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Caulfield Cystic Fibrosis Victoria Summer Race Day

December 4th, 2010 1 comment

11.15 am. I’m still at home and in two minds about going. There is a Members Christmas Cocktail Party on from 11 till 12, but the MRC has sent me a letter to say that the party is fully booked and that I am not welcome, even though I had sent in my RSVP promptly! So that makes me feel unwanted and very sluggish. Not that it matters since I’m off the grog, and have been for six months or more. And the track is a Slow 7. I’m hopeless in the Slow. The phone rings and Jumpout Joey reminds me that the first race is a two-year-old fillies with five horses – my favourite bread and butter race. The place dividend for the second horse is often outrageously good value. And what’s more, he’s going – probably for the first time in over a year – I guess because petrol is a bit cheaper at the moment. So, I’m off.

I grab my straw hat at the last minute! Thank goodness I did because it’s hot, humid, sunny and sunburny, with a strong northerly. Maybe the track will dry out a bit? My train spends 10 minutes parked in the Flinders Street rail yards and I finally arrive at 12.40. They’re in the mounting yard. And the track is a drying and bettable Dead 5! The first horse crossed out is the much touted favourite Tatum. The horse is unsettled, gaping, tossing its head up, changing stride. And to my eye, not fit. The fittest looking horse is the 3, Joyeux. And relaxed, lobbing around the yard with her head down, but occasionally distracted. The Hayes horse is secreting bodily fluids at both ends, saliva and lathery sweat. That’s generally fine and positive, especially on a hot day, but I like my two-year-olds to be clean and dry. So with 30 seconds to go I back Joyeux for a place. The tote attendant queries my bet. He can’t believe I’m betting the place on a five horse field. So I have to reassure him that there are two place dividends. Joyeux hits the front on the turn and is run down on the line, but hangs on well for second. $2.40 the place. Incredible.

I meet up with Jumpout Joe and Sam Hyland doing the rounds out the back. Sam is doing the mounting yard reports for TVN. He studies the form as well as the appearance of the horse and is doing a very good job. He has a good eye for a horse. He pays a lot of attention to coat condition, which is something I probably neglect a bit.

Not much action till the last. I liked Lucky Angel in the three-year-old fillies race, but the $1.30 for a place put me off. She ended up paying $1.50 on the tote for third, but that’s still way below my new threshold of $1.80. And anyway I was saving myself for the mares race. Tom Hughes’ horse Miss Octopussy looked a clear standout and Tom looked pretty perky himself. Miss Octopussy streeted them. Her front running style was ideally suited to the pattern of racing on the day, not that I know anything about track bias. The books were offering a miserable $1.45 for the place but the tote paid me a very respectable $1.90.

On leaving the track Jumpout Joey corrupted me into entering the Tabaret. I was hot, dry and thirsty and broke my drought with two delicious, ice cold, light beers. Oh – alcohol – how sweet it is! I staggered home at 7.30. The Missus thought I was drunk – but no – I’d just had a very good day.

One Response to “ Caulfield Cystic Fibrosis Victoria Summer Race Day ”

  1. Jumpout Joe says:

    Sat 4th Dec : after being at my wive’s beck & call all week (due to the imminent arrival of our 2nd bub) I desperately needed to escape. I weighed up my options … Caulfield races was the only sensible one; perhaps Geoffrey would be there ? I needed to chew someone’s ear off, to spend the day with someone who would listen to me rattle off my endless track theories. Someone to compare notes with and understand the hyroglifics & jargon I write down after each race. We had a terrific day, topped off by a few winners and a coldy afterwards. Just what I needed. A day out with the master of horse watching; my good friend Geoffrey !!

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