It certainly was a tale of two cities Saturday for devout racing fans looking to have a bet ‘North of the Murray’.
In the Queensland capital, Eagle Farm track staff managed to pull off one of the great miracles of modern course curating by getting an upgrade to a Good 3 in the middle of winter on a track served up for feature racing that once again bore closer resemblance to nearby Nudgee Road than it did to a dozen or so lush acres of acutely managed sports turf.
Whilst down south, at the end of a dreary week in Sydney (at least weather wise) it was just more of the what can be expected in the weeks to come with heavily rain affected going, enough scratchings to run the ink dry in the red pen, and a quaddie dividend that could cover the down payment on an inner west studio apartment.
Off the track there was a bit more action but a couple of under fire hoops stuck to what they do best by punching out winners. Whilst special mention has to go to the affable albeit ‘injury prone’ Andrew Adkins who showed he was more than capable of stepping up to the mark if one or two of his counterparts are looking at time on the sidelines by booting home a timely big price double.
But back on the track…there was only really one highlight for mine.
Adelong: (Syd Race 7) I’d be very surprised if she’s not the find of the off season. Gave her a big plug here a fortnight ago but was prepared to take her on Saturday with a massive weight swing against her. Happy to eat humble pie and rest assured I won’t be jumping off the bandwagon again after not only a gutsy, but a very dominant performance.
Wu Gok: (Syd Race 4) Racking my brain, and happy to stand corrected, but I can’t think of a horse with more impressive heavy track stats in my time on the punt? 13:8-1-0. Just warming up in his winter prep and is already a winner out to a mile and half. Hope for the CRJC’s sake it doesn’t rain in the Jacaranda City for their cup week, but if it does, I know where my money will be invested.
Vanna Girl: (Bris Race 7) Bit of a pity she’s run out of races to run in given her picket fence and how strong she was through the line. All the same she goes to the paddock now without bottoming out on an Oaks run at the end of a bloody impressive prep. Big fortnight for T and T Edmonds, (who it’s getting harder and harder to tell apart on recent hairlines!) and the team have indicated she’ll head south for the Spring with realistic targets in her crosshairs. That might be selling this bonny little filly short, but only time will tell. Certainly think she is well above average even with consideration to the fact she’s come out of a bastardised QLD winter.
Bound to Win: (Syd Race 3) Not sure you can really make a case for one run down by 15 start ‘nonnie’ Word for Word, but we’ll try. Got a bit keen under Berry early who was left with little options other than to press on. Exposed a long, long way from home. You still would have fancied your chances at the 50m once Word for Word got sight of the winning post, but in the end the run/ride took its toll. Margin to third indicates she deserves a forgive and would be no surprise to see her bounce back provided that tough run hasn’t dragged it out of her.
Lashes: (Syd Race 7) If you weren’t overly impressed by Tommy Berry’s ride on Bound to Win, then watching K Mac on Lashes would certainly make you feel a bit better. Can understand not wanting to let Adelong get you off the bunny, but if you’re going to dig them up out of the gates, then you want to have done your homework and have a map planned as to where you can slot in, and also have the ability to grab hold of them in order to ease into said slot. Just an awful ride of which you would have sprayed a 3kg kid for let alone a dual Everest and three time Melbourne Cup winner.
Tricky Gal: (Syd 9) Hard to refer to her as ‘unlucky’ given she’s won fifty per cent of her starts but could easily make a case to say her record should well be even better than what it is. Winner first up, margin probably not fair 2nd up where her lack of race experience went against her, then just left with too much to do behind the smart Red Chase when she ventured north. Has notched up a handy wet record going through the lesser grades but I think it’s just her quality that has carried her through there. No real excuses Saturday, just bloused by one at any old price and a white hot jock having a red hot go, but has a serious turn of foot and will show that once she gets better footing.
Miss Einstein: (Syd Race 3) She was definitely on her last chance Saturday and there were no excuses.
Kylease: (Syd Race 7) Not sure when the penny is going to drop that they are aiming too high nowadays fronting up for Saturday grade each week.
Superium: (Syd Race 7) Fair to say he’s run into a handy one past couple, but the fact Inanup who’s no superstar spotted him a big start and covered him easy in the run home is a fair indication of where he’s at in this company in my opinion. These colours seem to come in for support (as well as in one leading tipsters numbers) every time they go around but seldom back it up on the track. He may bob up on drier but it will be without me.