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Caulfield Blue Diamond

February 22nd, 2020

I didn’t fancy the three favourites much. Out the back both Hanseatic and Letzbeglam were gaping and being restrained by a strapper needing two hands. In the yard Hanseatic was all over the shop, reefing and tearing and out early onto the track. And Rulership was rotating his tail in a most impressive manner with his head up and ears back and clearly didn’t want to be there. And I didn’t like Tagaloa who had the stallion chain on in the parade ring. I dislike this gear, especially in young horses. Rathlin looked nice and relaxed at $4.80 so I put my money where my mouth is and backed it. The horse was not favoured by the track bias and got too far back but ran on reasonably well for seventh.

I skipped the Oakleigh plate. It’s just too hard for me with 18 horses in a helter-skelter dash over 1000 metres. The winner Pippie did look good chewing and salivating, but so did a handful of others.

I got some back on the nice-looking head down favourite Kings Will Dream in the last. I backed it with 30 seconds to go at $1.70 but of course it was crunched into $1.50. Not a bad run for second. And as the horses left for the yard Mirage Dancer was suddenly returned to his stall with a lot of fuss. I rushed over expecting to see a bucket of water being flung at this undercarriage. But no, he was being replated! It obviously distracted him as he ran on well for third!

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Flemington Black Caviar: The Great Horse Race Day

February 15th, 2020

The weather is bleak with a miserable drizzle blanketing the track. The misty rain doesn’t even register on the Melbourne radar but it registers on my race book. What a shame! Too wet to bet!

The weather clears enough for me to venture outside from the comfort of my lobby chair and check out the three-year-old colts and geldings. I normally don’t bet on these races as the testosterone interferes with my judgement, but gosh, look at that gelding Alligator Blood. I recall my own advice from the second book and decide to crawl across broken glass to back it. The place price of $1.30 is a bit short and even the win at $1.80 is skimpy. So I go for the win on Betfair at $2.00. I never go the back on Betfair as my brain can get confused. Keep it simple – back on the Tote, lay on the Fair. But rules are meant to be broken, aren’t they? The poker player jumps to the lead but the Kiwi champion goes with him. They thunder head to head down the straight and in a stirring finish Alligator Blood prevails over Catalyst by a nose. What a race! I’ve won! But I’ve broken three or is it four rules: betting on a wet track (Soft 5), backing on Betfair, betting to win, and betting on three-year-old males!

Black Caviar paraded before the Lightning Stakes. The crowd were lined up four deep to get a glimpse of the great mare looking in great condition. Has she really had five foals? That backside looks much the same! I like Redzel and Loving Gaby in the race but keep my powder dry.

In the Vanity for three-year-old fillies Pretty Brazen is pretty relaxed but at $1.50 for the place is too short for me. But generous Tabcorp offered me a 1.2 times multiplier taking it to $1.80. Well within my rules! The horse didn’t disappoint with an even run for second. The day turned out to be not so bleak after all.

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Caulfield CF Orr Stakes Day

February 8th, 2020

The first Group 1 of the season and the punters have emerged from the woodwork. There is a gale force south-easterly blowing and playing havoc with the temperament of horses and watchers alike. The sky is hazy and the wind carries the whiff of smoke from the East Gippsland fire grounds. The wind is so strong that I need one hand to hold onto the brim of my hat in addition to its usual anchor rope. That leaves one hand to hold the race book and no hands to hold the biro!

The good horses are starting to appear now. In the Orr I liked Scales Of Justice who was asleep in his stall. The blue army’s Avilius had no faults and the three-year-old Alabama Express looked striking. Hey Doc looked like a big strong horse, but eventually I crossed him out for being too big and strong and requiring the strapper to use two hands. Mirage Dancer was the obvious lay bouncing his fifth leg off his belly. Clearly his mind wasn’t on the job at hand. In the end it was too hard so I didn’t bet. The three-year-old colt blitzed them with the lay Mirage Dancer tailed off last. Fierce Impact and Kings Will Dream finished second and third and had no faults.

I lost on the day with two fourths, Riverina Storm in the two-year-old fillies, and Mamzelle Tess in the mares. But I left the track in an agreeable state of mind. One punter thought that I looked like a Greek philosopher. Aristotle, he decided. I like that. The Aristotle of horsewatchers!

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