Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hingis at the races in Australia

Tennis star on new turf

By Tony Meany
January 01, 2007 11:00pm

MARTINA Hingis might be one of the world's top female tennis players – but at the Gold Coast races yesterday she was just another happy punter.

Hingis posed for photos on a brief visit and along the way had a chat with leading jockey Glen Colless.
"She asked me how the horse would go and I told her that I thought it would run very well," Colless said.

Hingis hurried away to the committee room for a drink and also had a bet on Colless's mount, Grand Laddie.

Grand Laddie duly saluted at $4 in the Class 1 (1800m), and Hingis was as excited as any of the owners.

"She said she was dirty that she only had $100 on him," Colless said. "She said she wished she had had more."

As Hingis collected her $400 she looked as happy as if she had won a major championship.

She was casually dressed and did not stand out in the small crowd.

She was accompanied by her coach Radim Valigura, who did not upstage her in the fashion stakes. He entered the enclosure in thongs, and stood beside her as she got the good oil from Colless.

Unfortunately, Valigura didn't open his wallet – and Hingis playfully flashed her winning ticket at him several times in triumph.

"It's my first time at the races and the first time I've ever had a bet," she said. Yet she's a competent horsewoman, who has regularly competed with her horse Lytizia in regional showjumping events in her time away from the tennis circuit.


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