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Sunday Theatre: Kiwi

Kiwi’s remarkable, hair-raising come-from-behind win in the 1983 Melbourne Cup is the stuff of Legend.

In 1983 a farm hack named Kiwi became a racing legend when he ran from last to first over the final 300 metres at Flemington to win The Melbourne Cup. Kiwi tells this remarkable true story of not only a remarkable horse, but of the family who raced him.

Snowy Lupton, a hobby trainer runs a struggling cattle farm with his wife Anne near the little town of Waverley on the North Island of New Zealand. In 1978 times are hard and, as more and more farmers switch from cattle to dairy and the local meatworks seems doomed to fail, divisions in the previously tight-knit rural community begin to widen. 

Kiwi, bought for just a thousand bucks to replace another much-loved hobby-racer/work horse, is soon doing well in small country meets - much to Snow Lupton’s surprise. He’s also surprised about Anne’s suggestion of a regular hoop for the horse. Dianne Moseley can ride, for sure, but she’s mainly doing track work because, in the late 70’s, female jockeys are considered an oddity - good only for ’Powderpuff Derbys’ and novelty races. It’s at Anne’s insistence that Dianne becomes Kiwi’s regular rider and, paving the way for women in the game with some good wins, joins the Lupton racing ‘family’.

In their endeavour, The Lupton’s hope to lift the spirits of their community and reunite the divided town. Kiwi’s famous win, flying down that back straight, last to first, after overcoming the odds will remain a legend over thirty years later.

Funded by NZ On Air.

Catch this inspiring drama Wednesday 6th February, 8.30pm on TVNZ 1.

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