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Vale Ian Spalding

Those of us that remember Ivan Spalding, and there may not be that many now, he was riding back around the late forties.

Ivan was apprenticed to Steve Murphy at Werribee, when he joined the stable he had to compete for rides with Vin Caddy and Ken Tresize, both were established apprentices.

The lads generally lived with the trainers, that has all changed now, most of the major trainers have their horses stabled on course.

Ivan was wearing his britches out to the bare threads riding track work for Murphy, but getting no race rides.  

He was always a willing worker and outside trainers responded, he was riding work, getting a few winners, keeping the wolf from the door.

Until that fateful day in a race at Albury, when three horses crashed and two jockeys laid motionless on the track, Doug Barclay and Morrie Gray, both were killed, Ivan never forgot that tragedy, or spoke of it afterwards.


Melbourne - The Mecca of Racing

When Melbourne can have an expanded 9 days of premier spring racing, 3 days at Caulfield, 1 day at Moonee Valley, 4 days at Flemington, and 1 day at Sandown, still attracting large crowds  

While Sydney has now wrapped 4 days into 1 day, and while the prize money is still lucrative, few are sharing in it.

Yet Sydney still have 4 city courses, Randwick, Rosehill, Warwick Farm and Canterbury, that would be on the short list for possible closure, if it wasn’t for the quarantine station built there.

As for the breeding farms in New South Wales, they have been established by the pioneers that settled into the country areas, hundreds of kilometres from Sydney, but that was not always the case in Victoria, P J Arthur established Maribyrnong Park in Buckley Street   Essendon, within 10 kilometres from the city of Melbourne.


Written By - shines again

Written By returned to racing after his winter break, with a workman like display in winning the Skyline Education Foundation Plate at Caulfield.

He looked a little burly as you would imagine, yet he was in the firing line for most of the trip, and was still able to rally to put payed to the opposition, when the post was reached.

There is no question he will derive great benefit from that run, his first since he last raced in the Golden Slipper Stakes, finishing fourth to Estijaab.

The Danehill Stakes will most likely be his prime mission in the spring, no plans will be announced until then, if he races on, or does a stud career beckon.

Written By is by the leading sire in Victoria, Written Tycoon, he completed the 2017-18 stud season, finishing 8th in the first 10, with 153 winners of $9,599,677.

Capitalist, by Written Tycoon, winner of the Golden Slipper Stakes, and Winning Rupert, who was only beaten once in 6 starts, is also by Written Tycoon, both are at Newgate in the Hunter Valley.

Written By 138 Jack MobileWritten By


Winx - Number 27

Winx just strolled out of the starting gate as if it was simply just another day at the office; nothing has changed for the great mare

She just settles at the rear of the field in her own customary style, she doesn’t pour the pressure on until they reach the half stage of the race; she rarely goes inside another horse preferring to circle the field, as there is always a risk of being held up at a crucial stage of the race.

The Turnbull Stakes, at weight for age over 2000 metres at Flemington Stakes, before the Moonee Valley Cox Plate, what the future lies after that is unknown.

Assuming she wins both of those races, it takes her unbeaten record to 29 wins, then would the owners like to square it up?

Winx is a great mare, she is a champion, let’s hope she can keep her precious record intact.

Winx - 3 MobileWinx does it again

Grunt keeps record Intact

Grunt is becoming a Flemington specialist after winning the PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes, his first win at weight for age, but surely it won’t be his last.

It was an impressive win, he was not far off the pace at any stage of the race, he was coasting, 1000 metres out, and on the turn he looked all over a winner.

Mick Price may be set a quandary if he runs in the Guineas, as he is yet to win at Caulfield, strange as he is trained there.

Price has had a few good three year olds in the past, only to have them swallowed up by lucrative Hunter Valley stud farms as sires.

Jon Snow ran a good even race, he can be improved by the outing, and will strip much fitter for that, and can still pay expenses out of New Zealand.

Humidor could not repeat his win at Caulfield last Saturday; he simply didn’t come up after that run.

Happy Clapper bled, that is the end of the road for him, while Kementari is no world beater.

Grunt 083 Jack MobileGrunt steps up to WFA


Theo Marks first up for Shillelagh

Group 1 winning mare, Shillelagh, will begin her spring campaign at Rosehill tomorrow when she lines up in the Group2 Theo Marks Stakes, over 1300 metres.

The seven year old mare was runner up in the Tattersall’s Club Tiara, over1350 metres in her last start at Doomben in June, her trainer, Chris Waller, is hoping to step her up in distance this spring.

“She had a Group1 placing in Queensland, she spelled well and has come back in really good shape, we are getting really good comments consistently from her riders,” said Waller.

“Just be careful of the track, obviously she is better on a good track than a soft one, but she is in for a good preparation,” he added

“I would love to stretch her out beyond this time, I would love to get her up to 2000 metres, being a daughter Savabeel,” he added.

Group debutant favourite for Dato

Redwood gelding, Night’s Watch, will step up to Group company for the first time tomorrow in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Stakes over 1600 metres at Moonee Valley and bookmakers have labelled him as an early favourite for the race.

The Darren Weir trained runner has been set as a $3.50 favourite with TAB bookmakers, after an eye catching win in the Jockey Celebration Day Handicap over 1400 metres at Caulfield last Saturday.

If the gelding wins the Dato, Night’s Watch would secure a ballot exemption for several spring features, including the Caulfield Cup, which is Weir’s main target this spring for the five year old.

Night’s Watch will have to overcome a quality field, which includes dual New Zealand Horse of the Year, Bonneval, who won last year’s running of the race.


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