IT’S become the hilarious bonus vision after all of Winx’s latest wins — watching Bruce McAvaney squirm in his seat as he witnesses his greatest love charge to victory.
The ever-excitable commentary veteran struggles to contain himself each time the champion mare races and Channel 7 has started sharing the emotion by focusing a camera on the 65-year-old.
Saturday’s come-from-behind effort in the Turnbull Stakes — Winx’s 28th straight win — was arguably the closest she’s come to losing during the streak. And it was almost too much for Bruce to take.
“This is very strange,” he said to his offsiders, after Winx made a slow start. “In a normal race you’d say she’s in trouble, wouldn’t you.”
His expressions became comical as Winx remained a significant distance from the frontrunners, his head shook, his cheeks puffed and his fingers wiggled.
“Ridiculous,” he lamented, before almost writing Winx off. But after jockey Hugh Bowman found a lane through the traffic, Bruce began.
“Come on, here she comes, come on, come on … she’s got him, she’s got him, she’s got him,” Bruce says.
“How’s your blood pressure after that,” the race caller asked.
Perhaps that’s Seven’s next move — hooking Bruce up to a heart monitor as well.
Bowman admitted afterwards the race hadn’t followed the normal script.
“Isn’t she just amazing,” he said. “I usually ride her so arrogantly and I just let her move into the race when it pleases me but I didn’t have that option today.
“I was inside Grunt, who I had a healthy respect for. I didn’t really want to be there but I didn’t have much choice. But it was her champion qualities that came out in the end.”
Bowman said the race was a good preparation for Winx’s attempt at winning a fourth consecutive Cox Plate on October 27.
“That’ll do her good, she’s had to dig really deep over the last 600m today and it’ll bring her on nicely for the fourth Cox Plate hopefully in three weeks time,” Bowman said.
Let’s hope Bruce survives.