why we watch Winx live

Last night, I stayed up to watch Winx race in the Chelmsford Stakes. She won her nineteenth straight. This morning, I’m drinking a little more coffee than usual.

The race went off at just before 1am my time. A few hours before, I was telling myself I’d go to bed and catch her race in the morning. As usual, that never happened. I stayed awake, tweeting before the race that my thoughts of going to sleep were once again empty. My laptop perched on my nightstand: Australian racing in one window, my Twitter timeline in the other.

The gates opened, and we caught our breath when Winx got out smoothly, unlike her blown start in the Warwick Stakes. We saw shades of Shining Copper, of Isabella Sings, of Presious Passion when Red Excitement opened up a yawning gap between himself and the rest of the field. We froze as the field turned for home, Red Excitement forgetting to stop, Winx with a chasm to cross. We caught our breath once more when Winx reminded us once again that no horse in the world knows where the wire is like she does. We marveled once we collected ourselves enough to realise she found the line without Hugh Bowman’s stick.

We.

I woke up this morning to some advice on Twitter: “Just DVR it.”

I could have watched the replay on my laptop, perched on my nightstand, once I wiped the sleep from my eyes. I would have appreciated Winx’s better break, Red Excitement’s strategy, Hugh Bowman’s hand ride, Winx’s will to win. I would have mused on the prowess, consistency, and racing luck it takes for a mare to win nineteen races in a row.

But, I wouldn’t have had racing Twitter in my other window, all around me, experiencing the race in real time. I love Winx partly because of her racing record. I also love that people all over the world get excited about her, that getting together to watch her race is an event.

I could watch the replay, but there’s no DVR for collective effervescence. I’d miss the we.

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