Dr. Geoffrey Hutson's breakthrough book Watching Racehorses is out now! Learn about behavioural handicapping: how head tossing, pawing, salivating and other behaviours provide telltale clues about a horse's readiness to run.
Order Online

Stakes Day

November 5th, 2011 0 comments

I was there. I was one of the 85,112 who witnessed Black Caviar in another historic exercise gallop. But the trouble with so many fans trying to look at the champ is that I couldn’t get a decent look at the other six contenders. Too many midget jockeys in the way. I think $4.40 for the place paid on Buffering was an opportunity that went begging. But I covered myself in glory with three out of three placed horses – Con Act, Secret Admirer and Shoot Off. I finally broke out from being positive to well ahead for the spring.

And I noticed that Francesca was wired up for a busy day pursuing horses around the mounting yard for Channel 7. I set the DVD recorder at home to suss out what sort of comments she makes. Here’s a couple:

Wall Street. “I thought his run in the Cox Plate was super impressive. He sat last and came really wide and ran on really well. He’s a lovely, lovely looking, big, strong horse, son of Montjeu, and loves the track here at Flemington. So he’s one to watch out for most definitely.”

Toorak Toff. “He was a good third on Saturday in the Tab.com.au stakes and Craig Williams who rode him says he thinks he would stretch out to a mile. That’s the key question. If he stays, he’s in the mix..…(suddenly the horse lets fly with a bucking and kicking display in the background and Francesca notices it)….. ah, he’s just having a bit of a buck and a kick. He’s clearly feeling very well!”

I think it’s time now for me to forget Francesca. Sure she has a double degree, is articulate, can ride horses, write and look good, but her mounting yard comments seem to be mainly based on her prior knowledge of form and breeding rather than the horse’s actual appearance in the yard. Maybe a horse bucking its brands off does feel very well, but as a punting proposition, it makes me very nervous. And I’m feeling sorry for Sam Hyland, who normally does the mounting yard reports for TVN. Sam was bumped from the yard and forced to watch the horses in the parade ring from an eerie on top of the horse stalls. I took his photo so that he doesn’t feel too left out. But we both agreed that Francesca probably beats him for looks.

Leave A Comment

All fields marked with "*" are required.

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>