Quantum Theory

Hello everyone

Gai Waterhouse is many things; Hall of Fame Trainer, the Queen of Australian Racing and so on. But to the best of our knowledge, she is NOT a theoretical physicist. However one of Gai’s favourite ways to describe a horse that has improved, the famous ‘quantum leap’ is a term devised by theoretical physicists and it just so happens that Gai, when she uses this term, uses it perfectly in regards to its original meaning. Professor Gai Waterhouse of Tulloch Lodge University perhaps??? Consider…

Atoms are everything. If you had a space the size of a regular casino dice, there would be three billion billion atoms in this little space. So multiply a billion by a billion then by three! Now think how many dice it would take to fill your body or to block out the view of the Harbour Bridge. The numbers are not understandable in common logic. Each atom if high school physics classes indeed reigned true, contains three particles – a proton, an electron and a neutron. The proton and the neutron are in the nucleus of the atom while the electron jumps around orbits outside the nucleus. Remember we are just talking about one of the three billion billion atoms in our one dice. One of the humble authors’ favourite memories of physics classes back in the 90s, was learning that everyone of us, would at least have some atoms in our body that everyone who has ever died also had in them! So we are all part Shakespeare, and all part Napoleon!



We have all seen the footage of an atom and the electron jumping from point a to point b to point c and beyond in no pattern whatsoever with no evidence of how it got from one point to another. The electrons journey is used on screen savers on computers throughout the world for example. For years the greatest minds of the 20th century could not understand how the electron got from one place in the orbit of an atom to another without showing how it got there. Eventually the great minds of the 1900s – Einstein, Rutherford and so on, labelled the electrons ability to move throughout the orbit of an atom as the ‘quantum leap.’


When a horse has improved out of sight or better than its stablemates without doing anything different, Gai often in the media describes the horse as having taken ’the quantum leap.’ The electron goes from one place to another without visiting the space between. Gai can get a horse to go from being a blob to flying without visiting the space in between! And Gai knows exactly when to use the ‘quantum leap’ term. One example come via the great colt Pierro. Gai mentioned that Pierro had taken the ‘quantum leap’ between his first trial which was just ok and his Breeders’ Plate win which was exceptional. Pierro went from being a nice colt to racing like a champion without visiting the space in between. A true quantum leap.

If you listen to Gai carefully, she uses the phrase ‘made the quantum leap’ only when it is essentially true in regards to the actual meaning of the term! Make sense? Gai never misses. When she says a horse has made a quantum leap it has improved out of sight and generally wins. So listen carefully over the spring and when you hear this famous term coming from the Lady Trainer it might be time to have a bet!

Good luck and stay tuned.

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First Up over the 5500m

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Sir Pentire is probably the slowest horse in racing history to make $500,000 on the track. But that is beside the point because he is also the only horse to ever win the Grand Annual Steeplechase in Warrnambool first up. Yep… 33 fences and 5500m on a wet track, all when first up.

On 5 May 2007 at $61 over 3000m at Moonee Valley the gelding ran a brave second. This was a flat race. After this race the gelding had an 87 week spell, then on 5 January 2009 he trialled and trialled terribly. He then trialled again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again on 30 April 2009. 12 trials. Then on 7 May 2009, two years and two days after his last run, the gelding started at close enough to $20 in the 5500m Grand Annual Steeplechase. The hardest race of the year to win. First up I tell ya! And he won by 12 lengths from Al Garhood. To punctuate the form, Al Garhood won the next two Grand Annual’s after this one.

The stable that A Turf Fascination works for, Gai Waterhouse Racing usually does this with a horse…

-Back in from a spell and immediately asked to complete three or four 3/4 pace gallops over 1200m – 1400m.

-Four to six weeks of half pace 1200m – 1600m gallops with between 11.2 and 11.5 second final 200m.

-Two trials two or three weeks apart with three or four solid gallops in between.

-Resume over between 1000m and 1400m depending on the horse. Lately Gai has been resuming some stayers over 1800m which is working nicely.

It is hard to explain just what a training feat it was from Robbie Lang in getting horse fit enough to win over 5500m and 33 fences first up. Granted this was in the dark days of jumping and this was close to the last ever jumps race in Australia, but Sir Pentire still had to jump all his jumps and still had to be upright crossing the post after 5500m.

If everyone did every thing the same then there would be nothing to write about!

Good luck and stay tuned.


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How Much Is Enough

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Does this bloke look happy?


This is Rupert Murdoch and somehow or another he probably owns A Turf Fascination. He has a net worth of just over 14 billion dollars. He is 84 years old and he has more say on how things go, especially within politics in England, America and Australia than anyone else in history. This week he sat on a plane from New York to Melbourne (24 hours), then in traffic from Melbourne airport to AFL house for an hour. He then attended a press conference for 20 minutes about his part in the new 2.5 billion dollar AFL deal as he owns News Limited which owns Foxtel. He then got back in the car for an hour, and back on the plane for another 24 hours. Why?

What could Rupert still have to achieve? Granted his sons are pretty stupid and cost him a fortune every year, but why at age 84 is he still ruling his business with an iron fist. Does he need the money? Does he crave the power? Why do the really wealthy people insist on trying to get more and more money? The point I am trying to make is about whether or not you the dear reader, would sit on a plane for two days and in traffic just to grab another few bucks if you have 14 billion already? Lets say $5,000 for us who earn under 3 or 4 hundred million a year. If someone offered you $5000 to sit on a plane for two days would you do it? Think about the jet lag, the restlessness, the leg cramps and the hassle of being in the air for so long. Yes Rupert would have had a private plane, but that is beyond the point. He still wanted to attend a press conference on the other side of the world for no good reason. He is greedy.

What is the amount of money you would need in the bank to just give up. To move out of your business, let someone else have a go and live off the 5% while working on your golf handicap. Rupert has 14 billion and that is not enough for him. Personally if I had $300 a day from now until I was 84 to spend at the pub or on the golf course, then I would retire. So I am 34 now and will be 84 (old mate Rupert’s age) in 50 years. So 50 x 365 x $300. It equals $5,475,000 or just under 5.5 million. If I had 5.5 million I could spend $300 a day until I got to Rupert’s age. That would be enough. So my number is 5.5 million. If someone wants to give me 5.5 million I will give up!

What is your number. Maybe Rupert is looking to get to 20 billion then he can finally take some time off. Greed is not good. The life expectancy for a male, a rich white male in Australia is 83, so Rupert has already got past the mark, and he somehow avoided jail over the phone hacking scam in England. Yet he is not at home, working on his putting, but rather the media tyrant is stretching travel to the limits just to get a little bit extra in the kick.


Moonee Valley

5.11. Stingray. This gelding is good. He was terrible first up but deserves another chance at $10.

8.6. The United States. Here we have a horse that is better than its rivals but is struggling to find its best form. Is it worth taking a chance that he finds he best? We get $12 to find out.


1.1 Sebring Sun. After a brilliant win last start, this boy should be even money. But he is $3 and looks the goods. Best of the day.

4.1. Speak Fondly. This filly is flying. She does have to give weight to her rivals and Kimberley Star will be tough to beat. But at $5 she is well worth $1 a win.

5.6. Himalaya Dream. Forget the first up run. Nothing went right. He is a six-year-old now and he might just need a run or two to find his best. He is $7 and looks a great each way chance.

6.13. First Seal. Look for a huge preparation from this mare. She is killing it at trackwork (so they are saying) and at $3 she should be beating these Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup horses.


5.1. Kraftwerk. Big weight but not a great race. Should be in the finish.


2.1. Jetset Lad. Here we have a multiple Stakes winner against future jumpers. He should just win but if it was that easy then, well even Rupert would be backing him (probably have $5 each way as to not risk too much of the $14 billion)

7.9. Harada Bay. Finally this gelding is down in the weights. This is a tough race, but he will be storming home. Looks a great each way chance at $11.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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Half an hour behind

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is now the Sydney Cox Plate. It has been won by many great horses over the years including Tulloch three times, Might And Power by ten lengths from Champagne and Catalan Opening and More Joyous who beat one of the best fields of the year as easily as you will ever see. Desert War, Grand Armee and Lonhro are WFA champions that have won the race, while Doriemus, Jeune, Veandercross and Ming Dynasty have won the race for the stayers. The last few years it has been won by a freak named It’s A Dundeel, a grey that could have been anything named Reliable Man and More Joyous. Before that it was won by four perhaps less than great horses named My Kingdom of Fife, Road To Rock, Pompeii Ruler and Sarrera. But does this answer our main question… can the Cox Plate winner Adelaide…

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Everyone has an opinion

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Mr Turf (me) surfs almost every day in waters populated by Great White Sharks. There is no debate… they are out there. But while I do have an opinion on most things, I have no idea what to do about the steadily increasing string of attacks. There are many different theories and below I have attached the best so far. This bloke could be onto something! NICK BRENNAN produced the below article about the increased shark activity in Northern NSW. This is a long way from A Turf Fascination headquarters but the same theory may just reign true.


North Coast shark activity: A new theory

I am going to put myself out there to offer an explanation as to why I think we have seen recent attacks and an increase in shark activity of late in the Ballina Region, that is not simply “The Great White Shark is protected and thus there is more of them and therefore more attacks”.

I think a lot of you would agree there is more at play than just a potential increase in shark numbers when you have so many negative interactions close together in time and location. I welcome your opinions and discussion.

But in short: my advice is to be extremely cautious on your choice to surf in Northern NSW right now.

We are approaching new moon on the 15th and I would advise to avoid surfing around the full moon on the 30th altogether. Here is a picture I made of the moon phase on days of negative human/shark interactions over the last 10 months around Ballina.


My explanation for what has been happening around Ballina is based around the “hungry shark” theory.

The recent shark attacks at Ballina are focused around the two lunar cycles after the first whales have made their migration. White sharks are not feeding constantly. Their liver is like a battery and allows them to go weeks and months without eating. White sharks are regarded as opportunistic on their feeding habits with whales, preying on sick and injured whales as well as calves.

This year we are in the midst of full blown El Nino and the humpback whales made their migration up the coast later than what could be considered usual. My belief is the whales being late and potentially more clustered together has resulted in less feeding opportunities for a portion of the white shark population at a key time. My thoughts are that a portion of the population hasn’t fulfilled their need for calories and thus are heading close to shore to feed on schooling fish like the Australian salmon.

As to why the attacks on the full moon, I present two reasons. A long standing saying by fisherman and more recently adopted by divers is “No run – No fun”.

During the full moon there are larger tides and ocean currents also increase in intensity. When the current increases, eddies and stands of water create feeding opportunities for marine wildlife. Wildlife activity increases and aggregates on the full moon and this results in an opportune time to hunt.

The other reason has to do with hunting strategy. On this, sharks have been documented leaving shallow water on the full moon and returning on the new moon. This is something which I myself have recorded with my team in an exercise book during 4.5 years working as a diver at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.

The idea is that because sharks use a lot of different senses to hunt their food, low light (new moon – darkness after sunset) and poor visibility allows sharks a competitive advantage to catch their prey. It is also suggested that these sharks do this avoid predation (I believe the attack in January on the new moon not to be the work of a white, but a bull or tiger – the timing would agree too).

White sharks however have extremely good eye sight and use it to identify and hunt their prey. As the full moon approaches there is light after sunset and white sharks are perhaps approaching a time where they are peaked up to get their calories.

As to Ballina? Living, surfing and studying at Ballina, I can say this region from Evans Head to Byron Bay has always been a very sharky area. It is located at the extreme eastern point of Australia, literally a corner in the coastline meaning wildlife tends to bottleneck through there: this is the reason Byron Bay is such a great place to watch whales.

It is also the place where the vibrant – although periodically majorly disturbed – Richmond River breaks the coastline, which plays a role as a nursery for fish and sharks. There are also multiple coves perfect for schooling fish to stop in and reef systems for fish to aggregate just offshore. Right now it is also a place of convergence for a lot of marine wildlife.

In short my belief is that because the whales were late it created less feeding opportunities for the white shark at a key time for them, therefore a small amount of hungry sharks have been getting desperate and peaked up to feed on the full moon. This has resulted in more negative shark encounters in the Ballina region.

The good news is I don’t believe this will last. Stay safe people. //NICK BRENNAN


There we have it. If you are afraid of sharks, which we all are, learn to monitor moon cycles!

Good luck and stay tuned.

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Log on with a smile

Hello everyone


The wisdom today was either going to be about all the bloody pins numbers and passwords we have to remember every day. Or it was going to be about a television show that is about people watching cats on youtube and then laughing out loud. The third option was going to be about Network Television Stations insisting on putting famous people’s tweets up on the screen when something of note happens. Why do we need to see Lara Bingle’s tweet on television after Mick Fanning got headbutted by a shark? Is Lara Bingle an aquatic scientist? Why does her opinion count?

But unfortunately time is of the essence, so just tips only this week. Count yourself lucky cat fans as you were close to an ear-full!



Race 3.

3. Dig A Pony will be very hard to beat but she will be way back and she will be on the fence. SO the bet is 7. Magnus Slipper who is in great form and will be very hard to get past.

5.5. Top Me Up. Willing to give this colt another chance. He was terrible at Moonee Valley and we are jumping off Demonstrate to get onto this grey colt.

Race 6.

5. Petits Filous will be hard to beat and could be anything so put her in your quinella with 6. Giulietta. This filly is a speedster and she will be up the front with Petits Filous. Both will be very hard to get past.

Race 7.

Only two chances in the feature of the day. 1. Smokin’ Joey will be hard to beat, but 7. Excess Knowledge is the best horse in the field. Back both. One will win.

9.12. Haradaful. Yet to run a bad race and from barrier one, he will be up the front and will be hard to catch.


3.6. Countryman. Will be short but will get an easy lead and will be near on impossible to get past.

5.1. Vancouver. $2.70! Make no mistake… this boy is the best colt in Australia. He simply has to win. Best of the day.

8.8. Hollywood Bound. On the quick back up and in good form.


5.5. The Storeman. One last chance. If he is ever going to win again it will be this week. Second best of the day.

6.1. Love Rocks. Good horse and is $21. Just has to find a little bit of form and he will be hard to beat.


3.6. Creance. Missed the $16 last start, but on that performance he will be making it two in a row here.

4.6. Zataglio. Good jumper with not a lot of competition here.

Good luck and stay tuned.


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Early predictions

Hello everyone It is the middle of winter, but the spring will soon be upon us. So we may as well at this early stage have a look at the big races. If I had to pick now, which I am most certainly not, here would be my picks for the major races. Caulfield Guineas – Vancouver deserves to be favourite and is the clear early pick… this was the worst run of his career and it was still good enough to win the Golden Slipper. And he started $5 this day! Chuckle… Thousand Guineas – Petitus Filous. This filly is currently two from two and she looks really good. I never even think about betting into pre post markets, but $34 at this stage looks pretty good! http://www.racing.com/form/2015-07-15/moonee-valley/race/1/results http://www.racing.com/form/2015-08-01/moonee-valley/race/1/results Caulfield Cup – Winx. This one is always a lottery and by no means go out and back this mare now. She will be better on the day. The thing is, she won’t do anything in the lead up but come Caufield Cup day, she will be primed. So stick with her. Cox Plate – Pornichet. This entire is being set for this race and he is the perfect Cox Plate horse. He is $11 right now and will probably $15 on the day, so again don’t back him yet! Melbourne Cup – Snow Sky. Good English horse or even Alpine Eagle might be able to step up to the trip. Maybe check back in with this one in a few weeks! Check out the last 200m of this race over 1800m! We will revisit this in three weeks. Good luck and stay tuned.

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