The weather on Friday in Melbourne was wet, windy and cold, but it brightened considerably yesterday, so going to the races promised not to be such a bad idea after all. So forth I went, suitably garbed to weather any climatic conditions, to Moonee Valley race track.
I arrived a quarter of an hour before the fourth race, the AJS Corporation Handicap for mares, over 1200 metres, so had plenty of time to have a quick look at the parade and place a bet. I selected Irish Dream and Annlea and had $2.00 each way bets on both. Happily Irish Dream brought home the bikkies, paying quite reasonable odds of $4.80 for the win, so I got my money back and a slight profit, a successful start to the day.
The next race on the cards was the Spotless Handicap, over 1600 metres. The field looked uninspiring, so I had a few dollars on the top weight Philda who appeared to have likely form. Then I had a change of mind, and by a serendipitous mistake placed a bet on horse number 11. I’d actually meant to bet on number 15. Would you believe, number 11, Carnero won, after leading throughout and holding off a late charge by Extra Zero. He paid a very handsome $10.50.
My luck changed after that, my selections in the next two races failing to run a place.
The first of the group races was Race number 6, the Group Three McEwan Stakes, a sprint over 1000 metres. I went out and cased the runners in the parade ground.
The feature race of the day was the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and everyone expected Whobegotyou to make it three in succession. It was not to be, as Whobe was blocked for a run when it mattered and only managed to run into third place. Rekindled Interest who I disparaged in my preview, was the winner with Alcopop running second. I had my money on Linton who uncharacteristically was forced to lead early in the race, and ended up boxed in with no place to go.
Well, my luck had to change and it did in Race 8 , the Stocks Stakes, a Group 2 race for mares over 1600 metres. I put my money on New Zealand mare King’s Rose and she delivered, with a narrow win over Pinker Pinker with good old Lady Lynette running third. I remarked to my friend R, that the above girls were the ideal boxed trifecta. A pity I didn’t take my own advice, as the trifecta paid $38.00 which is nothing to sneeze at, despite what others may say.
I didn’t stay for the last race, so after collecting my winnings on Kings Rose, I headed home, my finances intact. I broke even on the day, so it was a cheap day out at the races.
It wasn’t all that cold at the track, though the occasional shower had racegoers running for cover, and the sun peeped out of the clouds several times.
As usual I’m on the lookout for unusual costumes. The most outrageous was this bloke in a dress, who graciously posed for the photo…
…and the Moonee Valley promotional team – a person dressed in a horse costume accompanied by two sweet young things dressed as jockeys, were handing out cards granting the recipient a free glass of sparkling wine at Legends, the gambling establishment just up the hill from Moonee Valley racecourse.
As I intend to make use of my seasons ticket, I’ll be attending my first night race on 30 September. The feature race then will be the Group 1 Manikato Stakes with the likes of Sepoy and More Joyous apparently scheduled to run in it.