As much as I hate frigid winters in southwestern Pennsylvania, I’d rather be here than in Victoria, Australia where racing was cancelled today when temperatures reached 43C—that’s 109F to us folks who never embraced the metric system. With temperatures on Saturday there forecast in excess of 35C (95F) in the midst of the hottest spell in 100 years (thank you, global warming), the start time for the G1 Lightning Stakes has been brought back to 2:46 p.m., or 10:46 p.m. EST here on Friday. If you are a fan of sprint races, you won’t want to miss this one, as six-time G1 winner Apache Cat faces seven-time G1 winner Weekend Hussler for the first time—and on the straight track at Flemington, to boot.
In the category of “it’s the same all over,” last year’s champion 2-year-old colt Sebring will not race at three, and has been retired to stud due to a “recurring soundness issue.” Disappointing, but not wholly unexpected. Trainer Gai Waterhouse offers a touching tribute to his short yet hugely successful career on her blog. He’ll stand at Widden Stud which earlier this week lost star stallion General Nediym to a severe colic attack.