Thoughts & Musings 11th Aug

Sandown Sunday had me almost jet lagged through the week. Monday felt like Thursday and I felt like  Saturday was just around the corner. Sandown is where I have and I hope I will always spend my Wednesdays. The Cranbourne midweek meeting had plenty of juice in it. R2 Infuential Jack came from a strong non-maiden at Sandown vs most coming from maiden events (slow maidens). It got D.Lane on after being CAST 4 wide the trip under Linda at Sandown, and the horse clocked the fastest L400m of the race at Sandown. They went up $4 and I let rip. Like most Wednesdays the potential fatness hinged on 1 or 2 horses. Today it was Influential Jack and Germanotta, much like Think’n’Fly the previous Wednesday at Sale. 

I’ve only got 20 minutes in the car to Cranny so the tunes need to be spot on. I went with Kings of Leon; it did the job. Nicko was on course betting with me and watching almost all the yards together. He missed R8 and I wasn’t sure where he’d been ‘til I returned to our betting base to see the big unit with his head in his hands. My initial thought was that he’d backed one that should’ve won but didn’t in Sydney. The younger the punter the wider they bet, they bet less but they bet so much more; the sickness is strongest in people like Nick. Young Nick, however, a little like Diamond Grace in the last, he knuckled on his  way to the mounting yard and went arse over head, rolling his ankle in the process. He was carrying on like he’d been shot and it topped off a great day for me. 

Race 1 from Cranny will produce winners. So He Rules will go up too short next time, Influential Jack is worth following through its next prep and C.Hefel’s ride in the last was outstanding. 

Awful weather leading into the weekend, and for Saturday it was an easy drive in to the soundtrack of Neil Finn and Crowded House. Cold ‘n’ wet but keen to bet. Royal Flemington. If the powers that be had a top 5 priority list I don’t think betting, turnover, punters or bookmakers would be on it. The ring is cold, wet and empty. The 2 big dawgs at the VRC were doing radio interviews whilst the new big ‘n’ shiny P&O cruise ship grandstand was being evacuated 5 mins before r1. It was peak racing. Something for which they are in charge of is failing and they are ignoring it whilst speaking about them and their brands in a positive light and speaking essentially to themselves. There’s obviously nothing either of them could’ve done in that situation but I found it funny. And despite the P&O cruise ship being evacuated, the bookies ring was still somehow empty. 

We had a 3 man team for Flemington; myself, Josh and Rosco. The succulent chicken sandwich thing Ros supplied was as good as I’ve had and he keeps his spot just off the back of that. He also got some mandarins for me to eat during the day. When I asked for them he didn’t know firstly, what they were and secondly, where to find them. 

The day was ticking over very nicely, as we got something out of each of the early races. Movers bets were: Vegas Knight $12, Ruben Bleu $14 and Vinland $6.5. Vegas should’ve won and made it 3 from 3 but 2 from 3 at those odds and we were flying after race 4. 

Scotty Cameron (trainer of I Boogi) might question the stewards himself after he was questioned last week for the 2 length improvement of his horse whilst the r1 winner at valley who improved 9 lengths wasn’t. Again this week, Charossa sits 3wide no cover for 2000m on a heavy 8 and wins by 2 lengths. Improved 9 lengths off its last start. No questions. Herculean effort considering the horse hadn’t broken benchmark at it last 4 starts. Must be the tasty Adelaide water direct from the Mighty Murray. 

Dwayne copped it from the $20 multi punters for sitting, waiting and waiting on Assertive Approach, as 1st and 2nd gapped the rest. Assertive Approach went 9 lengths faster to the 600m than its last start, that’s 9 lengths faster than last start over 400m, and over 3 lengths faster than it has ever gone early. Assertive Approach recorded its personal best figure on Saturday, improving its best by just over a length. The Inevitable recorded a big new peak and considering its previous peak was over 1400m, it’s a pretty special training performance 1st up over 1000m. The horse might be a star. 

The low point for me and mine came in race 7. I feel like I have a good read on My Pendant from the yard and I’ve seen her parade much better. Special Diva was perfection. Given this and my speed map I decided to bet and bet hard. Special Diva would’ve made a great day a great month! I felt like we were gone from about the 400m as Olly did Olly things to My Pendant. I honestly believe that if any other rider was on My Pendant then Special Diva wins. Race 8 the Aurie Star, I found So Si Bon in the numbers but couldn’t trust it enough to allocate any units. He’s a quality type who’s always shown ability. It was a proper training performance and a strong ride. Malibu Style is a horse I’d love to own, always tries and was given a strong ride by D.Lane. Drawn inside he still found the ‘A’ ground in the the last 400m. Seaburge might be back, the old boy knuckled down and beat Milwaukee to the line, “chased the line”. 

We broke even again with the units from the Mounting Yard, been a theme for last couple, bit like TheValley last week. If one of the horses we backed which run 2nd win it’s xmas but we break even and keep punching. I hope our punters found some value and played some exotics, we landed a few. 

Movers continued to deliver. It was an enormous week and long may this run continue, but like anything, “this too will pass”; we ride the lows and we enjoy the highs. 

The team is firing and we learn each and every day. A big spring ahead for TheMailBag. 


Yours in Racing, 

Jack Dickens. 


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