Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Honour Roll 2011

Looking back at 2011 in which human or equine athletes made their marks; as usual, some disappointed, others confirmed on their promises, while a few others surpassed all expectations of them. These are my 3 stars of 2011 in sports.

Frankel - the Galileo colt, regarded on every handicap scale, as the best horse of  2011, went unbeaten in 5 races. His greatness was confirmed by the manner of his win in the 2000 Guineas where he literally hammered the race in a visually-awesome catch-me-if-you-can style. He went on to dispose of the then king-miler Canford Cliffs in convincing fashion. Described as the best ever by none other than his trainer, Henry Cecil, Frankel will remain in training as a 4-year old, to the obvious delight of racing fans. I rate him as the best miler to have ever raced on turf and can't wait for him to show he's the best ever at 10 furlongs this year. His sire being Galileo, I don't foresee him having any problems at the distance. Should he still be dominant, I would love to see him have a crack at either the Arc or the Breeders Cup Classic on dirt; more something of hope than confidence, as I am not so sure that is the planned plot by connections.

Black Caviar - the Australian superstar mare, quite simply the greatest sprinter in the world today, went 8 for 8 in 2011. Lifetime, she's undefeated in a staggering 16 races. I just cannot wait for her to step on European shores, particularly at Ascot, to show her greatness. No sprinter in Australia comes close to her; as a matter of fact, they try to avoid her. Since the horses Down Under have been dominating the Ascot sprint races for years, one can only imagine the effect she will have coming here. Ascot might never have seen the likes of it ever before; she will bring down the roof!

Novak Djokovic - my athlete of the year. Such displays of dominance in an unforgettable season where he notched 3 Grand Slam tournaments with a 70-6 record. The undisputed No1 in the world today as he looks to have locked mastery over Federer and Nadal. I thought Nadal was showing that he was THE one to follow, but the Serb has turned up the notch ever higher and crushed Nadal every time they met. His dominance has been surprising to say the least, but it certainly looks set to continue in 2012 if he stays healthy. Rafael Nadal has a big mental hurdle to overcome if he's to usurp Djokovic this year.

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