It’s not every day that you get to feed a piece of carrot and pat old champions of the turf, so I was delighted to find that Fish and Foo (Efficient and Fields of Omagh) were present at Flemington on Saturday as the special equine guests from Living Legends.
Effiicient is a particular favourite of mine - a big grey horse who won the Melbourne Cup 10 years ago.
Fields of Omagh has the distinction of winning the Cox Plate twice, in 2003 and 2006.
It wasn’t that bad weather wise for an afternoon at the races – chilly and overcast, but the rain held off.
Catching the last train for Flemington Racecourse (1.40pm) I got to the big track around 2.00pm, and thus witnessed four races.
The first of these was Race 4, the VRC Member William O’Grady Handicap, run over 1700 metres. The horses were being loaded into the barriers as I reached my favoured position just past the winning post.
I was interested to test my new camera. Well may you ask, why I have yet another new one, but the Nikon D3300 developed a serious fault that would have cost more to fix than it was worth. As a replacement I upgraded to a Nikon D5300 which was compatible with my lenses and even used the same model battery.
Overall I’m pleased with the photos I snapped with it last Saturday, but I’m still tinkering with its settings.
As the inside rail was out 10 metres, and despite the wideness of the Flemington track, it is difficult getting clear shots without rails cutting off the view.
Race 5 was the VRC Member Mark Young Handicap over 1400 metres which was won by the amusingly named Swampland, who has now chalked up three wins in succession.
Chris Waller trained gallopers took out three of the races on Saturday, Jaminzah in race 4 was one, and Wayanka another, the victor in Race 6, the VRC Member Joan Watson Handicap, which had assembled a huge field of 15 starters. The third Waller winner was Alward in Race 8.
The feature race was the Aurie’s Star Handicap and as it was up next I headed for the mounting yard to test the camera with shots of the pre race parade.
Hey Doc led the field from shortly after the start, racing along the outside rail. Despite his top weight, he had enough in the tank to keep his momemtum and win by a head from Cannyescent with Grande Rosso a half length third. I Am A Star did not disgrace herself running a solid fourth.
I did not stay for the final two races as the trains from Flemington to the city were running again so I headed home.
It was enjoyable being back at Flemington, despite the races not being of any great interest. And the D5300 passed with flying colours in general.
I look forward to giving it another whirl next week at Caulfield, which features the PB Lawrence Stakes with the Quezette Stakes and Vain Stakes also being of great interest.