The Lighthouse may be the only person in Australia never to have met either Graham Salisbury or Subzero, but like many inside and outside of racing I was stopped in my tracks when I heard the news of Salisbury’s seemingly sudden passing last weekend.
The duo has been a staple in good news racing stories for many years with their extraordinary community work in schools, hospitals, aged care homes and wherever else they were invited. When Subzero seemed near death a year ago thousands held their breath. The champ pulled through but now Graham has lost his own lengthy health battle.
It was only upon Graham’s passing that I realized the former Clerk of the Course actually had a family beyond Subzero, and it is gratifying to hear of support coming for Subby and Graham’s family, in particular a significant contribution from the AJA.
I have high expectations that racing will provide a fitting longer term memorial to the pair, whether through an appropriately placed statue, or maybe a Scholarship, award or commemorative race.
LIGHTHOUSE TRAINER OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS
This week Queenslanders Barry Squair and Lindsay Gough join Donna Scott and Bryce Stanaway as nominees for this year’s coveted Houndstooth rug.
Former gun Darling Downs jockey BARRY SQUAIR is now 79, but doesn’t look a day over 82. A Toowoomba based trainer for over 25 years now, this season Barry has had just 2 runners visit the track, but one of those, brave mare Love You Lucy, gave Barry his biggest ever day on the job when she took out the Group 2 Dane Ripper at Doomben at a ludicrous 40/1 two weeks ago.
While the Lighthouse is always ready to applaud the underdog in any circumstance, what impressed me even more about Barry’s work was the revelation that until a few months ago he was riding his mare in trackwork. And he only stopped on instructions from Mrs Squair after his mare threw him and he dislocated his shoulder. The Lighthouse is hugely impressed. Hell, at Barry’s age you can dislocate a shoulder slipping off the porcelain, let alone a fully charged racehorse.
LINDSAY GOUGH only runs a small stable at Eagle Farm but always seems to have a good one. In early 2016 Right Or Wrong looked to be a serious horse in the making, with Lindsay quite reasonably having Stradbroke aspirations for his stable star.
In racing as we all know things rarely go according to plan and a string of tendon injuries intervened in his progress to stardom. But after just 4 runs in over 4 years, Lindsay was able to recently get his 8 year old back an impressive winner at Doomben. Tomorrow he tackles black type company in a race he would have eaten for breakfast as a youngster. While chances are he’s lost a length since 2016, if there’s a bit of give in the track and some tempo in the race he could well be in the finish.
MORE TRAINER NEWS
BRYCE WATCH. Last fortnight. 14 runners, 9 at triple figure odds – 1 second placing. Consistency personified.
MICK PRICE. After the story in my last column about the unfortunate Tugcoat Cliffy, a trainer who has found himself in a similar position with a very slow horse, asked me if it was possible to access Mick’s lesson in how to let the owners of a slow horse down gently. Here’s the link Benny, but there’s no need to call me. I’ve got the message.
TOBY/TRENT EDMONDS. I’m told the Stradbroke winners are losing two of their star 2yo’s, The Drinks Cart and Wisdom Of Water. Something tells me with those names that those two horses wouldn’t have ever been mates. The Water is heading south while the Cart is off to Hong Kong where he will no doubt have to endure being renamed Smiling Prawn Cart or similar.
SMOKE BOMB – AN APOLOGY
Two weeks ago in my column I neglected to provide a tip for Race 2 at Moonee Valley in spite of confidential inside knowledge I possessed that Smoke Bomb was possibly one of the swiftest horses on the planet. I foolishly wavered on the race between La Chevalee and the Bomb, and in the end left the race alone.
Molly, I was wrong, and whether his next start is in the Grand National Steeple or the 100m Olympic butterfly, I’m tipping him.
FRISKY DAVE, THE WORLD’S GREATEST TIPSTER
The unstoppable Frisky Dave returns this week. He’s not had a losing day since I hired him, and supermodels are calling me asking for his number.
Last time he nailed $8.50 dead heater Plein Ciel, although with Bustling Billy Egan becoming jockey number 135 to be benched for breaching the whip rules, I’d argue that he was lucky to keep his share of the race. Poetic justice though I guess in that the jockey Billy tied with
was Michael Walker, who just a few months ago was promoted to second in a Melbourne Cup protest, while simultaneously being fined for over exuberant use of the persuader.
It remains the rule that everybody happily breaks without serious consequence!
Doomben R8 Krone($5.50)
Morphettville R4 Territory Titan($16) – a Frisky Dave exclusive
Caulfield R2 Kaplumpich($4.20)
BENCHMARK 76 ZORADAMUS TIPS
The great but humble psychic suggests you keep yourself entertained tomorrow afternoon with a gentle interest in these selections.
R4 Mystery Love($8)/ Gododdin($7); R5 Leale($10); R7 Propelle($13)
R1 Café Royal($7); R2 Dream Runner($5.50); R5 Roheryn($4.60)
R6 Carzoff($6); R7 Special Missile($11)
R3 Wirnpa($18); R4 Wandabaa($4.60); R5 Alward($6.50)
R6 Saxton Rock($16); R7 Spectroscope($11)
R3 Starden Lass($4.50); R7 Brimarvi Vehero($4); R9 Symphonette($4)