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Derby Day

October 29th, 2016

The greatest day of racing on earth! I am not a fan of three-year-old colts, but Sacred Elixir looked an absolute standout! I broke all the rules and took it (yes, a gelding no less!) at $1.50 for the place. The Cummings’ horse, Prized Icon, was simply too good. It’s nice to know that the family secrets have been passed down to James, but you would have to be a bit worried now that Reg Fleming has defected to the Godolphin camp. Could this be the year that they finally crack it in The Cup?

Derby Day is all black and white. And isn’t it amazing that the youth of today have embraced the tradition. All the young ones, on whom youth is wasted, rocked up in black and white. How good is that! I took a few snaps. There’s that probing journalist and master raconteur, Neil Kearney, hard at work out the back, and there’s the Members Stand. Oh no, it is about to be demolished! Where will I go when the Island Bar is no more? Life has so many uncertainties!




Cox Plate

October 23rd, 2016

Here’s the parade ring 25 minutes before the jump. Where are the horses? Maybe they’ve cancelled the Cox Plate? I’m not too fussed as it’s not much of a betting race with Winx at $1.20 the place. Winx looks perfect and Hartnell has the cross-over noseband and is salivating furiously. Both horses parade in ear muffs but rip them off for the race. The rest is history. I was nearly tempted to have a go at a place on Yankee Rose until she had a bit of a head spasm with the jockey up.

I left the track promptly at 5.05 pm in a quite agreeable frame of mind. In fact, I wasn’t cursing the club’s scheduling of the race or the lousy weather. I was pondering my good fortune with two placed horses in the three-year-old fillies races, Prompt Response and I Am A Star. Not too bad for a rotten day!



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Caulfield Cup

October 16th, 2016

A nasty day with a blustery and punishing north wind. Now here’s a question. Which of these three international horses would you back if you were just looking at the body language of the strapper? Scottish, Sir Isaac Newton or Articus?

The answer is of course Scottish! How relaxed is that strapper! Let alone the horse! But I missed on the trifecta. My final six were Preferment, Scottish, Sir Isaac Newton, Almoonqith, Sir John Hawkwood, Jameka and Pemberley. I liked Jameka in the stalls, then crossed her out in the parade ring, then crossed her back in in the yard. Can you cross a horse back in? I had Real Love as a good thing until my apprentice advised that I was looking at the wrong horse! And with the benefit of hindsight I think I included two knights too many! I couldn’t come at Exospheric because of the glue on shoes. But I’m not complaining about the $2.60 for second.




Caulfield Guineas

October 9th, 2016

Where do all these people come from? And what for? To see Winx? You can hardly get a look in! And it certainly can’t be to have a bet, can it, at $1.20? Maybe to have a go at the trifecta for $1.30.

The race itself is a joke. Just a jog-canter and a sprint home. I can remember listening to Bert Bryant’s call of that great match race between Rain Lover and Big Philou. Somewhere on my computer I have the whole recording, but I can only find the finish on Youtube. Bert’s best line was “that the order is not going to change for a while, so if you want to put the kettle on now would be good time to do so!”

How good was Bert Bryant!




Flemington Turnbull Stakes Day

October 2nd, 2016

Sunday seems wrong. It used to be on Saturday before the AFL got greedy and moved the one day in September to one day in October. But I went along to the Grand Final to be a part of history. A game for the ages and a fairy tale finish! Did you cry? When Bevo gave the medal to Bobby?

How good was Hartnell? I can’t remember him being much chop last year. Today he had the cross-over noseband, ear muffs (not on the gear list!), two strappers and was salivating copiously. I don’t like the noseband but I love ear muffs on a windy day and it was an overall positive behavioural handicap of 37. But too short for me at $1.20 the place. The experts have already given him the Caulfield Cup.

I caught up with my old mate Zipping, probably in need of a run or two at 15 years old. I loved this horse! Third in the Turnbull in 2008 and the winner in 2010. Four Sandown Classics. What a horse! A Living Legend!