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Morphettville Parks 9 January 2010

January 11th, 2010 0 comments

I’m in Adelaide. I think I have heat stroke. I’ve survived three days over 35, and the forecast for today is 41, and if I survive that, 43 on Sunday, and then 43 again on Monday. Global warming. How do the horses cope, let alone the humans? I love Adelaide, but I’m considering revising my opinion.

I’m off to Morphettville Parks to check out horses in the heat. I’m wearing appropriate clothing for the weather – slacks, short-sleeved shirt, sandals and straw hat. I get a Members’ Reserve pass, but I’m immediately turned back at the gate. I don’t need a tie, but the sandals cause apoplexy. It doesn’t really matter because you don’t need to be a member at Morphettville to have ideal conditions for horse watching. The stalls are handy to the parade ring which has nice shady trees to sit under. You can follow the horses up under the stand to the mounting yard and then watch them out onto the track. Then there is a lovely cool and comfortable bar, the Diva Bar, which you can duck into for rehydration, with one bookie and three tote ladies. All you need, really. I’m a bit nervous because the Diva Bar has a large sign describing appropriate attire – decrepit footwear, track shoes, rubber thongs and slippers are NOT allowed. I hope my decrepit sandals can pass muster, so I creep around with a very low profile for the first few races. Thank goodness I didn’t wear my moccassins.

The set up for the horses is most excellent.

There are industrial fans mounted on the rail opposite the stalls every few metres – 32 in all. And they work well. The horses can arrive late, can be hosed down and then cooled. There are other concessions to the heat too. The strappers don’t wear numbered jackets, the clerks wear white shirts, the horses are held back in stalls adjacent to the parade ring until the last minute, there is no pre-parade and maybe one lap of the mounting yard and none with jockey up. Straight out onto the track. So good for horses, hard for horse watchers.

I watch six races and 53 horses. I see only one horse that I would classify as Sweating 3 – the highest level. At Flemington last week when the temperature was 23 and the humidity was 75% I saw about 12.

Tips for the heat? Don’t burn your hands leaning on the mounting yard rail, and take three biros, because two of mine dried up. And maybe consider wearing shoes.

Only two bets. A loser, Lapel, in a four horse race! And a nice relaxed winner in the last, Easy Cash. And Unitab give you a receipt for winning. The Missus will like to see that!

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