The weather couldn’t have been better than it was yesterday, a perfect mild sunny day – not too hot, not too cold, and despite thinking I had underdressed for the day, I was comfortable all afternoon. The threatened showers didn’t eventuate, though the public lawn was soggy, especially near the outside bar - the racing equivalent of a sticky carpet I suppose.
But that’s all beside the point. I arrived at Moonee Valley in time to place a bet on the third race, the Curran Chemicals Stakes, a 1200 metre race for three year old fillies. I figured the favourite Dutchy’s Lass was the one to go for. Unfortunately she over raced, leading the field at a blistering pace, but by the turn was noticeably tiring and dropped out. The race was won by Sussuro having only the second race of her career, and possibly one to watch for in the future.
Very few favourites won as was borne out in the fourth race. I had my money on Miss Octopussy and Avionics (pictured below).
The race, the Sphinx Hotel Handicap, for mares, also over 1200 metres, was won by 26/1 shot Venus World.
The fifth race, the Pulse Pharmacy Handicap, true to the afternoon’s form was won by outsider Pertubo (15/1)
Was I on him? No.
It started getting more interesting as the quality races drew closer, and the Group 3 McEwen Stakes was next on the agenda.
I ventured out to the parade yard to photograph some of the contestants.
Hay List was the outstanding winner, totally blitzing the rest of the field with Catapulted running second and Reward for Effort, third.
Race seven the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes was the feature race, the one we’d all been waiting for. I decided to try and get some snaps of the runners most especially Shoot Out and Typhoon Tracy.
Shoot Out - a magnificent bright bay horse – very pretty.
Typhoon Tracy – I was expecting her to be dainty, but she is quite a hefty girl - bigger than I thought she’d be.
A stunning good looker – Rundle
Whobegotyou – the winner!
An hour before the Dato Tan was due to run, it was announced that Typhoon Tracy would not be running on the pace (i.e. taking the lead) contrary to everyone’s expectations. Hissing Sid ended up taking the lead and Tracy raced mid field. Shoot Out was positioned on the inside in about fourth place, a mistake as it turns out as he was blocked in when it mattered. Tracy and Whobe emerged from the pack at the turn, but Whobegotyou was too good, beating Typhoon Tracy by a couple of lengths, with Shoot Out running third. Pretty much the result expected, with the top three horses filling the places.
My luck certainly wasn’t in yesterday – I didn’t pick any winners, and ended up with three thirds and a second. So much for following the form – it was anybody’s guess in most cases who the winner would be.
I stayed for the Stock Stakes, and had my money on the class runner Faint Perfume, who came ninth. Avienus, a 12/1 outsider was the winner.
So it was a disappointing day, betting wise, but otherwise a pleasant afternoon’s entertainment in the sun, soaking up some much needed Vitamin D after the grey wet days we’ve been having lately.
There was a bigger crowd than I expected, but it was not overwhelming, mostly drunk young men in party mode, who seemed to feel a need to dress up in silly costumes. Take this bloke, dressed as the Tooth Fairy.
He was having a great time with his mates, posing for photographs with police crowd control officers at one stage.
I caught the bus home, and enjoyed a conversation about racing with an old bloke I met on the bus stop all the way home.