I missed the Arabian mile race at the start of the day but caught up with my old mate Franshar Park K Shar in his stall. He won the race last year as a 14-year-old but this year only managed second as a 16-year-old, according to the race book. That’s what happens as you get older. You slow down and the years go twice as fast. And I learnt that his coat is not simply grey, but described as “flea-bitten grey”. A lovely horse!
Another of my old favourites was on show today, the American Cannonball. He first appeared in this blog back in January 2010 ridden by Pat Valenzuela, who had form himself with 11 suspensions for substance abuse. The horse simply exploded that day. Since then he’s had a sojourn with Gai in Sydney, but never settled, and is now with Pat Carey at Mornington. His racing style was to take off like a scalded cat and then explode on the turn to finish tailed off at the rear. I had a good look at the horse in his stall and you would have to say that he is a physically very impressive specimen. And very fit. His behaviour seems much improved too and he appears much less bullish, with just a few minor niggles in the mounting yard. They jump and he sits outside the leader, half a length back. This is not my mate, the old Cannonball! Pat has trained him to settle. And he fights on well to hold second at 80/1 with the books. I didn’t back him, but it just goes to show that there is hope for all miscreants.
I had a nice place bet on Twilighting, but was too busy backing it to lay the favourite, Le Societe, who was showing some terrific white eye. My standout for the day was Bolton, who looked totally stunning. No photograph because I was in too much awe. And too short at $1.30 for a place bet. But would you believe I had a small token bet on the horse for a win. Just to prove to myself that I was right. And a nice finish with Parthian. Not too bad a day. Two and a bit out of two.