The excitement as Mufhasa's lead became insurmountable and we realised that a 10th Group I win was his would be enough in itself to make for a wonderful day of racing.
It was surely the greatest sporting moment anywhere in the country on Saturday.
The emergence of a new star in Pure Elegance in the Group III $70,000 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes wasn't bad for a supporting act. But the highlights didn't end there.
The action started to really heat up from the fourth race of the day, the AON Insurance Brokers Premier. It was a 1200m event that drew as good a sprint field as you could hope to see in New Zealand. It was only a $40,000 handicap, but would have been a worthy field for a high-quality stakes race.
So many of the stars performed to expectations, combining to deliver a breathtaking last 400m.
Carrying a crushing 60kg on his back, Fritzy Boy surged to the lead early in the run home and delivered a fabulous performance. Racing fans throughout the country, even those who'd put their bets on others in the race, got behind old Fritzy and willed him to do the near-impossible under the massive weight. Victory seemed to be his until the last handful of strides, when Ginner Hart powered down the outside of the track and swept to the lead for a strong win. Kekova flew late to grab second just ahead of a brave Fritzy Boy.
Big things have been expected of Carrick this season after his great 3-year-old campaign, which culminated in an excellent third in Silent Achiever's New Zealand Derby.
But those hopes were derailed slightly with a disappointing fresh-up run at Ellerslie two weeks ago. On Saturday, though, Carrick bounced back with a narrow but determined victory in the PGG Wrightson Premier. A strong group of tough stayers came together early in the home straight and fought a fierce battle to the line, and it was Carrick who prevailed by a short head.
It sounds as though we won't see a lot of Finn Moss before he's sold offshore, but what we've seen has been terrific. The unbeaten 4-year-old, who still seems to have no idea what he's doing, showed an impressive turn of foot to cruise to an effortless one-length win in the Little Avondale Per Incanto Premier. It was a great moment for young trainer Matthew Ivil, who rated it one of the highlights of his career so far.
The spring carnival also received a big boost from what happened at Caulfield in Melbourne later on Saturday afternoon.
Makfi Challenge Stakes winner Ocean Park was superb in the Group I Underwood Stakes, sprinting brilliantly once in the clear to defeat many of the best horses Australia has to offer.
He's now rated one of the very best chances in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley next month. There was also plenty to like about the run of Quintessential, who we saw run second in the Lowland Stakes at Hastings in March en route to Queensland Oaks glory, to finish a close fifth in the Group I George Main Stakes at Randwick.
- AAP reported only Sydney colt Pierro is ahead of him in early markets for the weight-for-age race - and that situation might only be temporary with the Golden Slipper winner due to face his toughest test so far when he steps out in the Caulfield Guineas in three weeks.
Trainer Gary Hennessy labelled the Underwood win as one of Ocean Park's best, but he's taking a cautious approach.
"I think we're headed in the right direction," Hennessy said.
"But we've still got a way to go."
Ocean Park's victory followed that of fellow New Zealander Lion Tamer a year ago.
But Lion Tamer disappointed at his next start in Melbourne then was fatally injured in the Cox Plate.
Perhaps with that in mind, Hennessy preferred the low-key approach, suggesting the horse was likely to run in the Caulfield Stakes on the same day that Pierro runs in the Guineas.