The roller coaster of racing. The emotional fall out of winning or losing. The ups and downs and the turmoil.
There is a plethora of other clichés that you can mention, but the overriding feeling for trainer Simon Miller was frustration.
His glamour mare Amelia’s Jewel, who had taken all before her in Perth and was well on her way to achieving the same in Melbourne, produced the worst run of her career at the worst possible time. It was totally out of character and a head scratcher for everyone concerned: punters, supporters and not least, Miller.
After the hype, after the build-up and after wins in the Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington and Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley, the latter in track record time, the bubble burst for Amelia’s Jewel in the Group 1 Toorak.
With pile-on pressure rising, could Miller pull a rabbit out of the hat. Did he have an ace up his sleeve to play. Was Amelia’s Jewel’s campaign over before she reached her pinnacle?
Miller can accept a loss, but his gun mare didn’t put in, was beaten a long way from home and failed to exhibit anything of the like that has made her such a popular racing commodity, both in the east and the west.
Miller, alongside ebullient owner-breeder, Peter Walsh, felt the full brunt of the loss. There was nowhere to hide. Usually both men are delivering victory speeches after her wins, a habit they’ve formed in nine races before.
Miller, who on most occasions elicits positivity and loves hamming it up to racing’s media throng, admitted he allowed himself a few days to wallow in self-pity, before, just like his horse , he was recharged and energised to go around again.
“I was in a fetal position to the Thursday after the Toorak,” Miller said on Tabradio.
“Her pre-race mannerisms had me a bit worried and she obviously raced well below par.
“She didn’t eat up that night and it took her to the Thursday to get back on top of her game.
“That was disappointing and she obviously had picked up a low grade bug.”
With the Cox Plate emphatically ruled out after the Toorak disappointment, Miller and his camp set their sights on the $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) in Sydney.
It’s a race they were probably heading to anyhow, but with the Golden Eagle a week after last Saturday’s Cox Plate, an extra seven days to prepare was critical.
Miller and Walsh added a Winterbottom Stakes and Gold Rush nomination back home in Perth as insurance, but Miller didn’t have to play that hand.
Amelia’s Jewel had turned the corner and her opportunity for redemption had turned full circle.
“Once I ruled out the Cox Plate it was three weeks to the Eagle,” Miller said.
“I had a week to potter around and we did that.
“It was the Friday leading into the Saturday that she was breathing fire.
“I knew from that point and all the feedback I was receiving that she was back.
“From there we plotted a path to Sydney and increased her work.”
With tangible evidence to drawn on, Miller is confident Amelia’s Jewel is back on top of her game.
Such has been her work in the past 10 days, he’s had a rethink on whether to go with a gear change in the Golden Eagle.
“I’m not even going to put the blinkers on,” Miller said.
“If I didn’t find a reason for that poor performance and I was looking for a spike, I’d put the shades on, but she’s that good and if she had won I wouldn’t have entertained the thought.
“I had a chat to Frosty (Damian Lane) and his concern is that she’ll rev too high in a high pressure race.
“Her greatest attribute is she can relax in running.
“Her work is right up to the mark and she was super strong this morning (Tuesday).
“She’s exactly where we want her and when she’s like this she produces.
“I’m pretty confident she’ll run well.”