racing stuff (or vice versa)

Looking at the Valley fields for tomorrow dejected me. This was – still is – the Hiskins meeting, traditionally the Club’s premier winter finale with the rich A. V Hisken’s Steeple promoted as the “Cox Plate of Jumps Racing”. Alas, we now have the Hiskens Cup, a 1514m modest open flat handicap from which no Japan invites will stem. Such has been racing’s collapse in the face of small minds and big noises.

On an even more tragic note, the first leg of the Quaddy, The Travis Harrison Apprentices’ Cup, memorializes a very good young jockey who died tragically in a car accident involving himself and Phillip Roost, another young star in the making. Harrison, from great racing stock and close buddies with his cousin and then-apprentice Craig Williams, was a rider of enormous potential and his death rocked many in the game. Tomorrow’s race is a reminder that these are young kids in whom we place such faith and, often, blame. It is not a bad race with plenty of likely speed. Shysta’s recent win at Sandown was unbelievable as he came from an impossible position and is obviously pretty good, but I’m tipping Pink Shimmer (4) as an eachway special at double figure odds.

It is a tricky day with poor fields and it is difficult to recommend many wise investments. A big watch, though, must go on unraced Broadcast (R1, No1) to topple a field of youngsters who have diverse formlines, which makes it very hard to use anything other than market moves as key indicators. By Viscount out of Commentary, nicely named Broadcast is highly fancied by pre-post punters.

I thought that Dorsoduro (2), after its last start win, would start pretty short in the second and salute. “Not necessarily”, warned my confidantes, and support has come for 4 (and a tip), 6 and 8, with some suggesting Street Belle (9) as a likely big shortener. If the right money rallies for No 2 then go with it, otherwise be very wary.

In Race 4 I might give Jeteven its last ever chance but I am sure there are better ways to spend your dough!

That might well be the theme for the day. A dabble if you want, but it is hard to get enthused.

For example, when we opened up the paper earlier today, a colleague looked at Race 7 and declared it “a race of walkers”. To reinforce his claim, jumper Tibooburra Travis has been specked from good odds and has a realistic E/W show.

The “get out”, by the way – though I await Elvis’ evaluation – could be Peter Morgan’s mare Batroun (MR8, No8, $12).

I do my best to put a positive spin on our great industry but it is a poor and depressing scenario at the former “Valley of Excitement” and little better elsewhere.


  1. Adelaide yesterday has not helped Crio.

  2. Didn’t notice that Phantom and unfortunate for those involved. They still use the old jumps over there so, in fact, it possibly reinforces the Victorian assertion that it has now got it right.

  3. The fall was actually on the flat – but that won’t save them unfortunately

  4. This morning’s Age reports that SA jumps are irrelevant to Victoria’s criteria.

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