As someone who’s had shares in horses with Mick Price I know that he doesn’t tolerate for long a horse taking up the stable oxygen who he doesn’t think can make it to at least midweek city grade.
One day at Pakenham I gathered in a huddle with other hopeful owners prerace as our 3yo Canny Lad filly debuted. With a leading trainer and a leading sire she was well found in the betting but Mick quickly hosed down our expectations.
“I’m sorry to tell you this but your filly has shown me very little. Your only hope is if she can stay”. Being by a stallion whose progeny usually fainted past a mile, his assessment didn’t raise my spirits. It seemed it was all over for us before it started.
She ran 4th that day which surprised Mick a great deal and went on to win back to back staying races before a career ending injury.
But if he felt that way about Lady Canny, then how would we feel about a complete dud like Tugcoat Cliffy who recently finished a third start 26 length last at triple figure odds in a Geelong maiden. Surely that’s one of Bryce’s I thought, but no it was Price’s not Bryce’s.
Well everyone knows what he thought now. Soon after the race one of Mick’s clients sent me the link to his owners horse report. If you’ve somehow missed It, look it up – it’s an absolute pearler. No horse has ever copped a bigger verbal pasting. His closing jibe about the proposed new owner (one of his stable staff) getting change out of a dollar is comedy gold and delivered with the timing of a professional.
But why was Cliffy so slow? He comes from a good family and he’s in a top stable. His dam Tiamo Baby’s other 4 runners have all done well, including a stakeswinner. Is it just that he is the artistic type rather than an athlete, is he taking social distancing too literally?
It’s a strange old world.
My mate Alex, who still hasn’t paid me for the advice I gave his Mum on cancelling her Covid threatened Singapore birthday trip, called me to tell me how extraordinarily stiff he had been in missing winning a $6mil Lotto prize by an ant’s appendage.
I said Alex, that’s a good story and a shitload of money but people are tired of unlucky losing stories.
Turns out his real reason for calling was to bludge more free advice. Alex has been working from home through Covid and like many has used the time wisely to sharpen up his punting skills.
Some weeks back he had a nice collect on Lankan Star at Caulfield. In an act of sheer genius, he decided to share his momentary love of the punt with his three kids – average age around 11. He suggested they choose a horse each in the last at Caulfield and he’d invest a tenner for them, with any winnings to be retained by the successful apprentice investor. Well of course 60/1 shot Florent wins the last and his daughter is on it. So, one kid now thinks gambling is easy money and wants to invest $600 on a phone upgrade, while the other two are filthy on their father and sister.
Judge Lighthouse advised Alex to give all three a hundred, keep $300 and tell them not to let him catch them betting again. Now he’s got $300 and two kids onside rather than one. Problem solved.
Managing Mrs Alex’s response is beyond my pay grade though.
MAGIC SUPREME WATCH
Some months ago, I wrote when Gary Moore spruiked Hostwin Supreme as potentially the best sprinter he had trained that he had either had a pretty disappointing training career or he was inflating the tyres to sell the horse to Macau.
Wrong, but not by much. He wound up in Hong Kong with Gary’s soon to retire brother, John. And Gary’s assessment was wrong too, although he doubtless knew it at the time.
Good news though is that the rebadged Magic Supreme has finally slid down the grades far enough to grab a Shatin win. He’s also the first known horse to be exported to Hong Kong and have a name change that represents an improvement.
After my last column several readers have asked me to keep them informed on the progress of my favourite trainer. Well, in the past fortnight the great man has had 14 runners, 10 of them starting at triple figures, for a best placing of 4th. Bryce also saw potential in Tugcoat Cliffy that others had missed, but unfortunately was the underbidder at $0.75 for him.
Thin Skinned Richo has shown a lack of commitment, dropping the punt like a sack of spuds as soon as golf restarted in Victoria.
Frisky Dave on the other hand is delivering in spades and is fast becoming a cult hero. This week the great man recommends…
Moonee Valley R7 Plein Ciel($7)
Eagle Farm R8 Niccanova($3)
This week we have a heavy in Sydney, rain forecast for Brisbane and Adelaide and a Moonee Valley track that has been “regrassed” and whose racing pattern is a mystery at this time.
Complaints flooded in after my last column that the Lighthouse was straying a little from his stated brief of providing value selections. Too many tips under $5 was the complaint. So this week it’s value all the way – go each way, and if just a couple get up then we are winners
R7 Sir Pippin($26)
R9 Persuader($16)/Call Me Royal($16)
R8 Invictus Prince($9.50)
R6 Right Or Wrong($11)
R7 Florent($17)/California Salto($21)
R2 Zouy’s Comet($11)