It’s hot and windy with a flying hat warning. We all slink into the racecourse past a line of protesters, who make us feel guilty about having to whip the horses. There are some concessions to the heat – members don’t need to wear ties, there are sprinklers on top of the horse stalls, and the horses are allowed to arrive on course later. But a major irritation is that they barely do half a lap of the mounting yard with the jockey up before being whipped out onto the track. This makes it much harder for horsewatchers, with less time to see them out the back and in the yard. The Sydney horse Upbeat, who won the third, was the only mildly heat-stressed horse that I noticed. The vet was called and the horse was quickly cooled down.
But all the good horses are back, including some of my old favourites – Sepoy, Mourayan and Niwot. Sepoy has filled out and has a lovely glossy coat, but in retrospect was probably a bit burly. Mourayan was a touch excited in his stall, and Niwot, my Cup bet, ran on fairly. The standout of the day was Samaready who paraded around the mounting yard, as someone said, “like an eight-year-old”, but was too short at $1.40 the place. I didn’t have a bet all day, mainly because I was left with too many good horses in each race. But I was saving myself for the last, the mares. Hi Belle, was a standout, so I backed it and then went back and backed it again. She won like a good thing. Home, in good spirits, but in need of copious rehydration and refreshment.