Kieran Packman files his final update from the Breeder's Cup 2010 at Churchill Downs.
Everyone experiences that split second each morning when you first wake and you're not aware what day it is before your faculties click into gear. I suspect Mike Smith will have wished he could click pause during that briefest of moments as he wakes to a defining morning after the night before.
So fleeting are moments in sport which are then replayed, dissected and debated for years to come. How many times will Smith replay last night's Classic in his mind's eye?
For what it's worth, I'm not an attendee of the 'worst ride of all time' school of analysis. There were worse rides just in that race, particularly aboard the front runners who went off at quarter horse speed.
That said, I do concur with the general consensus that the most talented horse did not win. For me the discussion revolves around the opening three furlongs - was Zenyatta's sluggish first quarter due to Smith's influence or the mare's reluctance? Only the jockey can truly know that. As it was, she pottered painfully past the winning post first time round and I have to admit Istabraq's final bow at Cheltenham leapt into mind.
It was certainly a privilege to witness live a remarkable racing occasion, the intense focus on one horse eclipsing even that of Deep Impact's hold on Arc day a few years ago. Zenyatta certainly delivered as glorious failure as can ever be true of such a paradox.
For Goldikova, immortality in racing circles is assured, and on any other night she would of course have secured every headline. I thought she was as impressive yesterday as she's ever been and her connections thoroughly deserve every piece of glowing praise.
It feels like I lucked out on my first Breeders' Cup, though in the sense of being a grateful spectator rather than any reflection of my, frankly, rather boring punting. A supporting race winner and a few places is hardly the Pick 6 winning impact I'd have liked.
Still, there was one point on Wednesday when I was staring oncoming traffic in the face so the week could have gone a lot worse. Never did try burger soup though sadly.
(read more at betting.betfair.com)