Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Altitude & Attitude – More Cat Pics

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Firstly, altitude, as in Talya being arboreal in the fig tree. As climbers go, Talya is not all that sure of herself in trees, having in her early years not had many opportunities to practise. The fig tree is dead easy to climb with wide thick limbs, and she often lounges up in it watching the birds.

In the evenings after her dinner, she is very playful and impish, dashing after thrown balls and trying to get us involved in a chasing game. The following photo is of her crouching under a chair, looking slightly crazed and impish.

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And Willy of course is all attitude…

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…alternately smoochy and grumpy.

They may be a handful at times, but cats certainly enliven the domicile with their antics and attitudes. The world would be a sadder place without them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Surprises All Round – Cox Plate Day 2013 Review

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Cox Plate start – the field leaps from the barriers in a good line

As has been the case all through the Melbourne spring racing carnival, the weather was kind for Cox Plate day, overcast but free of raindrops. Good conditions, lighting wise, for taking photos, and I took a great many, which I spent most of yesterday sorting.

I arrived at the track shortly before Race 4 the Drummond Golf Handicap. which is run over 2040 metres. I took up my normal spot on the fence near the top of the straight, which as usual was relatively uncrowded. I’d placed a bet on Queensland horse Rothera, but alas he finished unplaced. The race was won by 7/1 shot Hvasstan from Bel Thor and Grand Sai Wan.

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Race 4 finish from the top of the straight – Hvasstan overtakes Grand Sai Wan before going on to win

Rather than linger meaninglessly on the lawn I made my way to the stalls area. Most of the contenders for the Cox Plate had not yet arrived, but there were other horses to see. December Draw was being walked by his strapper and hanging around outside his stall. He’s a very friendly fellow and I was able to give him a pat. Later, so I was told, he put his head over the fence and tried to eat a spectator’s tie.

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December Draw having a quiet laugh

It’s A Dundeel was in his stall, but the area in front of it was crowded with interested bystanders vying for position with cameramen, so I moved on.

However, especially at the track for the occasion from Living Legends was dual Cox Plate winner Fields Of Omagh. He won the race in 2003 as a six year old, then again in 2006 at the age of nine; the oldest winner in the race’s history. Ironic really, considering that Foo (as he was affectionately known) led out the 2013 Cox Plate field, and the race was won by a so called maiden, i.e. a three year old who had yet to win a race, for the first time.

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Fields Of Omagh

Next up was the Group Two Mitchelton Wines Vase, a race for three year olds over 2040 metres. Super Cool won this race last year from It’s A Dundeel.  This year’s edition had Savvy Nature, runner up in the Spring Champion Stakes, as the warm favourite.

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Savvy Nature on his way to the barriers.

He didn’t disappoint his fans, winning by 2½ lengths from All Rigged Up with Pinstripe Lane three lengths away in third spot. Savvy Nature will tackle the Victoria Derby next Saturday.

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Rounding the corner into the straight in Race 5 – Savvy Nature is wide (second from the left ) about to take off.

Back in the stalls area a few more horses had arrived, most notably Fiorente who is a magnificent looking beast.  He was walking around in his royal purple rug…

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Fiorente in the walking ring

Whilst I was admiring him, his trainer Gai Waterhouse came into the stalls area. The next photo is of her with Fiorente and his handler that cries out for a caption.

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Gai Waterhouse conversing with Fiorente’s handler.

Back at the fence, Race 6 the Group Three Telstra Phonewords Stakes was about to begin. It’s a sprint over 1200 metres and Not Listenin’tome was the favourite. The Peter Moody trained Thermal Current denied him victory. Long shot Selectify ran third. I was on Diamond Oasis who finished fifth.

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Down the straight in the Telstra Phonewords Stakes

And so the day progressed, quite quickly actually, building up to the grand finale of the Cox Plate which was scheduled as Race 10.

Race 7 was the Drake International Cup, formerly known as the Moonee Valley Cup. It’s one for the stayers, run over 2500 metres.  The Bart Cummings trained Precedence scored a rare win, repeating his success in this race in 2010. If he can beat the ballot he will be Bart’s sole Melbourne Cup runner.

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Precedence takes the lead at the top of the straight in the Drake International Cup

The Schweppes Crystal Mile was the next race on the agenda. Having had no luck with my bets so far during the day, I eschewed betting on anything in this race, saving my remaining dollars for the next race and the Cox Plate.  I photographed the runners who came my way as they proceeded to the starting gates.

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December Draw

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Speediness – ran second

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Sacred Falls – ran third

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The winner Toydini

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Down the straight in the Crystal Mile – Toydini coming hard down the outside is about to take the lead.

I was looking forward to the next race, not only because it was the last race before the Cox Plate, but because one of my favourite mares, Catkins, was running in it, having her first trip over 1600 metres.  She passed the mile test with flying colours, winning comfortably from Cameo and Lake Sententia. As Catkins started at good odds her payout covered all my previous losses.

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Catkins on her way to the barriers before winning the  Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes

After collecting my winnings on Catkins, I wandered back to the stalls area to watch the Cox Plate contenders parade.  As I proceeded to and from trackside to stalls, I had to pass the live music stage, where a pair of artists were entertaining the crowd with covers of old Aussie rock songs. They were doing Men At Work’s Land Down Under when I snapped this photo.

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Still on a musical note, as I was watching the Cox Plate parade, Mark Seymour sang a stirring and quite wonderful rendition of the famous Hunters & Collectors song Throw Your Arms Around Me.

I hummed along as I photographed the horsey stars…

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It’s A Dundeel – relaxed

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Fiorente – still looking magnificent

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Foreteller -  a bit of a wag

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Green Moon – looking good

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Shamus Award – the only photo I managed to get of him

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Super Cool – laidback as usual with his tongue poking out

Back at the top of the straight on the fence, my acquaintance of the afternoon, a sports teacher with a similar enthusiasm for horse racing as myself, was saving my spot.

The excitement was building as the time of the race drew near. The trumpet signalled the warning that the horses were about to move onto the track. Old Fields Of Omagh led them out and they cantered to the barrier stalls which for the Cox Plate are at the top of the straight.

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Happy Trails gallops past to the barriers

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Masked Marvel

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Rekindled Interest

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Puissance de Lune – somewhat fractious

As is public knowledge now, Shamus Award, who had not won a race before in nine starts, won the Cox Plate by a narrow margin from Happy Trails, with Fiorente running third. Shamus Award was ridden by apprentice jockey Chad Schofield, who made the most of   inside barrier 3 to take Shamus Award to the lead on the fence, leading all the way from start to the finish.  A remarkable outcome, as Shamus Award only got into the field when Atlantic Jewel was scratched. His light weight and fleetness of foot, meant that the older horses were unable to catch him.  None of my three favourites ran a place, Super Cool getting the closest in fifth spot. It’s A Dundeel had a torrid run, being forced to race wide the whole trip and Puissance de Lune, who was found to be lame after the race, wouldn’t settle and finished way back in the field.

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Cox Plate finish at the top of the straight – Shamus Award leads with Fiorente just behind him. Super Cool is third at this stage, with Happy Trails on his outside.

I must admit I felt very disappointed with the result, quite deflated in fact, as I could have sworn one of my three favoured horses would have run a place. 

With that feeling of disconsolation I made my way to the bus stop and home, only cheered by Catkins win in the International Stakes.

Despite the final outcome, it was overall an enjoyable outing at the races. You go to see the colour and action and the drama of the sport, and the day’s race card certainly delivered that in spades.

I’ve decided I might as well get some value out of my Flemington season’s ticket and attend Derby Day next Saturday, despite the mooted crowds.  I’ve never attended the event before, so it will be a new experience, and the race card looks excellent.

On Friday night Buffering, who has run second in a great many Group One events finally won one himself, taking out the Manikato Stakes. Hong Kong star Lucky Nine ran second and Sessions was third. Samaready didn’t feature at all, and reportedly found the track too soft for her liking.

PS. Click on photos for a larger size.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pink Champagne, Rabbits & Caspar the Friendly Girl – An Evening with Henry Wagons & Caitlin Rose

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Caitlin Rose live at Foxtel Festival Hub – 23 October 2013

It was a surprising and enervating evening’s entertainment on Wednesday night at the Foxtel Festival Hub, the pop up venue on the banks of the Yarra especially set up for the Melbourne Festival.

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Foxtel Festival Hub – bar and concert venue.

It was a pretty basic structure as concert venues go, but as the show was fully seated, the Foxtel Festival Hub was comfortable, if a trifle chilly, nestling as it does right next to the river. But as the hall filled up, and the show began, it became hardly noticeable.

Henry Wagons, entertainer extraordinaire, opened the show with a set of songs, mostly of his own composition. Henry has just become the father of a daughter, Caspar the friendly girl is her name he informed the enthusiastic audience.  As usual Henry Wagons’ act is over the top and very amusing. He mainly performed solo, but called on Kelly Day from The Nymphs and Seamus O’Sullivan for added effects later in his set, Kelly dueting  on Unwelcome Company and I’m In Love With Mary Magdalene, and Seamus providing pedal steel accompaniment on Give Things A Chance To Mend and crowd favourite Willie Nelson.

His running joke of the night was the fact that he was playing in the Foxtel Hub, quipping that “sometimes free to air isn’t enough”. Henry knows how to play an audience and he had them clapping and singing the chorus to Willie Nelson at the end of set, declaring that he wasn’t going to leave the stage until they did so, and adding that he was a very patient man. Of course, the audience obliged, Henry Wagons being a very popular and dynamic live performer who charms his audience with his outrageous wit. He’s not a bad singer songwriter either.

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Henry Wagons live at Foxtel Festival Hub – 23 October 2013

He returned during Caitlin’s set to sing Summer Wine with her, presenting her with the following lyric sheet, before launching into the song.

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“Lyrics” to Summer Wine – picked up from the stage after the show.

Caitlin Rose was accompanied by her band, which included Seamus O’Sullivan. It comprised two guitarists, a drummer, bass as well as the aforementioned pedal steel. They were a tight, invigorating outfit, perhaps a bit overwhelming for Caitlin’s voice, but saying that, the lyrics came across loud and clear. Anyway, they produced a big and rich sound

Kicking off her set with Pink Champagne, a delicious song that evokes smoky nightclubs, of which Caitlin said was a about a wedding in Las Vegas, she breezed through half of the songs on her latest record The Stand-In, including No One To Call, Waitin’, Silver Sings, I Was Cruel and also performed a few from her debut CD Own Side Now as well as couple of covers, most notably The National’s Pink Rabbits, the title of which refers to a rather disgusting cocktail, comprising milk, strawberry syrup and tequila, but the song itself is a terrific drug crack up heartbreaker. Makes me want to go out and check up on The National, who I admit I have not heard of before.

Caitlin seems to have a thing for rabbits as she recorded the song Rabbit on her debut album and sang it on the night.

When I first saw Caitlin Rose back in 2011, she was a raw talent. She has grown into an accomplished performer since then, and handled herself like a professional who had been taking the stage for years. 

She did admit that she would like to be entertainer like Henry Wagons, who quite hogged the stage when they performed  a duet of the Lee Hazlewood song Summer Wine.

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Henry Wagons & Caitlin Rose performing Summer Wine.

Her show was more rock than country, though Caitlin’s voice has drawn comparisons to Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, so amid the
rock ‘n’ roll one could definitely distinguish a twang.

She ended her set with the wonderful Shanghai Cigarettes, though was persuaded to come back for one encore where she performed a new song apparently titled T-Shirt.

I managed to snaffle her set list from the stage at the end of the show,  a handy reference to my own notes. The scanned copy is below.  Who knows what the cryptic notes mean.

Caitlin Rose Set List

And so ended a very satisfying evening of wonderful entertainment at the Foxtel Festival Hub. 

Henry Wagons Set list

1. Driving All night
2. I Blew It
3. Love Me Like I Love You
4. Separate Ways
5. I Don’t Wanna Leave
6. Unwelcome Company
7. I’m In Love With Mary Magdalene
8. Give Things A Chance To Mend
9.Willie Nelson

Caitlin Rose Set List

1. Pink Champagne
2. No One to Call
3. I Was Cruel
4. Waitin’
5. Silver Sings
6. Pink Rabbits (The National cover)
7. Dallas (Felice Brothers cover)
8. Sinful Wishing Well
9. Rabbit
10. Footsteps
11. Menagerie
12. Summer Wine (w Henry Wagons song written by Lee Hazlewood)
13. Only A Clown
14. Shanghai Cigarettes

T Shirt (new song)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

High Drama! The 2013 Cox Plate

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Atlantic Jewel at Caulfield before running in the Underwood Stakes  21 September 2013

The great WFA competition, the Cox Plate is to be run this Saturday, but alas super mare Atlantic Jewel will not be taking her place in the field. She has succumbed once again to a tendon injury and is to be retired.  So the highly anticipated spectacle of her and It’s A Dundeel going head to head again, will never happen.  It’s terribly disappointing that we will not see Atlantic Jewel grace the track again. There was always an added sparkle to a race day if she was running. She goes out with 10 wins from 11 starts, four Group Ones and three at Group Two level.  And of course her only loss was a narrow second to It’s A Dundeel in the Underwood Stakes on a slow track, where she certainly was far from disgraced.

I will remember with affection, and was glad to be present, the few times I witnessed the wonderful Atlantic Jewel on the racetrack. Alas her star was all too brief, but we can look forward to seeing her sons and daughters in the future.

If it’s not one thing, it’s the other!

Another dramatic event that effects the outcome of the Cox Plate is the suspension of top jockeys Glen Boss and Nick Hall for careless riding on  Caulfield Cup day. Glen Boss has been the regular rider of Puissance de Lune in all his races, so you would assume that his personal knowledge of the horse’s idiosyncrasies would boost the confidence of the average punter in betting on the horse . Ben Melham who often rides for Darren Weir will now take the ride. Who knows, a fresh jockey and new approach may succeed, as Glen Boss has not won on Puissance de Lune at his last three starts. Nick Hall was to have ridden Masked Marvel in the Cox Plate, now Michael Rodd will ride him, a second best option after Atlantic Jewel.

Despite Atlantic Jewel not contesting the Cox Plate, there is some consolation in that my other favourites It’s A Dundeel, Super Cool and Puissance de Lune are all part of the field.  It would be great if they ran the trifecta.  Of the three I reckon It’s A Dundeel has the winning edge. The little stallion has recovered from his minor setback and is primed to go, according to his trainer and jockey. Interestingly, I first saw him race on Cox Plate day last year where he ran second to Super Cool in the Mitchelton Wines Vase, which is run over the Cox Plate distance of 2040 metres. It was my first sighting of Super Cool that day too.

Last year Green Moon was the Cox Plate favourite and failed to run a place. He went on to win the Melbourne Cup as we all know, but by then he was out favour due to his Cox Plate flop, so it was a big surprise.  Green Moon is again entered in the Cox Plate this year. Lloyd Williams has entered three runners, the others being Masked Marvel and Seville, and declares Green Moon his pick of the three.

However, as it’s been raining for the past two days, with more on the way, the Moonee Valley track could well be rated on the slow side, especially as 17 races over a night and a day will be run on the track before the Cox Plate, which is scheduled as the last race at 5.40 pm.  Goodness knows what state it will be in by that time!

So who are the mudrunners? Well, Puissance de Lune has some form on slow and heavy tracks, as does Foreteller, Fiorente and of course It’s A Dundeel won the Underwood Stakes on a soft track.  The two three year olds, Long John and Shamus Award may have an advantage with their lightweight in heavy going but neither have much form in the wet, and are they good enough to beat the likes of It’s A Dundeel? We’ll see…

The other Group One race of the weekend is the Manikato Stakes on Friday night. It’s got a cracker line up that includes champion Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine, and Moir Stakes heroine Samaready, as well as the usual suspects Buffering, Bel Sprinter and Rebel Dane. Add smart Sydney mare Arinosa and Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress for extra spice and you’ve got a good race. It’s being run as the last race of the evening meeting at 10.00pm. I wonder how many punters will be around to watch it.

The Moonee Valley night and day blockbuster carnival entails eighteen races in all, eight on Friday night and ten on Cox Plate day. Both meetings have strong support cards that I’m not going to the cover, though there are some interesting Group 2 and 3 events.

I won’t be going to the Manikato Stakes meeting, as I am not fond of night racing, but I’ll be there with bells on for Cox Plate day.

As I’m posting this entry early in the week, I expect conditions to mutate over the coming days, especially if the rain keeps up.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The State of the Union – Cats & Flowers

It has been a while since I last wrote about the cats, and I’m pleased to report that in the main, peace rules most of the time.

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Talya in the kitchen

Talya has now been with us for nine months and acts as if she has lived here all her life. She’s certainly leading a more interesting life than she lived before, as she enjoys having trees to climb, and flies to chase. Sometimes Pickle, the old female cat from up the road is cruising through and war is declared. Talya and Pickle, as soon as they meet, launch into a screaming match, but obviously no blood is shed as Talya returns from such encounters unharmed and unalarmed. They have been observed by the next door neighbour sitting companionably in close proximity in his backyard.

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Pickle in the street

When I encounter Pickle in the street, she is super friendly and turns herself upside down for a pat, but she is standoffish if I approach her in our backyard and doesn’t know whether to hiss or meow.

As for Willy, he has taken to spending most of his time  indoors these days, sleeping on the bed. Talya spends most of her days there as well, at the other end of the bed and both cats seem unperturbed by the closeness. However, when they encounter each other in a doorway, or in the hall, or out in the garden, there’s friction and they tread very carefully – you know, the slow mo walk as if the other cat is going to jump them if they move too fast.

Mirror image – Talya outside on the step, Willy guarding the door.

The other evening Willy was on his way outside and Talya as usual was stalking him.  Normally he just ignores her and carries on, but this time he turned around and glared at her. She glared back and growled then hastily retreated and took shelter behind the stem of the honeysuckle vine when he took a step towards her. We thought for a moment that he was going to attack her, but he just arched his back and gave her a look that said “fuck off and stop following me”, and strode off. Talya slunk meekly back into the house, having lost that round.

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Willy has to be the most accident prone cat I’ve ever known. Several months ago he managed to badly cut the rear end of his tail. It obviously hurt, because he found it painful to sit on. That was attended to by the vet and stitched and the area shaved for ease of access during the operation. Finally the fur has almost completely grown back, though he did look peculiar for months. Then about a month ago, he somehow detached a claw from its socket. It happened on a Friday afternoon, so it meant a visit to a 24 hour vet and an overnight stay to have the claw removed.  As you can imagine it cost a fortune.  Touch wood, he’s been free from wounds since the last catastrophe.

As for the flowers of spring, the fruit trees failed to blossom again this year, as the possums eat every bit of new growth as soon as it emerges. Several years ago the plums, figs, loquats and pomegranates were laden with fruit, but it seems that sort of bounty is gone forever as the pesky possums only think of the present state of their stomachs and deny themselves a fruitful future. In fact, the fruit tress, which should be lush with foliage, look sparse and ragged. We’re hoping the possums will eat themselves out of their home turf and move on to more bounteous pastures, but I’m not holding my breath.

However, there are some plants the possums don’t fancy, such as the orchid, which this year has produced the best blooms of all time with eight spikes of flowers.

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Pink orchid in full bloom

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Orchid close up

There’s also this shrub up against the fence which was donated by B’s cousin as he couldn’t get it to grow in his garden. He doesn’t know what it is called, neither do we. It likes shade and has serrated leaves and produces masses of pale mauve flowers in spring, and is really pretty.

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Mysterious plant

I realise I haven’t written about music for ages. That’s mostly because I have hardly listened to anything for months, and have not attended any live shows since autumn.

I am however going to a concert this Wednesday at the Foxtel Festival Hub, a pop up venue on the banks of the Yarra River. The artist is Caitlin Rose, whom I have seen before when she initially toured  here in 2011. Henry Wagons is playing as well, so it should be an entertaining evening.

The wonderful Iris DeMent, is touring in December, so I’ve got myself a ticket to that as well.  Iris DeMent, if you have not heard of her, has a unique voice, and also is a great songwriter. Her latest CD Sing The Delta is exquisite. I saw Iris many years ago at the late lamented Continental Cafe, so am really looking forward to the rare pleasure of seeing her perform live at Thornbury Theatre.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thousand Guineas/Caulfield Cup – The 2013 Spring Racing Carnival in Full Swing

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Guelph on her way to the barriers before winning the 2013 Thousand Guineas

I wasn’t going to review the Thousand Guineas, but as the afternoon was quite interesting after all, and because I managed to snap some good photos, it’s worth writing about.

Arriving just before the Race 3, I was able to watch the running of the inaugural Subzero Challenge, the first of a series of three races restricted to grey horses.  The series is of course named after racing’s best known equine Community representative, 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero.

Old Subbie was there to lead the field out, looking quite spry for his age…

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Subzero in the parade ring before leading the field to the track

The race is run over 1400 metres, and, if you were partial to greys, there were 15 to choose from. I opted for Specter, who ended up starting favourite.

Freshwater Storm was the winner, with Specter running second and High Kinczar taking third place.

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Down the straight toward the finish line, Freshwater Storm has lengths on the rest of the field

Shortly after the Subzero Challenge, It’s A Dundeel was led to the mounting yard preparatory to his scheduled gallop on the course.

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It’s A Dundeel in the mounting yard, James McDonald in the saddle with strapper Emily in attendance.

He galloped round the track, the mini event being screened live. Very few spectators were watching from the fence when he dashed down the straight, but I was there and snapped him in action. It was a change to see him running without blinkers.

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It’s A Dundeel gallops down the straight between races 3 and 4

He looked spectacular, and certainly didn’t show any sign of lameness. Bring on the Cox Plate!

There were two more races before the main event, which weren’t that interesting, so I took myself off eventually to the parade ring to await the emergence of the fillies for the Thousand Guineas

As well as being keen to get a glimpse of star filly Guelph I wanted to see the Darren Weir trained May’s Dream. She is a daughter of  She’s Archie who ran second to Makybe Diva in the 2003 Melbourne Cup, won the 2002 South Australian Oaks and 2004 Stocks Stakes and was also trained by Darren Weir.

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May’s Dream in the parade ring

May’s Dream has shown great promise in her short career and was considered one of the top chances for the race, and indeed threatened to overtake Guelph in the straight.

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Guelph in the parade ring

Guelph lead the race from start to finish and even though May’s Dream did threaten her at one stage, she won easily in the end. The game May’s Dream finished second ahead of Gregers who ran third.

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The Thousand Guineas finish – Guelph leads, with May’s Dream behind her and Gregers in third spot.

Guelph has now won four Group One races, a pretty good record for one of her tender years. Her dam, Camarilla was also a Group One winning mare, who won the Sires Produce Stakes and Blue Diamond Prelude in 2007, which interestingly were won this year by her daughter Guelph.

The Caulfield Cup

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View of Caulfield finishing post from the mounting yard

As usual the Caulfield Cup is a puzzler in terms of trying to work out the likely winner. This year it is slightly easier, as I do recognise the names of all the eighteen horses in the field, and have some idea how they will fare in the race.

The only horse in the field whom I have not witnessed racing is the recently arrived British horse Dandino who is widely travelled, having won races in the UK, Hong Kong and USA.  Whether he has acclimatised to Australian conditions, or is able to handle the local racing patterns, is yet to be seen. Mindful that the Caulfield Cup has been won by European raiders in the past – Dunaden last year, All The Good in 2008 and notoriously, Taufans Melody in 1998 – it’s not beyond belief that Dandino can take home the prize, especially as Craig Williams is his rider. Craig Williams was the winning jockey last year and the year before. Can his luck extend to three consecutive wins this year?

Among the locals who have an excellent chance are the Chris Waller trained Hawkspur, who is my top pick, and Royal Descent. The former won the Queensland Derby and the latter the South Australian Oaks, so they can certainly handle the distance (2400 metres) and are in good form this spring.  New Zealand mare Silent Achiever is a good light weight chance, has been particularly aimed for this, and has the services of top jockey Glen Boss.

Of the imported stayers who have raced on Australian tracks with some success are Fawkner, the only representative from Lloyd Williams stable in the race, Jet Away who won a much easier race at Caulfield two starts ago,  Chris Waller’s other two runners Moriarty and Kelinni and Gai Waterhouse’s Julienas.

The field in fact is pretty evenly matched, but my thought is that the abovementioned have more chance than those not mentioned. I’ll be cheering for Hawkspur who is currently the deserved favourite.

I will not be attending the race in person, and I’m quite relieved that I’m not going. Racing carnival lag is threatening to set in, and besides the Caulfield Cup is scheduled as the last race of a ten race card, and will run at 5.45pm and I’m not keen to go through that experience again after last week’s Caulfield Guineas meeting.  The Cox Plate next weekend is of more interest to me, and that I wouldn’t miss.

It will be quite a change to watch the races on free to air TV, as I used to do in the past. Though not quite as exciting as being there in person, in truth the visuals of the entire race are much better on the box.

Update: Saturday Evening

Fawkner has won the Caulfield Cup. I was wrong about his origins above; he is in fact 100% locally bred from Reset by Dane Belltar. It all gets a bit confusing as Lloyd Williams has of late been importing his horses from overseas, and if you fail to check the pedigree, you draw false assumptions.

Dandino ran second and the ever consistent Dear Demi came third. Hawkspur ran seventh. However, I didn’t have any money on the outcome, so no loss, no gain.