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Friday, January 30, 2009

Lightning Strikes—Live Blogging from Oz

Despite the massive heat, the G1 Lightning Stakes are a “go” at Flemington, and as promised I’m ready for a little live blogging for all interested (guess that would just be Michael—LOL!). How ironic to see the blazing heat Down Under when we are bracing for a possibly snow “storm of the century” here on Monday/Tuesday.

Glen Boss just guided talented Largo Lad to victory in race 4—next up at Flemington is the G3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m, or 7f). Lots of early money on Mick Price-trained Pre-Eminence who finished third behind Rebel Raider in the G1 Victoria Derby last out in November. But, isn’t it interesting that top jock Craig Newitt jumps off him, and onto his stablemate Al Omghe? Additionally, Pre-Eminence looks to like a little sting out of the track, and that's not going to happen today. If Al Onghe is that interesting to Newitt, that what about Fair Trade who beat him last out? I like the switch to Nick Hall. Also, Damien Oliver has a good record on Keano who takes a drop in weight after winning over this course back in December—the freshening up may give him the advantage.

Just noticed that Newitt also gave up Price's Heart of Dreams, as did Oliver (he gets Glen Boss instead). With horses so equally matched, and only separated by questions of preparation first up, the jockey angle seems an edge. I've gone $2WP on Al Omghe.

Nothing. Should have gone with Fair Trade—nice winner. G3 win in only second race.

Now the moment we’ve been waiting for—Apache Cat vs. Weekend Hussler. Is there anyone else to consider? Comments?

WRAP-UP:
Well, turns out the big two were a tad disappointing, or in Weekend Hussler’s case, unlucky. The surprise victor was Scenic Blast, who had placed in both previous efforts on the Flemington straight course—a second-place to Tan Tat De Lago in the G3 Danehill back in September ’07, and a third-place to Weekend Hussler and Bel Mer in the G1 Ascot Vale that November. He was very lightly-raced last year (only four starts, with two victories). Steven Arnold did a nice job on him.

Ironic that a son of Scenic (descendent, through his dam, of Foolish Pleasure) should win here. It was only last November that another son of Scenic, Sunburnt Land, finished an impressive third behind Swick in the G1 Patinack Farm Classic over this very course, and was spelled with his first goal back to be this very race. Unfortunately, Sunburnt Land died just a week later, struck by lighting out in his paddock.

37 comments:

Wind Gatherer said...

I was wondering when you were going to show up...

Valerie said...

Took a little nap after supper :)

Wind Gatherer said...

I would be more than a little agitated if they made me run my ass off in 40 degree weather.

Valerie said...

And then to change your exit after your big moment. Did you catch the jock tossed into the rose bushes coming out of the saddling ring a couple races back? Those horses are smart; it's too damn hot.

Wind Gatherer said...

I forgot how to read these bloody forms...Grrrr

Valerie said...

Looking at the pari-mutuel pools, you can see the money coming for Sheikh Mohammed’s Wilander. I usually ignore that, as there are people out there that bet his horses regardless of their quality.

The South African horse Seventh Rock interests me. On a slow track he just missed to JJ The Jet Plane last out in lightning fast time.

Wind Gatherer said...

You think seventh Rock will be sharp enough after the layoff?

Hussler hasn't gone this distance...

Valerie said...

Well, that was disappointing, but a Foolish Pleasure descendent wins! Woohoo!

Wind Gatherer said...

Have you ever figured out what your ROI would be if you just bet Foolish Pleasure descendants whenever you see them?

Hussler was just hitting his stride at the wire. Shame.

Anne S said...

Scenic Blast blasted them.

A pity the Hussler got crowded out by the Seventh Rock - didn't get a fair go at all. And poor old Apache Cat couldn't get a look in either.

Still, you must be happy Valerie - a Foolish Pleasure descendant in the picture.

Valerie said...

No, but I wish I was smart enough to actually bet them. Like a dumbass, all I bet was a quinella on Scenic Blast and that damn South African horse that caused all the problems! URGH@!

Valerie said...

Anne, I am! Especially since this was the race Sunburnt Land was to be aimed for before he was killed by that lightning strike.

Valerie said...

So, is Gai's Bhutane Dane going to have better luck in the next race than he had in the Magic Millions?

Wind Gatherer said...

In the Form, under the race category, what does 3 RST76 mean?

Valerie said...

Yes, he can!

Anne, hope you are keeping cool. You are more than welcome to our snow :) I'll send it right away.

Valerie said...

I think, 3-year-olds, restricted, class 76. They handicap (or rank?) horses to run in certain classes of races.

Valerie said...

Look at that quinella from the Lightning--$196.

Wind Gatherer said...

That super isn't too shabby either.

Valerie said...

Damn! Over $10k (or $5K with Weekend Hussler). What's the biggest score you've had? My one claim to a "big" score was just over $800 on a trifecta at Churchill on KY Oaks day in 2007. The best part: was at the OTB, so the payout in CASH! Nothing quite like have that kind of money handed over :)

Wind Gatherer said...

I had $20 on Giacomo in the Derby. I think that was the last ticket I cashed too...

Valerie said...

My former division chair (who has retired) was a big racing fan (her father took her to Aqueduct as a child)--she had $100 on Giacomo. Wish I had seen that in him :)

Anne S said...

Valerie, it has cooled down a bit today - only 36C, but still hot.

You can keep your snow - I like the heat.

Wind Gatherer said...

The only reason I liked him was his good second to Declans Moon, who I absolutely loved. Giacomo was also coming in to the Derby in great form.

Wind Gatherer said...

I'll take a flyer on Reverberates.

Wind Gatherer said...

I'm a dumbass.

I just noticed the subscript description of all the abbreviations, below the first form line.

Anne S said...

"My one claim to a "big" score was just over $800 on a trifecta at Churchill on KY Oaks day in 2007."

Curiously enough my biggest payout of $650.00 was on the 2000 VRC Oaks won by Lovelorn.
I had gone to the dentist earlier in the day and was novacained out of my head. On my way home, i sopped at a TAB to cash in my Melbourne Cup winnings on Brew and put the trifecta on with some of the winnings. I clearly knew in my head who was going to be in the finish and selected the three horses for a box trifects.

Valerie said...

So, do I bet on another Scenic son Cohort (with the Gauc) up here? I’m disappointed Baughurst is out—was looking forward to his return.

Wind Gatherer said...

There doesn't appear to be much speed. I wouldn't talk you off him.

Wind Gatherer said...

4-1 on Ab almalik is generous

Valerie said...

You going to get sucked into the Nicanor frenzy on Saturday? I'll be looking to bet against him, as he'll take a ton of sentimental money.

Valerie said...

Did you get in on Ab Almalik?

Valerie said...

I didn't notice Growl. Look at those purses he's been running for at Sha Tin--$8 million?!?!

Wind Gatherer said...

My handicapping prowess only works when there is no money on the line. As soon as I hit the windows, I might as well be putting it all on The Green Monkey.

I'm glad Nicanor is a horse and can't read the insane crap that is expected of him.

Wind Gatherer said...

I thought I was reading those numbers wrong.

That's the most Growl has shown in a while.

Valerie said...

It's too bad Gai Waterhouse doesn't train in the U.S.--we'd have had our first winning woman Kentucky Derby trainer is she did. She's amazing.

Wind Gatherer said...

Thanks for hosting, again. Someday, I'll have you over.

Good luck on Sunday.

Valerie said...

Thanks! 'nite ")