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The Valley All-Star Mile

March 13th, 2021 4 comments

Third-up from a spell. And what a spell that was! Is it really a year since we were struck down by the virus? It is amazing that racing has managed to keep going by separating the players from the spectators, but that is not much help to me as I need to see the horse in the flesh. I struggled to have two bets for the whole year. The restrictions have eased over the last couple of weeks and I managed to blow the cobwebs out at Flemington for the Australian Guineas and the Australian Cup. But there was no access to the parade ring or horse stalls so I was operating with only half the information. But it didn’t deter me as I went overboard with nine bets over the two days! I think I was a victim of a phenomenon known as behavioural rebound – when prevented from performing a behaviour for a long time it then rebounds to a much higher level!

And so to The Valley. The forecast is ominous but surprisingly there is access to the horse stalls, although not much use to me in the wet. The rain arrived on cue and the track was downgraded to a Soft 6 before the Mile and then a Soft 7 straight after. Mugatoo had the head down and the cross-over noseband and looked very muscular and wet. Russian Camelot had the two strappers and looked classy and wet. And Behemoth looked, well, big and wet. I don’t bet if my race book gets wet and today it is saturated. Well, that’s a lie as I was a coward sheltering under cover! I’ll keep my powder dry. No point betting in the slush when looks count for nothing. Mugatoo muscled through for a strong win from Russian Camelot and Behemoth.

4 Responses to “ The Valley All-Star Mile ”

  1. Trevor says:


    Glad to hear you are back on the racecourse! In the UK racing remains behind closed doors. Watching racing on terrestrial TV can be frustrating. Except at the biggest meetings, when no other meeting is being televised, do you ever get any sighting of the horses. I’ve not opted for a subscription on a horse racing channel, I suspect similar issues arise.

    There has been a lot of controversy around horseracing in UK/Ireland recently. The Horse Welfare Board, an independent body, established by the British Horseracing Authority, released a strategic plan in the spring of 2020. Let’s hope it can now deliver.

    On the topic of wet, is it the rain rather than the ground that is the issue, so soft/heavy going on a sunny day is no problem?
    (apologies if I’ve asked this before, it could be behavioural rebound kicking in!)

    Best wishes

  2. Geoffrey says:

    It’s the ground. Soft/heavy is always a problem.

  3. Trevor says:

    Dear Geoffrey

    Do have a particular theory to support the statement “No point betting in the slush when looks count for nothing”. What is it specifically that interferes with behavioural analysis when these conditions prevail?


  4. Geoffrey says:

    I have no theory. But I can’t tell if a horse can pick up its feet in the wet. So to simplify the process I don’t attend in winter or bet if my racebook gets wet.

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