[AusRace] Pete's Weekly Report
earnestern at gmail.com
Mon Sep 25 17:39:59 AEST 2017
The first thing that struck me was how easy it was to get to there - with
only a change of train at Ashfield and another at Clyde. And for free,
thanks to the TAB's free day promotion. Mind you, I was soon down $15
after lining up for squid and chips. It has to be said, though, that it
was very nice.
I then went around to the stalls. It was hot. Very hot. And they've
installed a neat misting system above all the stalls. It was about one
o'clock by this time and the stalls were only sparsely populated. I think
the first horses I saw were Bjorn Baker's: Imposing Lass and Lubiton. The
"Champagne Cuddles' stall was empty. Small and chestnut, she looks
adorable on televsion - so it was a disappointment that she wasn't there.
On the opposite side of the exercise ring, Gai Waterhouse's horses were
stationed where Gai Waterhouse horses were stationed years ago. It must be
a thing. Only Dee I Cee, who had "run" in the Colin Stephen was there.
Around the far side, the Waller horses were stationed in the stalls that I
remember being occupied by the likes Racing To Win. Further down were the
Godolphin horses, including Sanctioned, a lovely, long chestnut lump of a
thing and younger brother of Malice, who was very good to me one afternoon
three years ago, in the latter part of the spring. Two stable hands were
looking after him and were joined by Darren Beadman, who suggested they
leave him where he was (presumably because it was so hot).
Around this time, race three must have been run because, as I made my way
to the mounting yard, the big screen was showing a dividend of "1.60" for
Don't Give A Damn, for the Highway Handicap. At the same time, Kerrin
McEvoy cut a lonely figure trotting out toward the 1,800-metre point on Egg
Tart (who I always read in the form guide as "Egg Fart"). A neat type,
they set off very slowly but gradually gathered speed and ran a last 600,
under minimal urging, in 35-something.
Perhaps hungover from his solo ride, Kerrin McEvoy, on Up 'N' Rolling
appeared bamboozled by the presence of other horses in race four and found
himself on the back of an out-and-out walker and, if that wasn't bad
enough, got hemmed in for a second time midway down the straight and got
out far too late to reel in Alward.
Too hot to go anywhere, I waited on the steps above the mounting yard. The
fashions are extraordinary. Three girls sat down. Perhaps I'm jealous
that I can't dress like that. Or maybe that girls didn't dress like that
when I was that age. Dresses. Short, tight, very tight. Rolls of fat
forming around her middle whenever she moved her legs. And you have to
move your legs from time to time because the mounting yard steps are only
so comfortable. Around the same time, the serious punter, with his
notepad, who could easily pass for Tommy Lee Jones, turned up and had a
brief chat with someone he knew. Some lads had a selfie with Hugh Bowman.
The horses then turned up for race five, including the aforementioned
Imposing Lass and Lubiton. Euro Angel still looks big in condition. Chris
O'Brien, on Mighty Lucky, who the big screen indicated was specked from
long odds, was the first to take his mount. Imposing Lass led but looked
under pressure as they got into the straight. Then a man in a suit started
chanting "Go Washington" and Washington Heights duly obliged - coming down
the outside with a well-timed run for Kerrin McEvoy, who, in the space of
35 minutes, had rediscoved his ability to negotiate traffic. He and Mighty
Lucky broke away from the others. The sound of whips and hooves hitting
the turf. The man in the suit was happy with his work.
I went back to waiting on the mounting yard steps. Gerald Ryan was
non-committal about plans for Washington Heights. Eventually, the horses
arrived for race six. Sanctioned, who I understand can be a bit of a
rogue, was pretty good today - accompanied by two strappers. Darren
Beadman, James Cummings, Hugh Bowman, and the rider of the stablemate,
Astoria, gathered in the mounting yard. This looked a great race for a bet.
The depth just didn't look there. And Sanctioned, coming off a second in
the Stan Fox, looked the one. Bowman gave him a nice run, camping just off
the leaders, and produced him turning for home. It all looked very good
for a furlong or so but he just couldn't peg back Ace High, who had it easy
in front. At least I'm an eachway punter.
I then went to find a cup of coffee, and had to listen to an old bloke
telling the girl behind the counter about how he found Ace High. Thanks
I went back to the mounting yard. A crowd was now gathering, both on the
steps and in the mounting yard itself, including a tall, thin girl with
dark red lipstick in a long, dark blue dress and red fascinator. There, it
emerged, to sing the national anthem.
The Golden Rose was run at a frenetic space and Trapese Artist did a Miss
Finland. Tiny Champagne Cuddles was huge for second, while Menari, who
looks exactly like out cat, found the 1,400 metres beyond him.
Linda rang; and picked me up, with Stan and Flicky, from the infield car
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