Day At The Track

A little Lady Luck.... and no harm done

12:00 PM 29 Jun 2020 NZST
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Flying horseshoe
Dan Costello's picture of the flying horseshoe – highlighted
Dan Costello Photo

Good luck and good fortune go hand in hand with harness racing - and horseshoes have been a symbol of good luck for centuries.

And perhaps there was more than a slice of good fortune at Albion Park on Friday night when a horseshoe became a flying missile - and fortunately caused no harm.

Several harness racing drivers could be excused for counting their lucky stars after the shoe dislodged from one of the starters in the first 60 metres of race six in Brisbane.

It's invisible to the naked eye and on replay, but ace racetrack photographer Dan Costello was right on the spot to capture several brilliant shots that show how close the "lucky horseshoe" came to a number of runners.

Experienced reinsman Darren Weeks, who was driving 40/1 chance Newmerella Ladykay, said he saw "something flash past" out the corner of his eye.

"I gathered it was a shoe. There was probably a few of us a bit lucky-you certainly wouldn't have wanted it to hit you that's for sure," he said.

For the race replay click here 

The video of the race replay shows Grant Dixon in black and white checks, on Good As It Gets (no 3) and Shane Graham, wearing blue and white colors, on Vienna Boy (4), both running the gate and seemingly oblivious to the flying shoe as they concentrate on getting forward positions. Weeks (number two: Gold with purple diamond yokes) eased out of the speed battle at the start, but glances quickly across to his right side, and then looks back toward the racetrack as the shoe hits the surface.

Stewards reported the shoe was cast from Notorious, driven by Dannielle McMullen (8), wearing bright red and purple colors. They started on the inside of the back row, directly behind Couldntbetold, Chloe Butler (1).

Happily no harm done.

This photo shows how lucky the drivers were not to be hit in the face just after the horseshoe starts its trajectory

But what's the story behind the "luck" associated with horseshoes?

Over the ages, people have hung them over their doorways to bring good fortune, rubbed them to ward off spirits, and used them on their racing colors in an attempt to bring good karma.

Iron has long been believed to ward off evil spirits, and the shoes were traditionally held in place by seven nails - seven being considered the luckiest number.

Myth has it that the tradition of hanging a horseshoe at the front door dates back to the tenth century, and a blacksmith named Dunstan. It is said that a man Dunstan recognised as the devil asked him to put horseshoes his hooves. The devil was in agony, and Dunstan chained him up, releasing him only after he promised never to enter a place that had a horseshoe hung over the door.

Therefore, any house with a horseshoe was guaranteed to be lucky.

But be careful with how you display your horseshoe-it's only good luck if the ends point upward so that the horseshoe can fill with luck.

Well, it's a nice thought anyway!

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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