Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Hint of Spring–The Cleaner Back On Track

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The Cleaner with former trainer Mick Burles after winning his second Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes

I’m so over the Melbourne winter and longing for warmer weather. There’s not much sign of it over the coming week, but perhaps August will see an improvement.

One sign however that Spring is on the way is the race meeting at Caulfield on Saturday featuring the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes, which I used to regard as the first interesting race of the forthcoming Spring racing season.

This year it has attracted quite a good field that includes The Cleaner, the former tiger from Tassie who has not been at the track since running unplaced in the Cox Plate. There was some doubt that he would continue racing, with his old trainer Mick Burles being of the opinion that something was wrong with the horse. The Cleaner’s owners disagreed and sent him to Moe trainer Peter Gelagotis who also trains veteran galloper Mourinho. The Cleaner  recently won a trial by six lengths, so perhaps he is not yet a spent force.

The Bletchingly Stakes is run over 1200 metres, so it is probably a bit short for The Cleaner and he also faces stiff opposition from the likes of Mahuta who strung together six consecutive wins last Spring and is a potential star of the turf. Others with good claims are Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Charmed Harmony, Lord Of The Sky, Odyssey Moon and the sole mare Runway Star who has good form in Adelaide. 

Overall it looks a quite an interesting race, so I’m looking forward to heading off to Caulfield on Saturday to watch it.

The weather will hopefully be fine for the afternoon, though the track will be on the slow side.

I’m posting this entry early as tomorrow we have been informed by the Electricity Company that the power will be off from 8.00am to 3.15pm.

Horrors! No internet for a day. How will I cope?

Actually I’ll be able to use my iPad via 3G, so it’s not that dire, only a little slow.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Federal Election Shemozzle & Jerilderie Letter

Australia voted on Saturday and wouldn’t you know it the people’s voice resulted in a dead heat. Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Smooth himself, has not got the mandate he sought. But then, neither has the Labour Party, though I must admit I was impressed with Bill Shorten’s campaign  and thought it far more effective and informative than that of the Coalition.

Every time I saw the Coalition TV Ad with Turnbull mouthing the “jobs and growth” slogan, I was inclined to shout at him “Substance, Malcolm, substance; where is it?”.

And we’ve ended up with an even more barmy Senate than the last one. Who would have thought that Pauline Hanson could have got back in?  Blame the Queensland rednecks for that. I’m looking forward to seeing how she and the plain speaking Jacquie Lambie from Tasmania hit it off. I reckon Jacquie, being ex army, will have Pauline’s measure and win any battle of words. She’s the only politician who has made me laugh out loud during the last government with a few of her mordant witty comments.

At the weekend the winter weather was quite pleasant so it was no trial to go to Caulfield and watch a few races. I only stayed for three, as they weren’t all that exciting.

Jerilderie Letter was racing in the 4th, The Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap where he ran fourth less than a length from the winner. The race was over 1400 metres, so it was a bit too short for him. An extra 200 metres or so would have had him winning.

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Jerilderie Letter in the mounting yard

He’s been nominated to run at Flemington next Saturday in a 1600 metre race. I won’t be attending, but will watch with interest to see how he fares.

The racing action starts to get interesting in early August, when the better class horses emerge from their winter breaks. I’m looking forward to seeing Winx and Chautauqua in particular, and it’s also mooted that the beautiful Lankan Rupee will resume in late spring as well, having had a long break recovering from the injury that put him out of contention last spring.

In the meantime, as we await the election result and endure another month of winter, I’ll be keeping myself amused with other things.