Not a day for hotpots

Gai Waterhouse - training tough horses.

Well fellow punters it wasn’t Fangirl’s day when top horse Think It Over nutted her in the Group One Very Elegant Stakes at Randwick.

She ran a brave second to the multiple Group One Kerry Parker-trained winner, but I can’t help thinking that her pre-race incident when she lashed out in

the day stalls and took bark of her leg contributed to her defeat.

The vet and stewards passed her fit to run, but it can’t have helped her chances. Bikkie tin’s a bit lighter. Oh well – next time.

In winning the Group One Surround stakes with Summer Squall at Randwick on Saturday, Gai Waterhouse has now trained 159 Group One winners. Unbelievable.

My mind went back to her father, the legendary Tommy Smith, and his muscle and bone approach to training. Summer Squall was just that in leading from the front and refusing to be run down. Anything she and young Adrian Bott trains is going to be rock hard fit.

Not a day for hotpots with Riff Rocket rolled by Southport Tycoon in the Group One Australian Guineas at Flemington. Riff Rocket might have been a bit stiff, being locked up on the fence, but he seemingly got out in time.

What about Jamie Kah? She could win on a broomstick at present. That’s a Group One winner two weeks in a row. Go girl.

Storm Boy just might be a super star colt, but he still has to win the Golden Slipper in three weeks’ time. In winning last Saturday at Randwick, he looked like a man amongst boys. He is a hulking colt with an already prominent stallion crest. To my mind Luskin Star is still the bench mark. My sense is

that if he wins the Slipper and Sires, he won’t race on much beyond this year’s Coolmore Stakes. He is owned by Coolmore, a very masculine horse and his mind might be distracted by year’s end. Stud beckons.

The master trainer Chris Waller‘s stable is on fire. Six winners last Wednesday at Rosehill and Doomben. In three of those races, he trained the quinella. Yes, he has hundreds of horses in work in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, but he still has to produce the goods, week on week. He has already produced the champions Winx and Verry Elleegant and is still in his 40s. He will end up being the greatest trainer of all time.

It wasn’t lost on me that there were only 82 starters over 10 races at Eagle Farm last Saturday. There were three seven-horse races, a no go for each way and place punters. Maybe it’s ten race cards , or too much racing , and or months of shockingly hot weather. Whatever it is, it can’t continue.

Just when you think you have seen everything in racing, the powers to be abandoned last Sunday’s Sunshine Coast meeting on the Poly Track – yes the Poly Track, which is supposed to be bomb-proof, to race in any condition. I was surprised when both Caloundra’s Friday night and Sunday afternoon meetings were both listed as being on the synthetic surface. Maybe they didn’t have enough starters. No reasons given. All very strange.

I reckon there would be quiet concern in the Godolphin camp over the performance of their current crop of two-year-olds; a lot short of previous seasons. I’ve previously commented on the withdrawal of Lonhro from the Darley stallion ranks due to age. Their other champion stallion Exceed and Excel is 24 this year and is close to being pensioned off. There is reason behind Sheik Mohammed’s outfit buying yearlings at the big sales from outside stallions. There was high hope for sires Brazen Beau, Astern, and Harry Angel, and while they are going well, they aren’t the dominant sires of youngsters.

It’s now down to the newest Darley sires Blue Point and Too Darn Hot, Microphone and Bivouac to raise the Darley/ Godolphin standard in the big money two-year-old racing.

In a feel-good story, journeyman jockey, 48-year-old Adam Layt is making hay since his move from Canberra to Townsville 18 months ago. He has a strike rate of 18 per cent and is riding winners at Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville. The Layt family made the long trek north for the benefit of

one of their four sons who has a significant medical condition. Let’s hope his winning streak continues.

I mentioned Fabs Cowboy a few weeks back and put the mock on him as he failed to finish in the Miles Cup. Lo and behold, he traipsed back to Mt Isa for his next start, where he duly saluted. His record now stands as 149 starts, 51 wins and 43 placings for $417k in prizemoney. The 12-year-old

gelding must be one tough horse.

Paddy and Mick are on a cruise. “Hey Mick, it’s awfully quiet on ship tonight.” “Everyone will be at the band,” replied Mick. Paddy said: “There is no band playing tonight.” Mick replied: “Well, when you were in the men’s I definitely heard some bugger yelling…. ’A band on ship’.”