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Almanac Racing – A week of Payne

When a racing story makes the front page it is invariably one that is damaging to the industry. This week has been dominated by Michelle Payne’s one month suspension for taking a banned substance, deemed explosive enough for the Herald Sun to run with it as the lead for their Thursday edition. After returning from her cameo at Royal Ascot in June, a urine sample taken before her rides at the Swan Hill carnival came back with a positive reading for Phentermine – an appetite suppressant. Unsurprisingly on racing’s list of banned substances, Payne knew that she had made a clanger. She fronted the media after Thursday’s hearing and was honest; she had been prescribed the medication to help her recover from a fall and was simply not diligent enough. She accepted full responsibility and acknowledged her lack of diligence, making it one of the classiest media performances by a sporting identity under scrutiny for some time.


While Payne’s travails made headlines, the tragedy of the week was the death of Bendigo jockey Donna Philpot. She passed away after a fall in a jumpout on Tuesday morning, leaving many in racing with broken hearts. It’s another reminder that jockeys put their lives at risk every time they pilot a horse.


This Saturday’s metropolitan meeting is at Caulfield, and after last week I may be gun-shy after missing the quaddie. There’s a handful of short favourites this week, including Kiwia in the second race. It looks to be a promising stayer in the making and will be very hard to beat.


The fifth race is nearly impossible to work out, with the favourites (at time of writing) being at $6 and the outsider at $26. I’ll be with Grey Street but it’s easy to make a case for each of the other ten runners.


I’m not captivated by the quaddie legs this week, but Cannot Be Serious is a good each-way proposition in the sixth race.


This hasn’t been a very in-depth analysis, so I’m willing to be guided by your tips.


About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.

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