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It was a busy weekend with some competitive racing down here. This is not a whinge or a gripe but it is tough to qualify horses at Durbanville for the feature races with the amount of interference that goes on. We then move on to the old course at Kenilworth which does not help the cause.  I really think that interference is not punished nearly as much as it should be.  We had a fine example of this interference on Saturday.  We have an extremely smart filly that, just as she was moving up and making her run, she was completely and utterly wiped out and nearly came down onto her knees. This totally blows her chances of running in the Choice Carriers as we will need to try and get her confidence back. This interference has probably set her back a good two months. There is a limited season and limited races for three year olds and a large chunk of her racing season has been taken away with this interference.  The National Horseracing Authority has raised their fees (some to unacceptable amounts) to keep going and giving jockeys pathetic suspensions for serious interference (and the consequences that come with this interference) is really not good enough.  If one looks at the rest of the world (particularly Australia) one will see what I am talking about. 

Another interesting card lies ahead today at Durbanville (Tuesday) and another decent card at the weekend. Great racing but it really is tough with the tracks we are racing on.  All courses need a break, particularly the Kenilworth summer course after the hammering it takes during the season. However, I think we need to sit down with Dean Diedericks and management and try and work out a more suitable solution for all. One thing is for certain: there is no fear of Durban helping us out with their draconian and totally over the top runners policy. Racing at the moment  is really complete trash up there and not interesting at all. 

Smashing card at Newmarket on the weekend had us all on the edge of our seats. Sadly it now all comes to a close there now and we will be waiting for next year to get our blood boiling again. It is good to see that there will be plenty of South African interest in next year’s better races. I just hope Tellytrack will try and get it a little bit more right in the coming months.  I know the jumping is not everyone’s cup of tea but that starts in earnest now.  Quite a few of the old boys have retired now - hopefully sound and happy – and there are quite a few up and coming stars.  Exciting stuff indeed. 

The CTS Ready to Run sale was good fun; the breeze ups and the food and banter is always good on the Friday. However, I have to say that I found the Saturday exhausting: the early morning stables, then a full day’s racing followed by the sales until late was a little bit too much.  It is always nice to settle down and have a drink afterwards. It was still a good show and I know something decent will come out of it. 

As you know, being a Capetonian, I love to talk about the weather. As usual, it is totally up and down and hot and cold. If I have no idea how many layers to wear in the morning, then you can believe I have no idea whether to put blankets on at night or not. I have taken to keeping four changes of clothing in my car – one for each season – and hope that gets me through the day comfortably.  The inside of my Morris minor leaves much to be desired. 

The Melbourne Cup is coming up and it looks to be a competitive affair. There are plenty of European entries trying to land the “race that stops the nation”.  The nation is not the only thing being stopped as most Australian trainers are trying to stop the European and English raiders from coming over. They seem to be getting more and more successful each year.  It is certainly a case of - Watch This Space.   

The Victoria Racing Club look to be in a complete shambles with bad feedback involving the Cobalt Case. They seem to have handled it exceptionally badly indeed and the court case is going dreadfully for them. Blokes are being fired left, right and centre for various other things. As I said in an earlier Sporting Post piece, I am sorry that Peter Moody gave up so easily as I have no doubt his charge would have lasted less than a minute. The VRC seem to think they are still in the days of Phar Lap and can do whatever they please.

As always, I have to mention the soccer. Manchester United were dreadful and Mourinho did a great job of parking the bus in front of Liverpool’s goal. We have two geese here at the stables and sometimes they spend hours, with one leg up, just staring at the vibracrete wall. That is what I felt like last night watching the game. 

Until next week, this is your Captain signing off on DAY 248, 18th October


 

 
 
 
 
   


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