Friday, March 06, 2009

Autumn Racing Carnival 2009 – Week 6 - Super Saturday

The Melbourne part of the autumn racing carnival reaches a peak tomorrow with the running of the Australian Cup over 2000 metres at Flemington. As Australian Cup fields go, it’s pretty uninspiring and to my jaundiced eye, it appears that Theseo has the race in the bag. However, one can never trust to the form being spot on, as witnessed last week, anything can happen to change the fortunes of the runners. Theseo’s main threats appear to be the redoubtable Niconero, last start winner Road To Rock, or one of the mares Zarita and Arapaho Miss. Pre Eminence really stuffed up last week, getting really fizzed up pre race and ruining his chances, but if he is back to his best he might run a place.

There are two other Group One races at Flemington and one in Sydney. In Melbourne a big field (23 runners) will contest the Newmarket Handicap, a sprint over 1200 metres. Northern Meteor returns in this race. He won the Coolmore Stud Stakes back in spring. Also in the mix is Burdekin Blues, going great guns, Scenic Blast, Swiss Ace, a surprise winner last start, Secret Flyer, Triple Honour, who cannot be overlooked, and Time Thief who is not without a hope after his very good run in the Australia Stakes when he ran third behind Apache Cat.

The Cadbury Guineas a 1600 metre race for three year olds also has a crack field of talented colts and geldings. Will Von Costa De Hero behave himself and fulfil his potential this time round? Fravashi is the deserving favourite, but there are other chances in Heart of Dreams, Niconero’s little brother Nicconi and the interesting Huxssen, unbeaten so far this autumn.

There are several other interesting races at Flemington for the follower of form. The Group 2 Kewney Stakes sees Gold Water and Gallica fighting it out again. But before that race I was interested to see that old favourite Sugar Babe has returned to racing. She will be up against the current in form filly Dameselfly in the MSS Security Stakes. And I am very much looking forward to seeing Typhoon Tracy racing in the Schweppervescence Trophy. back as well in the Sire’s Produce Stakes. She was disappointing in the Blue Diamond, but there are excuses for her performance, so if she is back to her best she should win.

And, how could I forget, Whobegotyou, the hyped colt of spring is making his debut autumn racing appearance in the last race at Flemington.

At Randwick the Group One Chipping Norton will be run, Tuesday Joy is the favourite, but the race also has Melbourne Cup winner Viewed, AJC Derby winner Nom De Jeu, Mentality and giant killer, Gallant Tess running. Tuesday Joy came second in this race last year, beaten by Casino Queen.

All Silent, winner of the Emirates Stakes in the spring, starts his autumn campaign in the Liverpool City Cup. His target this autumn is the hallowed Doncaster Handicap. The gutsy filly Romneya will be taking on the mares in Sydney this weekend in the Group 2 Surround Stakes.

Despite the fact that some of the sparkle has gone out of the autumn carnival with Samantha Miss out with an injury and Weekend Hussler being spelled, it looks like a good day of racing tomorrow. The excitement continues on Monday where I will be interested in the performances of Augusta Proud and Coubertin who are racing in Adelaide. I won’t be placing any bets as my tipping form has been shocking so far this year. I therefore won’t put a jinx on any of my black book horses, by laying money on them.

1 comment:

Bwca said...

a friend of mine works where DivaMakybe foals ...

and wrote: on sensitivity of cows

It is dusk. As I sit on the veranda a lone cockatoo flies silently by, high in a fading sky. I wonder where is it going, solo and soundless.
Half a dozen cows, only metres away, greedily rip and tear the kikuyu that has spilled into the paddock from the lawn. The sound of their chewing is gentle and soothing. They are filling up their tummies in preparation for a cool night ahead. You've got to wonder about cows alimentary canals. It's pretty weird when you think about it. Four stomachs, a cud-chewing capacity. Probably best not to give it too much thought, so soon after dinner.
Here in the Hunter, in a private, secluded, valley, up a windy track that runs alongside a creek, I live, surrounded by cows and horses. I watch them every day and I'm beginning to think that cows are much smarter or at the least much more sensitive than they're generally given credit for.
The other day I walked up the track to a paddock where I know there to be a band of broodmares. Recently these mares had to suffer the loss of their foals. Foals they have guarded with their lives that they risked their lives to bear, that they have fed and nurtured for months. It's weaning time. I guess they get used to it, year in and year out, I doubt I ever will.
All night foals screamed from the yards. All night their mothers called back from the hills. It was heartbreaking.
A few days later I went to check on the mares. Not my animals, I have no business checking them, but nobody else bothers much. Mares can sometimes get mastitis at weaning time. Or so I rationalised. But was it more that I wanted to commiserate with them, to offer condolences, to tell them I was on their side, that I thought it was so unfair, that life, was so terribly unfair.
I found them not far from the road. Twenty lovely mares, pregnant again, grazing madly. They allowed me to walk up to them. Hello girls. How you doing? It was late afternoon and I stood on the side of a hill looking over a panorama of grassy rolling hills dotted with trees. The wind rasped against my face. I started to weep. There is something tragic about the nobility and beauty of horses. The mares kept grazing ignoring the weeping form in front of them, but as I looked down the hill I saw a cow in a small herd, looking intently at me. I cannot describe her expression in any other way than it being one of kindness and compassion. I looked back, surprised by her intent and intelligent gaze. She blinked once or twice but kept looking at me. I got up, took a few deep breaths, and headed home