Not a good day at Flemington. Two jockeys down and two horses put down. Mark Zahra on Sparks Burn in the third and Katelyn Mallyon on Deliver The Dream in the seventh. I feared the worse for Katelyn when they brought out the dreaded green screen and didn’t move her for half an hour, but Greg Miles eventually reported that she had regained consciousness and could speak and move her limbs, which I suppose was encouraging. Here’s hoping for a full recovery from reported facial fractures and a fractured T6 vertebra (the middle of the spine). The two-year-old gelding Absolute Spirit fractured a sesamoid bone and was put down after the first race and the three-year-old gelding Sparks Burn fractured a fetlock and was put down after the third. The Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien was hauled before the stewards for his comments on Twitter about the state of the track – “this is not a good surface” and that “tracks shouldn’t be cored and sliced before meetings”. Katelyn’s fall was probably the result of interference.
All these falls and fractures spoilt my day. I started out well with Eximius in the first but ended up giving it back on Perturbo in the fifth and Glaneuse in the seventh. I was crooked on Ben Melham for taking Perturbo down the wrong side of the dodgy track and Glaneuse got held up by Katelyn’s fall.
And the horses are getting their winter coats - which reminds me that it’s nearly time to head for a spell. But why do some trainers shear their horses in early winter? Both Streaky Fella and Azcar had been to the barbers. I reckon a shaggy coat is an excellent adaptation for a Melbourne winter. I’m going to hang onto my hair for some time yet!