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Flemington Twilight Meeting

January 18th, 2020

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Club Stand counting my blessings. After all I’ve just seen Sparksy this week and had my insertable cardiac monitor checked. Those who have read the books will be aware of my cardiac adventures and will remember that the electrocardiophysiologist Dr Paul Sparks fixed me up. Well, I’ve had a couple of recent events where I have lost consciousness and banged myself up, so Sparksy stuck this fancy device into my chest which monitors my heart rate and talks to my mobile phone. If there are any problems it then sends a message to him. It’s not a pacemaker or defibrillator so it won’t save me, but a diagnostic tool. So if I do have a heart attack Sparksy will know what killed me. Anyway I’ve had a clear run for over four months, no atrial fibrillation or left bundle branch block, and he doesn’t want to see me for another 12 months!

The lobby

So here I am counting in one of those comfortable chairs when a silver-tailed gentleman comes in and enquires as to whether this is the retirement home for geriatric punters. He’s got it in one! You could go to sleep here. But the lobby is not meant to be too comfortable, just a place to check in and hopefully not check out. The club doesn’t want the seniors to linger too long or set up camp here. There’s only one large screen showing the races in the four corners, no screens showing tote or bookie odds, and no replay screen, but heaps of racing memorabilia, mainly paintings and silverware. If you want racing information you have to find the hidden escalator or struggle upstairs to the Members’ Bar which has replaced the much-missed Island Bar. But I’m now resigned to it all as part of my circuit from the stalls, to the mounting yard, to the betting ring to check the tote screens and bookies odds and then the lobby to watch the race or place a bet on my phone. The times they are a’changing.

And may I say that twilight racing doesn’t really suit me with the first at three o’clock and the last at eight o’clock at night. Small fields and no standouts so I’m home just after six.

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