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Caulfield Easter Cup Day

April 7th, 2012 0 comments

Now that I’m paying a little more attention to the bridle and bit I’ve decided that I may as well keep track of blinkers too. I’ve procrastinated about scoring blinkers for a long time mainly because they are in such common use, but I’ll give it a burl for a while. I scored a terrific photo today of that aberrant blinker – the visor – on Festina Lente. The visor is simply a blinker with a peep hole or slot cut in the back of the cup. Blinkers allegedly encourage a horse to go forward by preventing it seeing to the rear and being distracted by other horses. In other words, they are an aid to concentration. The function of the visor then is a little obscure, offering small rearward peeps. And usually you will only see a single visor, either on the near or off side, depending on the horse. My own opinion is that it is a sign of desperation, but I’ll check with a few trainers and report back, before giving it the thumbs down. Maybe I’m missing something.

And another pet hate is the ring bit hold, where the strapper slides his/her hand into the ring bit and then tugs down. I immediately imagine that grand trainer George Hanlon going beserk. But today I saw a double-handed ring bit hold on Second Effort. The strapper was really struggling with the effort to contain the horse. But to make matters worse the horse went out onto the track with the assistance of the clerk and then won! A good day for bad behaviour! A bad day for horse watchers.

Two bets for two losers.  And to make matters even worserer Follonica backed up for the place at $2.90 without me aboard. Now that we have passed the autumn equinox I can feel the chill of winter coming on. Two losing weeks in a row.  I’ll hang in there for six more weeks. Maybe more photography, less punting.

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