Another sad loss for Australia this week, as former trainer, Melbourne clerk of the course, and sidekick of 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero, Graham Salisbury, passed away from cancer aged 76.
In a sea of crap that usually surrounds Australian racing, Graham was a genuine hero.
I’d say the sheer outpouring of emotion and respect towards Salisbury shows the enormous regard that people in Melbourne, Victorian, Australian and even international racing held him in, not just for his work on course, but for what he accomplished promoting the game alongside the grey known as ‘Subby’ for 25 years, doing what they could to give joy to the average yobbo, schoolkids, sick kids, the elderly, and even Hugh Jackman, which helped give the Cup-winning grey a cult hero status.
I also genuinely didn’t think Subby, having made it to 31 and having his own health battles, would outlive Graham, and I suppose Graham got his wish that “I hope I go before him, because I couldn’t live without him.”
Hopefully Subby can hang on for a few more years, because they’ll both leave a hole that can’t be filled.
Trying to move on, and there’s just on a month remaining in this turbulent racing season, and I imagine there’s going to be a few lucky nags counting down the days to their birthday.
This week, it’s black type action aplenty – The Listed W.J. McKell and the Civic Stakes at Rosehill, the Group 3s of the Premiers Cup and the Sapphire Stakes at Doomben, and to round off the afternoon, it’s the G3 Strickland Stakes at Belmont, which is technically in Burswood.
I got a history lesson this week – Sir William McKell was the Governor-General of Australia at one point, which was only the third-greatest honour of his life, behind getting a knighthood and the Sydney Turf Club naming a race after him.
Roheryn (No.4, Barrier 4) in Race 5 at Rosehill, 1:55pm AEST
1100m De Bortoli Wines Handicap (BM94)
Trainers: James Cummings, Hoop: James McDonald, 55.5kg
Time for the Ride of the Roheryn.
The latest Godolphin horse to end up in the Chalk Eaters hasn’t raced since March, when he was running in Benchmark 88s behind the likes of Trumbull and the late Vegadaze, and it appears James Cummings decided against preparing the gelding for a crack at the Civic Stakes, to instead have a crack at winning what looks a very competitive Benchmark.
Currently, there’s only 20c splitting the first 3 in the market, and it’s $18 the field…. But I’m odds on to get my fingers burned having a go at this, especially if Time To Reign randomly returns to form for the first time since he won a Silver Slipper.
The major stat that has attracted plenty of attention for Roheryn is that of his 4 wins, he’s won 3 times from 3 appearances 1st Up, which obviously suggests he’s at his best fresh.
He’s also won on a Heavy track before, and the ever unreliable speed map for Race 5 shows at least 5 of the 8 horses going helter skelter for the lead, which would conceivably allow a horse like Roheryn to get a cart into the race and put in a big finish.
If he’s actually close enough on the turn.
The other facet to this race is that James McDonald has been given the job, and he’ll be riding with the NSW stewards applying a blowtorch to his backside, after getting charged for a dodgy steer on Threeood last weekend.… which has ended with him being outed for 3 weeks.
If he buggers this up, he’s gonna have more than stewards hunting him down.
Look at me, sticking my neck out and going for a $4.80 shot.
Harbour Views (No.4, Barrier 10) in Race 8 at Caulfield, 4:05pm AEST
Trainer: Matthew Williams, Hoop: John Allen, 60kg
Ah, Harbour Views.
When I back him for a win, he runs a place, and when I tip against him, he wins in a jog trot and looks as pretty as his name.
Or, in terms of actual Harbour Views, I’m expecting Sydney Harbour, and I get Newcastle instead.
The ‘boom’ gelding went out to 2040m for the first time at The Valley last start and won with little resistance, and in what could be best described as Winter horse hype, the gelding’s trainer Matty ‘Beetroot’ Williams believes that despited being protected from the big boys, he potentially still has “Lengths up his sleeve” and could push for a start in the Feehan Stakes in September, and a potential Cox Plate spot, but instead of putting the horse before the cart, it’s probably best to deal with the immediate threat of Caulfield being Caulfield.
It’s fair to say the Irish have had their reputation in Melbourne smeared in the last week thanks to the Conor McKenna crisis nearly bringing down the AFL season, even though he may or may not have tested positive to COVID-19 in the first place, and I believe John Allen can go a long way to rectifying that situation if he doesn’t go crazy on a horse he knows quite well.
Rising 4 kilos and getting an awkward Barrier 10 – Piece of piss.
Mississippi Delta (No.8, Barrier 4) in The Strickland Stakes at Belmont, 2:42pm AWST (4:42)
2000m Weight-For-Age Group 3
Trainer: Grant & Alana Williams, Hoop: W.Pike, 57kg
“The Shtrickland Shtakes – What a shuper race here Tappy!”
A positive from the travel lockdowns and WA becoming a 21st century geographical West Berlin is that the feature racing in Perth this autumn/winter has been the best in many years, and the same cast of characters have turned the Belmont group features (The Sprint and The Hyperion) into some entertaining races.
So far, they’ve ended the exact same way – The Velvet King gets well backed and does the donkey work up front, and the unfancied Perfect Jewel cuts him down and wins in the shadows of the post.
As someone who has actively avoided them, it’s been gripping television.
Looking at the market, this time it appears the punters have finally given some respect to Mr Peters’ mare, and the result is that she’s favourite for Round 3, albeit in another very hot contest for favouritism.
Me being me, I’ll go another way, and avoid both Perfect Jewel and Velvet King.
Perfect Jewel is a mare in form and she’s taken to Belmont like a pig to excrement, and the ruler of Velvet can win, as can Gatting, but, there’s another Peters mare in this race, ready to fire 3rd Up and out to an ideal 2000m.
WAIT A MINUTE.
HOW THE HELL DO I ALWAYS END UP HERE.
FINE, HERE’S A PHOTO OF MY HERO.
Silkinize (No.4, Barrier 2) in Race 8 at Belmont, 4:20pm AWST (6:20)
1000m Crown Perth Handicap
Trainer: David Harrison, Hoop: Paul ‘The Pontiff’ Harvey, 57.5kg
It looks like a gripping 1000m race (The Gabster says dodn’t bet) that could very well be fought out between cult heroes The Pontiff and The Wizard aboard Silkinize and Devoted Star respectively, and in order to avoid 2 Pike jokes in the same Chalk Eaters, I’m going straight for the corner of Australia’s favourite holy hoop.
Yep, we’re going balls out now.
This is a rare sighting of the all-time great Paul Harvey in the Chalk Eaters, last seen when Ascot got called off in December during a heatwave after I had a cracking joke prepared, and despite his place in punting history as The Pontiff, he still can’t crack a winner for me on here.
Then again, it did take Pikey about 5 months to finally perform for me, so it goes to show that not everyone can boot home a $2 winner on their first go.
With his best days behind him, The Pontiff is doing plenty of riding for David Harrison, who is no relation to Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads, and they struck at Belmont last week with Cryptic Love, and they’re in a seemingly good spot to strike again with the 3-year-old, back for his first start since Christmas, after a spring that included him defeating older horses in a Class 3 at Bunbury.
Silkinize warmed up with a Lark Hill on the 2nd of June, confirming he’s still in good order, and obviously there are plenty of question marks:
This is a 1000m race – The Gabster urges me to never bet in 1000m races.
Silkinize has never run over the 1000m.
Should I care?
No, because it’s damn funny when I fail.
The Cheetah’s Tip Of The Day
“Chris said Wu Gok can’t win” Race 6 at Rosehill, 2:30pm AEST
2000m Listed W.J. McKell Cup
Trainer: Chris Waller, Jockey: Adam Hyeronimus, 61kg
G’day folks, Cheetah here, back for my last appearance in this informative tipping guide that I’ve never heard of or read.
Once again, myself and my associates are getting set for another big Saturday, and I’ve cast my eye over the Rosehill meeting, and a race that’s caught my eye is this Listed McKell Cup.
I’m interested in plonking the syndicate’s cash on Wu Gok after he pulled out a victory last start, but just to make sure, I was on the phone to my trusty associate, who, for legal reasons, is known as ‘Anthony’, to see if he’d been on the phone to Chris Waller.
‘Tony’ said he had.
I asked Tony if he could divulge what Chris had told him.
That’s enough for me.
Enjoy your Saturday ladies and gents, wherever you may be.
Cheetah, signing off.
Good lord, you want to talk about completely uninspiring tipping days, THIS is an uninspiring tipping day.
Categories: Horse Racing