Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sacred Spring Redux– the return of Group Racing

A page from my old scrapbook – Even Stevens

Well, some people may not think it is all that sacred, but the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes, that was run at Caulfield today, marks the beginning of the Spring racing season for me . Last year it was won by my old favourite Shoot Out. Unfortunately he will not be part of the carnival this year as he has been suffering from lower back problems and will be spelled until next autumn to enable him to recover.

This year’s version was won by Peter Moody trained mare Midsummer Music, who fought out the finish with fellow mare Rue Maple.

And it was good to see Altius, the little half brother of Elvstroem and Haradasun, start his season off with an impressive win in the first at Rosehill today.

August 1st is the official birthday of southern hemisphere race horses , and also marks the beginning of the season.

Horses to watch

Black Caviar – we won’t see her race again until later in the season, but will certainly look forward to it. Unfortunately the anticipated clash with Singapore sprinting star Rocket Man in the Patinack Farm Classic will not eventuate. Also her closest rival in Australia Hay List will not race this spring, due to a pernicious leg infection that was ongoing for several months. Last news was that he was recovering – let’s sincerely hope so.

Sepoy – the star two year old of the autumn season, winner of the Blue Diamond/ Golden Slipper double, is apparently due to begin his three year old campaign shortly in Melbourne. His only defeat came at the hooves of Smart Missile, who will also be resuming shortly, after missing the Golden Slipper due to an injury.

Shamrocker and Scarlett Lady – dominant staying fillies of the Sydney autumn and Queensland winter season , are expected to be in there with a chance come Caulfield Cup time. It’s about time a mare won one or both of the big staying races; it’s now six years since Makybe Diva won her third Melbourne Cup.

Lights of Heaven – another of Peter Moody’s star performers and a staying mare at that. Very much looking forward to her return.

Also watch for New Zealand stayers Jimmy Choux, Lion Tamer and Western Australians Playing God and Dreamaway.

Actually WA has a classy sprinter called Barakey his trainer declares as being better than Hay List. Whether we’ll see him on the east coast is a matter of conjecture.

I’m sure I’ve missed some up and comers and no doubt there will be more to emerge this spring, but I’m also keen for the return of More Joyous, Maluckday, Enjin Number 9 and Love Conquers All.

Anyway the build up begins, and my interest is reignited. Not that it really ever goes away as I always check the racing news daily.

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