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    • A couple of post scripts to last weekend's action. Gai Waterhouse was among the winners at Newmarket but as an owner not a trainer - her filly ASIAN DAZE won the 1400m handicap and will doubtless be heading Down Under before long. The filly was trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam who would follow up later with MILL STREAM in the July Cup. William Buick rode a four timer on the day which paid around 900/1 but he's well behind Oisin Murphy in the jockeys' championship. VANDEEK will now head for the Maurice de Gheest with the Crisford yard thinking the July Cup third will have brought him on while second placed SWINGALONG heads for Haydock with trainer Karl Burke saying the filly is best on quick ground. A low key weekend in Britain coming up but in Ireland it's the two day Irish Oaks meeting - the ground at The Currgah is Good, Good to Firm in places and a decent field of 14 go to post for the Irish Oaks over 2400m on Saturday afternoon (UK). Ryan Moore has chosen Pretty Polly third CONTENT and she has been supported from 6s to 11/4. The bare form shouldn't be good enough but clearly there's an expectation of further improvement with an extra 400m of ground to cover. Wayne Lordan rides Ribblesdale winner PORT FAIRY and the question is whether you prefer Group 1 placed form to Group 2 winning form. Willie Mullins is of course better known as a jumps trainer but he runs LOPE DE LILAS but she only won a maiden last time and I'm far from convinced. DARE TO DREAM was fifth in the Diane but was three lengths behind CONTENT last autumn and has never run on quick ground. It could bring on 10 lbs of improvement and she's be right in this if it did.  WAR CHIMES was third and CAUGHT U LOOKING fifth in the English Oaks but the form of the race isn't holding up at the moment and I prefer Ribblesdale runner up LAVA STREAM who has proven quick ground form and would be my each way play at 10s. It's hard to ignore Ryan's choice - he doesn't often get it wrong - and CONTENT could well improve for the extra trip. I think DARE TO DREAM and LAVA STREAM are the two I'd take to see following her home. The supporting Group 2 Curragh Cup for the stayers over 2800m has 12 runners. TOWER OF LONDON hasn't been seen since flopping in the Yorkshire Cup but could well make amends - his principal opponent looks to be VAUBAN who was in front of him at York and didn't see out the 4000m of the Gold Cup when fourth to KYPRIOS.  The Group 2 Sapphire over 1000m should be calmer waters for BELIEVING than the King Charles III or the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee in which she was fourth. Hopefully her Ascot exertions haven't left their mark because on other form she should be too good for the locals - she comfortably holds the ex-American galloper VALIANT FORCE on Ascot form.  The highlight on Sunday is the Group 2 Minstrel for the 3-y-o over 1400m.
    • Apologies for the delay in the review of last weekend's racing. Starting at Newmarket where the three day July Festival reached its climax on a fine Saturday afternoon - a little overnight rain had fallen but the ground was still officially Good. The feature was the July Cup, the traditional midsummer clash for the older and younger sprinters over 1200m. The older sprinters were represented by the first three home in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee, KHAADEM, SINGALONG and MILL STREAM while the 3-y-o had the Commonwealth Cup first and third, INISHERIN and JASOUR, the 2023 Middle Park and Morny winner, VANDEEK and the Irish 2000 Guineas third RIVER TIBER representing Coolmore and Ballydoyle. The money came for INISHERIN who had looked dominant at Ascot and he was backed in to 11/8 favourite. A tremendous race but the finish dominated by the older horses as MILL STREAM narrowly reversed Ascot form with SWINGALONG winning by a neck. The winner gave his trainer, Jane Chapple-Hyam, her biggest success to date and the colours, those of Peter Harris, have long been associated with British racing. His daughter married the ex-jockey Walter Swinburn who died in 2016.  SWINGALONG ran another huge race and you'd think she would have a leading chance at Haydock on a slightly flatter track - a Group 1 would not be undeserved after two wonderful placed runs in the highest company. VANDEEK led the 3-y-o home, two lengths off the winner in third. This was a much better run than his seasonal effort at Haydock and the blood problem which contributed to him missing Ascot may have just left him short of his best. I'm sure connections will fancy their chances of closing the two length gap at Haydock. ART POWER was prominent all the way and finished fourth - I just think 1000m on softer ground such as at The Curragh might be the optimum but for fifth placed INISHERIN, the opposite might be true. I never thought he looked comfortable on the ground from the start and he was never going to win but he ran on well up the hill and I just wonder if they'll consider stepping him up to 1400m for a race like the Lennox at Goodwood. He's 7/1 second favourite for the Sprint Trophy at Haydock (VANDEEK is 6/1 favourite). JASOUR ran well in sixth and got a little closer to INISHERIN than he had at Ascot. The disappointments were KHAADEM who ran too free, KINROSS, who couldn't go the early gallop and will be much better back at 1400m and RIVER TIBER, who put in another moderate effort after his failure in the Jersey. MILL STREAM isn't in the Haydock entries though he could be supplemented. I wonder if they might try the Maurice de Gheest at Deauville over 1300m next month. The supporting Group 2 saw ANCIENT TRUTH won the Superlative - he's no CITY OF TROY and trainer Charlie Appleby didn't even think after the race he'd stay much beyond a mile with the National at The Curragh the next target. Aidan O'Brien withdrew THE PARTHENON and SEAGULLS ELEVEN, who finished second, a son of Galileo out of a Kodiac mare, could be the longer term prospect. The opening 1400m juvenile fillies maiden saw a very nice debut from DESERT FLOWER, a home bred daughter of Night of Thunder out of Promising Run who won at Group 2 level at Meydan over a mile.  She could be anything and enhances what already looks a strong crop of juvenile fillies. At Ascot, the Group 2 Summer Mile saw QUDDWAH maintain his unbeaten record and earn a 12/1 quote for the Sussex at Goodwood at the end of the month. He's yet to prove he's Group 1 class but he's not had much racing and clearly has plenty of ability. ANCIENT ROME returned to form in second but the first four were split by a length so I'm not sure how strong this form is but the winner is decent. On to Paris in the evening and a decent card highlighted by the 2400m Grand Prix de Paris which many now think of as the true French Derby since the Jockey Club was dropped in trip. ILLINOIS brought strong Ascot form to the table with SOSIE the best of the locals for the master trainer, Andre Fabre. SOSIE followed up a strong third in the Jockey Club with a decent performance here. It looked an even gallop so quite quick by French standards and they ran the 2400m in 2 minutes 31 seconds which isn't bad on a slow surface. The winner was always going well and quickened nicely in the straight. He's in the Arc as you might expect. It had to be a stamina test for ILLINOIS who we know gets 2800m well and he ran on well once headed. He's still in the Goodwood Cup at the end of the month for which he's 12s and he's 6s for both the Voltigeur at York and the English Leger and the long straight at Doncaster (over 800m) will be ideal. The favourite, DELIUS, lost his unbeaten record but wasn't disgraced and is also in the Arc (again, no surprise). I thought TAMFANA was coming to win the race 300m out but she got run out of the places and didn't seem to quite see out the full trip. Whether she'd do better on quicker ground I don't know. Last year's Royal Oak winner DOUBLE WIND relished the soft turf when winning the Group 2 Maurice de Nieuil over 2800m. He had previously run third in the Vicomtesse Vigier and reversed the form with second placed SHEMBALA but there's very little between them on the ratings. I expect their paths will cross again in the autumn staying races. Fillies can run in the Grand Prix de Paris but they have exclusive rights to the Group 2 Malleret over 2400m and Diane runner up SURVIE won this very nicely. She's a useful filly and she's in the Arc where she could give the colts plenty to think about. I'm not sure if they will give her a crack at the Vermeille first.
    • Idolmite, Click on this link. Hopefully it works: https://nztr.co.nz/news/two-bonus-series-add-excitement-new-champions-day
    • Up here, synthetic meetings can be arranged at 48 hours notice. There's always two synthetic meetings on a winter Saturday (and can provide tv coverage if all the turf meetings are lost) and they've put on a third if it's a very cold spell and the turf fixtures are certain to be cancelled. The Irish re-arrange fixtures because they have space in the calendar (and a smaller country) - the British don't. We re-arrange races but not whole fixtures because we don't have the capacity in the calendar. There's less concern about midweek meetings than Saturdays (the biggest betting day of the week and guaranteed free-to-air tv coverage which also boosts turnover). It should be possible to have a system of "standby" meetings on the synthetic during the winter months which can be activated if required. I don't know if the horse population could support that. 
    • Basically, if you win a maiden race at Te Puke and a 1 win race at Ellerslie you win $1m, unless Ellerslie gets abandoned and transferred to Winton, then you win $10m.
    • We get Millwood Nike as a replacement for the NI though
    • Don't worry Idol-mate . we can still count to four ok in QLD  . Can't Spell though.  there are 4 letters in Beer but the spelling in Queensland is  XXXX  so we don't have to worry two much. veery litle efort Kneeded 
    • I've obviously missed today's announcement. What have they been given this time?
    • Honestly after today’s announcement, can Auckland/Ellerslie be given anything else/more? Who's paying for it? Answer: The rest of the country, ie the punters. No one else. Certainly not the glitzy crowd lead by the Boys get Paid and the Girls get Laid. 
    • I should have read your post before posting mine. But one question; how do you get 4 answers in a threefold answer?
    • Does B Butt train on the beach? I can't imagine there will be many NZ Cup lead in races at Alex Park this year either. 
    • I have made a mistake, I believed the HRNZ figures, the Funding figure for Friday the 2nd of February ATC meeting is clearly wrong, the HRNZ Funded Stakes was $531,253, so the approximate Funding figure will be $561,253, not the $259k listed, which will give the meeting a LOSS of $380,253 ( not the $108,000 as above ) This additional $200,000 Loss, and all the actual performance percentage figures, will not be included in the cumulative performance figures for ATC, or for the North region, in the HRNZ stats, when they correct these figures they may as well add the last 3 months stats as well!
    • The bad weather was predicted for tomorrow (Friday). In fact, the Winter Art Deco celebrations in Napier for Friday were postponed on Wednesday because of the shocking Friday forecast. Now the weather forecast for Friday is good
    • Was the rain not predicted? Quite a serious question. I don't follow HB weather forecasts. Surely if someone at NZTR was responsible for tracking weather forecasts and was aware of the state of the HB track leading into the rain they would have made the decision yesterday to move the meeting to Woodville or the AWT? That's the way they do it in Victoria. We may have a different approach, or no approach.
    • Sniper at 130 meters don't you think that's very strange and even worse there was a threat of an Iranian assassination plot not long before yet security was lax to say the least , I guess Bidens task would have been a lot easier if Super Don wasn't around , you don't think the security failure was deliberate do you NAH the dems wouldn't do that would they 
    • Would that have stopped the overnight rain at Hastings ??
    • Nothing about this is funny.  If it was any other sport or industry there would be announcements about staff being let go due to incompetence. Just wait a couple of days until NZ Cricket announces that all management, coaching and selection personnel involved in women's cricket have been sacked. Exactly the same thing should happen in Racing.
    • Very interesting reading in the case of Mr Robert Pringle amazing how many ways his dog could have returned a positive to Cobalt when it was clearly labeled to be in the product he was giving his dog. As for giving it two times a day and then 4 to 6 hours before a race I thought you were not permitted to administer any products on race day. Then to say 6 or 7 trainers in Canterbury are using this product he is just giving the people who are trying to shut your industry down more evidence of trainers using  band substances yet again another bad look
    • Albeit that did happen several days later, but Timaru was abandoned during the meeting. And new fields were taken.. In Victoria they virtually always decide the day before if a meeting looks suspect and make a quick decision regarding alternatives. Look at Donald/Warracknabeal last weekend Of course in Victoria they are all about managing the racing programme and structure. In NZ all we are interested in is a new slot race, some sweepstakes and a new bonus series for some obscure set of races. In Australia they are all about the structure of racing being most important, and anything else is a bonus. In NZ nobody appears to give a stuff about the structure of racing as long as we have a couple of wank meetings in Auckland each year. The industry won't survive on that basis. It has just occurred to me there might be some poor bastard sitting in a corner at NZTR who's prime interest is making sure the scheduled race meetings go off as planned. When things look suspect he probably looks around the room and sees everyone else busy planning a new slot slot and a $1m bonus series for horses who mange to run fifth in a designated series of maiden races at Pukekohe with a $9m final at Ellerslie, with a proviso that the final gets transferred to Waverley if Ellerslie is out of action. He probably comes on here and posts as Family Friend when he gets frustrated. And Jools is probably his typist, who spends most of her days correcting his grammar. You can see why she gets pissed off.
    • Yes, there PR has been somewhat OTT, but as PakStar noted above, the covering of two local meetings on the same night [as opposed to one Thursday night and one Friday night] is very much different to the past. More Trackside staff involved, both on track and in the studio, more interviews and more info - a huge improvement from how harness racing has been treated in recent years. If you're not watching regularly l can understand why you wouldn't notice any difference. Having two locals meetings meant it was virtually wall to wall local racing without the evening being 80% full of racing from places we've never heard of, and generally don't want to see either. The sort of crap that makes one tune out and don't even end up supporting the local product either. It certainly helps to generate some interest, especially during the winter months when the stars are all in the spelling paddock. 
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