Thursday, August 27, 2020

Give me somewhere to go…Lockdown Blues

The first part of the Post title comes from the James Reyne song Motor Too Fast, contained in the chorus that goes:

Give me somewhere to go
Don't give me train rides
When the shops are all closed
Don't give me train rides

I must admit that stage 4 restrictions here in Melbourne are getting a tad tedious, so I find the above lyrics running through my head every so often, as I certainly can’t go anywhere beyond 5 kilometres from home, and have not caught a bus, train or tram since the restrictions came in, coincidently on my birthday.

However time flits past and I fill the it with trivial pursuits such as playing computer games and reading.

The current game is a moderately amusing point and click adventure titled Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town, and the current book is the new David Mitchell novel Utopia Avenue, which, set as it is in 1967, I am finding quite enjoyable. I’ve also downloaded a heap of books onto my Kindle, redeeming Amazon gift vouchers I received for my birthday. So for a change I have eight new novels in my TBR pile (albeit electronic).

But what I’m pining for is an afternoon at the races, which of course is out of the question at the moment and probably for the rest of spring.

The Memsie Stakes, the first Group 1 race of Melbourne’s Spring Racing Season is at Caulfield next Saturday and I’m sorry to miss it having attended the meeting since 2013.

Of the several notable deaths this week, Justin Townes Earle for instance, the announcement of Atlantic Jewel’s death giving birth to a foal by Justify, was particularly sad for the racing fraternity.

A coodabeen champion of the likes of Black Caviar and Winx, Atlantic Jewel  won 10 races out of 11 starts, her only loss being the 2013 Underwood Stakes where she was beaten by a whisker by It’s A Dundeel , her second last start before retirement. It’s pity she was so injury prone, otherwise she could have won many more races, including the 2013 Cox Plate.

I saw her in action several times in 2013, including the Memsie Stakes. Unfortunately my camera at the time was not as good as the current Nikon, so the photos are less than perfect.

race 8 _atlantic jewel_track_finish 2
Atlantic Jewel on her way to winning the 2013 Memsie Stakes

race 8 _atlantic jewel_scale 1
Atlantic Jewel returning to scale

This year’s edition of the Memsie Stakes has attracted a field of 15 contenders that include star mares Mystic Journey and Arcadia Queen, as well as All Star Mile winner Regal Power, dual Australian Cup winner Harlem, and other familiar gallopers such as Mr Quickie, Begood Toya Mother, So Si Bon and Gatting.

Many in the Memsie Stakes field contested the cursed P B Lawrence Stakes a fortnight ago, which was won by Godolphin mare Savatiano, who is also part of this year’s Memsie field . It will be interesting to see if she wins again this spring or is cursed like recent P B Lawrence Stakes winners who have failed to win again in the season, for example Mystic Journey last year.

pb lawrence_mystic journey 7
Mystic Journey

Who knows what the race outcome will be this year. I’m hoping that either Mystic Journey or Arcadia Queen are in the finish somewhere. They disappointed in the P B Lawrence, but second up on a firmer track might show their true colours.

Last week the first Group 1 of the spring, the Winx Stakes, was run at Randwick. Verry Elleegant demonstrated that she was well and truly  heading for a good spring by winning the race impressively.

On the home front Bingo has continued to eat well, in fact his appetite is voracious. We now worry that he’ll become overweight. Fortunately he still eats zucchini and other vegetables which we give him to fill him up between meal times and go easy on the dried food. He loves his home comforts of warmth and affection and even still remembers how to fetch.