Friday, September 03, 2010

2010 Spring Racing Season – Week 6 – Makybe Diva Stakes

So You Think - photo by Pat Scala/The Age
I won’t have much time this week to study the form or even write with any detail on the racing this coming weekend, despite there being some fantastic races scheduled - five Group 2 races, the Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600metres, the Danehill Stakes over 1200 metres and the Let’s Elope Stakes over 1400 metres at Flemington and the Chelmsford Stakes (1600 metres) and the Furious Stakes (1400 metres) at Randwick in Sydney.

I should have guessed last week that So You Think was the one to beat, despite the track conditions. He’s a splendid looking animal and showed his outstanding class winning the Memsie Stakes, out gunning Whobegotyou and Shoot Out. I was disappointed that Shoot Out didn’t win – serves me right for being sentimental about him and Typhoon Tracy, though neither was disgraced in their runs, finishing as they did in the first four. I look forward to the rematch at Moonee Valley in a fortnight, where I hope to have the pleasure of witnessing the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes in person.

Anyway, the Makybe Diva stakes looks almost as interesting a race as the Memsie Stakes. The acceptances include Rebel Raider, Heart of Dreams, Danleigh, Vigor (who won this race last year) and Monaco Consul to name a few of my favourite horses competing in it. Another heavy track is on the cards, as it has rained again this week and is supposed to bucket down on Saturday. The drought is definitely over in Melbourne, after years of fast tracks while it lasted.

Star Witness takes on top filly Military Rose in The Danehill Stakes. He was beaten by Toorak Toff in his last run, and Toorak Toff won the Golden Rose last weekend. Still I do reckon Star Witness has a chance to redeem that loss in the Danehill Stakes, as long as he can hold out the likes of Soul, and Buffering , not to mention Military Rose.

The Let’s Elope Stakes is for mares and Dariana, who did not run in the Memsie, is nominated for this. She probably needs it longer but will be worth watching. You can’t underestimate the old master Bart Cummings as was proved last weekend.

Also running at Flemington is Linton resuming in the Sofitel, a listed race over 1400 metres. He’s one of Lloyd Williams Melbourne Cup contenders, and although only lightly raced, is a talented young stayer who I had the good fortune to witness winning the Alister Clarke Stakes in autumn at Moonee Valley.

Speaking of Melbourne Cup hopefuls, it’s great to see 2010 Sydney Cup winner Jessicabeel beginning her spring campaign in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap at Randwick. 1400 metres is probably too short for her, but it sure will be interesting to see how she runs from a Melbourne Cup point of view.

Metal Bender will be facing off with Theseo and Triple Honour in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes and Parables seems to have the Furious Stakes field at her mercy.

I won’t be able to watch much racing tomorrow, as I will be otherwise occupied on Saturday afternoon, firstly with an In Store performance by Brisbane band The Gin Club at Basement Discs, then a visit to the World Science Fiction Convention which is being held in Melbourne this year.

Aussiecon 4, as it is designated, has been going since 2 September. I had no great desire to attend the whole shebang, so bought a day ticket for Saturday, where I hope to catch up with old friends from the Science Fiction scene of long ago. Aussiecon 1 was held in 1975, and was the first World Science Fiction convention held in Australia. I attended that one, and remember being on a panel with Ursula Le Guin who was the guest of honour that year, and also won the Hugo for her novel The Dispossessed.

So good blogging opportunities abound this weekend. More later

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