Can you be an animal activist and still support horse racing? In short, yes.
Things sure started to heat up at Warrnambool yesterday and if you followed the quaddie numbers you would have made a small profit – not a bad result considering the favourite won in three of the four legs.
We’ll have another crack at the quaddie today, but first, a reflection on yesterday’s main race, the Brierly Steeplechase.
It was a thrilling finish between Bit Of A Lad and Golde Medals down the straight, even though they were on opposite sides of the track, but the master jumps jockey Steven Pateman got the job done for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
But there was some added theatre when the connections of Gold Medals fired in a protest.
Clayton Douglas, who rode Gold Medals, said there was interference from Bit Of A Lad at both the 800 and 450-metre marks.
Gold Medals’ trainer, Symon Wilde, said Pateman was to blame.
“He’s nearly put him over the fence,” Wilde said in the stewards’ room.
“I mean that’s improper riding. That interference there has cost him three lengths.”
Chief steward James Hitchcock said stewards felt Gold Medals was momentarily tightened at the 800-metre mark and again at the 450-metre mark but considering several factors, including the length-and-a-half margin, the protest was dismissed.
Pateman accepted a proportion of blame but said most of it was because of the race leader, Newbury.
“They (stewards) called it mid-range (interference), but I would call it low range,” Pateman said.
“Newbury came across both of us after the second last and I ended up getting suspended for that. But, look, it’s part of cross-country racing.
“Newbury was coming across quite fast and Clayton (Douglas) was entitled to be there and there was some interference.
“It was definitely a bit nerve-wracking in the stewards’ room but my horse definitely deserved to win it.”
Personally, I thought the protest could have gone either way and would have liked to see the stewards uphold it, but in 2019 they tend to be ultra-conservative when it comes to changing a race result.
The action doesn’t stop there, though, because there’s another ten-race card on today and again tomorrow.
I’ve previewed today’s two feature races, as well as thrown up some quaddie numbers to keep you interested in the office on a Wednesday afternoon.
Track: Soft 7 at the time of writing.
Rail: true position entire circuit.
Race 6 at 2:05pm – $150,000 Galleywood Hurdle (3200m)
In reality, this is a two-horse race, but I suspect there’s only one winning chance if Self Sense jumps cleanly.
On the flat he has class on his rivals, having won the Mornington Cup in March and finishing fifth at Group 2 level in Sydney four weeks ago. Last year, he had three starts over the sticks for two wins and a second. If he brings his A-game today, he’s the winner.
The only horse that has a chance to beat him is Goodwood Zodiac, but realistically he’s competing for second, despite a 30-length win in his maiden hurdle win.
This race is much tougher than that race at Pakenham, although we are going to see a lot more of Goodwood Zodiac in the future.
Suggested bet: Self Sense to win.
Race 8 at 3:20pm – $175,000 Listed Wangoom Handicap (1200m)
Always a highlight of the Warrnambool calendar, the Wangoom has been won by some good horses over the years.
It feels like the 2019 edition is lacking a little bit of class, but on paper, it looks wide open.
I’m leaning towards the bush galloper I Am Someone, trained out of Horsham by Paul Preusker.
This talented gelding was beaten by Miss Leonidas in a Listed race at Caulfield three weeks ago and she was brave in defeat in a big race in town on Saturday.
I Am Someone has drawn a wide gate, so expect Dean Holland to fire out of the gates and look for an early position on the speed. If he can do that and not burn too much fuel in the process, his mount wins the Wangoom.
In a race that has plenty of speed, look for a horse like Malibu Style to be finishing over the top of them late. This Perth galloper doesn’t see many soft tracks, but likes the cut out of the ground and has been competitive at Group 1 level before.
Suggested bet: Half stake on both I Am Someone and Malibu Style to win.
The quaddie (Races 7-10)
Race 7: 3-4-6
Race 8: 1-2-7-10-11
Race 9: 5-8-12-17
Race 10: 8-9-10-14
$50 to pay 20.83 per cent of dividend
Results to date
Total spend in 2019: $410
Total return in 2019: $542
Total spend in 2018: $1000
Total return in 2018: $1445
(Based on $20 spend per selection or $50 quaddies.)