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Shadwell Stud Australasia Race Day

April 9th, 2011 0 comments

There are Arabs all over Caulfield today. Human Arabs dancing outside a tent on the promenade and Arabian horses out the back in the stalls. It’s a promotion for all things Arabic. The horse, the United Arab Emirates, the food, the culture, the music. I sample some dolmades and baklava. Delicious, and I’m not arguing, but isn’t the vine leaf thing and that pastry and honey thing Greek? I’m given a free ticket in the Arabian mile race. Number 5. If I win I’ll score $20 of free drinks. Such a shame that I’m off the grog.

I don’t know much about the Arabian breed, apart from them being endurance horses. Temperament wise they appear very calm and seem to accept all the fussing going on in the stalls. Physically some of them seem very small, barely ponies, struggling to reach 14 hands. They have a very light conformation and a few need a good feed, all bones, points and ribs. Trained off. The most noticeable feature of the breed is their high tail carriage giving the impression that they are all about to dump. The start of the race is effected by dropping a tape to the ground and two of the horses immediately shy and toss their riders. I’m barracking like mad for number 5, Blakes Heaven Bombora, having its first start in a race as a 10-year-old gelding. In fact nine of the 11 starters are having their first race start. But the easy winner is Franshar Park K Shar, a 14-year-old gelding who has had 14 previous starts for nine wins and five placings. Number 5 makes a late rush, but I’m quietly pleased to have backed a loser as I wouldn’t know what to do with all that grog.

I missed the first race, what with all this Arab business and the last two races were lost to rain, which swept in from the south at 1620, precisely as forecast. But I managed to squeeze in a couple of collects, one on Avionics, one of the most relaxed horses you will see, and the other on Broadcast, who I’ve backed previously for a loss, but today was a 20/1 winner.

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