Almanac Racing – Alexandra Cup
With the 2016-17 picnic season drawing to a close,we made a visit to Alexandra for their Cup meeting. They have been running races in Alexandra for many moons. The racing club was formed in 1870 with the current race track being gazetted in 1880, though a number of different locations hosted races prior to then.
As is the wont, our intrepid group of ‘mug punters’ met up at Yarck, for a quiet pre-race bevvie. They use to race at Yarck, up until early last century. I know not where the track was, but if anyone has any history of this i’d be very appreciative in finding out more. From there, we ventured forth to Alexandra, for the running of the 2017 Cup.
A sunny, slightly humid day was the climatic setting for the meeting. A large crowd attended, with food and fluids at easy avail, creating the picnic atmosphere so enjoyed at these meetings. A six race card on a firm track was on offer. Fields were small, with only the feature race, the Cup having 8 runners.
For the Cup I invested in Nine Mile Sniper, possibly the horse of the picnic season, who’d had a good run of wins and placings in recent months. Having leading picnic rider Courtney Pace on board gave me further confidence on Nine Mile saluting in the Cup. Coming into the meeting Courtney was the leading rider at Alexandra during the season with 9 wins. Already on the day she’d had four rides for a win, with a second as well.
They jumped a tad late for the big one, due to the top weight Wild and Proud being scratched at the barrier. We watched them weave around the track, behind the trees, in front of the rises of the Great Dividing Range, then turning into the straight. Would Nine Mile Sniper add to his victories of this prep? It was not to be, as he finished a gallant third behind Rock It Doc, with the winner being My Dancing Duel ridden superbly by Raymond Douglas. This was Raymond’s sixth win at Alexandra during the season. For the winning horse, My Dancing Duel, it was the fifth win of his career, coming off a win at Woolamai. Congratulations for the winning connections, the horse owned by Ms K Flaherty, being trained at Cranbourne by Gary Mallinson.
For Raymond this was the first of a double for him, as he followed up with a win on Goldoni in the last. Also with a double were Seymour’s Goodwin family. In the third, father Barry trained Toucandan, ridden to victory by son Reece. The pair combined again in the next race with La Rita saluting. I was happy with this result, giving me the quinella.
Yep, there’s no more racing at Alexandra during the 2016-17 picnic season. Riding honors for the season go to Courtney Pace who rode 10 winners in the 2016-17. Troy and John Kilgower took the training honors, with 6 for the season, one clear of Barry Goodwin. Congratulations and thank you for all involved with the Alexandra Race Club.
Leaving the track, not being out of pocket, is always the icing on the cake for a nice day at the track. Though the picnic season is almost finished, there are always plenty of races to keep one interested. Watch this space.