Almanac Racing – Yea, it’s St Pat’s.
Begorrah, the name of St Pat lives on. Though he fell off the twig on March 17, 461 CE, his influence is celebrated around the world by the millions of us who have Irish heritage, and many millions more who don’t. Race tracks also celebrate him, though not always on on St Pat’s Day, March 17. Broken Hill have their St Pat’s meeting on the Saturday closest, this year March 18. Yea have theirs on the last Sunday in February and it is to the latter we turn.
Yea is a lovely track. Surrounded by rolling hills, it provides a wonderful setting for a day at the races. Maryanne, Denise and I got there bright and early finding a nice, shady spot, then set up for the afternoon. Good company, nice food, soft drinks and the obligatory blanket all contribute to a great day at the races.
It was a six race card with the main race being the St Pat’s Cup in race four. The Cup had a field of seven, being run over ten and half furlongs: 2100 metres in the modern parlance.
Courtney Pace took the riding honours for the day. She had five rides, three of which were winners, a placing in the last and an unplaced ride on Nine Mile Sniper in the St Pat’s Cup. Nine Mile Sniper was one of the favourites in the Cup, with wins prior to Xmas in big races at Dederang, and Merton amongst others. But this was not his day, as after being on the pace for the first eight furlongs, he fell back to the latter part of the field. Congratulations to the connections of the worthy Cup winner Lardner Lou, ridden superbly by Natasha Baxter.
As well as the on track action there were plenty of other pastimes for the big crowd. Displays of classic cars including those from the Aston Martin club, the swirling sounds of a pipe and drumband, combined with lots of activities for the kids, including a foot race on the actual track, made it a nice day for all. Having the dulcet tones of Victoria Shaw, Australia’s only female race caller, added to the atmosphere. Beautiful weather was the icing on the cake.
Our friend, Denise, was the last of the big spenders, her $1EW bets bringing her a pleasant return. Yours truly broke even as he did not have a bet. After the expensive investment on Friday night of betting on Dontbabylon running at Moonee Valley, I seriously need to reconsider my punting. No matter how many betting schemes, no matter how many different approaches I try, I still lose out. My grandfather, Norm, was a life member of Corowa Race Club and he always maintained the only way to follow the horses is with a shovel. Wise words. You don’t see many poor bookies, us mug punters …! Any way in the next few weeks I’ve a number of big country meetings to attend, starting with the Corowa Cup. Let’s see how long Glen remains off the punt.