Aren’t these just great colours?
I really, really like them, and the jockey stands near-perfectly in the stirrups, and the horse is really pretty too.
What happened in the race they won though is that a horse died, and that’s not pretty.
I’m sorry it had to happen in a race these really nice people won, and it’s not fair that something that had nothing to do with them happened, and will forever spoil what should have been a most joyous and memorable day.
But a horse died, and it shouldn’t have.
Callaghan Park wasn’t fit to race.
The track had been rated a Soft 6 after the morning inspection, although God only knows how given that nearly an inch of rain (19mm) had fallen on the course proper overnight.
Then around 10 o’clock on the morning of the meeting it started bucketing down, and another 1/3rd of inch (7.6mm) fell in less than half an hour.
The Stewards downgraded the track to a Heavy 8.
All went calm and sunny for a few hours, and then around the time of the first race the clouds burst open again and by the time they were racing in the 2nd it was a case of cats and dogs and can anyone see the horses.
About three fifths of an inch (15mm) of rain fell in that short time.
The winner ran 39.15 seconds for its last 600 metres in that race. Have you ever heard of one run slower?
It was time to call the meeting off.
The Stewards simply downgraded the track to a Heavy 9.
How can a track go from Soft 6 to Heavy 8 when 7.6mm of rain falls, and only go from an 8 to a 9 when the same amount falls a couple of hours later? It defies all reason and logic. A Heavy 8 track can’t cop all that extra water in the space of an hour and still be safe to race. It’s nonsense.
Race on they did though.
The 4th and 5th featured small fields, and the jockeys were going real slow around the turns (they ran 1.15.44 for the 1200m in race 4 – you could go faster on a pogo stick) – so there were no incidents, but the track was just getting wetter and wetter and something had to give, and it did.
A bunch of horses lost their footing coming onto the sharp bend just after the 700m mark as the runners started the acute right hand turn into the stretch.
One was on skates and went wide.
Another one dipped and slipped.
Then sadly, the one on its inside slid sideways, and took out legs.
A pretty little 2YO filly named Miss Magnitude died.
It’s a miracle one or more jockeys didn’t too.
The Stewards didn’t see it, or at least that’s what they claimed in the official race report that they used as a huge big blackout screen hoping nobody would see their own gross neglect and failure of duty that that set the stage on which the innocent wee filly died.
Those stipes didn’t see any horse slip, certainly not the one who must have given its jockey a near heart attack when suddenly its legs started doing the old ‘Wrecker’ Ronnie Wanless drift at the old RNA Speedway, except that Wrecker’s slide was strategic, and the horse’s was just totally out of control.
You can see it, I can see it, Blind Freddie can see it, but the Stewards couldn’t.
They crossed their fingers behind their backs and stated without equivocation that Miss Magnitude just became awkward in its stride and fell.
If you believe that, you believe Steward Tate Hudson’s CV, and that its okay for blokes who get sacked from racing integrity roles for breaking the rules big time to tell porkie pies about their past and get reemployed as an official and authorised person by a Commission that calls itself Integrity.
As they say in New Zealand, yeah right.
The stipes and a delegation of riders trudged out in the mud to have a look at the section of the track where the filly fell and fractured everything that once moved, and the jocks said it was rooted. Some wag suggested moving the rail out another ten minutes, but thanks to idiotic programming by some fool at RQ head office it was getting on dark, and they didn’t have a crane.
The Stewards called the meeting off and everyone went home.
Everyone except poor little Miss M.
Shit just happens hey fella?
No it doesn’t, no not at all.
This matter is far from over.
In fact it has only just begun.
Watch this space.