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Headlines Today is 08/07/2015
Here's the finish of the Australian Guineas at Flemington on 7/3/15 and Kermadec in those white colours running fourth is allegedly beaten "1.4 lengths", but that's clearly not accurate information. I've raised the point here numerous times before, so punters, tipsters and urgers all work off incorrect beaten margins every day of the week in thoroughbred racing - which doesn't help to assess form accurately. (Photo courtesy of TVN)

Firstly to catch up on some homework I’m getting it confirmed from what I would call “multiple very reliable sources” that the Gatton race meeting last Thursday was called off several hours before Racing Queensland issued a Media Release to that effect about 5.45pm Wednesday evening. As advised last week with photographic evidence Racing Queensland only displayed the news about the abandoned meeting on their website at “7.49am” on race day. No more phone calls or emails on that matter thanks – it’s just another Racing Queensland blunder. How unusual.

And the Deagon trials are off today after heavy rain on the weekend which is fair enough, but it will be indeed interesting to see how Deagon cops its upcoming scheduled 12 race meetings if they jag a slow or heavy track for the first of the 12 meetings and carve it up like a rice paddy.

But Queensland isn’t the only place where racing is under the whip. Down in Victoria, God would be the only entity that would put a meeting on at Bendigo to be the equivalent “Melbourne Saturday city” meeting to compliment Golden Slipper day at Rosehill. Then Racing Victoria had four $50,000 total prizemoney races at Bendigo on Saturday, which followed on from five of eight races the night before being $50,000 in total prizemoney races and another one being worth $55,000. Even the slow horses that raced at Doomben in the four races that were run before rain washed out the day last Saturday raced for $65,000 per race, which equates to 30% more than those nine $50,000 races which were cumulatively run over the last two days.

Back to Golden Slipper day and what a right royal abortion it was with the camera people getting head-on shots at vital stages and all sorts of crap. If there are three red colours in a race can some fool in authority just advise we poor dills who are the viewers and therefore your alleged valued clients how the hell we would know which horse is which when the camera is half a mile up in the sky? I’ve told you conglomerate bunch of fools a thousand times that we are simple people and just like nice side-on shots. We don’t need anything fancy as we are only creatures of habit. We like to see our horse in the run and know how far it is off the lead, or in front by or whatever. Sheer stupidity some of the racing photography was.

Then the Golden Slipper was won by the short priced favourite Vancouver. I couldn’t help thinking to myself after the race “sometimes you wouldn’t believe your luck in a big city like Sydney”. “They” all said it was a great ride by Tommy Berry. How lucky was he to get a cart into the race, three wide with cover after Vancouver’s stablemate, the 40/1 chance which blew out from 20/1 on course, Speak Fondly, (D Oliver) got posted 3 wide with no cover. There obviously is a God. It’s all terrific stuff.

I reckon new Sydney Sky Channel racecaller Darren Flindell was as nervous as a kitten for the first three races, but I thought by the end of the day he was calling well. It would be hard to have only recently arrived back here in Australia then be asked to call the richest 2YO race in the world. He’ll be better for the run on the track as he’d hardly be a mug racecaller and call in Hong Kong. Funny thing in life, champions just keep performing. A “champion” was high in the sky doing his thing Saturday afternoon. He got through the first Saturday okay, so it will all be easier from here on in.

Last week – on Thursday to be exact – I penned a special article entitled in part “These four alleged top 3YO’s are no Octagonal” in an article referring to Hallowed Crown, Sweynesse, Shooting To Win and Kermadec. None of the four won last Saturday and in fact all were comprehensively beaten. Sweynesse and Shooting To Win were both pathetic, Hallowed Crown loomed to win, but seeing he wasn’t racing weak willed excuses like Shooting To Win and Sweynesse when he loomed alongside a gutsier pair named Volkstok’n’barell and Preferment last Saturday that duo didn’t just sky the towel and let him win again. And Kermadec amazingly had more excuses than an unfaithful husband. Funny how top racehorses like Octagonal didn’t need excuses. And nor do top performing humans. They just do the job while the others are working out how they’d go about it. Thoroughbred and humanoid sooks need excuses. So for all his excuses at Flemington and the bad ride by Nash Rawiller in the Australian Guineas at Flemington all Kermadec did last Saturday was improve from fourth at Flemington to third at Rosehill.

But after all that, Kermadec is the only one of the four that you’d want to take home at this point, if you had to take one home. And Hallowed Crown when he toughens up and matures properly might win a Cox Plate at age 4 or 5, but the sad aspect there is that Bart Cummings probably isn’t well enough, health wise, to oversee that horse’s preparation between now and then. Hallowed Crown only didn’t run 2000 metres last Saturday because as I’ve been writing here for 18 years, you can’t get racehorses fit when they are constantly competing in slowly run races whereby all the field does is canter to the home turn - then sprint home up the straight. There’s no use learning to dance after the ball is over though and punters and tipsters and urgers are all cumulatively thick as a brick on that point - even though it’s basic commonsense.

So any punter who took any notice of what I wrote here last week in relation to those four questionable Australian “star” 3YO’s” knew that if there was a half-decent New Zealand or Japanese horse, or imported horse from anywhere around the globe in the races those four were in last Saturday - they had no option but to win the race. So what happened in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas? Pot the two short-priced Australian favourites Hallowed Crown and Sweynesse - that were described as “the best of a bad bunch of 3YO’s” last week and that meant a New Zealander had to win the race. So the end result is you can preview the race, just like I did for Saturday Morning Mail clients.





In a terrific effort he’s only been beaten once in seven career starts, but his pattern is to stalk horses like Shooting To Win, like he did last start - then he has the last crack at them, generally in slow overall time. So I’d prefer to watch him at 2000m rather than take the very short odds that are on offer.


His sole career win in nine starts was in the Group 1 Victoria Derby last year by a long head, or interestingly he’d still be a Maiden as at today. Whilst he’s getting out to a trip that suits now, I doubt he’s up to this class.


A Kiwi colt going for six wins in a row today. He drops back from 2400 metres when winning the New Zealand Derby last start to this 2000m race, which isn’t ideal, but he certainly has an impeccable record and he has race fitness at this trip on his side. Race plates and a tongue control bit go on for the first time today.


Runs on but generally finds one or two better. Has played second fiddle to Hallowed Crown at two runs back from 17 weeks off but he’s bred to be a better stayer than Hallowed Crown, so he could reverse the placings today.


His two runs back from 16 weeks off have been utterly pathetic and he should run near last here.


A New Zealand gelding that has won five races and run three placings in eight lifetime starts. Beaten home by Mongolian Khan in the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie 21 days ago, so like that runner, he has to drop back in distance by 400 metres today but like Mongolian Khan he has race fitness at this trip, so should be hard to beat. Lugging bit and race plates go on for the first time today but the trainer has stated on radio this morning these are not advertised gear changes as the horse had this exact gear on last start.


A Maiden after nine starts and he’s no hope here.

Additional comments: I don’t think Hallowed Crown and Sweynesse are necessarily fit enough to run 2000 metres – and accordingly I believe one of the New Zealander’s will win the race and I’d back Volkstok’n’barrell each way.


The end result was that Aussie punters to a man and woman only had eyes for the two Australian 3YO’s that weren’t even fit enough to run 2000 metres just as advised in my preview to Saturday Morning Mail clients. Hallowed Crown started heavily backed at $2.80 and Sweynesse was heavily backed to beat him and started at $2.90. Volkstok’n’barrell eased from $4.80 to an SP of $7 – thanks for coming.

And both the other 3YO’s Shooting To Win and Kermadec were both potted in the George Ryder Stakes. This was the comment made about them:


Was well rated in front by Shinn last start but got run over late. I want to see both this horse and Kermadec perform at this level before tipping them, as they are the two favourites and I couldn’t tip either today given they are debuting against all-age horses. Blinkers come off for the first time today.


The famous “they” all thought he was unlucky last start at Flemington – but I didn’t - and given he drops 100 metres in distance today I can’t have him on top today.


Shooting To Win ran favourite and Kermadec ran equal second favourite and neither horse was ever a winning chance.

Saturday Morning Mail punters even got told this about the bolter that won at the meeting – Scratchy Bottom. She started officially 30/1:


Hasn’t won a race anywhere for the last 13 months and she did nothing at 20/1 when she resumed from 17 weeks off at Flemington 14 days ago behind Madam Gangster, but Williams replaces Beriman today and she doesn’t have the extreme outside alley, like she did last start, so she could cause an upset at massive odds if she handles the Sydney way of going, even though she’s never run a place second-up like she is today.


If you work on the pretext that the vast majority of punters will lose a lot of money gambling on racehorses during their lifetime - you would be spot on. The small percentage that will win money in their lifetime through backing racehorses have an ability to think outside the square. There are unfit horses, pretenders, horses that have excuses every start, horses that constantly need luck coming from last, false favourites that bookies put out to attract mug punters money, horses with a heart the size of a pea - and so on and so forth - so one needs to be accurately able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

On there’s the first of two montages of photos from Doomben last Saturday. On David Clarkson writes a great article on the real McCoy who is retiring, whilst on Victorian racing is perused.

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