Who Are You

Hello everyone


This photo could be of any racing historian surfing Mundaka in Spain on any day ever…


Rest assured dear readers, this particular racing historian, the one that is pictured above, not 1 second after this shot was taken, was being dragged along the bottom of the North Atlantic with gravel, sand and even some pebbles being deposited through the wetsuit, the eyes and the hair. But I digress…

CSI is a wonderful show, but upon watching the final episode ever the other night, something really bothered me. The CSI team had a blurry shot of a car that they were looking for. As they zoomed in, the number plate on the car started to become clearer, whereas it was not visible, due to blurriness, on the original shot. Is there really a technology where zooming in on a photo makes it clearer? Try zooming into the above photo – it gets blurrier, the more you zoom in! When I try and show strangers in the pub this photo, they ask ‘how do you know who the surfer is?’ So I use my CSI knowledge and zoom in, and it gets blurrier! Thus there is no way to prove who is in the photo!


What if you zoom into this photo? Can you identify the surfer? No need for zoom of course, the most recognizable surfer ever can’t be mistaken with anyone. Fancy being 42 years old and falling down waves like this in a final of the Pipe Masters against a kid who was not born when Kelly won his first title!

Any way, a pretty poor wisdom this week, but they can’t all be winners.

How about a couple more photos of the world’s best place for the road…



So the point of this wisdom… do yourself a favour and go to the Basque region of the world. It is fantastic! And to the producers of the remaining CSI shows… stop inventing things that fill plot holes that don’t really exist!

Looking at you Horatio!



Lackluster weekend on the punt this week so just a few, all of whom are at pretty short odds – so if they win, no complaining about the price, but feel free to complain should they lose.

Moonee Valley

1.2. Gold Emblem. Waterhouse youngster that is going really well and has seen the Valley at a recent track gallop. All set to run well.

6.3. Golden Mane. Comes out of a really hot form race and is at good odds in a race with a very false even money favourite.

8.7. Sea Spray. A massive drop in class and from barrier 3 with Oliver aboard, it is hard to see this horse not figuring in the finish.


5.3. Dublin Lass. Simply better than her rivals and gets weight off most of them!

8.9. Frespanol. Flying and he too gets good weight relief despite perhaps being the horse with the most scope in the race. Best each way chance of the day.


2.2 Chilin With Dylan. The best of the day, as he was last week when very unlucky. Gee he looks hard to beat in this race and $2.50 is about $1 over his true price of winning. Sacked if he loses this one!

5.12. Adaddon. Good 2nd up record, but will need a hot pace up the front as to be a really good chance. Good each way value.

6.1. Secret Saga. The worst black-type race of the year to date. Barrier 13 is not ideal, but if the best horse wins, this boy will win by 100m. He will need a little luck, but looks a good thing.

7.1. Temple Of Boom. Yep, you heard! The old boy to win first up. He has a great chance and is a Group 1 winner which can never hurt.


7.3. Zerprise Journey. Drops in class and weight and therefore has a big class edge on the field.

8.6. Regal Magnas. Should have won last start and on natural progression, he will again be hard to beat.

Good luck and stay tuned.


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New Zealand is still there

Hello everyone

Sir Patrick would freely admit that it takes brilliant sires to make a stud and since he established Cambridge Stud in the Wakiko region of New Zealand in 1976, two sires have change the face of racing not just in Australia and New Zealand, but throughout the world. They are Sir Tristram and Zabeel and they just happen to be a father and son combo.

Sir Tristram was foaled in Ireland in 1971. He raced reasonable well in Ireland, England and France, but he won just the two races, both of which were raced in France. The stallion was also sent to America to run in the Kentucky Derby where he ran 11th. He eventually found his way to Sir Patrick Hogan’s newly established stud Cambridge Stud. In his life as a sire, Sir Tristram created a generation. Consider that for a moment… he created a generation. The Irish bred sire produced 45 individual Group One winners and three Melbourne Cup winners. His stallion fee in 1976 was a modest $1,200; this fee had risen to $200,000 by the time of his death in 1997. The three Melbourne Cup winners were; Gurner’s Lane in 1982, a grand stayer that managed to beat Kingston Town at the height of his powers. His second Cup winner was Empire Rose who is one of very few horses to ever win the Melbourne Cup after placing in the race the year before (Fiorente did it this year). Sir Tristram’s other Melbourne Cup winner was Brew in 2000 who went on to become one of the most loved police horses in the Victorian police force. Sir Tristram also sired the broodmares that brought us Saintly and Ethereal.

Sir Tristram’s best sons and daughters away from the Melbourne Cup winners were probably multiple Group One winners Tristarc and Dr Grace, grand sire Kaapstad, Golden Slipper winner Marauding, Victoria Derby winner Grosvenor and of course Zabeel.

Like his father, Zabeel was well performed on the track but he was a long way from a champion. He may have made a champion had he not been sent to stud so early, but luckily for the racing industry of the world, he was. Zabeel has sired 115 individual Stakes winners. His two best products have probably been Octagonal and Might and Power but he is also responsible for the Hong Kong immortal champion Vengeance of Rain. Zabeel has also produced Melbourne Cup winners (along with Might and Power) Jezabeel and Efficient as well as Caulfield Cup winners (again with Might and Power) Railing and Sky Height. Zabeel has also sired Cox Plate winners (with Octagonal and Might and Power) Maldivian and Savabeel.

How about this for a line of champions that is still going strong right now and is looking like getting even stronger if that is possible; Sir Tristram – Zabeel – Octagonal – Lonhro – Pierro. Everyone in the Australian racing industry can thank Sir Patrick Hogan, Sir Tristram and Zabeel for the strength of Australian racing and the sire line will continue for many generations to come.

Start saving for the Pierro foals!

Start saving for the Pierro foals!

Good luck and stay tuned.


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Looking through the bent back tulips

Hello everyone


Every day I tell people to ‘watch The Wire, it is by far the best television series of all time.’ People generally say either a) they couldn’t get into it or b) what is The Wire? Is it a Karadashian spin off? Ok, people rarely give answer b, but that does not hide the fact, that everyone on earth needs to watch this television series. A Turf Fascination can’t find the right words to detail why The Wire is so good, so please welcome Kelley L. Carter from Buzzfeed to A Turf Fascination…

It’s Time To Revisit The Greatest TV Show Ever (That No One Watched)

Kelley L. Carter

In the summer of 2003, Andre Royo, known to fans of HBO’s The Wire as recovering heroin addict and Baltimore police informant Bubbles, was standing in a buffet line fixing himself a plate at a party for the premium cabler in New York, when he saw Mark Wahlberg making his way toward him.

At the time, the middle of the second season of The Wire was airing, and the actor was at the event to toast the launch of another HBO series, Entourage, which Wahlberg produced.

“I was like, oh shit! Mark Wahlberg’s coming up to me!” Royo told BuzzFeed News via phone, recalling the glint of familiarity in Wahlberg’s eyes. “And he came up to me, and he was like, ‘Hey, you’ve got a good job now. I hope you appreciate your position right now. You better stay clean and take advantage of this moment.’”

Royo was momentarily confused. “I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? I’m an actor. I’ve been doing theater for a little while.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you was a real junkie. I thought they found somebody on the street and they gave him a part. My bad,’” Royo remembered. “He definitely took a step back.”

Wahlberg’s mistake was genuine — and common. By that time, fans of The Wire knew that creator David Simon often mixed real-life people into each episode, including some addicts, former drug dealers, cops and politicians — some were extras, others had a couple of lines. And that ultimately made Royo and his Wire colleagues feel accountable. “I felt like, I have to tell this story the right way, because this motherfucker is standing right next to me. And I’m not trying to make fun of this motherfucker. I’m trying to tell his story,” Royo said. “So, you know, I think Wahlberg just thought I was one of those guys they found in Baltimore and gave me a job.”

Ultimately, Royo took Wahlberg’s confusion as a sign that, clearly, he was doing something right: He knew then that he was turning out the authentic performances he strived to bring to the screen.

But that also was the problem with the series, which ran on HBO for five seasons, from 2002 to 2008. It was gripping, but it gut-punched viewers in a way that perhaps no other TV show had done at the time. It was too real. It played out like a reality TV show you desperately wanted cancelled. It was ahead of its time. Unlike other cop dramas, The Wire wasn’t a procedural, nor was there the promise of a happy ending, tied up in a nice pretty red bow. The Wire was the kind of show that was scarier to watch than the nightly news.

Though it was that type of authenticity that made The Wire one of the greatest shows on TV, it also hindered the series’s success. At its peak, The Wire was able to grab 4 million viewers, but by Season 5, it dipped below 1 million.

Now, however, audiences have another chance to see the series that was perhaps born and gone too soon. HBO is bringing back The Wire this week with a marathon of a remastered HD cut that will air on HBO Signature. Starting Friday, Dec. 26, one season will air per day, and the complete series will be available to purchase on Digital HD on Jan. 5 and on Blu-ray sometime next summer.

But Royo understands why people didn’t tune in during The Wire’s original run. “When I come home, I don’t want to see my misery, you know what I mean? When I turn the TV on, I want to escape my problems. I want to be entertained. TV is called the idiot box for a reason. I don’t want to see the bleak and the problems that I go through every day,” he said. “I think people were too engulfed by seeing such honesty, you know? They want to laugh — they want to have a sitcom. They want to see somebody else’s story.”

Though The Wire was set in Baltimore, it felt familiar to many viewers nationally: The struggles reflected in the series easily could have happened (and quite frankly, are still happening) in many other major cities in urban decay. To others who couldn’t relate, The Wire was a glimpse into a saltier side of life, leaving no angle untouched. In a crime show, audiences are used to seeing that, ultimately, the bad guys get their due. But that rarely happened on The Wire.

“People want good news,” actor Jamie Hector, who portrayed The Wire’s most menacing drug dealer, Marlo Stanfield, told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview. “People watched and were like, can a dude like Marlo really exist? Yeah. He can. He’s a sociopath. And that was scary.”

In mid-October, much of The Wire cast gathered at the 2nd Annual Paley Festival in New York for a reunion. The running narrative that night was how, because no one was watching the series at the time it was on the air, they had a chance to really push the envelope and tell unexpected stories without much pushback.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, actor Michael K. Williams, who portrayed Omar Little, perhaps one of the greatest TV characters ever written, agreed with that sentiment.

“What we set out to do was show you what’s really going on in major cities in America,” Williams told BuzzFeed News. “It was real. I tell people in that time, if in my face it looked like Omar was someplace that he might have smelled something dead, it probably was. We went into real abandoned homes to shoot a lot of my scenes, and we were really in the hood. They were not sets. None of those places were built. We went to real neighborhoods and the community and shot my scenes. All of that lends to the realness of what it looked like.”

That level of authenticity was mind-blowing, giving The Wire a documentary feel, even though the plotlines were fictional. It was almost as if viewers were getting a behind-the-scenes look at life on the force as well as life on the streets.

The stories also felt overwhelmingly black, considering the time and space within which the series was set, but The Wire did a magnificent job at contrasting the central issue: class and circumstance.

“People weren’t ready to see that this wasn’t a black and white story,” Royo said. “It was a universal, middle-class story. It was never about race, it was about the class system, and I think that people didn’t catch on to that. They just thought it was a basic cop show with good guys and bad guys. But if you look at the show at the time it came out, it just had a different tone. It had a different landscape of storytelling. At the end of the day, the bad guy wasn’t caught. This was nothing like Law & Order or CSI where it’s wrapped up at the end. Our endings left you more confused than the beginning. You have to stick out and watch not one episode, not two, you have to watch the whole season to get it.”

That points to another gripe fans of the show — and those who worked on it — have: Why didn’t The Wire ever get nominated for any major awards? Royo points out that as far as judging committees go, shows can only submit three episodes for most awards. But with a show like The Wire, it’s virtually impossible to watch out of context. Simon’s crafty series was such that a small unseen nugget from Season 2 would play a major role in the final season. Almost nothing was a throwaway moment.

“We weren’t getting the numbers and we weren’t getting the nominations. We were a little salty. We were a little salty every year. The Golden Globes, SAG, the Emmys. Nothing,” Royo said.

Instead, the best testament to how well done The Wire is comes from the remarkable afterlife it’s had. Wendell Pierce, who portrayed homicide detective William “Bunk” Moreland on the series, said that he often hears from latecomers who discovered the show long after it was canceled.

“One time, I was with Andre Royo recently, and we were coming out of a bar and this guy started screaming, ‘Oh my god! You don’t understand! Literally, I just finished the last episode! I’m walking out of my apartment after turning off the television after days of watching five seasons of the The Wire and then I run into you guys!” Pierce recalled to BuzzFeed News. “And those moments happen all the time.”

But HBO’s decision to release a remastered HD cut doesn’t signal that a long-whispered-about prequel might be coming, though Pierce is still hopeful that creator Simon might change his mind about that.

“I had spoken with Samuel Jackson, who is a fan of the show, and he was like, ‘Wendell, I would love to play head of that family,’” Pierce said. “So that’s when I approached David … to see that prequel story of how they got to where they were [come to life], and I think it would be fantastic. But to David, it’s a book. It’s a novel. It is what it is, let it stand on its own. [Season 5 writer] Richard Price just nixed it. He said, ‘If I ever see them do a damn prequel of The Wire, I’m going to come and strangle David.’ I was like, ‘Well, thank you, Richard.’ But the idea of seeing the prequel with Samuel Jackson being taken down by Avon [Wood Harris] and Stringer [Idris Elba] and seeing how the police officers all become who they are. It would be great. But you see, the thing about it is this guy named David Simon … He has to write it. And if they get someone else to write it, it wouldn’t be the same.”

The prequel is unlikely at this point, and the people who portrayed some of the most beloved and loved-to-hate characters on the show are perfectly fine with that. They understand that The Wire set a precedent, and they’re fine with that being their particular legacy.

“If you try to come back with a No. 45 jersey on after [wearing] a No. 23, your knees might be a little rickety,” Hector said, referencing NBA legend Michael Jordan, who came back to the court out of a two-year retirement wearing a different jersey number. “I feel like it ended perfect.”


Yeah! Well said! Now get on the download machine and get watching!



Race 1. Take a quinella 2. Judges, 8. Osteria and 13. Mr Liberty. Not sure which one will win, but confidence is high that two of these three will fill spots one and two.

5.6. Preferito $3.50. In a $200,000 novelty race, you can do a lot worse than following the one horse in the race suited to the conditions. This colt also just happens to be trained by the greatest trainer of two-year-olds in Australian racing history.

7.2. Nordic Empire $9. Hard to beat 1st up at good odds.

8.15. Mujadale $9. Will be leading and the other major chances will have to climb over each other to get past him.

10.1. Red Bomber $7. The class horse of the field and the 3kg claim will certainly help.


2.2. Bravissimo $5. Beat Preferito in a trial recently and did it in good time.

5.6. Song And Laughter $7.50. Does not like being favourite. Lets see how she goes when at each way odds.

7.3. Festivity $5. This mare is going too good to keep running 2nd. Although she does have a tricky barrier.

8.6. Sports Edition $5. 2nd best of the day.

9.4. Caped Crusader $5. If he does not win this race, don’t give up as he will only get better with more racing.


2.8. Tisani Grey $19. Missed the start by about 50 lengths when $2.50 on debut. Made good ground late. $19 now and worth some thought.

6.5. Espiriut $7. Great first up and generally improves into a preparation.

7.14. Chillin With Dylan $6. Best of the day.


5.8. I Am Gypsy $4. All the others in this race are looking for more ground!

6.4. Sagapuss $3. Top five ‘best things beaten’ I have ever seen last Saturday. With even luck she should just win.

8.9. Violets Are Blue $4.60. Great horse that looks set for a big preparation.


Race 6. WA Guineas. 1600m Group 2

This race seems to have a lot of different horses engaged that have been running against each other an awful lot with different results on each occasion. For this reason, my thinking is based around the invader from the east, the Hayes trained He’s Our Rokkii. Last start he was just beaten by the eventual Sandown Guineas winner and the way the track played this day, he had very limited chance. The start before that he ran really well at Caulfield, again against the bias and again he made a stack of ground. From barrier 12, Damien Lane will have his work cut out, but if the track is playing fair, as it usually does in Perth, look for this former kiwi to be barrelling down the outside. He will take a power of beating. Blackwood has had 7 starts for 5 wins and 2x 3rd place finishes. He is trained by Fred Kersley and will carry the famous Northerly colours. From the barrier next to He’s Our Rokkii, expect Lucy Warwick to follow the favourite in to the race. Big Red Costa is coming off a maiden win, but often in these three-year-old races that are out of immediate attention, we can overlook improving types. Big Red Costa has improved every start this preparation he looks trained to the minute for this race.

Winner – 5. He’s Our Rokkii $5.50

Hardest to beat – 14. Blackwood $6

Best long shot – 12. Big Red Costa $61

Race 7. The Winterbottom Stakes. 1200m Group 1

Buffering has won this race in the past, and on this day he beat a much better field than what is assembled this year. He also did it when he was not going as well as he is now. He has proven he can travel, and in-fact the further away from his home in Brisbane he gets, the better he seems to go! Like most of the more fancied runners on the day, he has a tricky barrier, but he has proven time and time again, that he will find the front and anything that wants to go with him and try and keep up may as well scratch now. The favourite has won this race 7 of the last 10 times it has been run and it really should be 8 considering Apache Cat was $0.10 shorter than Takeover Target one year (Takeover Target won by an inch). To say favourites generally win is an understatement. Magnifisio is not as good as Buffering, has a worse barrier and only receives 2kg despite having won 5 less Group 1 races! He is the danger to Buffering, but with just even luck, Buffering should brain this field – as we know, things rarely go to plan, but Buffering certainly is as bombproof as horses get. The other worth some thought (considering he is $61!) is Madassa. Two starts ago he beat a horse that will be going around at $1.50 in an earlier race, and he has since won a trial by 7 lengths. He is rock hard fit and is way over the odds.

Winner – 1. Buffering $3.50

Hardest to beat – 13. Magnifisio $8.50

Best long shot – 11. Madassa $61

Race 8. The Railway Stakes. 1600m Group 1

Whereas the favourite generally wins the Winterbottom, they have a terrible record in this 1600m handicap. There are plenty of good horses in the field however a few of the leading chances look as if they are looking for further (Delicacy) or maybe even a touch shorter (Black Heart Bart). I have therefore landed on the mare who is 2nd up and for whom the mile seems the perfect trip. Real Love has never been beaten when 2nd up and she proved when 1st up this preparation, that a recent trip east has done nothing but improve her. Like Buffering and He’s Our Rokkii, this mare has a terrible barrier, and in an even handicap, a bad barrier can spell the end. However, the fact she is 2nd up and at the mile is more than enough to put her on top at the each way odds. Hazzabeel is a winner. He has won 6 from 10 and he is coming off perhaps the best win of his career. Again, he has a terrible barrier, but he has shown in the past that he has plenty of natural speed and can cross the field and lead. He most likely will cross and lead on Saturday, and with just 53kg he may prove very hard to catch. Battle Hero is the other that garners some attention at odds. He was the even money favourite last start when beaten by Hazzabeel by 1.5 lengths. He is now $26, and the run last start was not all that bad. He can bounce back.

Winner 5. Real Love $5

Hardest to beat – 11. Hazzabeel $9

Best long shot – 9. Battle Hero 26

Good luck and stay tuned.






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Super Effort That

Hello everyone

The spring of 1984 was one to remember for TJ Smith, and his new assistant trainer and clocker Gai Waterhouse, not to mention every historian involved in the Australian racing industry.  The Caulfield Cup went to a gelding named Affinity trained by Vain’s trainer Jim Moloney and ridden by now Group 1 winning trainer (and Vain’s regular rider) Pat Hyland. The Melbourne Cup was taken out by the George Hanlon trained Black Knight ridden by Peter Cook. These were great wins but the horses are hardly household names 20 years later. The spring of 1984 will be remembered due to the feats of a plainly bred colt named Red Anchor.

It was 29 September 1984, and the Moonee Valley Stakes (now the Stutt Stakes) was about to be run and won. The father daughter team of TJ Smith and Gai Waterhouse had seen off perhaps the greatest all-round horse Australia has ever seen in Kingston Town, but TJ especially knew that with the going of one champion, the next was always just around the corner. It only took a year or two after Kingston Town, but Red Anchor arrived and he did something in 1984 that not only has not been done since, but had never been done before.

Red Anchor won the Moonee Valley Stakes on a very wet track very easily by around three lengths. His time was over four seconds slower than Pierro’s winning time 18 years later such was the dampness of the track. A wet track generally puts an end to a brilliant colt’s winning chances, but Red Anchor was simply good enough to handle any surface. He was a real no fuss horse and would do his best in any race he was sent to. His best just so happens to have been exceptionally good.

Two weeks after the Moonee Valley Stakes, TJ backed Red Anchor up in the Caulfield Guineas. It is interesting that Gai, still to this day, uses the Moonee Valley Stakes as the warm up race for her best three-year-old males on their way to the Caulfield Guineas. Gai has won the Moonee Valley Stakes the last three years! Back to Red Anchor, the champion colt won the Caulfield Guineas as the even money favourite as easily as you will see a colt win the great stallion making race. As the race caller called at the time ‘Red Anchor has trotted in by four lengths.’ Plenty of horses have won the Moonee Valley Stakes then the Caulfield Guineas, but only four have ever won the Caulfield Guineas then the Cox Plate. This is what Red Anchor achieved next.

Think about all the great colts we have seen recently; Pierro, All Too Hard, So You Think, Viscount, Manhattan Rain and Octagonal just to name a few. Some have won or placed in the Caulfield Guineas then won or placed in the Cox Plate, but none have won both. Red Anchor won the Caulfield Guineas untouched by four lengths, before winning a Classic edition of the Cox Plate by a neat length. Red Anchor provided TJ with his 7th Cox Plate victory. Mick Dittman, who rode the colt in the Guineas and Cox Plate, described Red Anchor as ‘the perfect horse; he could go around by himself such was his professionalism.’

After the Cox Plate was run and won TJ followed a path he had used to great success with one of his first ever Caulfield Guineas winners, the immortal Tulloch back in 1957. Tulloch had won the Caulfield Guineas and like Red Anchor who won the Cox Plate in between his Guineas run and a Victorian Derby attempt, Tulloch was given an in between run also. However Tulloch’s middle run was the Caulfield Cup rather than the Cox Plate. Tulloch ended up winning won the 1957 Derby by around ten lengths, and although Red Anchor only won the 1984 Derby by five lengths, the win was still full of merit.

In one spring Red Anchor had won the Caulfield Guineas, the Cox Plate and the VRC Derby. He had also won the 1600m Moonee Valley Stakes, and he kicked off his preparation with a win in the Roman Consul Stakes in Sydney over 1200m. The colt had won three of the biggest five races in Melbourne in one season, all in dominant fashion and all against outstanding fields. As this edition of Gai’s Gazette is hitting the shelves, these three big races will be upon us. The Cox Plate was first run and won in 1922, while the Guineas and the Derby date back to the 1800s. There have been 93 chances for a horse to win the Guineas – Cox Plate – Derby treble meaning all three races have existed together over the last 93 years. But Red Anchor is the only horse to ever achieve the treble. This was a feat of great historically significance because it will be really hard to ever do again. Had Pierro have enjoyed a little more luck in the Guineas and the Cox Plate, could he have won the 2500m Victorian Derby? It would take so much out of a horse just winning one of these grand finals. Only champions win two and only immortals win all three. In fact ‘immortals’ is probably not the right term, because immortals have peers. Red Anchor remains the only horse to win the treble and with horses getting raced less and less and the Derby losing a little prestige of late, we may have to wait another 100 or so year to see the treble completed.

Good luck and stay tuned

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Bring Back Zipping!

Hello everyone


What do you ponder? What issues, or general ‘thinking’s’ do you think about just quietly without arousing any debate? I often ponder two things, but only briefly…

1. What would the world be like if John Lennon and Paul McCartney had never met?

2. Where would we be if Michael Faraday had died during his birth because he almost did. Who is Michael Faraday? He is this bloke…


Faraday was the person who discovered that electricity is directly related to magnetism and that electricity during it’s infancy, could power motors and machines. It is said that Faraday brought the world in the early to mid ‘1800s 150 years forward in regards to technology. 4000 years ago there was no writing. If a person wanted to tell another person a story then they had to be in the same place. Stories were passed down through generations but there was no way to record these stories. Then the Egyptians (mostly the Queens of the Empire) developed writing. So for the first time in the history of man, a story could be saved for future generations. Writing was originally seen by the Egyptians as a way to create immortality. Words could now last forever.

In 1837 after a couple of hundred thousand years of humanity, people could telegraph each other, thus they could communicate instantly without being in the same place. Less than 200 years later you guys can read what I am saying from almost anywhere in the world instantly. Communication devices together with the speed of light and a little bit of power can have you reading my tips as soon as I decide to send them.

-4000 years ago. People could write their thoughts and the tablets or the scrolls could be taken to other places thus the word (whatever the ‘word’ was) could be spread to many by just one person in a different place. The person with the idea could stay in one place, yet her / his views could last long after they died.

-180 years ago. People could now communicate with someone instantly in a different place. But the two people had to be in a pre-decided place to make this communication work.

-Today. We can communicate ideas to most people we know at anytime of any day. Without Faraday who did his best work 200 years ago, we may not be able to do this.

So everyone, if the tips win on Saturday, say a little silent thank you to Michael Faraday.



These are the horses that A Turf Fascination will be backing – away from the main meeting at Sandown that is.


5.2. Sir John Hawkwood

6.12. I Am Zelady

7.6. Frespanol

9.13. Duca Valentinois


2.2. Secret Saga

6.12. Sea Red

7.1. That’s A Good Idea


6.2. Lucky Symbol

7.9. Mr Backchat


1.8. Nobel Image

Kembla Grange 

2.3. Man Of Distinction

5.3. Loveitt

Then at Sandown…

Race 1. Santa’s Magical Kingdom Stakes 1000m

Winner – 7. Missrock. The experience runner looks the one to beat. She came from last on debut, and then against the bias last start she flew home. The 1000m might be too short but it is hard to see her running badly.

Hardest to beat – 8. Motown Lil. Held on nicely on Cup day to just finish out of the placings. On natural improvement she will be right in this race.

Best long shot – 10. Soviet Secrets. Well named, a good hoop and a good barrier, plus a bit of a rumour about some talent!

Race 2. City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes 1400m

Winner – 7. Northern Model. Against the rail-on bias on Cox Plate day, this filly was one of very few to run on well. The horses that finished in front of her have again run well and this girl looks as if she will continue to hold up the form out of the race. Being by Northern Meteor is also a big plus!

Hardest to beat – 4. Queen Of Wands. On Melbourne Cup day, this filly weaved through the field nicely. She was on the worst part of the track, but still hit the line well. A similar effort here will see her being hard to beat.

Best long shot – 9. Russian Empress. A very well-bred filly and the stable is in quite good form at the minute.

Race 3. Kevin Heffernan Stakes 1300m

Winner – 4. Under The Louvre. The best of the day. As long as this gelding gets clear air and the track is not horribly biased, then he will be flying home and there is no horse in the field that can hold him out.

Hardest to beat – 8. Java. Unbeaten at Sandown and is currently $15. Well worth an each way play.

Best long shot – 5. Gracious Prospect. Always runs well and at 40-1 there is just no way he won’t give his best. A win will surprise, but you can do worse than following horses who always try.

Race 4. Sandown Stakes 1500m

Winner – 10. Harada Bay. For months I have been waiting for this horse to get a big track. He is a backmarker who flies home and he has not run anywhere bar Moonee Valley, Doomben and Sale for months. He will find clear galloping room and will be powering home at 20-1.

Hardest to beat – 8. Good Project. 20 starts for 15 times in the money and has not been further back than 3rd this preparation. It is hard to see him running poorly this week.

Best long shot – 3. Star Rolling. Yes it was two years ago, but this gelding almost beat Fiorente one day. He has not done a thing since, but if he can somehow find something he maybe is a little place chance.

Race 5. Quayclean Zipping Classic 2400m

Winner – 7. Kirramosa. 2nd best of the day. The 2400m is her best trip and she is back in form. This is the easiest race she has faced for a while and there are not too many really talented types in this edition of the Zipping Classic. There are certainly no Zipping’s in the field.

Hardest to beat – 6. Rising Romance. We are left with this mare. She was going just fairly before a good run last start albeit a run where she had everything on her favour. I think Kirramosa is a better horse to start with and she is close to three times the price.

Best long shot – 5. Don Doremo. In pretty good form and it 30-1 in a seven horse field. Seems over the odds while Rising Romance seems unders and Kirramosa is just at the right price.

Race 6. Mypunter.com Eclipse Stakes 1800m

Winner – 5. Malice. Has been crying out for the step up in trip and ran accordingly last start at the 1800m. He is the obvious choice and on the each way basis it is hard to see him missing a place.

Hardest to beat – 9. Scream Machine. The form looks good. He finished behind Malice last start but may have got pass them all if not for the bias. The start before that he beat all but Emirates winner Turn Me Loose. He is back in form and she his best is very good.

Best long shot – 12. Slate On Edge. Won like Gunsynd last start and is dropping remarkably in weight. The perfect barrier will help and he will look the winner at some stage.

Race 7. William Hill Sandown Guineas 1600m

Winner – 4. Demonstrate. Last start this gelding all but won the race and he put a big gap between himself and those that finished behind him. He can get cramped on occasions, but at Sandown that won’t be a problem. He looks exceptional value at $9.

Hardest to beat – 12. Don’t Doubt Mamma. The filly with the best form in the race. There is a school of thought that the fillies this year are simply better than the boys. If so, then this girl is the best of those left in work and she looks likely to run really well.

Best long shot – 8. Sea Of Tranquillity. Brilliant name, and in good form. 40-1 seems overs considering he is coming off three 2nds in a row including one in Cup week. All set to run well again.

Race 8. William Hill Sandown Cup 3200m

Winner – 1. The Offer. Brilliant run in the Melbourne Cup and is a Group 1 winner over this trip. All the other chances in this race got flattened in the Cup and may have lost confidence. The Offer, at his last two starts has really hit the line hard.

Hardest to beat – 5. De Little Engine. Staying away from the flattened Cup brigade with this pick. De Little Engine usually holds form well and won well last start. He does not have the class of the others, but he is on the rise and looks well placed.

Best long shot – 7. Maygrove. The old bush stayers have won this race a bit over the years. This boy will run all day and has not been too far behind The Offer of late.

Race 9. Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes 1500m

Winner – 1. Solicit. Should have won first up, and then was not far behind Politeness 2nd up. She is the class runner and has the weight associated but she just might have been set for this race all along. She is a weirdo, but her best is brilliant.

Hardest to beat -5. She’s Clean. If ever there was a mare that would thrive at Sandown it is this one. She will be flying home and she is in good enough form to easily pop up and win this race. Like Solicit, she is at $10 and we can back them both.

Best long shot – 2. Tycoon Tara. Back in form after a good win, albeit in a terrible race. She will be in front and if she indeed is back in form, then she will factor in this race.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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The Naked Truth

Hello everyone

So on Cox Plate day, Derby Day and Cup Day, only three horses per race could win due to the bias, but lets forget that for a minute. Oh yes also on Stakes day, only the wide horses could win, but that is beyond the point. Here is a run down of the major Group 1 winners of the Melbourne Spring and where perhaps they might end up in the future.

Caulfield Guineas – Press Statement. One of the wins of the Carnival. This colt will comeback in the autumn and could be anything. The Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and even the Doncaster will be at his mercy. Sydney horses from the widest barrier don’t win like this at their first try at Caulfield…

Thousand Guineas – Stay With Me. A sprinting type who will be hard to beat in races like the Futurity in the autumn. She might even be a Newmarket horse. No champion but a future Group 1 winner. Look out for her especially in the Coolmore and Queen of the Turf in Sydney.

Toorak Handicap – Lucky Hussler. This boy would have won the Emirates had the track been even. He is a handicapper who will factor in the Doncaster and maybe even the Stradbroke but he will find it hard to win as he now will have big weights in handicap races. Maybe the George Ryder is his race in the autumn? His Toorak win was one of the best wins of the carnival…

Caulfield Stakes – Criterion. This future stallion is the best middle distance horse in Australia. At WFA he will beat Winx next preparation, however Winx will beat him in handicap races should they clash. He will be aimed at the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick in the autumn. He won the Caulfield Guineas then almost won the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup. He should have won the Melbourne Cup. Not a bad effort!

Caulfield Cup – Mongolian Khan. This stallion might win a WFA race like the BMW over 2400m but he won’t win a 2000m or under race at WFA for the rest of his career. He is a stayer that can dash off a good pace. A potential Sydney Cup horse, but the 2400m Brisbane Cup looks the races.

Cox Plate – Winx. So the times say that this mare would have won every Cox Plate in history, but she did have the benefit of a one lane leader highway. If Might And Power had of run on the track Winx ran on, he would have won his Cox Plate by 15 lengths. Having said that, she will start favourite in every race she has for the next two years and her ultimate target will be the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick. If she was mine she would be running in the Doncaster, the Ranvet and the Queen Elizabeth, but it is unlikely that she will run in the Doncaster because of the weight she may get. But good mares can win the Doncaster with big weights. Any excuse to show this video actually…

Winx won’t get this much weight, but she is no More Joyous just yet, nor is she Sunline just yet…

But here’s hoping she ends up as good!

Manikato Stakes – Chautauqua. This grey gelding would have won the Darley last Saturday but for a dud track. He will start favourite in every race he races in for the next two years. If he was mine, he would be going to the Doncaster, but the Hawkes’ won’t run him over 1200m. Lightening first up, then Newmarket then the T.J. Smith. But he is probably off to Hong Kong and England and won’t even run in Australia again until this time next year.

Derby – Tarzino. Jury is out. Sometimes Derby winners become champions and sometimes they fade into insignificance. He will be aimed at the Sydney Derby, but don’t fall into him for the 2016 Melbourne Cup. Only Phar Lap and Efficient have ever won the Derby then the Cup the next year. He does look a good stayer, but perhaps the Sydney Derby and the BMW would be the best races for him. He possibly could run well in the Australian Cup.

Mackinnon – Gailo Chop. No idea, but surely he is not that good? He just found the right part of the track on Derby Day. Weird things often happen in the Mackinnon. Australian Cup candidate for sure, but he is no champion.

Myer Classic – Politeness. She has reached her mark god bless her. Don’t be surprised if she is retired after the autumn and is sent to Deep Impact in Japan. She can win the Coolmore in Sydney or the Queen of the Turf. Maybe even the Doncaster?

Coolmore Stud Stakes – Japonisme. Found the rail and won. A good horse, but maybe 50% as good as Exosphere despite beating the colt in this race. Japonisme is a gelding and he will win more races, but he was very lucky to win this race.

Melbourne Cup – Prince Of Penzance. A great story but this horse was 100-1 for a reason. He took his chances when they were presented and he won. Sydney Cup will be his ultimate target next preparation.

Crown Oaks – Jameka. A gun staying filly in the making. She is consistent and she is very good. She will be winning plenty more races at 2000m and beyond. A big future ahead especially as she never runs a bad race.

Darley Sprint – Delectation. Loves the straight and certainly can win the Lightening or the Newmarket. Keep an eye on this boy. He is a gun.

Emirates Stakes – Turn Me Loose. Might And Power the 2nd perhaps. This kiwi is very promising. He can lead, kick and win. He is one to follow. Doncaster Handicap for sure.

Good luck and stay tuned.



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A Very Simple Explaination


Quick reblog – this was from before the Carnival. Will do a wrap up of the last week tonight

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

With all that is going wrong in racing at the minute – cobalt, no races on television, no good horses over the age of three and so on, one might be tricked into thinking this is racing’s worst ever era. But I want to tell you a story today about a bloke named Peter Barrie who did his best work in England and America in the 1920s and 1930s. If this bloke was around today, he would be serving 500 concurrent life bans from racing and probably would be in jail.

*Thanks to Barry and Allan Wood for the info on this bloke.

Barrie was the king of the ring in. Here are a few things that were said about him in the press over the years and some of the things Barrie himself has said…

Barrie was known to have at least 20 aliases and he was the…

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