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The Australian Guineas

March 4th, 2017 0 comments

My first day back at Flemington since the spring. There seem to have been a few changes. The gate I normally walk through to get to the mounting yard has been replaced with a quite formidable black barrier with heavy duty padlock and chain. It seems pretty clear that I am not welcome unless I’ve got a hard hard hat and high vis vest. In fact, it’s quite explicit “KEEP OUT!”. To get to the mounting yard from the parade ring I have to detour around the black barrier, past the rails bookmakers who are now standing in no-man’s land with no customers, duck through under the Hill Stand, and emerge at a tiny area alongside the mounting yard reserved for members. What a disaster! And look. Where has my refuge, the Island Bar, gone! I reckon it used to be where that monster Delta digger is resting. And where will I get my iced water? Apparently the new stand won’t be ready till 2018. It’s going to be chaos in the spring. Can the rails bookies sue the club for lack of business?

It took me a few races and a couple of losers to sort things out. Chaos Ball looked good in the two-year-old but played up in the barrier and was pulled out and inspected by the vet. I would have scratched the horse but of course the vet let it run and my bet was history. Chaos Ball finished last. And I quite liked Sadaqa in the sixth but the horse did nothing. I finally worked out that the easiest way to get from the stalls to the yard was straight up the public lawn. The only problem was that you have to wait at the gate till all the horses, stewards and sundry officials have gone onto the track. But I found the iced water at last hidden in the undercroft.

Hey Doc looked the goods in the Guineas with its head in towards a positive strapper. The $1.80 gave me some back and I came home like a train with Cadillac Mountain, quietly flipping its lip, and paying $3.30 for the place. I’m not sure what lip flipping is about and whether it is a stereotypy but it is certainly a positive (17% in the book) and the horse must be comfortable with the bit in order to do it. So, I finished with two out of four for the day, grumpy, and not looking forward to racing at Flemington.


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