Monday, September 15, 2008

A Day at the Races – 2008 edition

It was a bright and sunny day last Saturday, perfect for a day at the races.

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Clerk of the Course guiding horse onto track

We, that is myself and two of my friends, arrived at Moonee Valley racecourse at about 1.30 pm just in time to witness the fourth race on the cards - a sprint handicap which was won by an outsider called Chairman of the Board. I didn’t have a bet in this race, being uninspired with the field. It was however a pointer for the rest of day as favourites failed to perform and outsiders won most of the races on the day.

The fifth race was the Champagne Stakes for fillies and I put my money on Cats Whisker and Burgeis, neither of whom managed to get a place. My friend B picked the winner Dan Baroness, selecting her on the basis that the horse’s name reminded her of her son Daniel. As good a way as any for picking winners, I’m all for omen bets. Dan Baroness paid very handsomely.

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Dan Baroness

The Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes was won by another outsider, Guillotine. The half brother to Melbourne Cup winner Efficient, he was given no chance by any of the pundits; the money was all for Maldivian. Even though I do have Guillotine in my personal black book as a horse to follow, I didn’t even consider him as a prospect. A handsome grey horse he flashed past us to win by a length over two other outsiders. The trifecta paid a fortune.

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I had a bit more luck in the feature race the Manikato Stakes. I had my money on Absolut Glam who was narrowly beaten by Typhoon Zed. Still she paid pretty well on the place dividend.

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Typhoon Zed

My only winner for the day was Tuesday Joy, the super Sydney mare, having her first start at Moonee Valley. She was the class horse in the race and proved it by pipping the favourite, Devil Moon, at the post.

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Tuesday Joy

The crowd on the Public Lawn seemed to be predominantly young men wearing team tee-shirts.

One lot was a country football team from Euroa with their Melbourne hosts, very much in party mode.

In the end I only took photos of horses, along with all the other amateur photographers. There was a young woman with a serious camera standing next to me. She knew the horses and was obviously a keen follower of horse racing unlike her male companion to whom she was exasperatingly explaining points of form.

Only one of my Super Stable horses was racing on Saturday, this being Forensics in Sydney, beginning her spring campaign. She came second in her race, so my stable virtual funds have been augmented by $40,000.

All in all it was an interesting day at the races, though not particularly successful financially for me though my friend B cleaned up. I think I came out even, my winnings offsetting the losses. And we all benefited from spending a day in the sun - a vitamin D boost after the grey days of winter. It even remained warm all afternoon – the first day this spring where a jacket was unnecessary.

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