It has been some time since I’ve sat down to contemplate the mysteries of this sporting life and, to some, that has been a good thing. However, my vision clouded by a red mist since the appointment of one M.Malthouse at Princes Park and I did not wish to bring an aura of negativity to what is a half full kind of site.
The harvest of the Spring Carnival has once again opened my mind to more pressing issues in life. Firstly, Not even landing Happy Trails at the early opener of $23 is the reason for my lightened mood. (Ollie, you’re a ripper. An ornament to racing and, if anyone says you shouldn’t have been riding Happy Trails yesterday, tell them to check out my wallet) No, in several weeks, I, along with other Almanac luminaries, embark of the journey which is thoroughbred racing. Having unsuccessfully invested in more bloodstock than Darley via the punt, I have now entered the sacred world of ownership, not once, but twice. A world littered with the bodies of false hopes and vet bills. And I can’t wait. With two youngsters now in training, the dream of cheering home a Blue Diamond or Silver Slipper winner, jumping around, pashing some other bloke’s missus on national television, has me salivating.
The exciting thing about this new personal frontier is that my belief in the integrity of racing could not be higher. Terry Bailey has done a terrific job of allaying some doubts I harboured about whether trainers or jockeys sometime work outside the rules. All due process at the VRC that’s for sure. Any industry that allows some fat bloke from Wonthaggi to get an autograph from Sheik Mohammad, while dressed as a jockey, is alright with me. Any industry that tells said Sheik to piss off away from the rails, despite owning every second horse running, is something I want to be part of. No, it’s been a beaut Carnival. The past couple of weeks have filled me with the confidence of mother duck at a road crossing.
Talking through the kick
Those of you that did dabble on the gee gees during the Carnival know that a week in racing, like football, is long time. Having endured a Rogering like no other on Cox Plate day, I fought and fought to regain the advantage over the bookies. Some cunning exotics here, the odd quinella there, culminating in the heroics of D Oliver and Happy Trails in the Emirates and a plunge on the frog horse at Bendigo on Tuesday and the Bettie Windsor yesterday, left me soaking in a hot bath last evening, Barossa Shiraz in hand, looking a lot better than it was 7 short days ago.
While I’ve tried to look at the world through rose coloured glasses of late, there has been a litter matter that continues to make me cross. And that matter is Channel 7’s live coverage of the GF and the Spring Carnival. Unless those rose coloured glasses have been handled by a fish monger or I’ve got selective macular degeneration, was the quality of the audio and vision telecast during these events of standard deemed unacceptable in Namibia. Blurred pictures, accompanied by use of excessive crowd effect mikes, acerbated by echoed race calls, diminished what were two fantastic events. Please, please show the bloody things on 7 Mate you numbskulls or, better still, let TVN show the races live.