stodge

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stodge last won the day on January 2

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  1. A couple of things have piqued my interest and thought I would bring into this thread. First, PROBABEEL has been invited to come to Royal Ascot in June for the Queen Anne. Having won the Might & Power and run fifth in the Cox Plate, you'd see why a stiff 1600m at Ascot might be absolutely ideal. To be fair, STATE OF REST (now owned by Teme Valley Racing) is rated 120 so that puts PROBABEEL in the mid-110s over 2000m but the form to this observer suggests a better rating at 1600m. Second, we've had the entries for the Saudi Cup and MISHRIFF is bidding to win the race for a second
  2. Not the busiest of weekends in the UK coming up. The main fixtures on Saturday are at Kempton and Warwick. Just four go in the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton over 4050m. The ground has dried to Soft, Good to Soft in places. Top rated and favourite is MISTER FISHER for whom this will be a drop in grade after contesting races like the Ryanair, the Betway Bowl and last time the King George and, to be honest, he's been well found out at Grade 1. ROUGE VIF is a 3200m chaser who likes the ground really quick so I'm doubtful about him on this and he was well beaten at Chel
  3. The Meydan Carnival kicks off this Friday - it's a long journey to Dubai World Cup night on March 26th. For the first time, the Carnival meetings will be on Friday for the most part - they've previously been on a Thursday but perhaps given the importance of Fridays in the Islamic calendar, the authorities think they'll get more coming on from Friday prayers to the races. The opening card features two Group 2 races - the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge is run over 1600m on the Dirt. SECRET AMBITION was a 6-length winner of the Godolphin Mile on World Cup night having been well
  4. Harry has already reported this but very sad news out of Ireland late this afternoon with Aidan O'Brien confirming the death of Oaks winner SNOWFALL. https://www.racingpost.com/news/latest/record-breaking-oaks-heroine-snowfall-suffers-fatal-injury-says-aidan-obrien/531490 Apparently she suffered a serious pelvic injury - initially the prognosis was good but her condition deteriorated so much in the past couple of days euthanasia was the only option. It's a huge breeding loss as she was a daughter of Deep Impact and arguably his most successful daughter outside the Far East (SAXO
  5. Have to say the syndicate race has received a lot of attention over here and I suspect we'll be following with some kind of race or series of races for syndicates.
  6. Not a day for the faint hearted yesterday. Heavy persistent rain from mid morning left the track at Sandown officially Heavy (in NZ terms probably a Heavy 15 !!). It was a right bloodbath for punters with the televised races from Sandown and Wincanton featuring winners at 40s and 80s thus knocking out many an accumulator. The feature chase at Sandown was for the veterans (horses aged 10 years and over) and the 40/1 winner at Wincanton was a past winner of that race, one JEPECK, who bolted up in a handicap hurdle by 20 lengths at the ripe old age of 13. More evidence (if any were need
  7. A quiet weekend coming here in the UK and Ireland - it's often a weekend disrupted by the weather but I don't think that will happen this year. 6 go in the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown for the novice hurdlers over 3200m. CONSTITUTION HILL is 2/5 favourite on the back of a really favourable impression at the last Sandown meeting winning a novice hurdle by 14 lengths. It's hard to know what to make of the form but as he hails from the powerful Henderson yard you'd think he was well above average. MR GLASS hails from the Nicholls yard and has won his hurdles starts albeit over further wh
  8. Mixed fortunes for the various race courses on New Year's Day. At Cheltenham, nearly 30,000 turned up for the traditional start of year fixture but at Musselburgh there were no spectators owing to Scotland's tougher covid restrictions. Cheltenham's card featured two Grade 2 races - in the Paddy Power Novices Chase over 4000m (a race better known as the Dipper), L'HOMME PRESSE put up a sparkling front running performance. His jumping was spot on - accurate without being flamboyant. It's likely he'll go for the 4000m novice chase at the Festival which is now known as the Turners. The proble
  9. Just to correct an error from a previous - last Saturday's card at Meydan was the first to have turf races but was not a Carnival meeting - they begin later in January. The handicaps at the non-Carnival meetings only go for £12k so the notion it's all big money racing in the UAE doesn't quite ring true. I'll pick up on the New Year's Day racing presently. A quick look ahead and Saturday's feature is the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown, a hurdle over 3200m which has doubled as a champion hurdle trial and a race for the novices in past years. The ground at Esher is currently Soft, Hea
  10. I presume this is more a comment along the lines of "any excuse for NZTR to waste more public money". Fair enough - there's plenty of information on Ireland in the report. The two key differences between NZ and Ireland are first in Ireland they race for about double the NZ prize money (and that's considered poor by international standards) and the size of the horse population which is much larger in Ireland at 7,392. That means bigger fields - 28+ in big handicaps and novice hurdles not unknown so it's even tougher to win when there are more rivals than races with smaller fields.
  11. I note the comparisons to Ireland which would seem a better parallel than Australia in terms of population. Ireland punches above its weight in the relationship with the UK in terms of the quality of the competition. It's not so much the source of horses, jockeys and stable staff it once was but it's still important. If I were NZTR I'd be looking at how Ireland operates.
  12. Yes, how could I forget BAAEED? Went from winning a Leicester maiden in June to two Group 1 successes in the Moulin and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Among the 3-y-o colt milers we can then say the first half of the season belonged to POETIC FLARE and the second half to BAAEED. Very little between them on a line through PALACE PIER, the top older miler who won the Lockinge and the Queen Anne. PALACE PIER beat POETIC FLARE a neck in the Sussex and went down by a neck to BAAEED in the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot. Both PALACE PIER and POETIC FLARE have been retired so BAAEED looks the
  13. Before throwing myself into the shark-infested waters of 2022, a few final reflections on 2021 up here. Another difficult year for the sport both from events outside its control and from some self-inflicted wounds but I think horse racing has continued to provide much valued entertainment and support throughout difficult times. The Flat season was, as always, a long and drawn out story of triumphs and disasters. Perhaps for the first time we've seen a decisive swing in the balance of power away from Coolmore and Aidan O'Brien and back to Godolphin and Charlie Appleby. Certainly
  14. I've just watched the Railway. I'll be controversial and say I thought the second ran a huge race. Came very wide into the straight and gave up a lot of ground - beaten a length and a half. Should have been closer - I don't know the jockey, Ryan Elliot, but he was four or five wide into the straight.
  15. stodge

    Taupo

    That's an incredibly good point. Over here, membership at one track in one of the racecourse owning groups as ARC or Jockey Club Racecourses, gets you entry to any meeting at the others in the group. The initial outlay might be pricey - say $800 - 1000 but it soon pays for itself if you're not forking out $40 for each meeting - the whole thing pays for itself after 20-25 meetings. ARC for example includes Brighton, Lingfield, Fontwell, Southwell, Wolverhampton, Doncaster and Newcastle so that's three all-weather venues so the total number of meetings covered would be in the hun