Bits and Pieces From Around the Traps

Who aid That the Chinese Ever Stopped Sailing Junkets?

Eliza Park/Sun Stud are in the eye of the needle after allegations were aired on 60 Minutes last Sunday night about the stud’s owners alleged links to money laundering for Asian criminal syndicates.

Our spies tell us that the Federal and State authorities are presently taking a very close look at money trails connected to very prominent recent comer to the Queensland racing and breeding scene, an outfit that seemingly came out of nowhere to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the thoroughbred industry after the company’s principal originally tried sought a casino license but got knocked back after refusing to submit to the required probity checks.

If the mail we are getting is correct there may soon be some very red faces among the leaders of the local racing industry.

A Story With a Bare Head, a Beer and a Bite

In one of the more unusual cases to come before the Stewards in recent times, last week little known Gold Coast trainer Philip Kimmet was fined $2200 for riding a galloper named The Houseman down a Bundall street just before dinner time sans helmet and safety vest while carrying a beer in his hand on his way to taking the horse for a swim, and giving better-known but equally battling trainer Brian Guy a gob full along the way.

The word is that it’s very unlikely that Mr Kimmet will be receiving an invitation to Xmas drinks at the Guys this year, and vice versa.  We can only hope though that PK wasn’t about to swim his horse in the adjacent Gold Coast canal, because our clockers tell us that The Houseman isn’t fast enough to out dog paddle a whale, let alone the hundreds of hungry bull sharks living in the canal who love a feed at dusk.

The Easter Bunny Comes Early as a Dual Group 1 Winning Japanese Miler Heads to the Emerald City

As Aussie punters ignorant about international racing have learned over the past 6 months Group racing form out of Japan is at least 3-4 lengths superior to ours over here, so after today’s announcement by last year’s Cox Plate winning trainer Yoshito Yahagi that he will be bringing double Group 1 winning miler Mozu Ascot over for the Doncaster it beggars belief that the bookies are still betting $8 bucks about his chances of winning Sydney’s premiere 1600 metre feature event.

I mean we’re talking here about a horse who has run two of the world’s greatest middle-distance performers Indy Champ and Almond Eye – who in just 21 starts between them have won more than $20 million – to two lengths, and done it against Indy Champ twice. That’s better form than you will ever see in a mile race down under, and based on his 2.5 length demolition job in the Group 1 February Stakes at Tokyo the other day the lightly raced six-year-old from the Land of the Rising Sun is still improving, which is scary.

Mozu Ascot will be about 6-4 by the time the barriers fly in the Doncaster and will still be overs at that, so the $8 presently on offer is all your Easter Eggs come early in the one basket. He will win the Doncaster by panels, so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. just get on Mozu now and back him for all you can.  You won’t be disappointed.

Greg Carpenter Hands Nature Strip the Newmarket on a Platter

Musn’t Winxy Waller and the lucky connections of Nature Strip be licking their lips in anticipation and doing cartwheels down the Rosehill straight after their star sprinter copped just 58 kilos in the Newmarket after the weights were released today?

They might well just have asked the eccentric 5-year-old superstar gelding to carry a feather and a packet of Tic Tacs.

I mean let’s be serious,  we’re talking here about a flying machine who

  • Is unbeaten in four starts down the Flemington straight over distances of 1100 metres and more
  • Has won three Group 1’s and two Group 2’s
  • Gave Group 1 winners Loving Gaby, In Her Time, Alizee, Santa Ana Lane and the Bostonian a cold in beating them by three and a half lengths over the same course and distance in Melbourne’s premier sprint the VRC Classic in the Spring, when carrying half a kilo more
  • With a tiny touch of luck. instead track record setting early sectionals and a spot without cover close to the outside fence, would almost certainly have won the 2019 Everest and Doomben Ten Thousand
  • Will be ridden by one of the world’s top 5 jockeys, J-Mac
  • Is trained by one of the world’s top 3 trainers Winxy
  • Is only giving 2 kilos to Gytrash, a mudlark whose only Group win in the Newmarket was in the wet camped in the fast lane while he was stuck in quicksand on a track with a crazy-wicked bias
  • In just 21 starts won more than twice as much in prizemoney than any of his potential rivals
  • Will carry half a kilo under weight for age

Nature Strip might occasionally appear a bit of a head case, but it’s only because he hates it when riders try to choke him when he all he wants to do is run like the wind. This boy is the best sprinter in Australia by panels, and 7-4 to be the six furlong champion of the world.

Greg Carpenter has just handed Winxy and the Strip’s owner the Newmarket on a platter. Ignore the game of ducks and drakes the stable’s playing while they spread the money across Australia ready to go bang and get set. This horse is a certainty.

The Greatest Human Achievement in and Code of Racing in the 21st Century – Yet Not a Soul in the Mainstream Media is Telling You a Single Thing About It

Harness racing might not be as fashionable in certain circles as it one was, and the trots may have been relegated to the status of third-code citizens by the River City’s sole practising Racing Editor of none, but by the banks of Breakfast Creek lies the greatest story in 21st century racing.

The story is about a kid named Angus Garrard, a 16-year-old student at my old alma mater St Paul’s who last week became the youngest person in the history of harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere to win his way into the top ten of a driving premiership in a nation or State, has done it while driving on leave passes issued by his headmaster Doc Browning and bearing the handicap[ of not even being able to race at metro meetings in town.

It’s a staggering achievement and an extraordinary feat, one that places Angus Garrard right up there in rare air of juvenile racing greatness populated by the Steve Cauthens and Dexter Dunn’s and J-Mac’s of the world, yet due to the ignorance of editors, the extreme thoroughbred bias displayed by their writers, and the post-Seymour vacuum of leadership in the harness world, no-one outside the trot bubble knows a damn thing about it.

That’s a huge shame, for all things being equal Angus Garrard should be a certain top 3 contender for the 2020 Young Australian Sportsperson of the Year Award, and I’d have him up as favorite in my market to win it too; but you can’t win medals when the racing writers who are supposed to extol your sport don’t even tell the broader public your name, let alone educate them about the enormity of your achievements.

This is me trying to give them a shove, not because I have any vested interest – Angus’s grand-dad and I wouldn’t piss on each other if we were on fire – but simply because young Mr Garrard’s Top 10 entry at an age when bum fluff is still yet to sprout on his chin is an extraordinary tale of achievement that deserved to be celebrated and told.

You’ve seen the future of harness racing sportsfans.

Angus is his name.

Only Three More Sleeps Until Big Richie Gets Bitten by the Shark – At Least He Has the Hat to Look Forward To

A couple of weeks ago young Richard Callander over at Racenet put the knock on New Zealand’s best galloper Te Akau Shark, suggesting that the only way it could win the Chipping Norton this weekend was if it was racing a field full of camels.

You will remember that I immediately set the big man straight, and was rewarded by a kind and generous offer from  Callendar Jr of evens. About a horse that’s currently 6-4 in the market, or $2.83 using the bet boost on Neds.

It was with a very heavy heart that I told Richie to keep his hard-earned in his pocket, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t be backing the Shark from here until Saturday, or at least until I run out of cabbage anyway, which after spending the kids Easter Egg money on Te Akau Shark-Belle of Montana-Whiskey Riot multis and a plane ticket to Menangle in case Maggie or their mother finds out won’t be very long at all.

The light pockets will only be temporary though, for come about 9 o’çlock on Saturday night there will be first-class tickets to see the lions and zebras on safari for Africa, not that I will be allowed to go without approval from Andrea the strict probation officer, and given that I strongly suspect that I may unwittingly put my leave pass application in the wash while browsing the noms for the T.J. and the BMW that’s about a million to one and blowing like a gale.

The Shark will be blowing a gale as it storms past Group 1 winners Avilius, Fierce Impact, Happy Clapper, Homesman, Verry Ellegant and co at the 200 at Royal Randwick en-route to a giving them a four length shellacking on Saturday arvo too.

Know much about form lines? If you do, and you can spare the time, would you mind spending it schooling Richie on the subject as a favour to me?

Three weeks ago Te Akau Shark gave the high-class 4-year-old Avantage a 5 length kicking in the BCD Sprint at his first run since filling the hole in the Cox Plate. That horse came out last weekend and blitzed them in a Group 1.

He left More Wonder 6 lengths in his wake in the same race. Eight days later it lumped 61.5kg to win the Poverty Bay Cup.

Endless Drama had run 2nd and 3rd in the world famous Group 1 Irish Guineas and Lockinge as a three-year-old, won the Apollo Stakes two years back, and ran third in last year’s Straddie. It couldn’t get closer than 8.5 lengths to The Shark.

Volpe Veloce is a Group 1, 2 and 3 winner. She did marginally better, only getting thrashed by six lengths and change.

Enzo’s Lad has won a couple of Group 1’s. The gap between he and Shark was nearly seven.

Kiwi Ida had won back to back Group 2’s at it previous pair of outings, and The Mitigator had won the Group 1 Thorndon Mile. The Shark put 3.8 and 2.6 lengths on them.

Did I mention that Shark did all this with his head on his chest and the jock standing high in the irons? And that he ran his 325-125 metre split in under 11 seconds? Or that his trainer Jamie Richards advised that he was only 3/4 fit? Have you looked again on replay at his run in the Cox Plate?

I am reliably informed by my international connections that the gang who own Te Akau Shark are bringing over one of their funny hats as a gift for Richie, and that they will have promised to seek him out in the mounting yard after the Shark’s demolition job and personally plant in on his scone?

It will look great on the big man, and at least he won’t have to buy one to wear on Queen Elizabeth Day.

I wonder if it hurts getting bitten by a shark?

An Early Tip to the Wise

I don’t know where he will be running next, or when, or even if being owned by Sun Bloodstock he ever will, but if you ever see a David Hayes trained 2-year-old named Pioneer River line up in a race it will be in a Group rated qualifier for the Golden Slipper, and I strongly recommend that you let loose and load up for plenty.

I could tell you why, but then I’d be feeding you fish instead of teaching you how to catch them, so if you need anything more than my near-absolute guarantee go and have a look and work it out for yourself.

You don’t really need to though, you can trust me on this one.

This horse is the real deal.

I’ve just backed him at $101 to win a condo on Hamilton Island, and under my instructions Maggie is the manchester room of the lodge packing the sheets and pillows right now. After Belle wins on Saturday night I’ll back up and put enough more on him to grab myself a penthouse in Palm Cove too.

Kiamachi was at huge odds a month out from the Slipper last year too.

Take the tip.

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