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Caulfield All-Star Mile

March 14th, 2020

A ghost meeting! All spectators are banned! The main meeting of the autumn and I’m in quarantine. Warned off! The club was anticipating a drop in crowd numbers but certainly not to zero! The compensation was going to be a database with 200,000 or so email addresses of all those who voted for a runner. I voted for Aristia, at the invitation of Dr Andrew Clarke, the CEO of Living Legends, the retirement home for racehorses. It is a good cause as I think all horses who make the field win some cash for their nominated charity.

So, what am I to do? on the TV I suppose. I’m only interested in a couple of races, the two-year-olds and the All Stars. There are only five runners in the two-year-old, so it is a betting opportunity. A place punter only has to cross out three horses. I eagerly wait for the mounting yard coverage and get to see the topweight being unruly as he leaves the yard. The rest of the field are on the track with the jockey up before the camera looks at them. Not enough information! In the All Stars it is much the same story with a glimpse of two thirds of the field in the yard and the rest with the jockey up on the track. No bet! This is the way my season ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.

It is hard to see me getting back to the track before winter. Here’s hoping for spring.


Flemington Super Saturday

March 7th, 2020

The time-honoured Newmarket Handicap. The Melbourne Cup for sprinters. There are only eleven runners with the other half of the field running in Sydney. Why is that? Out the back Gytrash had the twisted neck which is pretty neutral and slightly salivating which is pretty positive. Bivouac had the head down which is very positive. In the yard Loving Gaby had two strappers and the arched neck together with another attribute that I quite like and which is quite positive. They formed my top three and completed the trifecta, which doesn’t happen too often. I backed Loving Gaby for the place at $1.80 only for it to be wound down to $1.75 the moment I pressed submit. Don’t you hate that? Bivouac streeted them with Loving Gaby looking the winner before being run down. Gytrash just managed to hold on for third.

In the Australian Cup I had no particular opinion except I didn’t fancy Regal Power when the jockey couldn’t control it leaving the yard and it had an interaction with the racecourse infrastructure. I was considering a lay bet when the PA announced that the horse was having a vet check at the barrier, which it subsequently passed. Who am I to argue with the vets? I passed on the lay. The horse ran home well for second.