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Cox Plate

October 28th, 2017

I arrived in time for the third race to find big crowds in front of stall 54. It must be Winx. On closer inspection I found the stall to be empty although the photographers didn’t seem to care! Gosh, Charlotte, that must be some horse!

In the fifth I saw a lovely relaxed-looking mare, Lubiton, who streeted them at $2.20 the place. And in the seventh I had a bit on I’ll Have A Bit, who paraded with a lolling tongue, which is actually quite a positive. The horse ran on well for second at $2.80. So coming into the Cox Plate I was quite cashed up.

Winx looked much the same as last time. Maybe swishing the tail a bit more. My place bet was between Royal Symphony, Gailo Chop, Humidor and FolkswoodFolkswood had the Hanoverian nose band and winkers, so that was no-no, Royal Symphony looked fabulous in his stall, Humidor had the ear muffs and two strappers and Gailo Chop was a clean sheet, alert and interested. I pulled the wrong rein and went for Gailo Chop. Oh well, two out of three. I didn’t stay for the last.



Caulfield Cup

October 21st, 2017

There’s a chill in the air and lots of goosebumps. An omen, perhaps. I like to have a go at the trifecta in the big races, but it’s virtually impossible to see them in the mounting yard. I usually end up four deep or find hats and beers in the way. So my selections are mainly based on behaviour in the stalls and parade ring. Boom Time was the first horse I crossed out, because he was kicking in his stall. In hindsight he was obviously keen to go! My final six in order were Marmelo, Amelies Star, Abbey Marie, Ventura Storm, Harlem and Inference.

My place bet was on Marmelo who was alert and relaxed in his stall and came home like a train when it was all over. None of my selections finished in the first four!  Single Gaze was not looking anywhere but flaring her nostrils and showing teeth and Johannes Vermeer and Lord Fandango had the dreaded cross-over noseband. A wipeout! At least I Got a bit back on Gai’s Global Glamour. Now there’s some alliteration!


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Caulfield Guineas

October 14th, 2017

A boilover! The flashy blonde chestnut with the Trigger good looks gets up to beat the blueblood Kementari. How did it start at 100/1? There was a lot of moaning so obviously not many folk bet on flashy appearances. I wasn’t too fussed as I backed the Godolphin horse for the place at $2.20. The last boilover I can remember was Marwong in 1987 winning at 50/1 on protest from Our Poetic Prince, despite the margin of a length and the Prince being eased down.

Had a look at some of the imports out the back. They get special attention with the wood shavings as well as straw in the stall. It must be what they are used to back home. Riven Light had the ear plugs, Johannes Vermeer was probably the most relaxed and ran a slashing second, and The Taj Mahal seemed pretty solid and impassive.

The best horse I saw all day was Invincible Star which streeted them in the three-year-old fillies and paid $2.90 for the place, but I gave some back on Comin’ Through in the Toorak Handicap. Two out of three for the day is quite fine for the first day of the spring carnival.


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Turnbull Stakes

October 7th, 2017

There are 20,822 people here to see Winx, but I’m not one of them. I’m here for the first two-year-old of the season. There are two very nice looking horses, Nomothaj and Sunlight, but I have a preference for Nomothaj with her head in towards the strapper, whereas the strapper uses two hands on Sunlight. I was pretty pleased with $1.80 first up for nearly five months!

But I did have a look at Winx. And you would have to say the horse is fit, with good lines and not a spare ounce of fat. Even some dapples, if you fancy coat condition. Why do folk get so excited? It’s not as if the horse is backable.

And the island bar is coming on. But what a disaster is looming in a few weeks time. I had enough trouble making my way from the stalls to the yard with twenty thousand. It’s going to be five times as hard on Cup day.