The 1988 Australian Cup

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

Sometimes in racing a ‘just average’ horse beats an immortal champion. It can happen occasionally and when it does it is always remembered. After winning 18 races in a row, Ajax was beaten by some horse named Spear Chief over 1800m at WFA. Ajax was at 40-1 on this day. Phar Lap won 14 in a row including the Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate and the Flemington Onslaught (four wins in a week during Melbourne Cup week 1930) then was beaten by some goat named Waterline in the C.M. Lloyd Stakes at WFA. It can happen.



Today’s story is about a horse named Dandy Andy and the 1988 Australian Cup. This great race was suppose to be a match race between Vo Rogue and Bonecrusher, with no other horse even given a remote chance in the race despite some solid lead up form.

It is said by many…

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Mid week go

Hello everyone

Young Gai has a few running on Tuesday and Wednesday this week that might have pretty good chances. The Tulloch Lodge team is coming together pretty well heading towards the spring and this week will give us a chance to see a few up and comers. Both tracks will be extremely wet and maybe the races might not even go ahead. But if they do, have a look at these.

Tuesday – Newcastle

ECHO KING (Race 5, 3.50pm, 1400m, No. 4, rider Tommy Berry, 58.5kg). This colt is by High Chap and out of the former gun mare Mrs Maren. He is most likely (in a perfect world), heading towards the VRC Derby, but he has to start somewhere. The track will be very heavy at Newcastle tomorrow which should not bother him and all being equal his natural class should see him run pretty well.

CERTITUDE (Race 6, 4.25pm, 1400m, No. 2, rider Tommy Berry, 57kg). Not the best mare in the stable, but she is honest enough. Rough each way chance probably.

Wednesday – Canterbury

This track is Gai’s favourite and the Lady Trainer invariably has a few winners here every time they run. She has five horses in on Wednesday and all five are good winning chances. It  will be a big day if they all win, but one or two will be more likely. Unfortunately I can’t determine which ones are the best chances, so back them all!

TIARE (Race 1, 1.33pm, 1200m, No. 12, rider Tim Clark, 55kg). A bit of a timid filly by the look of her, but she is flying. She has trialled ok once and really well once and she has always had plenty of admirers throughout the stable.

SHAFTESBURY (Race 2, 2.08pm, 1550m, No. 3, rider Tim Clark, 58.5kg). Backing up for the third week in a row and this is usually an indication of a horse that is going so well, the connections have no choice but to run it. This gelding loves the mile and although this race is over 1550m, the track will be wet and it will be a tough test.

HYDRO (Race 4, 3.18pm, 1900m, No. 1, rider Tommy Berry, 59kg). Loves the wet, is well bred and is absolutely killing them at trackwork. He was narrowly beaten first up and as long as he has not gone backwards, he will be extremely hard to get past on Wednesday.

ECHO GAL (Race 5, 3.53pm, 1100m, No. 6, rider Winona Costin (a3), 56kg). A gun filly that will be bowling along but she is unproven on the wet tracks. Gai would never scratch a horse based on the state of the track, so she will most likely be running, but it is just a matter of if she handles it. She has no weight with an inform apprentice aboard.

COUNTRYMAN (Race 7, 5.03pm, 1250m, No. 7, rider Winona Costin (a3), 59.5kg). Yes this gelding has a huge weight, but he has a good barrier and will be out in front and that is the place to be at Canterbury. He is tough, classy and is destined to get to black-type races. He just needs to carry his weight to win, and on a heavy track that will be hard. The best horse in the race, but he has the weight to go with it.

Good luck and stay tuned.



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The description of golf

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No real wisdom this week, just a really funny video. A must watch for everyone. This is possibly the greatest description of the fundamentals of golf ever!

And he is bloody right!


Best of the day – Entirely Platinum (Rosehill race 6 number 5)

Second best – Wandjina (Rosehill race 5 number 5)

Third best – Puissance De Lune (Caulfield race 8 number 2)

Other bets…

Spirit of Heaven (Caulfield race 1 number 5)

Golden Aro (Kembla Grange race 1 number 4)

White Dove (Kembla race 8 number 5)

L’Entrecote (Eagle Farm race 3 number 4)

Harada Bay (Eagle Farm race 7 number 5)

Front Fun (Gold Coast race 5 number 2)

Longshoreman (Morphettville race 5 number 6)

Ram Jam (Belmont race 3 number 2)

Sorry about the short and sweet post today. Rushed off the old feet.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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The Darwin Cup

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Over eight wonderful days each July / August, the Darwin Cup Carnival takes place at the picturesque Fannie Bay Racecourse that is located almost in the middle of Darwin. It is often said that the easiest job in the world might belong to the Darwin weather forecaster. The weather is either 31 and clear or 31 with showers for 365 days a year. During the southern hemisphere winter, Darwin is in the middle of the dry season so for all eight days of the carnival, you can be almost guaranteed that the temperature will be between 30 and 32 degrees with no chance of rain. This is in stark contrast to what is happening in Melbourne at the same time. The weather at Flemington while the Darwin Cup is on can range between 10 and 12 degrees with hail, sleet, gales and mud. Yes a trip to Darwin for a few days certainly can warm the blood and there is some great racing also to enjoy while thawing out.

In recent years, when thinking of the Darwin Cup, the mind immediately finds the name ‘Hawks Bay.’ And it is with good reason because this boy is probably the greatest winner of the Darwin Cup considering in his Cup defence in 2012 he won with the crushing weight of 64.5kg. That is 10.3 in the old and four pounds more than Phar Lap carried to victory in the 1930 Melbourne Cup. On this occasion the grand campaigner won by a nose thus giving him back to back Darwin Cup wins. Hawks Bay’s 2011 Cup win was with 62kg so it too was a superb win. However the gelding has done much more in the Top End than simply win the Darwin Cup twice; he has also won the Darwin Derby, the Darwin Guineas, and in 2009 and 2010 the warm weather champion ran second in the Cup. In all, Hawks Bay has two wins and two seconds in the Cup, has won the two feature Darwin three-year-old races (Derby and Guineas) and he has also won or placed in six other races at the iconic Fannie Bay racecourse. We have to remember that this horse finds it very hard to win in Melbourne, but he certainly grows a leg in Darwin. He must enjoy the warm weather!


Hundreds of people from Randwick and Flemington attend the Carnival as well as thousands of locals and plenty of tourists from all over the world. The Darwin Cup Carnival is the number one tourist attraction in the Northern Territory. This is remarkable considering the Northern Territory is home to Katherine Gorge, Fitzroy River, Kakadu and of course Uluru.

The two feature days are Saturday 2 August 2014 when the famous Palmerston Sprint takes place and Monday 4 August which traditionally is Cup day. Darwin has something for everyone. There is the perfect weather, great beaches, almost the world’s best fishing, very unique scenery and wonderful racing at a very special racetrack.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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One unbelievable run

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God’s Own was not a very good horse. He in fact only ever won three races. One was a two-year-old handicap, one was a class 3 three-year-old race and the other was the Group One Caulfield Guineas. In his Caulfield Guineas win, the colt was flattened shortly after the start in interference that led the race caller to mentioned that God’s Own had ‘been knocked out of the race.’ From here the colt had to sit last out three wide and in the straight when making his run he got flattened another two times. Have a look at this run. It is hard to see, but God’s Own jumps from the widest barrier and it smashed about 200m after the start…

If betfair was invented in 2005 (which it might have been) it would have been interesting to see what the colt traded at during the run in this race.

This was undeniably the highlight of the colt’s career and indeed one of the most fantastic wins seen for many a year on Australian race tracks. What this win did was guarantee God’s Own a place at stud, because essentially if you only win one race in your life and you are a colt, the Golden Slipper and Caulfield Guineas would be the two first choices. After this run, God’s Own was thrust straight into the Cox Plate and was well fancied. But like All Too Hard, Helmet and countless other three-year-olds, God’s Own was no match in the Cox Plate for the older horses. But having said that, there was not a horse in Australia who could have beaten the Cox Plate winner this year 2005…


After the Cox Plate defeat (he ran 8th beaten 7.5 lengths), God’s Own was sent for a spell and to Bart’s credit and everyone involved, he was not immediately rushed off to stud but rather given another preparation.

First up the colt attacked the 1000m Lightening Stakes but was beaten into 2nd by Takeover Target. This was probably the best run of the colt’s career…

God’s Own was then beaten as on odds on favourite twice and both defeats came at the hands of Apache Cat! The Cat was $9 on both occasions and the regular readers of A Turf Fascination will know that I never let the Cat go around without my hard earned on!

Then after a substandard run in Sydney, the colt was gone. Off to stud where he remains today. In 10 starts, God’s Own made $999,500 on the track. If he had of finished just on spot closer in any of his ten starts he would be above the one million dollar mark.

At stud God’s Own has sired four individual Stakes winners including the A Turf Fascination favourite Vatican.

But the moral of the story is that if you own a colt, get it to win a Group One race, because after this happens, you will make more with the colt at stud than you could ever dream about on the racetrack. God’s Own was inferior to the best horses of the time, but he luckily claimed that one Group One win thus setting him for a life with the fillies and mares in the breeding barn.

Good luck and stay tuned.








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No point hiding

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There is no point hiding form the fact that Saturday 9 August was a horrible day of tipping from A Turf Fascination. But it was not all our fault. Let’s just say it was 65% bad judgement and 35% bad luck. Here is what happened…

The best of the day Nayeli was terrible but she did pull up making a respiratory noise and will be scoped. Something clearly was amiss with her as the stable (which I work for) complete expected her to win as she was walking to the starting gates. So who knows what will happen now, but if she runs again stick with her because she is a talented filly.

The Baronet was very bad and may not be a Saturday grade horse. He just gave up and that is not him. He might pop up in an easier race, but as far as the Bendigo Cup and so on go, he might be one to risk.

Happy Trails is the second most hated horse  on this website after Lankan Rupee. He will never be tipped here again! And this after he had the audacity to beat PDL and Fiorente in the Turnbull!

Zamorar is not as good as Tiger Tees. It is as simple as that. But he is in form and will win plenty of listed races this time in. Stick with he; he ran really well.

Text ‘n’ Hurley’s trainer got on the radio on Saturday morning and declared his charge had absolutely no chance. So really put a ding in the confidence. The mare actually ran ok. Wait until, she gets to the mile. Perhaps a chance for the Dato at the Valley in September. The Offer will resume in this race also.

Rock Hero ran last. Not sure what happened to him. He had so much potential but yesterday’s run was too bad to be true. One more chance before he is in the Grey Assignment banned for life file.

Specific Choice is a non-winner, was listed as a non-winner. He is more than that actually. He is a goat! But he will probably win over 2000m in two weeks so maybe one more go but he will only ever be mentioned in race of 2000m or beyond.

Now this was the worst moment of the day. A Turf Fascination tipped Boban but declared Sweet Idea would be extremely hard to beat. The result… Sweet Idea wins at $4.40 and Boban was the greatest thing beaten you will ever see at $10. This really pisses ya off!

I’ve Got The Looks won but most followers were most likely broke by race 8 so this fits in perfectly with the story of the day.  She is a terrific mare and will win next start also  as long as she has less than 60kg or is in a Stakes race.

Grey Assignment is banned for life. He almost won two weeks ago after the toughest run ever at Doomben. In a more suitable / much easier race yesterday he gave up and almost ran last. Sacked for life.

Adebisi can get stuffed as well. Never again unless he has 56kg or less. He is gutless and can’t carry weight.

Trakstar. Trakstar! TRAKSTAR! He was about to burst through and win, but was pushed into the running rail and hurt himself and could not win. What a day.

Maybe this will cheer us up…


Good luck and stay tuned.


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Australia’s greatest racing writer

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

Today we will have a look at a few poems written by the legendary Banjo Paterson. He is by far the best racing writer Australia has ever seen and his poems still hit home today.

Here is Clancy of The Overflow. It is not essentially about racing, but it is a classic.

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better

Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan years ago;

He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,

Just on spec, addressed as follows, “Clancy, of The Overflow”.

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected

(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar);

‘Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:

“Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.”

In my…

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