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Flemington Racing Rewards Day

January 30th, 2016

Rumour, gossip, innuendo, swirl around a racecourse. But ordinary conversation is always interesting. Today I was listening as well as watching horses:

Overheard out the back (1): “You bite me, and I’ll bite you back!”

Overheard out the back (2): “Gosh! A man just jumped out of those bushes!” “At least he’s got his clothes on!”

Overheard in the Island Bar: “Seriously, Stevie Wonder would have seen you down there!”

Overheard on the mounting yard rail (1): “I don’t like that jockey!” “Yes, but his mother loves him!”

Overheard on the mounting yard rail (2): “Geoffrey, what do you like?” “Number three”. “Anything else?” “No!” Number three, All Cerise, won in a hand canter.

Overheard on the mounting yard rail (3): “Go Chile Express! I patted him!” “Well, if it wins you’d better not wash that hand for a week!”


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Flemington Chester Manifold Stakes Day

January 16th, 2016

I’m not going too well with the two-year-olds at the moment, and for the second week in a row I bombed out. Climate looked perfect in the yard, with no faults, but turned out to be a weak filly, that quickly ran out of steam. But I redeemed myself in the mares with Vital Importance. The horse looked alert, interested and very fit, and ran on well from the rear to snatch third at $4.20 for the place. It had already drawn my attention out the back with chains on the tie-up.

I can’t remember ever seeing these before. Obviously saves a bit of wear and tear on the tie-up! The photos are a bit blurry, but give the general idea.



Flemington New Year’s Day

January 1st, 2016

I’ve been missing in action since Sandown Cup day. I’ve got good excuses though. First it was a bridge too far. Ballarat is a long way from town for a city slicker who just attends Melbourne Metro! Then it was my wife (aka The Missus) who fell seriously ill visiting our offspring in Townsville. They saved her life in the Townsville hospital. She’s back home now and making a slow and painful recovery. I managed to surface briefly for the Flemington meeting on 12 December. Paul Richards (aka Richo) was doing a story on the new book for the Winning Post. He followed me around for three races where my selections met with mixed success. In the first Hetuka Zarsho pulled up lame, in the next Precious Gem was a winner and in the third Our Voodoo Prince broke down and was humanely euthanased. Richo’s generous story was published in the Winning Post the next week. The only problem was that the races were cancelled because of the heat so that there was no need for punters to buy a form guide!

And so to Flemington, nice and early for the two-year-olds, the first race of the new year. The favourite Sword Of Light was extremely agitated. I narrowed it down to three horses – Gimlet, La Renarde and Want To Rock, but couldn’t decide which one to back. All were good, with a very bad favourite. So I laid the favourite. Then the warning siren. The favourite is scratched at the barrier! My lay bet is history! And the three selections go on to run the trifecta!

Not much else to report. An excellent sloping strapper with Houdini The Great. I haven’t seen an angle like that in yonks! This variable is mildly positive, but intuitively I regard it as a negative. But it does point to a big strong horse requiring a lot of strength. And there is an Indian Turtle Dove nesting in stall 24, usually occupied by Lloyd Williams’ horses. It must be an omen of some sort. Let’s hope for a year of world peace.

Happy New Year.


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