Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apache Cat - Everybody’s Valentine

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Apache Cat on his way to winning the Australia Stakes

The fact that it was Valentine’s Day yesterday totally escaped my notice. It certainly wasn’t all that obvious at Moonee Valley when, with my friend Bernie, I went to the races.

It was a pleasant, but unsuccessful (in terms of winning bets on my part) day at the races. Moonee Valley has a sort of provincial track feel about it and is excellent if you want to take photographs of the horses. Bernie had a good day backing several long shot winners. So much for studying the form guide, you might as well just pick them by name.

We arrived at the course just before the third race, the Schweppervescence Stakes. It was won by the favourite Mic Mac.

The next race on the program, the Newmarket Insurance Brokers Plate was a race for mares. I had my money on Brazen Hussey, but veteran grey mare, Sensational Toy, won convincingly. A pretty horse, here she is posing for the cameras.

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The winner of the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes, Pre Eminence (below) caused a boilover. He is a very good horse who ran second in the VRC Derby last year, so everyone, except Bernie considered the race unsuitable for him. He paid something like $19.00 for the win.

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Race 6 was the 1500 metres Group 2 fillies race. Romneya (below)the gutsy little filly started favourite and won easily.

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After that race we decided we should go and have a look at the mounting yard for the parade for the Australia Stakes. I managed to get some good photos of Apache Cat, Time Thief and Weekend Hussler. The Cat is so distinctive you couldn’t miss him. While I was snapping a photo of him, someone remarked near me, that he must be the most photographed horse in Australia.

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Weekend Hussler was very disappointing in the race. Perhaps he didn’t take to Moonee Valley, but he failed quite badly finishing 5th.

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Time Thief, however, raced very well, leading for most of the race and finishing a fighting third.

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The race itself was worth the cost of entry – a great run by Apache Cat who made it back to back victories in the race. His win was greeted by a cheer from the crowd. He does like Moonee Valley and perhaps the change of rider made all the difference. But the Cat is definitively back. I should have had a sentimental bet on him as his odds were very good yesterday, but alas I had my modest bet on Time Thief. Weekend Hussler started short priced favourite.

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We didn’t hang around much after the feature race, but before we left we decided to check out the band that was playing in between races.

The younger race goers were having a ball, dancing to classic songs like Summer of 69 .

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The below young man – wearing a sort fluffy pink tiara posed very nicely for a photo.

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And that was how I spent Valentine’s Day.


Kay said...

Beautiful horses - so well photographed. Glad you had such a great day.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

I'm hangin' out for your Fine Cotton post.

Jan said...

Good to be back visiting at t'other side of the world and your blog is as good as ever!

Anne S said...

Hey FX interesting that you should mention Fine Cotton as I have just learned that the real Fine Cotton died recently (perhaps you were referring to this). The story is here

And Hello Jan from the other side of the world - thanks for dropping by.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

yes I thought the death of Fine Cotton might inspire a post from you on ring-ins, dodgy races or something

Anne S said...

Sorry FX, didn't have time to do the research and really it's not something I'd really write about.

I love the races for the thrills and spills, but not the shonky side.

There's a healthy(?) conversation about Fine Cotton on the Racing & Sports Forum