Let’s hope that the Spring Racing Carnival does not continue as it started, with long shot winners stealing the prize from the more fancied runners.
Truth to tell, so far the racing in Melbourne has been somewhat underwhelming, but hopefully it will be more interesting as the season progresses and the Sydney stars venture south to vie for Group 1 glory.
Last Saturday dawned into a lovely warm sunny day, so it was a pleasure to head to the big track at Flemington for an afternoon of racing action.
Due to the Flemington train timetable I was obliged to get to Flemington quite early and arrived as Race 1 was in progress, but as the feature race was scheduled at the relatively early time of 4.10pm, it wasn’t a particularly long day.
I missed watching races 2 to 5, hanging out in the stalls area awaiting the arrival of Mystic Journey, so I could get a good photo of her without blinkers or ear muffs.
Whilst waiting, I wandered around to see who had arrived and came across the special Living Legends equine guests, 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance and Who Shot Thebarman, a grand old stayer who won the Sydney Cup in 2018.
Mystic Journey turned up at last and looked bright and bouncy as she was led to Stall 32.
Race 5 was the Group 2 Danehill Stakes for three years run over 1200 metres, so I headed for my usual spot just past the finishing post with my step stool to photograph the action.
South Australian based Dalasan started as the race favourite and raced on the speed behind race leader Dubious then overtook him close to the line to win by ¾ length, with Express Post running third.
Named to honour the great staying mare of the early 1990s, the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes had attracted a field of classy mares, that included South Australian Oaks winner Princess Jenni, Fundamentalist and Aloisia. Pretty grey mare Fidelia, who was kicking up her heels in the birdcage walking ring earlier in the afternoon, started as favourite. The winner however was Spanish Whisper who battled out the finish with Miss Siska, to prevail by ½ length. Fidelia flew late along the rail to finish third.
Whether it was the curse of winning the P B Lawrence Stakes, or maybe me jinxing her by getting Adam Trinder’s signature in my racebook, Mystic Journey, though trying her hardest, failed to catch runaway winner Gatting at the finishing post. The margin was ¾ length with Mr Quickie a further ¾ length running third.
At least Mystic Journey avoided the double curse of winning the Makybe Diva Stakes, which has as bad a record as the P B Lawrence Stakes, with winners of that race failing to win again during the season.
It was disappointing that Mystic Journey didn’t win, but we hope she will be successful in the next race she tackles, by all acounts the Turnbull Stakes in early October.
Apropos Mystic’s trainer Adam Trinder, I read that he was relentlessly trolled on Social Media by ignorant anonymous users. Let me just say that Adam Trinder is a gentleman and a very nice person to speak to. I love his old fashioned way of expressing his thoughts. He says demeanour instead of nature, for instance.
Gatting’s win took everyone by surprise as he came in at over 100/1 and paid a fortune in dividends. He’s another West Australian horse who was having his first start in the East.
Speaking of former Western Australian horses, it was interesting to see the superstar of the West, Arcadia Queen, take out the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.
Next Saturday the racing action returns to Caulfield where the feature race is the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes. Fortunately this time there will be no public transport disruptions.