Hot times for Jamie Kah

Jamie Kah.

Fellow punters it was a funny old day at Flemington with such an early start to the races to beat the 36-degree heat, but it was James Cummings and Jamie Kah’s day, winning the historic Group One Newmarket with three-year-old colt Cylinder.

Cummings and Kah doubled up to win the Group Sires Produce Stakes with the well named Traffic Warden – sired by Street Boss. And the heiress of the saddle, Jamie Kah, rode three winners on the day. Your bikkie tins should be bulging if you followed her.

I didn’t miss the run of the Danny O’Brien-trained Young Werther in the Australian Cup Prelude. He won well. Stick with him.

A day of turn-ups at Randwick on Saturday. The hotpot Think About It got cleaned up by Lady Laguna in the Group One Canterbury Stakes, beaten by a fair way, while favourite Militarize was just rolled by a lip by Celestial Legend in the Group One Randwick Guineas.

The run of the day was the unbeaten Waller colt Switzerland in the Todman. The Golden Slipper in a fortnight will be one for the ages – Storm Boy versus Switzerland. Two terrific colts. To my mind, there’s a cigarette paper between them. Can’t wait to see that clash. 

I hate to rain on last Saturday’s Gold Coast stand-alone QTIS Jewell Race Day, but it was ordinary racing, featuring ordinary horses, on a bad track. Les Ross, god bless him, had seven starters in the two year old race…?.

Watching the kick back from the track on TV was an eye opener. No wonder there were plenty of strange results on the day.

To my mind, it was only a notch higher than mid-week Brisbane metro racing. I guess if you have a horse racing for inflated prizemoney you would reckon the concept is better than sliced bread. Let’s face it, it was another sale-related race program, coinciding with the Magic Millions March sale. Every state has got them, but Queensland has two, both at the Gold Coast. Say no more.

As time goes by, I’m more certain that the people doing the programming at Racing Queensland haven’t got a clue. Last Saturday there were meetings

at Ipswich, Esk and Toowoomba – all only 45 mins from each other. It would have been better to transfer last Sunday’s Poly Track meeting at the Sunshine Coast to Toowoomba Sunday.

There must have been huge pressure on stables, vets, float drivers and race day staff. I do however give them credit for putting this week’s Warwick meeting on at that time.

Tom Button, now based at Bowen, is a young horse trainer on the up. Most young trainers would give Bowen a miss, but Tom saw it as a good jumping off spot for his team of horses that race weekly in Rocky, Mackay and Townsville.

He kicked off his training career in Rockhampton after spell working in the mines and originally being a jockey indentured to his father. Young Button regularly brings his QTIS horses to Brisbane to race. His best horse to date is Cocobrew Express. One thing I’ve observed is when the money is on Button’s horses they inevitably race very well. Follow him with confidence.

The old Coat Tugger’s Crystal Ball was running hot last week. In last week’s edition of Ridges I forecast that stallion Exceed and Excel was close to being pensioned off from stud duties, and lo and behold he was. The big bay stallion will be sorely missed as he was a perennial champion stallion of two year olds in Australia, but by God he has earned a break – 20 seasons at stud and for 16 of those years he also shuttled to Ireland as is often the case, smack back on the heels of that announcement his son Cylinder wins a Group One.

We desperately need a national tote pool in Australia to improve odds for we poor punters.

It’s been rumoured for the last four years but is still to happen. Bigger holds are in everyone’s best interests, including governments.

The TAB and TATTS pools need to be merged. Only last year all the world totes got together for a one-off World Pool for the Lightning meeting and the results were extraordinary. Big punters who can’t get set with the corporates all jumped in. Let’s bring it on.

Horse racing and wagering in China from April 2026, how would you be? The racecourse is at Conghua, 200k from Hong Kong in the old Canton Province. It comes as the Chinese Communist Party has said it will close racing in Macau from next year. The $3.7b facility at Conghua has been operating for seven years as a satellite training facility to Sha Tin. Horses are shuttled by float between the two facilities.

I was very lucky to attend race meetings at both Happy Valley and Sha Tin within the last 10 years (my memory escapes me for the

actual year) and was just blown away by how big racing was in Hong Kong – not just wagering, but huge crowds. Now that the Chinese Government has loosened the reigns at Conghua and racing kicks off in two years’ time, God knows how big horse racing will get up there.

“What happened to you Mick” asked Paddy, as Mick was sporting a black eye. “Well”, said Mick, “The dog was barking loudly to be let in the back door and the wife at the front door. She’d been out shopping”, “Yes?” said Paddy. “Well I let the dog in first and when I let the wife in, she had dropped the groceries and it was a bit of a mess but eventually inside. “Yes?” “Well she asked why I let the dog in first. I told her that well I knew the dog would shut up when I let him in.”