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Flemington Christmas Race Day

December 20th, 2014

The boys in the band were there. They were in fine form and had obviously benefited from last week’s practice. And new outfits! The Christmas present was pretty good, and the plum pudding was outstanding. But the turkey looked a bit dodgy, and might have been a bit overcooked.

The first was a race for two-year-olds with only six starters. The form experts told me that Bosnia was a moral, which immediately made me pay more attention. Sure, the colt looked cool, but I thought the Hayes filly looked better, very relaxed. The place dividends in these small fields are often outstanding so I backed Claudia Jean showing $4.00 for the place. Gai’s horse Lucky Fish was scratched at the barrier after dumping the jockey. This was a huge disappointment as I had already crossed it out for resisting the jockey and the divvy on Claudia Jean immediately shrank to $3.20 and finally settled on $2.90 at the jump. Craig was giving the moral a good whipping half way down the straight as Claudia Jean powered away to an easy win. One out of one! And today’s lesson? There’s no such thing as a moral!

In the second Pink Perfection was a standout at $2.10 and suddenly, after only two races I was two out of two!

In the fifth I had made copious notes on every horse except number 12, Alakris. The horse fell into third for $2.60. Three out of three!

And in the seventh Churchill Dancer was a standout and stormed to the line to win at $3.40 the place. Four out of four!

Occasionally you have days like this. One out of the box. My best in 12 months. Cashed up for Christmas!




Flemington Western Health Race Day

December 13th, 2014

The boys in the band were there. Warming up for next week.

Another poor start in the first with Tallat finishing third in a seven horse field. But a sort of recovery, if you can call it that, with Corporate Takeover in the third. The only horse in the field that didn’t have a fault. I was counting the $2.80 when it hit the front at the 100 metres only to be swamped at the post in a photo with three other horses for third. A dead heat! I didn’t know whether to be happy that I didn’t lose or disappointed that I didn’t win more! And in the fourth Native Land was a standout and was never in danger for the place at a nice $2.50. Now that’s a recovery.

The favourite in the seventh, Kingdom Of Dreams, has a reputation for acting up. It had the ear muffs and stallion chain, with the clerk accompanying it around the yard. The horse was sweating freely, which is quite OK on a hot day. But it’s not OK to show a lot of resistance, so much so that it was hard to frame him in a picture! The clerk took him out onto the track early where the jockey hopped aboard. I declared him a lay and tried my best to get set but my offer of $1.42 for the place wasn’t matched with the price quickly blowing out to $1.55. Too greedy I suppose. The horse came home well from last for fourth.

And in the eighth I quite liked Mighty Like who won well at $1.90 the place. A horsewatcher remarked to me that he looked just like Terravista on Stakes Day.

And in the last I couldn’t split Madam Gangster and Profit Share so I left the race alone. They finished first and second. But I was half happy with 2½ out of 4. I can’t remember the last time I had a ½.




Sandown Emma Booth Christmas Race Day

December 6th, 2014

I went out to Sandown with only one aim in mind – to back Siegestor in the eighth race. The horse was a stunning standout when I last backed him in a mid-weeker out here two weeks ago. Stephen King dropped him to the rear and he stormed home to win going away. I can’t wait to have another go. He’s nice and calm in his stall.

But look, here’s Loveheart Lass, fit and relaxed. And look! There’s the loveheart. I’m a real sucker for love. The horse dropped to the rear but ran home reasonably well for fourth. I hate starting with a loser. Isn’t it easy to fall out of love.

But I got it all back on Leveraction in the fourth, and so I was all square coming into the eighth. And look, there’s Siegestor in the parade ring. But hey, he hates the gale force easterly wind. He tosses his head up, gaping and showing teeth. His gait is unsettled. He’s stamping, like a recalcitrant child, and swishing his tail. He doesn’t want to run! I don’t believe it! Into the mounting yard and he does an almighty sloppy dump. I don’t hesitate for a fraction of a section and ignore all the other horses and head inside to fire up the iPhone. Ten minutes till the jump!

Now my favourite little app iBetmate has been decommissioned so I try the Betfair app. It refuses to load! In a panic I try Traderline which I have only just installed and after a couple of error messages I get on. I offer to lay the horse at my limit, $1.80, but it is not matched. Five minutes to go and counting down. They are loading them in the barrier. It’s $1.50 with the books, surely I’ll get matched? And then with 60 seconds to go it turns green. I’m on! Siegestor drops out and storms home with an inside run and then suddenly realises he doesn’t like the wind in his face and fades to seventh. Oh, how I love it. To switch my brain from a back to a lay! I’m feeling so good I’m might even forgive Loveheart Lass.

And if you are wondering about Emma Booth, she is a lovely young lass severely injured in an accident that left her as a paraplegic. Today’s race day is a fundraiser to help her get to the Paralympics in Rio in 2016. Here’s hoping she makes it!