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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/25/2019 in all areas

  1. 16 points

    Yaldhurst to Hong Kong to Ascot

    I just want to thank everyone who wished us well over the weekend with Enzo's Lad it's an amazing experience having a runner up here in an international race. The owners, Diane, Matty, Brittany and I could not have wished for better in all facets of our trip. Despite EL going in to Sunday's race very well in great order he once again showed his utter dislike for going right handed- he won't race that way again. He was well placed and traveled well to the 600m where he stumbled 2 or 3 times and that was the end. Initially I was very disappointed but after talking with J Mac, The Owners, Diane, Matt and I have made the decision to head to Ascot on 18th and 22 June. This decision is obviously made easy by the substantial incentive provided by Ascot to go there, better than winning a Listed race in NZ, its huge With HK Jockey Club paying our travel to U.K., no matter the outcome it is a great situation to be in and I am sure we will make the most of a week at the home of the sport of kings Ascot. Regarding my own health I'm going great and looking forward to May 23rd when I get "reconnected" . Hopefully I bounce through that operation in good order as I want to be buying at the Gold Coast sales in early June where I bought Enzo's Lad for $A15,000, prior to heading up to Ascot. I am traveling with EL to Mark Todds property in Lambourn tonight. I very much appreciate that we can head there initially where our horse can get a chance to get some grass under his feet and get some grass back through his system
  2. 13 points


    It’s taken me a while to put this tome together. It’s part experience, part observation and part opinion. Those farming in the Auckland or northern Waikato areas in the 50s and 60s may have come across Agronomist and farm advisor Ralph du Faur, from Papakura. My Dad sought his advice in the late 50s and though I was only about 12 years old at the time I have always remembered something he told me, have noted it over the years and found it to be particularly relevant to the state of our racetracks today. He said this: “Irrigated water comes from a well, a dam, a pond or a reservoir where it generally sits open to the sun then is pumped through a maze of pipes and sprayed onto pasture. Because of this, along the way it has lost its oxidisation and is “dead.” He likened it to flat beer. Lifeless. Sure, it keeps soil damp or moist but comparatively, the oxygen in rainfall keeps soil aerated. Debra Moss shared an historical pic recently on Facebook relating to Aussie farmers that read “despite all of our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Never was this more true here. A Racecafe post said “40 mm total in last 10 days and what is Trentham track rated - YEP - Heavy 11.” That should not be possible. In old parlance, tracks up until Easter should be somewhere between hard and fast, and easy. Those who instigated the current grading system were unaware that in rating tracks “dead” that’s exactly what they are – dead, lifeless. Fill your watering can and pour it on your driveway from as high as you can. It spreads in a mass then runs down the drain. Then watch what happens when it rains. The raindrops bounce because they are oxygenated and it’s this that keeps our soils aerated. Yes, we pour water on our gardens too but in spring we turn them over by spade or fork and open the soil up which realistically can’t happen to a race track. Many farmers irrigate their crops but in the process of grass to maize then back to grass, the ground is cultivated thus allowing nature to do its bit. Trentham was the “Champagne Turf.” It was bubbling and full of life, big crowds, big fields, best horses, fastest times. No false rails, no ‘how is the track “playing” b/s and, no irrigation and a postponed or canned meeting as rare as hen’s teeth. If it pissed with rain the track simply got deeper but racing went on and Trentham, for one, recovered to be the Champagne Turf it was always reputed to be – until irrigation. . No chance of record times on soft tracks which are now standard in summer racing. All of that is now assigned to history and for those who complain about hard summer tracks, no more horses went sore or broke down 50 years ago than do today and back then though there were fewer races, horses generally had more starts, a number of two year olds having 8, 10, 12 starts or more. Average NZ rainfall is around 50-odd inches (say 1200 mls). I would ascertain that irrigated tracks might get ten or twenty times this amount of ‘dead’ water poured on them. The sub-soil then becomes like a three-layer sponge where the chef has forgotten to add baking soda. Its like a bloody big layer of sodden blotting paper. Even sand-slitting has minimal effect when the sub-soil is like plasticine. Not being critical but do track managers ever ask themselves “Why are we irrigating? What is it we are trying to achieve?” As I said at the beginning, these are years of observations, generalisations and some opinion. I don’t have an answer but I would, first and foremost, stack the irrigator into the back of the shed and leave it there. I would then investigate the infusion of grass species suited to purpose of racing and in light of climatic conditions in different areas. This could even be a factor when setting racing dates too. It’s no secret that those who set the racing dates have little or no comprehension of any of these factors. It has taken man thirty to forty years to bugger up our racing surfaces.(a stronger term may be more appropriate). Mother nature can fix most things so I would let her do her thing bearing in mind it may take another 30-40 years for the situation to right itself, God willing that the industry can survive for that long.
  3. 9 points

    Lisa Allpress

    What is this obsession you have with Chris Dell?I will remind you that you are only as good as the stock you ride. He has had 4 rides for me this season and i cannot complain about any ride and that is hard for me to do.I watched him ride a horse called Blue Breeze and again i thought he had ridden it well My horse's owners wanted a change with a better credential jockey, the horse went worse and the same happened with Blue Breeze. The reason i put Chris on was for his work ethic, he attends the track every day, rides anything and never complains..If every jockey in NZ had his work ethic you would have to pay for stablehands to ride work, just like the old days
  4. 9 points
    Chris Wood

    Name for my horse please.

    Today’s trial was a little bit disappointing. I will tinker with his gear, and won’t name him until I am confident he can do something when he steps out. The offer I put up still stands and I will sort through the names and let you know the name I choose. I will also keep you updated as to his progress, and the gear amendments. Have a great weekend!
  5. 7 points

    Good Luck Team Pitman With Enzos Lad

    Thanks Tim yes we're going for the upset 3x I think that's what was said re his two Telegraph successes. At least we are here and loving it!!!
  6. 6 points

    Damn TAB app.

    It's driving me insane. A couple of weeks ago the TAB app stalls for me, it won't let me in for a few prime hours on a Saturday afternoon. Today, it won't let me deposit money via my VISA, even though I'm prepared to pay the unique $2-plus fee for the privilege... yet the opposition betting agency is always keen to take my money, and funny enough without any delay, or fee. Call it competition/accountability whatever. Your Identification could not be complete because of a system error. If this happens consistently please contact your CSR. No thanks. Now I'm not talking through my pocket today, the TAB saved me money by refusing to take mine. But to think $40-$50 million was or still is being spent on this betting platform, which was to ensure our TAB is internationally competitive. Really. And whilst I'm moaning where do I get a Best Bets from other than from a TAB, its been 100 years since I last bought one but today I couldn't find one at any service stations or the local dairy. Ending on a positive - My vote for Winston counted. With The Informant gone, we can still follow Brian Delore's industry updates: www.theoptimist.co.nz
  7. 6 points
    Chris Wood

    Name for my horse please.

    Afternoon all, the Swiss Ace trialed today on a reasonable surface here at Cambridge, in Heat 17. With the addition of blinkers, he jumped from the barrier and put himself in the trial, sitting 3 wide on the pace. He travelled well and gave a kick in the straight, running 3rd, a better effort. Andrew Calder rode him and said it was a good enough trial, and I am thinking a dead to slow track will suit him, so i better get in to naming mode, and we can get him registered and one lucky (well hopefully) new owner who came up with what I think is the best name will be the receipeint of a 5% share. Good luck to everyone that forwarded their choice.
  8. 5 points

    Luke Myers

    Well done to Luke Myers who recorded his first winning race day ride yesterday at Wanganui in the Amateur. Note to all professional riders: watch the replay. A great result for a bloody hard worker. I'm sure the half day off school was worth it.
  9. 5 points

    George Simon

    How could he not see him... attached is proof that he was easy to see.!!! Saw this print on Trade Me a few years ago and just had to have it.... sits on my wall just above my computer. Its an Alistair Simpson print, an Aussie guy who'se apparently done quite a few like this.
  10. 5 points

    Show some guts Scooby

    I cannot believe the childish, vindictive, trivial nonsense going on here. Grow up!
  11. 5 points

    Kentucky Derby Coverage

    My pleasure to give you my thoughts on racing here in the US. You already know how I feel about DQ rules. Because of my worldwide travels, I think we could learn a lot concerning how racing is conducted around the world. Santa Anita - Maybe they were damn unlucky. They worked and re-worked the tracks. They have some of the best out there. Lots thought that the foundation was never addressed when they removed the polytrack a few years ago and that may have been the problem when they had an excessive amount of rain this past winter. Now that the rains have let up, they haven't quite had the problem/deaths they were having. Drug Rules - I wish we followed the rest of the world's standard. Get rid of race day meds, re. Lasix. I had a horse (stakes winner) ran better without it. The sport did fine before it was permitted. Track closures - We haven't had many, mostly the smaller venues/fair track. We lost the two in South Dakota due to their state funding. The stink of that is that their government "stole" around 2 million dollars (I think it was in the early 2000's). Now when the are struggling a bit, they don't want to support racing. Lots of good local people/volunteers at the local level trying to effect change and re-boot in 2020. We will lose Suffolk Downs (Boston) after this year due to commercial development (Avondale watch out-residential), but there is talk that one of their defunct tracks, Great Barrington Fair, is considering renovation and will pick up their dates. We lost racing in Portland Meadows earlier in the year for commercial redevelopment, but another Oregon track, Grants Pass, is looking to pick up their dates and there is talk of building a replacement just outside Portland. We lost Hazel Park (Detroit), last year, but racing in Michigan just isn't well supported. They had a number of closures (Great Lakes Downs, Mount Pleasant Meadows, and Pinnacle) over the past ten years or so. But we got one back this year in Arizona. Yavapai Downs is re-opening/re-branded as Arizona Downs in the Prescott Valley (lovely little place). The really good news is that none of our "major" tracks haven't closed lately, less Hollywood Park a few years ago. With the Preakness running a week from Saturday, you may here that Pimlico (Baltimore) should be closed and the race moved to Laurel (midway between Baltimore and Washington DC). I've been to Pimlico (ran there a couple of times) and yes, it's in "the hood" and is in drastic need of investment to improve the grounds/stands, but Pimlico (to me) is a national treasure. It was built in another time and has so much history attached to it. I hope the powers that be in Maryland will do what's necessary to keep it in place. Racinos - I think they are great! The track that I "cut my racing teeth on", Penn National (Pennsylvania) is a now a racino (I now make my home in Orlando, Florida). Racing was in great shape before state and national lotteries; and other stand-alone casinos came on line around the mid-1980s. Racinos have kept so many tracks afloat/succeed. For me, it was a way to level the field when the revenue that was going into racing was taken from them by other forms of legalized gambling. The states that were willing to work with the racing industry, by placing a full-service casino/slots/card room, and funneling a percentage of profits back to racing are either doing alright or thriving. This is one model that the rest of world could model from the US. Co-Mingling of National Pari-Mutual Wagering Pools - I know you didn't ask about this, but I am compelled to offer you my thoughts on it. I LOVE racing in the UK, Ireland, France, Australia, and of course, New Zealand. The problem is that I cannot wager directly into their national Tote/PMU/TAB pools. When I bet on races in these countries here, my bets go to a wagering hub (I think it is located at Woodbine/Canada) and these pools are small and sometimes not worth betting in to. Many people here in the US are turning to punting on racing in Hong Kong because they allow us to wager directly into their pools, which day-to-day, are the biggest in the world. Top Meetings - It seems they are doing as well as ever. Probably the biggest success story is Oaklawn (Arkansas). For their location, the purse structure is on steroids. The triple crown races and preps; the graded races and Breeders Cup are doing well; though the TC and BC only get national network television coverage. World's Best Tracks - Yes, we have some of the best and when I say this you might think "this guy is full of ****". I've been racing in 17 countries (to correct what I wrote in my first post) and have visited 376 thoroughbred racecourses/12 in New Zealand (I was in/am retired from the US Navy, living in Scotland, Australia, and Belgium; tried really hard to get posted in Christchurch when we had a unit there) and I've seen many of the best in world, less UAE, Hong Kong, and Japan (though I know there are still a few out there in countries that I have visited, example Ellerslie, Flemington). In the US, I would put these at the top of my list: 1) Del Mar, So. Cal, 2) Arlington Park, Chicago, 3) Saratoga, New York, 4) Santa Anita, So Cal, and 5) Keeneland, Kentucky. These would easily fall into my top 5% of racecourses visited. Racing in New Zealand - I made a long overdue visit in Feb/Mar 2018. My visit was awesome and my hosts are each racecourse extended exemplary hospitality (much better than I get here at home). I even had a look at Taupo and Thames, who were not racing. Sad to hear that Thames will be closing. For me, it is disgusting decision, lovely little track and town. My favorite was Te Aroha, but I greatly enjoyed my visit at each of the other 11. Can't wait to get back there. Someday, I will get around to write a post concerning my visit and the track closure decision there that was announced a few months ago. Crikey, that got long, but I hope you will find my response interesting and illuminating.
  12. 5 points
    slam dunk

    George Simon

    I backed Waverley Star. Still ropable that Bill Collins never saw Bonecrusher.
  13. 5 points

    Kentucky Derby Coverage

    This is in response to Tauhei Notts. This is my first post, so I hope his/her quote will show up in my post. I believe that Maximum Security should have kept the race. Having been racing in 18 countries (including your beautiful one) most subscribe to the Category 1 rules on DQs, in that, if contact occurs, but does not impact the outcome of the race, the winner keeps it. In the US, we follow Category 2 rules on DQs and will freely DQ a winner despite the fact that it did not affect the outcome of the race. My conclusion comes from the uneven nature of the racing surface as a result of the deluge of rain leading up the race. Maximum Security's contact was not the only contact in the race, but was the most noticable. Very simple, I don't think he was getting a hold of the track, but their is a new video showing that War of Will maybe have made impact on MS's back legs when he moved out to go around MS. Disregarding that for the moment, I will post my analysis in debating the DQ with another person on a US forum who supported the DQ. I hope you find it useful. Here goes: Concerning Long Range Toddy, I'm sure the "tap" that War of Will gave him at the 3/8th pole didn't help and may have started his demise. Also keep in mind, if Long Range Toddy was fast enough, he would have never lost his position off of Maximum Security's right flank, by allowing War of Will to squeeze by. Long Range Toddy had already started to weaken out of the race. The contact at the 5/16th pole just hastened his retreat. He was never going to contest the finish of the race.By the time they hit the quarter pole Maximum Security, Code of Honor, War of Will, and Country House were all in full stride. It looked to me that Code of Honor had Maximum Security by about a head, with Country House a neck behind Maximum Security and War of Will about 3/4 length behind Maximum Security. War of Will was never 5 lengths back after the contact, maybe 1 1/4 length at best. He lost maybe a 1/2 length in the contact and was beaten 4 1/2 lengths at the finish.So at the 1/4 pole, we have 4 horses across the track within a length of each other. Each horse had a fair opportunity to win. Only Maximum Security and War of Will were affected by the contact. Country House may have had to go one more path wide but never lost momentum and was continuously ridden. Also while approaching the 1/4 pole it looked like Country House came in a bit and gave War of Will a "tap". Though the video angle is not the best (no head on available).From the 1/4 pole on, the afore mentioned 4 horses all, if good enough, could win.At the 1/8 pole, Maximum Security had gone clear of Country House by a length, with War of Will and Code of Honor 1 1/4 behind. At this point, Gafflione stated that War of Will was done. He could not match the pace of Maximum Security and was never going to beat him. He discussed as much with Casse, that's why no objection from them.At the 1/16 pole, Maximum Security has extended his lead over Country House to what looks like 1 1/2 length with Code of Honor passing War of Will about 2 lengths back.At the Finish, Maximum Security is still extending his lead to win by 1 3/4 length over Country House with Code of Honor beaten in third by 2 1/2 lengths.Just out of curiousity, I just read the Equibase chart. What a piece of fiction, expecially concerning BodeExpress. Again, he felt the knock on effect when War of Will came out and tapped Long Range Toddy, who in turn tapped BodeExpress at the 3/8 pole. BodeExpress took up slightly during the subsequent contact, but he was already done by that point and was never going to figure in the finish. Equibase is a free US racing website that provides the offical post race charts and other great statistical information. I hope my post was helpful.
  14. 5 points
    Red Rum

    Unlucky Felaar

    Agree , I cannot see the issue , had some interference given easy time up straight , put a line through run and judge it on its merits next time . What's the owner supposed to say , the horse is shit but I just keep it in training anyway , just to make people happy . He is a decent horse .Like the owner or not like the owner don't mean shit when assessing a racehorse.
  15. 5 points
    Chris Wood

    Commentator Warrnambool

    I reckon he is great, he makes the Bool!
  16. 5 points
    Baz (NZ)

    Enzos Lad on the plane tonight

    I'll be happy if mine gets to Castle point beach races!
  17. 5 points
    Chris Wood

    Te Rapa track?

    Still a bit of kickback yes, the wrong grade of sand was put on sometime ago. Dont blame the new curator, doing a good job along with the experienced staff there. Sadly it will take time, the rail will probably be shifted out with the prevailing forecast. Still one of the better winter tracks! Sadly Ellerslie didn’t go with the Strathayr surface, bypass time will start soon for the annual migration to Ruakaka! Should be Racing there every second Saturday especially with the fantastic tie ups. People go to Alexandra Park every Friday, habit I suppose, most casual racing fans wouldn’t know when they raced at Ellerslie apart from their premier days! Great track, great facilities, utilise the place!
  18. 5 points


    But with a 50M $$$$ website why should you have to !!!!!!
  19. 5 points


  20. 5 points

    True Story...almost.

    Come on Scooby….we want to see some of the juicy bits. It's like reading a never ending story and for light hearted entertainment let the juices flow on this one....
  21. 5 points
    Chris Wood

    Name for my horse please.

    Some beauties there Team, he will trial tomorrow and I will sort through the names over the weekend, and advise on what name takes the cake. Keep them coming, and I will give you an update tomorrow after he trials.
  22. 4 points
    He was ok, got back and wide but was strong late. I think he was 6th but with a bit more luck he’s 3rd or 4th. He’s no 2yo.....in England they’d call him a “back end” baby and run him in a nice maiden at Newmarket just for practice. He’s that sort of horse. He’s more a miler type and will be a nice guineas horse next year. One thing he has got in spades is attitude, as in great attitude. He’s got a bomb proof temperament and I personally think that’s a very valuable trait.
  23. 4 points
    You beat me to it Matt. Neil has some serious issues with a certain stable and he is not alone. Not even independent facts from others will sway his type so dont waste your time on him and his ilk
  24. 4 points

    Unlucky Felaar

    Double header or tag team Leo and Trump v Thommo and Sunboy. Main Event . Prob be picked up by the big channels. Comedy ones he ha
  25. 4 points

    Brian Martin

    Mate... Each to their own, I appreciate that, but wow... I consider Brian Martin better than anyone we have going around at the moment. I respect everything that Roso and co. have contributed to the industry since Brian's departure and even before, but man oh man.. Bring him back lol, for the delight of many others as well as myself!