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Caulfield Thoroughbred Cup Day

April 30th, 2016

Do you think the world is heating up? Here we are on the last day of April and Caulfield is a balmy 24 with a blustery northerly. Zandarral is in a muck lather. I rarely see this, even in the height of summer.

My views on sweating are quite well-known and normally sweating up is not a problem if the ambient temperature is greater than 20 degrees. But there are exceptions, especially if the horse shows other signs of anxiety or fear. Zandarral had the nose roll, which rules him out straight away in my book, but also had his head up and was changing stride, forcing the strapper to use two hands. And I noticed the horse dumping and head-shaking. A pretty obvious lay. It was showing $1.50 the place on the tote which raised my heartbeat, but on firing up Betfair it was $2.78 the lay! Way above my $1.80 limit. Too bad! Everyone has seen him! The horse faded in the straight to finish eighth. And yes, I do think the world is warming.



Flemington Anzac Day

April 25th, 2016

My eye was taken by a striking filly in the first race, Miss Vista. An Apache Cat clone, but even more so with a touch of albinism and a walleye. There is a buzz about this horse since she won her maiden in good style. The filly ran up to her good looks and after only two starts is now regarded as something of a cult horse. The trouble with being a cult horse is that it will always run under the odds, carrying  the weight of popular money.

But the best-looking horse I saw on the day was the Freedmans’ Cool Chap, who had that indefinable “presence” and looked like he owned the mounting yard. He won the time-honoured St Leger in a most convincing fashion.



Caulfield VOBIS Day

April 16th, 2016

Nothing to report, unless you count Red Bomber! You can tell things are pretty desperate when all I could find to photograph was a disadvantaged person scrabbling under the vending machine while I was waiting at Southern Cross station.

He must have been under there for some five minutes before emerging triumphant with a $2 coin in hand. I congratulated him heartily! He gave me the bottoms up sign. A drink! That’s what you need to be a winner. Determination and discipline! Especially with such a miserable implement! Where do you find a piece of tree on the platform at Southern Cross?



Sandown Hillside

April 9th, 2016

I like Sandown! There’s room to move and less hugger-mugger. And at this time of year the weather is perfect, not too hot, not too cold. And then there’s the lovely autumn light out at the pre-parade ring.

And every horse has a chance as long as you keep away from the inside. When I’m waxing lyrical like this you know I’ve had a very good day! But it didn’t start off so well. My poor run with two-year-olds continued with the nice and relaxed River Goddess getting nutted for third right on the line. How I hate kicking off with a loser! That must be my third or fourth fourth with the babies in the last few weeks? However, things soon improved with Kav’s Tears of Joy coming to the rescue and then Hard Romp snatching third. I saved the best for last with Bengal Cat steaming home in the three-year-old fillies. Thank goodness John Sadler had walked the track and instructed his son to go wide!

I found the time to add to my video library of bad behaviour with that old rogue Fab Fevola circling in the yard and showing some nice heels. This horse is the fastest horse in Australia, if not the whole wide world, over 900 metres. He is always super-aroused and sports plenty of gear – today just the tongue tie, nasal strip and hoof pads.  The horse went like a bat out of hell and led them up until punctured, as all the wise old lags predicted, at the 880 metre mark, and faded to finish last.

The train ride home is always interesting. I overheard a new line in begging: “Excuse me mate, could you ring my brother? I’ve run out of credit!” Usually it’s just “Could you spare a few coins?” I quickly hid my phone!

And a housekeeping matter. I’ve been wondering for some time why there were no comments on the blog and just assumed that nobody bothered reading it. I asked my webmaster who looks after the site and he found over 5000 comments pending! I thought he checked them and he thought I checked them! So I trawled through and found a few legit ones, which I have reinstated, amongst all the spam. So feel free to comment again so long as you are not trying to sell me Ugg boots, Viagra or an iPhone6!