You heard it here first

Hello everyone

At Tulloch Lodge at the minute, there is a an un-raced Flying Spur colt named Skylimit that is just waiting in the wings. He is a half-brother to the Golden Slipper winning speedster Overreach, and just in the last two months he has really started to show plenty of ability. In fact A Turf Fascination is prepared to say that he is a future Group One winner; that is how impressive this colt has been over the last few weeks.

It is just in the month of November that this colt has really started to come on. He trialled in May and finished 9.5 lengths from the winner in what was a terrible trial. He was then sent for a spell and just a couple of weeks after he came back in in October, he trialled again. This was the result…

http://racing.racingnsw.com.au/FreeFields/VideoResult.aspx?MeetDate=2014Oct31&VenueCode=MjgxMjk1MA==&RaceNumber=5&MeetingCategory=Trial&VideoFileType=FullReplay

The margin was just four lengths, but the time for this trial was remarkable and was the clear fastest trial of the day. Two weeks later the colt trialled again. Here is the result..

http://racing.racingnsw.com.au/FreeFields/VideoResult.aspx?MeetDate=2014Nov17&VenueCode=MjgxMjk1MA==&RaceNumber=5&MeetingCategory=Trial&VideoFileType=FullReplay

Not only an 8 length romp, but it was the clear fastest trial of the day and one of the fastest of the year.

Take notice of the improvement. Yes they are only trials, but one can detect clear improvement from trial to trial. The colt is getting better and better and since his last trial, Skylimit has again got better. Maybe next week for his debut. We will have to work out how to best back the colt without wrecking our odds. He should win first up and he has all hallmarks of a future Group One winner.

Look out for Skylimit at the races in the very near future.

Good luck and stay tuned.

 

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The Magic Millions

Hello everyone

The first Magic Millions event for the year has been run and won, and it is no surprise that the race was won by Gai. In the entire history of the Magic Millions sales and races, there has never been a greater patron than Gai Waterhouse. Every year at the Gold Coast Magic Millions sales and the suburb race meeting that accompanies the sales, Gai is a force both in the sale ring and as a trainer at the races. Gai is regularly one of if not the biggest buyers at the sales and if anyone has ever seen her on the Gold Coast, they will tell you that the Lady Trainer runs around like a woman possessed bringing together people from all walks of life that have a common love of the thoroughbred. The Magic Millions is a unique sale in that there is a special race meeting connected to the multiple days of sales that only horses that were purchased at the Magic Millions are eligible to run in. These are not just regular races either; they are some of the richest races in Queensland and indeed in Australia. The major race is the Magic Millions two-year-old Classic that is worth some two million dollars and is run over 1200m but it is not the only reason so many good horses make the trip back to the Gold Coast every year. There are also the $1,000,000 Magic Millions three-year-old Guineas, the $500,000 Magic Millions Cup, the $250,000 Sprint and Stayers Cup of the same value, a $200,000 Fillies and Mares race, and two $100,000 races that are a Maiden Plate and a Class 6 Plate.

Gai has won the two-year-old Classic on four occasions; the year 2000 saw Gai win this race for the first time and the horse was the outstanding multiple Group One winning Assertive Lad (Zeditave x Sommes Sound). Gai also won the following year in 2001 with another Group One winner Excellerator (Marscay x Artless). In 2004 Gai won this wonderful race with the only horse to ever win the Magic Millions two-year-old Classic and the Sydney Triple Crown for juveniles, the 3.9 million dollar earner Dance Hero (Danzero x Gypsy Dancer). 2012 saw Gai again win, this time with Star Thoroughbreds Driefontein (Fastnet Rock x Follow Gold). Gai’s four Magic Millions two-year-old Classic wins is a record and the Lady Trainer does not even look like slowing down with a several hugely promising youngsters currently being put through their paces on their way to the Gold Coast for the 2014 edition of this great race.

One of the most unique things about Gai’s four winners of the Magic Millions feature is the fact that all four went on with the job after winning the race. Being set to win a two million dollar race as a two-year-old in January can take a lot out of a horse, but Gai’s four winners of this great race have all gone on to win feature races after their Magic Millions win. Assertive Lad came back in the autumn after his Magic Millions win to place in the Golden Slipper and win the Sires’ and Champaign; then the following year he won the Doncaster among other feature races. Excellerator placed in the Slipper after winning the 2001 Magic Millions then as an older horse he won the Epsom and plenty of other Group and Listed races. Dance Hero won the two-year-old Triple Crown in Sydney in the autumn following his Magic Millions success. In these three wins, Dance Hero beat the likes of Fastnet Rock and Alinghi in what was a wonderful two-year-old crop. He then as an older horse competed against the best sprinters in Australia and on Derby Day 2006, the son of Danzero won the Group One Salinger Sprint beating Miss Andretti in the process. Driefontein is still well and truly in work and is a Group One winner already with another big campaign still ahead of her.

Gai’s success at the Magic Millions is not limited to the two-year-old Classic either. Gai has also won the one million dollar Magic Millions Guineas twice; once with the outstanding Ha Ha (Danehill x Very Droll) in 2002 and with Biaggio (Zeditave x Gay Rossina) in 2003. Gai has also won the Magic Millions Cup with Theseo (Danewin x Ozone Sand) in 2008, and the two Stayers’ Cups with Kinnersley (Al Maher x Miss Radiant) in 2013 and Kontiki Park (Thorn Park x Pretty Special) in 2012.

Then there are the sales. The Sales ring at the Magic Millions is a jam packed amphitheatre full of trainers, investors, racing fans and a great deal of folks who have wandered over to the ring after the races. This all makes for sensational action and very competitive bidding. It has been discussed many times in different formats just how good Gai is at identifying quality thoroughbreds at a very early age. In recent years at the Magic millions, as well as all the above mentioned superstars, Gai has purchased Group One winners such as Cheeky Choice (Redoute’s Choice x Christchurch), Sebring (More Than Ready x Purespeed), Rock Kingdom (Rock of Gibraltar x Happy Empress), Once Were Wild (Johannesburg x Wildesong) and Pierro (Lonhro x Miss Right Note). There have also been literally hundreds of Black Type winners that have been successfully bid on by Gai at this intriguing sale.

At the 2014 Magic Millions race meeting, Gai trained a feature treble.

Sweet Idea won the three-year-old race…

Driefontein won the Fillies and Mares Classic and Whittington won the sprint.

The proof is clear… back Gai in Magic Millions races.

Good luck and stay tuned.

 

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Who voted for these muppets?

Hello everyone

After a brief spelling mistake in the title, hopefully I have your attention! The title of the post was going to be ‘How did they get in?’ After a last minute thought, it was changed to ‘Who voted for these muppets?’ but someone forgot to change the first word!

Wisdom

Forget the donkey votes, forget preferences and forget those who voted simply as a joke. How many individual Australians woke up on the morning of the last Federal election and decided to vote for the Palmer United Party? Did enough people vote for these deadbeats to justify the trouble they are causing the country? I think not. Now just for a moment lets concentrate on domestic policy and leave foreign policy alone.  And lets put aside any political differences and assume that there is just an office of the Prime Minister. Whoever is the Prime Minister at any given time generally does what he / she thinks is best for Australia. They try to make changes that their constituents demand. There has never been an Australian Prime Minister that set out to sabotage the country.  At the minute Tony Abbott is in charge and he is having trouble getting things through the upper and lower houses because of the Palmer United party and their big two Clive Palmer and  Jacqui Lambie. Again put any personal feelings you have towards Abbott and the Coalition aside, because these muppets (the Palmer United Party) would be performing the exact same blocking techniques had Kevin Rudd won the last election. They are using their deciding vote to hold up any progress or any change the government is trying to make. And they are doing it simply because they can. They are doing it for publicity. They don’t care what their very few voters want and they don’t care how much time, money effort they use up. They will continue to block things simply for the sake of it. Obama is facing the same sort of crap in America. Again please keep in mind that whoever was the Prime Minister, they would be running up against the same sort of crap. So again… who voted for these muppets? Some people are saying we deserve the Palmer United Party because we (Australia) voted them in. But what percentage of the serious voting public had them first? How many individual Australians felt the Palmer United Party, led by a billionaire miner with a serverly dimwitted Tasmanian, would be good for our country? We don’t need to dive into Jacqui Lambie’s greatest hits of stupidity, because it would be  double album. But what we have to establish is… do we deserve this? Do we deserve to constantly have any proposed progress  knocked back for the purpose of publicity? Who voted for these muppets!!!! Why are they holding the Australian people to ransom? We can say what we want about Abbott and Rudd and Gillard and Turnbull and any of the others, but none of them, ever, would deliberately sabotage Australia’s future. The Palmer United Party get to cast the deciding vote on all things for the next few years. The two making the decisions on whether they say yes or no on all issues are this bloke…

And this genius…

Again, and I can’t stress this enough… these muppets have the power to decide Australia’s future. They will continue to vote down all changes in legislation that do not suit them, no matter who is proposing it and no matter what party is ruling at the time. Most importantly, they will vote down all proposed progress on a domestic front. So who voted for them?

Punt

Ballarat

3.4. Specter. The grey is ready to win. He will be storming home and with Lee Freedman now his trainer, anything can happen.

6.7. Carriages. Sydney filly that simply might be too good for these.

7.1. Henwood. Was flying home last start on a tight track. He will have more room here and a little cut out of the track will suit.

8.2. Tuscan Fire. In a very weak Ballarat Cup, this boy will be up the front somewhere and will take a stack of beating. His last start was full of merit and he is fitter again.

Randwick

2.2 Saigon Tea. This looks a two horse race and this boy is in the better form. Second best of the day.

7.12. Sunguera. In a race full of slow ones, this horse is at least a trial winner and is well performed in France. He is lightly raced and his best looks to be well and truly good enough to figure. Best roughy of the day.

8.8. Mr Jackman. The best Randwick trackworker of the last month. If he brings his trackwork form he will be in the finish at big odds.

Doomben

8.3. Love Rocks. He will be out the front and that is the place to be at Doomben. Despite the presence of a hall of famer (Excellantes) this gelding is the best of the day.

Morphettville

5.2. Eclair Samba. Tough stayer that looks to have a class edge on his rivals.

7.9. Aregee McLaren. After showing all the promise in the world, this gelding of late has gone off the boil at bit. He has since recently trialled well and he looks on the brink of again finding his best.

Ascot

4.10. Miss Rose De Lago. The mare is back in form and she will take a power of beating in this race.

Race 7. Winerbottom Stakes

Winner – 2. Sidestep. We have seen the best of most of the horses in this field whereas this boy still looks to have plenty of improvement left in him. He has a perfect barrier, a gun hoop and a very in-form trainer. He is also close to three times the odds of Angelic Light which means we can have an each way bet. He will be flying home and it is hard to see him missing a place.

Hardest to beat – 1. Moment of Change. Last year when he was in similar form, this boy was beaten two inches by Buffering in this race. Buffering was flying at the time and should Moment of Change reproduce last year’s effort, then he will be almost impossible to hold out. Like Sidestep he is at each way odds and can be backed each way with confidence.

Best longshot – 3. Bel Sprinter. His best is outstanding and his worst is terrible. He arguably has the most talent of any horse in the field and his best would see him flying home over the tops of his rivals. When he gets to these types of big odds ($13) he can pull a run out of the bag. He is huge value and is worth a small each way bet.

Race 8. Railway Stakes

Winner – 1. The Cleaner. We know what we are going to get. Plus we get $5 to find out whether he has travelled well or not. He will be in front with 100m to run and he has a huge chance to still be in front after the post. The race looks to pan out perfectly for him; he will be bowling along and will get a much easier time than he has had of late in Melbourne.

Hardest to beat – 5. Mr Moet. This former winner is first up and he has won three from six of his first up assignments. He actually won this race first up two years ago. His two recent trials indicate he is ready to run well. He is $15 and looks an exceptional each way chance.

Best longshot – 6. Ihtsahymn. After setting the world on fire this time last year, this grey gelding has been a little quiet since. But his talent cannot have just disappeared. He will reproduce his best sooner or later, and his trainer no doubt will have him completely wound up for this Group One Classic.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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The absolute best of the best

Hello everyone.

Everyone racehorse owner dreams of winning four races in particular; the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate and the Golden Slipper. These four races are known as ‘the Grand Slam’ and the three Victorian races make up one of the best Carnivals in world racing. Today we will try and determine the top five wins in the three major spring classics. This is a hard task and completely open to debate. The Melbourne Cup has been going for 153 years, so finding the top five wins was not easy. In regards to the Cox Plate, the top five wins all come from after 1970, as this is the time where this race actually became the Weight For Age championship of Australasia. In the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s the race was worth very little money and was simply a WFA race on the card to support the Moonee Valley Cup. The top five Caulfield Cup wins all come from the 20th century. Unfortunately this rules out Northerly and the 2002 Caulfield Cup, but rest assured our dear readers in Western Australia, Northerly was 6th! So here we go… please enjoy the top five greatest victories in the three biggest races on the spring racing calendar.

Top Five Melbourne Cup wins of All-time.

  1. Rising Fast 1954

Rising Fast is still the only horse to ever win the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup in the same year. This is an effort that we may never see the likes of again. Northerly had a chance in 2002 but was weighted out of the Melbourne Cup with 60kg. Makybe Diva probably could have done it in 2005 but she did not run in the Caulfield Cup as not to risk a penalty for the Melbourne Cup.

To achieve this feat, a horse has to be an outstanding champion and a very versatile animal. Could Might and Power have won the 2000m Cox Plate in between his two amazing Cup wins in 1997? Maybe, but he would have had to pulled off the most remarkable feat. Rising Fast was the 5/2 favourite ($3.50) in the 1954 Melbourne Cup and won very easily by just under two lengths.

The next year 1955, Rising Fast did the impossible and won the Caulfield Cup again, but then was beaten by the T.J. Smith trained Toparoa in the Melbourne Cup by about two inches. Rising Fast almost won both Cups twice! However, his win in 1954 more than gets him a go in the top five due to the fact that he remains the only horse to have won the big three spring Classics in one year.

  1. Rain Lover 1969

Only four horses have won successive Melbourne Cups. Peter Pan won two but they were over three years. The successive wins so far are…

Archer 1861 and 1862

Rain Lover 1968 and 1969

Think Big 1974 and 1975

Makybe Diva 2003 and 2004

Makybe Diva 2004 and 2005

After winning one Melbourne Cup, a horse will be expected to carry more weight in a subsequent Cup attempt. Here are the winning weights for successive winners…

Archer 9.7 (60kg) in 1861 and 10.2 (64.5kg) in 1862. An increase of 4.5kg

Think Big 53kg in 1974 and 58.5kg in 1975. An increase of 5.5kg

Makybe Diva 51kg in 2003 and 55.5kg in 2004. An increase of 4.5kg

Makybe Diva 55.5kg in 2004 and 58kg in 2005. An increase of 2.5kg (not sure how they got away with this!)

Apart from Makybe Diva’s weight in her third Cup, the general increase was either 4.5kg or 5.5kg. That is fairly consistent and a good effort by different generations of handicappers. But the difference is Rain Lover.

Rain Lover 8.2 (51.5kg) in 1968 and 9.7 (60.5kg). An increase of 9kg.

That is almost double the average increase the other horses enjoyed. This is a huge increase in weight, and what had to have been a remarkable effort to win with that weight. This is why Rain Lover is in the top five.

3. Galilee 1996

It is simply amazing how fast Galilee sprints at the end of a two mile handicap especially since he was carrying 8.13 (57kg) which was a really big weight for a four-year-old. It can’t be recommended enough to everyone to jump on the internet and watch this win via youtube. Galilee was the 11/2 favourite ($6.50) and beat stable mate Light Fingers as effortlessly as you will ever see. Light Fingers however, was no push over and in fact was a champion mare and Roy Higgins’ favourite all-time horse. The mare had won the previous year’s Melbourne Cup. Galilee’s win in 1966 is rated by Bart Cummings as one of the best he has ever seen, and he definitely rates this win the best of his 12 Melbourne Cups.

Galilee also won Caulfield Cup in 1966. In winning this race Galilee had defeated Tobin Bronze who was the 11/8 on favourite. 11/8 on ($1.72) is only slightly longer than the shortest price horse ever in the Caulfield Cup, which was Tulloch at 6/4 on ($1.66) in 1957. However, it is the sheer ease of the victory in the Melbourne Cup in 1966 that gets Galilee in the top 5. His last furlong was the fastest recorded for the entire 1966 Melbourne Cup carnival. Amazing, considering he had already run almost 2 miles!

  1. Carbine 1890.

Since 1879 only three horses have been handicapped near 11 stone for the Melbourne Cup. Carbine 10.12 in 1891, Phar Lap 10.10 in 1931 and Bernborough 10.9 in 1946. None of these three champions ran in the great race with these weights. However the year before he was given 10.12, the great Carbine won the Melbourne Cup with 10.5 which is just under 66kg. This is the highest weight ever carried to victory in the Melbourne Cup, and it will never be beaten. In a field of 40, yes 40 without starting gates, Carbine carried 10.5 to win in great time by 3 lengths. In 1890 there was of course no head on cameras, so it was not unusual for jockeys to all but jump on each other’s horses to try and stop them from winning. Jockeys were not the clean cut, honest athletes they are today. Jockeys were small men who loved to drink, fight and punt (maybe there are still a few around today!). The other 39 jockeys no doubt had a decent crack at stopping Carbine, because he was the pinup horse and the natural race favourite. Carbine in fact may well have been the best horse Australia has ever seen. He was definitely the best horse of the 19th century, and this win was the best win on any track in Australia in the 19th century.

An interesting thing to ponder is the fact that the last person who saw this win and remembers it died in 1968, and there is no footage and only a few sparse pictures. Yet, the win was so great, that the story has been told over and over again, and we today 124 years later, can almost imagine what it must have been like to be there. It is important to note that the attendance on this first Tuesday in November 1890 was 85,000. That was out of a Melbourne population of 460,000 or 18.5% of the city’s population. If 18.5% turn up this year there will be over 800,000 there! That would sure make it hard to get a bet on or get a beer.

  1. Peter Pan 1934

Here is why Peter Pan’s 1934 Cup win is the best ever (in my humble opinion).

He is the only horse to date to win Melbourne Cups with a year in between.

Peter Pan carried 7.6 (46kg) as a three-year-old to victory in 1932 and 9.10 (61.5kg) in 1934. That is an increase of 16.5kg. Makybe Diva carried 51.5kg in her first Cup win and 58kg in her third. Leaving out the second Cup, the Diva can be compared with Peter Pan as the only horse to win multiple Cups over three years. However the champion mare only rose 6.5kg over the three years and she of course did win another Cup in the middle of this period. That is a rise in the weights of 10kg less than Peter Pan over the same amount of years with one extra Cup win.

The track on the first Tuesday in November 1934 was extremely heavy. So heavy that Peter Pan’s winning time of 3.40 was over 17 seconds slower than the next years winning time and one of the slowest ever recorded. Peter Pan did not enjoy wet tracks, but still won untouched by four lengths. In the field was the 1933 Cup winner Hall Mark who had 8 pounds less than Peter Pan. Marabou was also on the field; this horse went onto win the 1935 Melbourne Cup. Peter Pan conceded Marabou 17kg. Rogilla was also in the field. This gelding won 12 what would now be Group One races. This was one of the strongest Melbourne Cup fields ever. Peter Pan drew the outside barrier and missed the start! The clear best Melbourne Cup win of all-time for mine.

Top five Caulfield Cup wins of all-time.

  1. Might and Power 1997

We have all seen the footage of four-year-old Might and Power leading the field to the turn in the 1997 Caulfield Cup and bursting to a (at first) four length margin, then 5, then 6 and finally winning by 7 and a half lengths easing up. Might and Power’s time of 2.26.2 was in 1997, the fastest ever time for the Caulfield Cup since the metric system was introduced to Australia. And the 7.5 length margin was a modern day record. It also has to be pointed out that Might and Power was jumping from 1600m to 2400m and he defeated (at that stage) Australia’s best stayer Doriemus. This was a great win, and a win that really did announce Might and Power to be Australia’s best horse. His narrow win a couple of weeks later in the Melbourne Cup confirmed his new and deserved status.

  1. Tobin Bronze 1967.

Tobin Bronze was one of the best horses of the 1960s. The champ won a VRC Derby, an Underwood, two Turnbull Stakes’, a Doncaster, two Cox Plates, a Toorak, a Mackinnon and the Caulfield Cup. He started 11/8 ($1.72) on in the 1966 Caulfield Cup but unfortunately ran into Galilee at the height of his powers.

The 1967 Caulfield Cup was the last feature race Tobin Bronze won in Australia, and as such, he had the huge weight of 9.10 (62kg approx). This weight was equal to the weight Rising Fast carried to victory in 1955 (keep reading for details of this race), and only 3 pounds less than Redcraze carried in his record effort in 1956.

In the home straight a horse named Red Handed, trained by Bart Cummings almost got past Tobin Bronze. Red Handed went on to win the Melbourne Cup two weeks later. This shows that Red Handed was a great stayer, and it was therefore it was a mighty effort by Tobin Bronze to hold on considering he was conceding over two stone or 13kg to Red Handed. A super win based on the weight and the quality of the opposition.

The top three Caulfield Cup wins happened in three consecutive years; 1955, 1956 and 1957. It would have been a great time to be an adult living in Melbourne watching the races. The 1950s is potentially the best decade of racing in Australia’s history. The 1990s and the 1920s are the other two decades that stand out as a time of champions.

  1. Rising Fast 1955.

In 1954 Rising Fast won the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup all in the one year. And he is still the only horse to do so. But the next year, 1955, Rising Fast bounced up again and won the Caulfield Cup with 9.10 (61.5kg). He also ran second in the Melbourne Cup this year with 10.0. To win the three spring Classics in one year, then back up the following year and win the Caulfield Cup, is something that will probably never be done again. It is simply an outstanding effort. Rising Fast is listed as having won just under 67,000 pounds and using the reserve bank’s inflation calculator, that converts to just over 2 million dollars in today’s economic climate. However, if Rising fast won the races he won over the last few years instead of during the early to mid-1950s, he would have won more than 15 million which would be an Australian record and almost a million more than Makybe Diva won.

  1. Redcraze 1956.

Redcraze won the 1956 Caulfield Cup by four lengths, while carrying the still record weight of 9.13 (63kg). Redcraze won despite conceding almost 3 stone (close to 19kg) to the runner up Evening Pearl, who as it turns out, won the Melbourne Cup that year. Can you imagine if this year a horse was to win the Caulfield Cup with 63kg by four lengths and the runner up carried just 44kg? The spread of weights this year will most likely be from a top weight of 58kg to a bottom weight of 53kg. A spread of just 5kg is a long way from a spread of 19kg. In winning the Caulfield Cup by four lengths with the biggest weight ever carried to victory in the race, Redcraze more than deserves second spot and he is unlucky to not grab the gold.

  1. Tulloch 1957.

Tulloch (then a three-year-old) won the 1957 Caulfield Cup very easily. But this win was far far greater than a simple 4 lengths romp as it looked. Here are some facts and figures that show exactly how great this win was…

- A three-year-old had not won the Caulfield Cup for 22 years before Tulloch in 1957. Only 5 have won since.

- Tulloch’s 7.8 is the greatest ever weight carried to victory by a three-year-old in the history of the Caulfield Cup.

- Tulloch at 6/4 on ($1.66), jumped as the shortest priced favourite ever in the Caulfiled Cup.

- Tulloch’s time of 2.26.9 for the 12 furlong race was not only a race and track record, it was also the fastest 12 furlong race ever recorded in Australia (imperial era) and the fastest 12 furlong run ever recorded in the world on a grass track.

- Tulloch was at one stage of the race, forced back to last in a field of 17 hard, older handicappers. In working through the field, Tulloch suffered three bad checks; as we all know from backing horses over the years, one bad check is usually enough to end a horse’s chances. So to win after three bad checks is a truly remarkable feat. It is also important to note that the second and third place getters, that Tulloch rushed by, were two really good horses. Mac’s Amber won a Toorak Handicap and a Chipping Norton Stakes and Sailors Guide once beat Rising Fast in New Zealand as well as winning a VRC Derby, Sydney Cup and a Mackinnon. Tulloch gave these two great horses a cold when he went past them!

The top five greatest Cox Plate wins since 1972.

It is important to note that from 1971 – 1972 the prize money for the Cox Plate increased by 50% from $30,000 to $45,000. It was at this point that the Cox Plate became a true spring classic. It is also important to apologies to the connections of Super Impose and Bonecrusher. Both these horses narrowly missed out on the top five despite both being very famous victors.

  1. Dulcify 1979.

Dulcify beat Shivaree by 7 lengths. Shivaree beat the rest of the field by about 4. Shivaree was a really good horse who won multiple Group Ones, so it is very clear that based on the quality of opposition, Dulcify’s win was outstanding. Dulcify’s winning margin of 7 lengths is the equal biggest winning margin in the history of the race. The time was also in the top five fastest of the modern era. It was a simply breathtaking win that unfortunately was the second last of Dulcify’s brilliant career.

  1. Kingston Town 1982.

The story of Kingston Town’s third Cox Plate win has been told and retold since the moments after the victory. But for all the first time readers, here are the quick facts…

- Kingston Town is the only horse to ever win three Cox Plates.

- Kingston Town was declared by racecaller Bill Collins to be unable to win from where he was in the run, but he did.

- In winning the race, Kingston Town became the first millionaire racehorse in Australia.

- The third win was the fastest of the King’s three and it was also against the best field. Grosvenor that ran second had previously won the Caulfield Guineas and the VRC Derby. The field also included Gurner’s Lane who won that year’s Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

However, the main reason this win makes it into our top five is because of its historical significance. No other horse has ever won three Cox Plates but plenty have tried. Lloyd Williams, who had no connection with the King, rates Kingston Town the equal of any horse he has ever seen, including Tulloch.

  1. Surround 1976.

Surround remains the only three-year-old filly to ever win the Cox Plate.

Many really really good three year old fillies have attempted to win the Cox Plate in their three-year-old year, including recently Samantha Miss and Miss Finland, but none are yet to match Surround’s brilliant win in 1976. Surround beat a quality field in great time. But the fact she is the only three-year-old filly to ever win the Cox Plate is astonishing. A quick study of the race reveals that about 40 have tried and these 40 are the best of the best three-year-old fillies to ever race in Australia. Three-year-old fillies have to carry 47.5kg in the Cox Plate while five-year-old and above horses have to carry 59kg. That is a big difference. But it does show that despite the weight relief, it is almost impossible for a three-year-old filly to win the Cox Plate. A great win by Surround, and well entitled to a spot in the top three!

  1. Sunline 2000.

Sunline won her second Cox Plate by 7 lengths equalling the record set by Dulcify 21 years earlier. Everyone has seen this win. Sunline leads easily then kicks clear to win pulling up by 7 lengths. The time was not flash, but what was great was the company she beat so easily. The field included Caulfield Cup winners Sky Heights and Diatribe, all time Sydney champion Tie the Knot, multiple group one winners Shogun Lodge and Show a Heart and the super sire Testa Rossa. It was a great field that were absolutely flogged by the champion mare.

But the biggest factor that gets Sunline to the silver metal spot is the margin. Since 1972, Kingston Town, Sunline, Northerly and So You Think have all won multiple Cox Plates. Yet, Kingston Town won his second by a length, Northerly battled to a one length win in his second and So You Think fell in after a tough run in his second. So it is therefore much harder to win a second Cox Plate than a first. But Sunline won her second by 7 lengths! Case closed.

  1. Makybe Diva 2005.

The Diva’s Cox Plate win was extraordinary.  It was extraordinary for the following reasons…

- She was being trained for the Cup, No matter what anyone says, the great mare was being trained for her third Melbourne Cup because her connections knew she was a moral over 3200m with just 58kg. As we saw with Fiorente, it is hard to win a Cox Plate when the Melbourne Cup is your Grand Final.

- The field that she beat in the Cox Plate was one of the best ever. It included Desert War (6 Group One wins), Lotteria, (2 Group One wins), Fields of Omaha (2x winner of the Cox Plate) and Xcellent (4 Group One wins.)

- Glen Boss rode her like a moral. He was probably a bit confident, but in the end it did not matter.

- The entire field ganged up on her and made her work really hard. The footage shows how before the turn, the field spread really wide, forcing the Diva to cover lots of extra ground. It is lucky she was being trained for the two miles because otherwise she may not have been strong enough to win.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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Better Loosen Up

Hello everyone.

We do not have a noted WFA champion in Australia at the minute. Horses like Foreteller and Happy Trails are not WFA champions. Back in the early 1990s we had a huge amount of brilliant horses that could perform in both WFA and Handicap races. Horses like Let’s Elope, Vo Rough and Super Impose took on each other season after season. The best of them all may have been the Hayes trained Better Loosen Up. One post can’t possibly describe this horse’s career, so we will have a quick look today at a seven month period between 15 September and 11 March. During this period this gelding just go better and better. Here is what happened.

On 15 September 1990, Better Loosen Up won the 1600m Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley. From barrier 13 of 15, Better Loosen Up managed to swoop late to beat the gun Stylish Century by an inch. The 1600m was an unsuitable distance, but the gelding never used to worry about this and still won anyway.

Two weeks later the gelding started favourite in the Turnbull over 2000m and again flew home to win narrowly. This win not only gave the gelding another well deserved Group One win, but it also ensured that Better Loosen Up would be invited to run in the world’s best race the Japan Cup…

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Next it was the Cox Plate. Better Loosen Up was the $3 favourite and we must also point out that 1990 was David Hayes’ first year of training. So this was the trainers first Cox Plate runner. Check out this for a remarkable win…

25 lengths off the lead at the 800m and under heavy ridding at the 400m. However the champion still won.

Rather than go towards the Melbourne Cup, the gelding was aimed at the Japan Cup. After all it was (and remains) the best race in the world. First however, the gelding need a tune up run in the Mackinnon before boarding the flight to Tokyo.

Again the gelding left his run to late, but he managed to still win beating the ever unlucky Stylish Century and by half a length. Shortly after this Group One win, Better Loosen Up was off to Japan to represent Australia in the Japan Cup.

David Hayes understood that if Better Loosen Up was to win the Japan Cup, he had to be closer to the front than the back. The gelding was able to win races in Australia from impossible positions due to simply being much better than his rivals. He has lengths on many of the good horses he beat in Australia. Hayes understood that his champ did not have lengths on the field in the Japan Cup. This race is by invite only and only the best of the best compete. Phar Lap would have had a hard time winning this race such is the depth. Here is the race. Notice how much closer Better Loosen Up is in the run s compared to normal…

Bloody hell! He only just won! But this is an added quality. Better Loosen Up knew where the line was. He knew when to stick his head out. How about the crowd???? 166,000 and the Aussie horse stood up and won like a true champion. He remains the only Australian horse to have won the great race.

After a spell following his Japan trip, Better Loosen Up resumed with a good win in the Blamey Stakes. He beat champion Vo Rouge and Melbourne Cup record holder Kingston Rule by about half a length. It was a good win, but nothing different to what we had come accustomed to.

However the gelding’s next run was different. It was better. It was in the 1991 Australian Cup and he was taking on the reigning champion Vo Rouge together with a very deep field of gun WFA horses. The result… Better Loosen Up beat them by six lengths! There is not a horse in the world that would have beaten him this day. The gelding had beaten the world and now he had risen into immortality with one of the best wins in the Australian Cup of all-time.

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As fate would have it, Better Loosen Up injured himself after this run and we never really again saw the best of him. Yes he should have won the 1992 Cox Plate; in fact that is worth another watch…

So he really should be a Japan Cup winner and a two time Cox Plate winner, but even without a second Cox Plate, he is still an all-time champion.

Better Loosen Up lives at Living Legends Farm in Melbourne and anyone passing through can go out and give the old fella a pat. He is such a placid gelding that when he won the horse of year award back in the early 1990s, he was floated into Melbourne’s CBD, and matched into the Ball Room to personally! We need more WFA champions. Hopefully Hampton Court and Almalad and a few of the three-year-olds keep getting better.

Good luck and stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Non-reality television

Hello everyone

Wisdom

The other day at A Turf Fascination headquarters, the foxtel went out for about twenty minutes. So what to do? Read a book? Nope read enough of them! So I ventured over to the free to air channels only to land straight slap bang on an ad for The Bachelor.  Now dear readers please believe me when I say this, but not once in the history of time has The Bachelor been on in my presence. In fact I was unaware of what said television show even tried to accomplish, apart from hearing the shows name from time to time over the journey. So what is the problem with the Bachelor you may be wondering? Well on the ad the bloke i.e. the Bachelor, was described as the most arrogant, selfish and pig headed bachelor yet. There were also a few cut aways to the girls on the show calling him an A Hole. So this bloke is a clear wanker right? So why does he have 12 beautiful girls all doing anything they can to win his love? This is ‘reality tv.’ Reality. Reality. I often find myself sitting on a chair drinking stubbys while 12 beautiful 20 year olds all fight and cry and do what they can to make it to the top of my pecking order. And if this bloke is such a wanker as he is described by the television network, why do these 12 girls want his hand in marriage? This show is telling young blokes that they can be wankers to women, and the women will still like them. It is also telling women to settle for dickheads. Also, apart from a few fundamentalists from the foothills of Afghanistan, what kind of man has 12 women at his service?

So let me get this straight… this moron is going to propose to one of two girls, and he has not made his mind up yet? Talk about true love! I tell ya what… with the internet, the online dating crap, that thing that detects available chicks within 100 yards and the Bachelor taking 12 out of the field each season… what hope does the single good bloke punter at the pub have! The Bachelor is the Kings of Leon of television shows. The clear worst ever!

Punt

Zipping Classic Day 2014

Apart from race one at Sandown on Saturday, there is a very nice meeting scheduled (race one is a mystery!). Here is a win bet and an each way selection for races 2 – 9. The form is well and truly exposed by this time of the spring, and plenty of horses have been aimed at this meeting after being warmed up at Flemington, The Valley or Caulfield.

Race 2. Sandown Stakes

Winner – 2. Pornichet. This entire was great first up in Australia on Derby day. He was beaten a length by Huckelbuck and maybe even should have won the race. His best in Europe is easily good enough to see him being very hard to beat in this race. He will enjoy the 1500m, he has the talent and he has shown he has acclimatised well enough to be competitive. He looks one of the better chances for the day.

Each way chance – 8. General Groove. After winning his last two nicely, this gelding seems well above the odds. He is always underrated and on his current upward curve he is not without an each way chance in this race.

Race 3. City of Greater Dandenong Stakes

Winner – 3. More Radiant. This girl deserves another chance, and from barrier one, it is hard to see her being wide as she was last start. She got better with more racing last time in, and she still looks to have plenty of improvement left in her going forward. She will be just behind the speed and it is hard to see her not being in the finish.

Each way chance – 7. Wroclaw. After being soundly beaten last start (she still ran 4th), this filly looks much better suited in this race. There is a chance this is the race she has been aimed for the whole time; she has only ever missed a place once, and at $20 she is worth an each way ticket.

Race 4. Sandown Cup

Winner – 3. Massiyn. After narrowly being beaten in the Bendigo Cup, this import looks to have the class and easily the stamina needed to win a 3200m race. This field is not exactly full of stars and natural talent will take a good horse along way in this race. He finally looks to have hit his straps and he will take a power of beating.

Each way chance – 8. Distillation. In a race of plodders, this gelding is at least in nice form and is fit enough to figure somewhere in this race. He will be strong at the end and the $20 on offer looks a good price.

Race 5. Zipping Classic

Winner – 4. Prince of Penzance. Green Moon will take a lot of beating, but this boy on the quick backup looks an each way special. He will get a great run, he is very fit and he has enough natural class to see him explode late and be very hard to hold out. We have seen the best that most of these have to offer, whereas this boy might still be on the way up.

Each way chance – 7. Rawnaq. After a great win two starts ago, this gelding was a little disappointing last start. However, he has been targeted at this race since he hurt himself in it two years ago as a three-year-old. He is older now, will love the trip and is fit and ready to race.

Race 6. Eclipse Stakes

Winner – 3. Pheidon. This gelding gives his all at each and every start he has. He is best is really good and his worst is pretty good also. He will be up the front and will take a power of beating. He saves his best for Victoria and he looks very close to an each way special. He just never gives up and he will again be fitter from his Cup day run.

Each way chance – 7. Extra Zero. This boy is a bit of a non-winner but he has been running well and the big track at Sandown will suit. His country form has been good and he was not far behind Pheidon two starts ago. Worth some thought.

Race 7. Sandown Guineas

Winner – 4. Lord Aspen. Unbeaten and he did a million things wrong last time but was still good enough to win. The win last Saturday will have brought him on wonderfully well for this race, and an in-form three-year-old generally wins this race. You can’t get much more in-form than a last start winner who is also four from four!

Each way chance – 3. Petrology. Finally the followers of this boy got a result on Oaks day. He wobbled up the straight but still held on to win. This is a step up again but he has talent and he looks way over the odds considering he is just starting to put it all together.

Race 8. Kevin Heffernan Stakes

Winner – 7. Nearest To Pin. In the hardest race of the day, this gelding was average first up, but he is much better than that. He is close enough to $20 and his best is easily good enough to figure. In a very even race, the South Australian looks the one above his true price of winning.

Each way chance – 4. Reparations. This gelding was dynamic first up and we are getting around 20% of the odds here on Saturday. It is always dangerous backing a first up longshot winner second up at a much reduced price, but this gelding was so good first up that he is probably worth the risk.

Race 9. Summoned Stakes

Winner – 3. Politeness. Yes she has had plenty of chances and although she has not been winning she has not been too far from the best mares in the land. At level weights last start she was only a length from Sweet Idea. There are no Sweet Idea’s in this race. $6 is a good price and she will be storming home. As long as she does not get too far back she will figure in the finish somewhere.
Each way chance – 5. Secret Toy Bizness. She is in career best form and is very honest. She always seems to run well and is well worth a small each way ticket in a pretty difficult race.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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Seven Group One Wins

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

A big thank you to Gai Waterhouse for being today’s guest blogger. Here is Gai’s tale of her Group One season…

The last Group One of the racing season has been run and won, and yes it was the Lady Trainer who trained the winner. The ever consistent Cosmic Endeavour took the chocolates in the Tatts Tiara thanks to a great ride from Tommy Berry. This win gave me seven Group One wins for the season. Now I will be honest, young Zeb is giving me a bit of a hand with all the facts and figures, but here is the tale of the tape… The Lady Trainers’ Group One year!

I managed to get home the winners of the only two 3200m Group One handicaps in Australia. Fiorente, an entire won the Melbourne Cup and The Offer, a gelding won The Sydney Cup. Fiorente worked into his…

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