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Flemington Twilight Meeting

January 18th, 2020 4 comments

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Club Stand counting my blessings. After all I’ve just seen Sparksy this week and had my insertable cardiac monitor checked. Those who have read the books will be aware of my cardiac adventures and will remember that the electrocardiophysiologist Dr Paul Sparks fixed me up. Well, I’ve had a couple of recent events where I have lost consciousness and banged myself up, so Sparksy stuck this fancy device into my chest which monitors my heart rate and talks to my mobile phone. If there are any problems it then sends a message to him. It’s not a pacemaker or defibrillator so it won’t save me, but a diagnostic tool. So if I do have a heart attack Sparksy will know what killed me. Anyway I’ve had a clear run for over four months, no atrial fibrillation or left bundle branch block, and he doesn’t want to see me for another 12 months!

The lobby

So here I am counting in one of those comfortable chairs when a silver-tailed gentleman comes in and enquires as to whether this is the retirement home for geriatric punters. He’s got it in one! You could go to sleep here. But the lobby is not meant to be too comfortable, just a place to check in and hopefully not check out. The club doesn’t want the seniors to linger too long or set up camp here. There’s only one large screen showing the races in the four corners, no screens showing tote or bookie odds, and no replay screen, but heaps of racing memorabilia, mainly paintings and silverware. If you want racing information you have to find the hidden escalator or struggle upstairs to the Members’ Bar which has replaced the much-missed Island Bar. But I’m now resigned to it all as part of my circuit from the stalls, to the mounting yard, to the betting ring to check the tote screens and bookies odds and then the lobby to watch the race or place a bet on my phone. The times they are a’changing.

And may I say that twilight racing doesn’t really suit me with the first at three o’clock and the last at eight o’clock at night. Small fields and no standouts so I’m home just after six.

4 Responses to “ Flemington Twilight Meeting ”

  1. Trevor says:


    Glad to hear that your health is in good order!

    Like you I attended a (daytime) race meeting earlier in the week (normally they race under the lights at Kempton on the polytrack), and came away without betting, missing the two last races (very low grade handicaps). In an earlier race there was one prancing horse (gelding), the only downside was he was wearing winkers and unusually, for an older handicapper, he did not have a cross-over noseband. The price on the exchange was only 1.5 (he finished 3rd of 9) so I didn’t back him. Also there were a number of contenders that I couldn’t exclude.

    Many of the horses in older age handicaps (age 4 and over) in the UK are geldings, with the possible exception of the higher class handicaps. By default geldings start with a score of +26 on the behavioural handicap so you don’t end up crossing many of them out. Also geldings generally tend to be quite well behaved compared with colts & fillies which obviously is reflected in their positive score.

    Q. Should these races be avoided because you are unlikely to encounter sufficient discrimination between horses in terms of their overall behavioural score and because fewer horses will be eliminated?

    Of course there are exceptions e.g. the badly behaved favourite or a prancing horse, which you should always be on the lookout for.

    Your answer will help me to decide which race meetings to attend i.e. those with races that have fewer geldings.

    Finally I made a donation to the Victoria Bushfire Disaster Appeal.

  2. Laurie says:

    On the night of another miserable MV twilight meet – WELCOME BACK!

    Small fields, the bane of my existence too. Still, let’s have another multi dollar breeders bonus series, I’m sure that’ll fix it………hah

  3. Geoffrey says:

    You never know what you might see, Trevor. The exceptions often make attendance worthwhile! Well done on the donation.

  4. Trevor says:


    I went to a jumps meeting recently (one of the few I attend annually). I used to go to this particular meeting with my mother when she was alive so went for old times’ sake. I wasn’t expecting to back anything. It’s more of a struggle to find sufficient discrimination over the jumps (nearly all are well-behaved geldings), plus often it’s wet and cold (more the former this year, still severe flood warnings in parts of the UK). I ended up backing three for a place and two were successful. They were all exhibiting the more positive characteristics we like to see e.g. evidence of prancing etc.

    So there you go, you never know what you might encounter!

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