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Flemington Green Fields Raceday

May 7th, 2011 0 comments

I’ve been thinking of making this blog a bit more dynamic by spicing it up with some video. I got a great movie a couple of weeks back of Broken furiously pawing in his stall. When I downloaded it and played it on my computer I had to turn my head sideways to look at it. I had filmed it in portrait mode and it played back in landscape. Simple you might say – just rotate it. I sought help from my next-door neighbour, an IT expert, who finally succeeded in rotating it, but now Broken was really bugggered. He was stretched out sideways like a salami sausage, but still furiously pawing. At least I didn’t have to turn my head. So this week I have realized it would be simpler not to turn the camera on its side but just shoot the movie in landscape mode. I got a great video of Padawan Star pawing in his stall but when I tried to upload it the website had a heart attack. The movie was 16 MB and the maximum allowable is 7 MB. My movie was only 5 seconds long, but obviously the resolution was too high. I learnt a long time ago that when all else fails – read the manual. So I’ve done some reading and I am now totally primed to shoot low res movies. A dynamic blog will soon appear!

A quiet day at Flemington, with the grey skies and creeping cold a reminder that my season is quickly coming to an end. I was watching the two-year-olds out the back when an unidentified chestnut started pigrooting. One of my basic rules of horse watching is that a horse must keep four feet on the ground. So anything that bucks, kicks, rears, pigroots, or otherwise removes itself from terra firma is a definite no bet. Obviously, this means that I have no interest in jumps racing. But let’s hope that Racing Victoria doesn’t over-react to the freak accident at Warrnambool and impose any draconian restrictions on horse watchers. When Banna Strand jumped a two metre high fence into the crowd at Warrnambool we realized that racing is dangerous not only for horses and jockeys, but for spectators too! Watching racehorses can be a risky business. A frightened horse on the loose is a dangerous and unpredictable thing. Hey, horse watchers, be careful out there!

Also, I have been paying a bit more attention to feet and shoes since my meeting last year with Peter Strafford, the racecourse farrier. I have been trying for some time to get a decent photo of shock-shod shoes, glue-on shoes and bar plates. It’s a tricky task as the plate is only exposed for a millisecond as the hoof flicks up. But today I managed to fluke an action shot of a bar plate on Niblick. Bar plates must be a negative if all that metal is needed to hold the hoof together, as well as the extra few grams the horse must cart around the track. I know for sure that I don’t like running around with lead in my boots! So I decided to lay Niblick for the place and offered a generous $1.80 with the tote showing $1.60, but my bet wasn’t matched. The horse finished on for fourth, missing third by a whisker. The plates probably made the difference!

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