The weather could have been better, but it was a pleasant change of scene to be back trackside at the races yesterday.
It has been almost a year since I last attended the races, so having renewed my Melbourne Racing Club Casual Membership I was able to attend yesterday’s races at Caulfield, which featured the two Blue Diamond Previews, one for the boys and one for the girls.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions on the number of spectators at the track, one had to register to attend in advance. Being a casual member the only area option available was the Front Lawn, which suited me fine as it’s where I would choose to be normally.
There were restrictions on other areas of the track, such as the stalls, parade rings and mounting yard fence. But overall, the front lawn was a spacious area to hang out in as there wasn’t that much of a crowd. By pretending to be media photographers we managed to get next to the fence for photo practice. I’m glad I took my stool.
My photographer friends Rebecca and George were also in attendance yesterday, so it was great to catch up with them after almost a year since we last met in person.
Last year the Blue Diamond Previews were won by Hanseatic (colts & geldings BD Preview) and A Beautiful Night won the fillies version. Hanseatic went on to win the Blue Diamond Prelude on Orr Stakes Day, and finished second to Tagaloa in the Blue Diamond Stakes. A Beautiful Night faded into insignificance thereafter, finishing unplaced in her next four races.
The winners yesterday were quite impressive, General Beau, after racing in third or fourth for most of the race, stormed to the finish line to win by ½ length from Extreme Warrior and Gulf of Suez.
The wonderfully named Dosh (Rich Enuff / Raise Up) led the fillies Blue Diamond Preview field from the start and was strong to the finish, successfully holding off challengers Tayla’s Moment and hot favourite Frost Flowers, to win by by ½ length
Not that it was important as I didn’t tarry long after the Blue Diamond Previews had been run, the rest of the race card being of not much interest.
Next Saturday I hope to attend Caulfield again where the feature races are the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes and Manfred Stakes. They look very interesting with potential stars of the turf such as class filly Ethaar and 2020 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Tagaloa having accepted to run.
Again the weather is forecast to be showery, but cross fingers for some sunshine as well.
The first Group 1 race of Melbourne’s Autumn Carnival is the Orr Stakes in a little over a week on 6 February, so the racing from now on will be more exciting and I’ll hopefully get to see some of it in person.