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Australia Day Weekend Races

January 27th, 2018 1 comment

I don’t like all this upset about Australia Day. I love being a patriotic Australian. But calling it ‘Invasion Day’ is stretching the friendship a bit. Captain Arthur Phillip landed in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 with a load of convicts and marines in order to establish a British penal colony. Maybe ‘Colonisation Day’ is a more accurate description. But I do agree it should be an inclusive day. Maybe ‘Dispossession Day’ is less confronting, although I do like ‘Dumping Day’, to celebrate the arrival of the criminal class. But my favourite is ‘Darryl’s Birthday’, if you can remember the story from Watching More. Over 60 years ago now all the kids in our street were tunnelling and burrowing under a heap of wattle branches in our backyard. Auntie Dix appeared with refreshments for the teeming throng: “Do any of you kids know what day it is today?” We all looked at each other without a clue until Darryl from over the road, who had a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock, piped up: “It’s me burfdee!” So Darryl’s Birthday it is. My own opinion is that his birthday can’t be an inclusive day until we cut the ties with Britain and become a republic. And only then can we have a dinky-di, true blue, Australia Day. Get to it, Malcolm!

I thought I’d have a try at the Australia Day weekend double header. I’m not a fan of night racing but maybe I’ll go along to Money Valley for the main race and lay Brave Smash for the place at $1.20. And then maybe I’ll get up early on Saturday for the Blue Diamond Preludes with the two-year-olds at Caulfield, but only if it’s not too hot. So I was all set to catch the tram to the Valley when rumbling thunder and lightning bolts indicated it would be more prudent to stay at home. A quick check of the weather radar confirmed that maybe night racing is not such a good idea, and staying at home and watching racing.com is a better option. So I watched Brave Smash get smashed on the TV! Then up early for Caulfield which had been brought forward because of the weather forecast of impending heat. In the two-year-old fillies I crossed them all out, except for a pony. I thought they must have brought the stable pony from the stall by mistake and left the real racehorse behind, but it simply turned out that Lady Horseowner was just a small, but perfectly formed and perfectly well-behaved horse. I had crossed all the others out so I went for the pony. She showed a lot of courage to burst through for a strong win at $2.60 the place. My only bet for the whole weekend. Does that qualify me as an Australian? And I must say I do fancy the Eureka flag. Such a shame it was hijacked by the Builders Labourers Federation.


One Response to “ Australia Day Weekend Races ”

  1. Bruce W says:

    I missed Lady Horseowner in Melbourne R3, but in R2 for the 2yo c&g i thought Long Leaf was the most alert looking, ears pricked. He won narrowly at $2.05 the place in NSW, a good dividend compared to the win price. Races with fewer than 8 runners split the place pool 2 ways rather than the usual 3, and dividends are often better than expected. (Small fields seem more common these days, or is it just my imagination?) In R8, Tshahitsi was paused at the mounting yard entrance because of some disturbance ahead and the racing.com view showed him being very playful with his strapper, rubbing his head at least three times against her body while she responded by rubbing his nose. I’ve only seen this affectionate behaviour a few times before and it’s a strong positive. Because the place dividend was below my limit (10 runners, 3 dividends), I had a rare win bet. The final 100m was heart-stopping as he hung on to win at $4.00. For a moment in the run I had the horrible thought that I’d been wrong and the horse had just been trying to avoid the flies by rubbing his head against the strapper, but I needn’t have worried. Sydney was a dull affair. Thaad in R5 Looked relaxed in the yard but was always too far back with an average finish, and no mention in the stewards’ report except the too common “A post-race veterinary examination did not reveal any abnormalities.” I suppose stewards can only report what they find.

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