SYDNEY RACING CHAFFBANDITS AND OXYGEN THIEVES ARE ALLEGED OPEN COMPANY HORSES – AND HAVING MORE MAIDENS THAN YOU’D FIND IN A NUNNERY TURNING UP TO PLAY ON MAGIC MILLIONS RACE DAY IS RIDICULOUS

SYDNEY RACING CHAFFBANDITS AND OXYGEN THIEVES ARE ALLEGED OPEN COMPANY HORSES – AND HAVING MORE MAIDENS THAN YOU’D FIND IN A NUNNERY TURNING UP TO PLAY ON MAGIC MILLIONS RACE DAY IS RIDICULOUS

15/01/14

Down in Sydney things are sure bad – and the industry is obviously at the crossroads. If you think that’s not a factual statement, check out the disgrace that was Race 5 at Warwick Farm last Saturday. What a pathetic group of chaffbandits and oxygen thieves they managed to assemble there for that $85,000 Open class shocker. After five race morning scratchings, we were left with just five runners on a good 3 track. And what a disgusting group they were. Let me take a look at them in racebook order. Kontiki Park was co-topweight. He walked into the enclosure as fat as a sumo wrestler and hadn’t won for 16 months and nor had he run a place in his last eight starts. He led until the “sumo wrestler” aspect kicked in. He went to the barriers at $6.50 after opening at $4.60. At last report the SES were still looking for him.

The other co-topweight was Said Com. He opened at $1.90. You Sydney bookies cannot be serious. Said Com at odds-on. That at least gives us a good giggle to kick the New Year off. I know there has to be a favourite in every race ever run, but why odds-on? He doesn’t want to win, the cat. In fact in the last 17 months he’s won just one race and all these media Einstein’s who interview his trainer Chris Waller all the time never ask “the champion trainer” why he doesn’t put blinkers on the lowlife racehorse. He can’t win without them – so surely he couldn’t lose anymore regularly in them?

The third horse onto the track was Monton. Now he’s a dead-set slug. He’s such a “slug” he hasn’t won a race anywhere for 24 months. And if you can believe it, he hadn’t run a place in his previous eight starts either, yet the smarties crunched him from $2.80 into $2.30 late. How could anyone knock old ladies out of the road to take $2.80 on Monton – even at Dingo?

The fourth horse out onto the track was All Legal. He won’t be finishing up with his name adorning the Hall of Fame either, as he hadn’t won a race in the previous 12 months – is that scenario starting to sound like a broken record in this field – and like Kontiki Park and Monton he’d been incapable of running a place at his previous eight starts. Make that nine after Saturday.

That left just Sainthood to be last to stroll out onto the Warwick Farm course proper. I don’t mind a bet and I reckon even the vagrant in the local park has probably scored more recently than Sainthood, as Sainthood last scored on 7/5/10. Good grief – that’s 44 months. And he hadn’t run a place at his last 11 starts. Guess what price you got about Sainthood when bookies opened betting on course? Well if you can believe it the bookies put up $8 and some fools with obviously more money than sense decided that was too tempting and lapped up the juicy 7/1 – and he started at $7.50.

So to summarize all that 1) only one horse of the five starters had won a race in the previous 12 months and that was Said Com, 2) excluding Said Com the other four runners cumulatively had run just one placing in their last 34 starts (in words so there’s no confusion that’s thirty four). If you can believe it that Sainthood scrubber ruined that statistic by actually running one placing in his last 11 starts. How dare he? Did half the field come down that day like they did in the year 2000 Ipswich Cup when a horse called I Reign Supreme actually did?

And all these racing officials talk the industry up. “They” really ought to take one step back and smell the roses, as it’s not difficult to see why racing and TAB turnover are going backwards at the rate of knots. Honestly if you’re resting six foot under, you wouldn’t waste your time to rise from the dead and make a re-appearance above ground level on Planet Earth to watch Race 5 at Warwick Farm last Saturday. How sad is that? It also highlighted the fact that you can throw increased prizemoney at the racing industry in a State like New South Wales, but it won’t guarantee you 1) that the quality of horseflesh will improve, or 2) that field sizes will reach optimum size to maximise betting turnover.

And what about that awful Maiden at the Gold Coast last Saturday. The Magic Millions company need to get rid of that hideous race. It’s just a joke. The favourite, Traitor, couldn’t have shot the leader with a scud missile at his only other previous start yet he gets drawn straight into the field with just $1,000 prizemoney in the bank. In fact I’m still trying to work out how he got $1,000 for running seventh at Rosehill – must have been a bit like shooting ducks on sideshow alley – every player wins a prize. First up into a Magic Millions Maiden after 52 weeks was an ask for Traitor. He’s still coming – and I understand he got in late Saturday night. Then to add insult to injury, a gelding that ran fourth at 60/1 on debut at Caloundra before running second at Ipswich bolted in at his third race start in the Magic Millions Maiden at 30/1. Terrific stuff – wouldn’t miss the meeting for quids some people.

And Traitor wasn’t the only horse with virtually no prizemoney to get a gig in the thrilling Magic Millions Maiden. The aptly named Master Cat which had incidentally held up the running of the Bernborough Handicap on New Year’s Eve at Toowoomba when beaten just 12 lengths (in words that’s twelve) by Rock Royalty, also got drawn straight into the field as an emergency when having a grand total of $1,300 in the bank.

Was there a positive note anywhere in racing last Saturday? Yes there certainly was as that young Adelaide apprentice O. Ay did a good job to lose his irons and lead all the way in Race 1 at Morphettville aboard Barigan Boy. The poor little bugger probably will have three Adam’s apples for the rest of his life – but at least he’ll have something interesting to tell his kids and grandkids. In fact the kids and grandkids will be able to have some interesting “show and tell” days with that video footage. Oh kids can be so cruel.

And on the old website chestnut of odds-on favourites going over, at the Albion Park trots on Saturday night Nobody Knows got rolled in the first race at $1.60 before Beau Dandy got beaten at $1.40 in Race 3 and Rani Major went over in Race 5 at $1.80. It’s a mug’s game that backing odds-on favourites.

Today on www.brisbaneracing.com.au there’s the second of three montages of photos from the Gold Coast racing last Saturday. Included in that montage is a never before seen graphic photo of the fall that then jockey Lacey Morrison had one day at Ipswich that ended her career. It’s shown now as she has regained her health – and is proving that she can train winners. On www.sydneyracing.com.au there’s the story on some of the great horses that have come off one particular stud that Tommy Smith said would never produce a decent racehorse, whilst on www.melbourneracing.com.au there’s a story on Victorian racing.