever and dubbed his optimistic champion owner “Wendy in Wonderland”.
Couple together a magical, true blue Melbourne Cup yarn with a vivacious Aussie schoolteacher, who happens to be a born storyteller, and you have a match made in heaven.
At the Action Auto Group 2010 Gympie Cup next Saturday, author and owner of 1999 Melbourne Cup winner Rogan Josh, Wendy Green will be the guest speaker at the annual members’ luncheon, and with her will be the 1999 Melbourne Cup and the book she launched this month that tells her amazing story.
Now a teacher at St Patrick’s College, Green will talk to guests about winning the last Melbourne Cup of the 20th Century, her role as one of the 150th Melbourne Cup Anniversary ambassadors, and give insights to how the race that stops a nation became part of Australian folklore.
Ever since Archer won the first cup, the race has held a fascination for everyday punters.
Green’s cup story is enthralling. The tale of a bargain basement racehorse with unfashionable bloodlines who managed to snatch victory in one of the world’s great horse races is quintessentially Australian.
“I’m a little bit different from other Melbourne Cup winners,” Green said.
“I’m not part of the wealthy or elite racing set.
“My story starts with a very simple, rural racing family.”
It was Green’s father Tom Forrest who told her anyone could win the Melbourne Cup.
“When I did get a fairly good horse, there was no obstacle for me taking that horse further,” she said.
Green worked three jobs so she could get the Old Spice gelding, Rogan Josh, trained by Bart Cummings.
In his book My Life, Cummings writes Rogan Josh was no Saintly or a Galilee, but the stayer “had more in him than meets the eye”.
It’s the extraordinary emerging from the ordinary, Green said, and the twists and turns of fate that so intrigue people. It’s the battler that becomes the champion, the notion that anyone with enough passion and determination can find themselves standing in the winners circle at a Melbourne Cup.
“People identify with the fact that I bring the cup back to its origin,” Green said. “This significant icon speaks to us as a nation and the egalitarian nature of our nation.”
Gympie Turf Club president Spencer Slatter said the club was thrilled to have Green attend the race day.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for local people to meet Wendy and see the cup and enjoy the great story she has to tell,” he said.
The Gympie Cup is considered the major race meeting of the year, with $56,100 in prize money and trophies on offer for the six race program.