The Justracing camera caught up with Vo Rogue at jockey Cyril Small's property when he was aged 27. With the duo in the photo is Vo's affable owner Jeff Perry. The great horse passed away at age 28 from old age on Monday night and had lived a wonderful life in his retirement, never wanting for anything. Vo Rogue, his trainer the late Vic Rail, owner Jeff Perry and jockey Cyril Small wrote themselves into racing folklore, as the horse and jockey would regularly go out with big leads and simply defy the opposition to run them down. He remains to this day the last of the great front-running middle distance horses that this country has seen. Thanks for the memories champ. Horses like you allow me to accurately work out good horses from "oxygen thieves" and "chaffbandits".
I wrote last Friday night to go easy when punting on the Gold Coast meeting the next day and any reader who heeded my advice would have saved themselves a goodly sum of money on the day.
After just three races on the nine-race card had been run and won, punters were absolutely filthy that the Gold Coast Turf Club hadn’t arranged to have a free bus waiting at the front gate to take them to meet their maker – either in a Gold Coast canal with their legs and hands tied and being afforded the opportunity of being eaten by a bull shark, or by hurling themselves from the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane without a parachute of any form being affixed to their person. And no wonder they were “filthy”, as Patinack trained runners won the first three races at a city Saturday meeting and that scenario has never happened since Patinack started racing horses. The momentous event will join 1) Makybe Diva’s three Melbourne Cups and 2) Black Caviar’s 20-odd wins in a row, as events that we will never witness again in our lifetime. Then to add insult to injury, they nearly won a fourth race when Just Been Lucky went down by a neck in Race 5 at big odds. Whilst it was more profitable to back John Thompson trained horses than those of Brisbane premiership leader Rob Heathcote the last time I compared the two, I’d better do up-to-date statistics on the duo for readers soon, in the season-to-date, to see where both stand currently.
As far as I’m concerned, the Patinack runners are virtually impossible to follow and many simply can’t run two races alike, unless they are two bad ones. For instance, Boys On Tour ran a pathetic eighth, beaten about half a furlong at his previous start in Saturday metropolitan company then romps in by four lengths last Saturday. Both races were run on slow or heavy tracks, so go figure, as I can’t. Why do Patinack keep sending that mare Galizani around and around, like a merry-go-round horse, when she’s not even competitive? Why not retire her last year and throw her in a stallion barn with Casino Prince and let him have his way with her? Surely that’s hardly rocket science, as she’s just a waste of time where she is, even though I don’t mind her and think she has some ability. Patinack runner Just Been Lucky went into the Silk Stocking with form of 5-6-6. She starts 25/1 and almost wins a Listed race. Metallurgical wins when resuming in town on 21 April, then nearly held up the next last Saturday running ninth. Hold that bus at the front gate of the Gold Coast Turf Club, as there’s more punters to climb aboard. Good luck if you follow the Patinack runners – after last Saturday you’ll still be out celebrating today - ah, sorry no you won’t be you’ll have already given up the punt and be playing those hideous poker machines, or be now residing in a Salvation Army home eating watery stew.
To me, one of the most amazing aspects of the Gold Coast meeting last Saturday was just how silly punters were shown to be when launching into heavily backed runners. As I advised my Saturday Morning Mail clients, Race 1 runner Fruehling isn’t even bred to be a wet tracker but that meant nothing as punters launched into him, backed him from $3 to $2.70. Punters wouldn’t have even known if he’d run in the clockwise direction before last Saturday. His two Australian runs were at Melbourne going in the anti-clockwise direction and his three English runs were at Newmarket, Goodwood and Chester. Did anyone who wanted to back Fruehling before last Saturday bother finding out what direction those three English tracks race in, or did they just listen to all the urgers talking the horse up on the radio and television? It was a “lambs to the slaughter” job as far as bookies were concerned and the horse never looked the winner even though his run was okay. Bit late after the ball to determine one can’t actually dance – it’s far better to be of that knowledge before the ball actually gets underway.
Later in the day at the Gold Coast, Rocker ran the 2/1 favourite in Race 3 after opening at $2.70. I told my Saturday Morning Mail clients to “lay the horse to get beaten on Betfair as he isn’t bred to handle a heavy track”. Again he never looked likely at his short quote and shock horror they’ve now determined he can’t handle a heavy track. He’s by stallion Fastnet Rock and Fastnet Rock is by Danehill out of a Royal Academy mare out of a Marauding mare – and one would go a long way to find worse breeding in a heavy track sire, unless you could find a spot to throw Semipalatinsk in the mix there somewhere? In Race 6 Pretty Pins was heavily backed from 4/1 to 3/1. She officially pulled up lame after the race, so seemingly had an excuse, but it wouldn’t matter if they had tacked an extra leg on her Saturday morning and advised a gear change of “extra leg on” and let her run with five sound legs as she was no hope before she even went into the barrier. I told my Saturday Morning Mail clients she “missed a run last Saturday which will surely tell against her at the finish today”. In summary some punters suspect racehorses can do the most impossible things.
As I was driving around on Saturday morning, racecaller Chris Barsby doing in-studio work, came on RadioTAB at 10.45am and told anchor Steve Hewlett and listeners that in Gold Coast Race 5 “all the smart money is for Alltherightmoves”. I thought to myself if it’s “smart money” I’m as dumb as the dog derivative then as I reckon she is no hope. That “smart money” turned out to be all “dumb money” as those punters who launched into the little darling backing her into $2.40 on course from $3, saw her nearly hold up the next race. Had any of the punters and/or urgers bothered checking her form they would have been able to see exactly what I told my Saturday Morning Mail clients which proved accurate which was “Is the only horse in this race who is headed anywhere in life, but she’s yet to win past 1020 metres and has had 26 days between runs, none of which is ideal”. How could any punter possibly automatically deduce she’d run out 1200 metres on a bog track, which surely equates to more like a 1300 or 1400-metre race, when she’s never won past 1020 metres? Additionally if those people with the “smart money” bothered reading a Form Guide, the mare had been beaten out of sight, by just 7.5 lengths, in a Maiden at the Gold Coast at $2.70 on 21/5/11 on wait for it – a slow 7 track, which is just one increment under a heavy 8 that they raced on last Saturday. If she went like a dromedary at 7/4, on a slow 7 track at the Gold Coast, how was a heavy 8 track going to be right up her alley last Saturday. Sometimes I just shake my head.
I’ll give you a tip, there’s not much “smart money” on a racecourse these days, as most winners in fact drift in the market - some rather alarmingly. But Fruehling, Rocker, Alltherightmoves and Pretty Pins at least proved that the old adage of “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” is still very much alive and well on racecourses around this country.
To be continued……………..tomorrow
Today on www.brisbaneracing.com.au there is the first of two huge montages of photos from the Gold Coast and Ipswich meetings across the long weekend, as well as some others of interest, including a photographic tribute to the late great Vo Rogue, on www.sydneyracing.com.au a simple photograph proves how Max Presnell comes up with a tip, whilst on www.melbourneracing.com.au Matt Nicholls catches up with the kid that was one of the best apprentices I’ve seen in over 40 years of watching racing – Sebastian Murphy – and finds out his rather interesting plans for the future.