Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Day at the Races – Manikato Stakes Day 2007

Gold Edition leads the field down the straight in the Manikato Stakes

It was a bright and sunny day last Saturday, perfect weather for an afternoon turf side.

In the company of lady friends M and Y, we took a bus which stops just outside the course and arrived at Moonee Valley just before the third race on the cards. There was enough time to put a bet on before the race was due to run. A rather hasty decision in that race resulted in a third placing for my chosen horse, Snappy Tom.

My fortunes varied over the afternoon, but I didn’t particularly mind, as I’m a modest punter. I ended up with one win, two seconds and a third place from five bets. My super stable however was boosted by a virtual $503,600, as all five of my super stable horses racing that day were in the money.

Haradasun after competing in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes

Seeing Haradasun in the flesh was the highlight of the day for me. His race, the Dato Tan ChinNam Stakes was the classic competition of the day. Haradasun and El Segundo fought out the finish in a truly thrilling competition down the straight and hit the line together. El Segundo won by a whisker, though it did look to be a dead heat. They both emerged from the pack at the 600m mark and charged down the outside of the field, leaving stragglers in their wake. It’s the sort of race that will be talked of for years to come, like the classic competition of Bonecrusher and Our Waverley Star in the 1986 Cox Plate, to which the racing media are already comparing the 2007 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.

El Segundo after winning the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes

The Manikato Stakes, the first group one race of the Spring was also a classic race, with the Iron Filly, Gold Edition, leading from start to finish amd winning easily. A very striking looking horse she is, and she looked very pretty in her orange bridle to match the jockey’s silks.

Gold Edition after winning the Manikato Stakes

Jan was querying in the comments in my last post the link between racing and music. There’s none really, though at Moonee Valley on Saturday a band provided entertainment between races. I can’t remember what they played but it was pleasant enough - sort of classic rock pop.

A blimp drifted overhead at one stage...

There was a fair crowd at the course though not over the top. It seemed mostly to be comprised of hard drinking young men. I didn’t see any interesting costumes this year. Victoria is still Equine Virus free, but there was evidence of precautions at the track. Presentations were not held in the public area. Horses were quickly sashed and removed from the course and horse areas were fenced off.

As the afternoon drew on the shadow from the pavilion covered the Public Lawn and it grew chilly so I was glad I’d brought my jacket after carrying it around all afternoon. Shadows cast on the track gave my photos a watercolour effect.

We bussed it home again after the eighth race, well pleased with our day at the races, though not exactly rolling in money. That’s it until next year, for me, as I don’t intend to go to any other races this spring. They get too crowded from now on for my taste. That’s why the Manikato Stakes day is perfect – star horses, small crowds, short queues at the TAB, not to mention the thrill of watching the races from close up at the fence without having to fight for a position.


chiefbiscuit said...

I love a day at the races - not that I go to many ... but it is part of my childhood memories.

Jan said...

Thanks for answering my query! Very honoured.

Anne S said...

Jan: You're welcome. I thought I'd sneak the answer into this post, and see if anyone noticed.