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Griffiths back on track

Robbie Griffiths sounded the message loud and clear, he’s back in town with a winner at Moonee Valley on Friday night, via It Is Written, and a winning double at Caulfield with Floatmyboat and Vain Attraction.

Floatmyboat looks as if he may be the real deal, there was a lot to like about his win, he settled well back in the field but responded quickly when called upon by Craig Newitt, and the gelding had the race shot to pieces within a few strides.

He is quite a promising gelding with a definite future, he is likely to get much further than the 1200 metres of Saturday’s win, he should get at least 1600 metres, he is by Pins who can get a strong miler.

Griffiths has always held a high opinion of the progeny by Pins, he gets a lot of winners, the gelding was purchased in New Zealand for around $80,000 and there were no complaints from the syndicate after the impressive win.

Catanachs Jewellers Hcp Floatmyboat C Newitt GAZ 1843 Custom 2

Floatmyboat- An impressive winner at Caulfield

The tempo of Saturday’s D’urban Plate suited Vain Attraction to the letter, coming off the strong pace set by Tariana, she was able to storm home to win in great style, completing a running double for her trainer, Robbie Griffiths.

This was the mare’s third run in since a break, and back to Caulfield where she seldom runs a bad race, this could easily be her best season, she looked a picture and a credit to her trainer.

There will be any amount of suitable races about for her in the coming weeks now she is back in form, and is more than handy at her best.

She has an ideal sprinter’s pedigree being by Bel Esprit, from Centennial, by ever brilliant Centaine, whose dam, Rain Beam ,was by Vain from a daughter of Todman, those pedigrees are part of a great era.


DUrban Plate Robbie Griffiths GAZ 1901 Custom 2

Robbie Griffiths on the crest of a wave 


Change Of Honour heading for Gold Coast

Change Of Honour is on track for a shot at the Magic Millions, on the Gold Coast, after his win in the Sportingbet Plate at Caulfield.

On the downside the time was nothing out of the ordinary on a good track, with the second placegetter, Register, taking ground off the winner in the closing stages of the race.

In the field of seven runners Change Of Honour was the only horse that had previously raced, he had finished fourth to Too Sexy in the Magic Millions race on Ballarat Cup day.

Michael Rodd said, the horse has had an unusual race preparation, he has been working in both directions in readiness for the Magic Millions race, and he is a little confused at times.”

There was not a lot of business done on the race, the winner, Change Of Honour, shared favouritism with the third placegetter, Seriously Happy at $4.20.

The run of the race, and the most likely improver, could be Register, she was doing it all on raw talent, after racing wide for most of the trip, she made the turn awkwardly, with the race almost over before she put in her claim.

Register is about the last foal sired by Zeditave, a former outstanding sprinter, her dam, January, being by Marauding, she was bred at Newhaven Park at Boorowa, one of the great studs under the ownership of the Kelly family.

Sportingbet Plate Change of Honour M Rodd GAZ 1631 Custom

Change Of Honour wins Sportingbet Plate 



Robert Thompson is showing no signs of retiring after riding 3824 winners over 39 years, he is still going strong after having accepted four rides at Warwick Farm last Saturday.

He rarely rides in the city these days preferring the Hunter Valley tracks, and meetings on the central coast of New South Wales.

Thompson, like most jockeys, has had his share of falls, the worst at Warwick Farm when a broken leg forced him onto the side lines for two years.

He holds the record for the most number of winners, eclipsing the previous record of the late Jack Thompson (no relation), breaking his record at Port Macquarie four years ago.

Anthony Freedman is to move his training operation to Flemington, stables vacated by the Patinack operation, who are concentrating in future on stables at Warwick Farm.

Flemington is obviously the place to be, it offers excellent facilities with the capacity for 22 trainers and 550 horses.

When the Freedman family, of four brothers, originally came to Melbourne they set up stables at a few offcourse locations about Flemington, before the decision to train on course.

Caulfield was the next location before setting up the ultra modern training complex, with tracks at Rye, known as Markdel.

Stewards were active at Caulfield on Saturday, suspending Jake Duffy for 10 meetings until December 11, and Craig Newitt will be on the sidelines until December 14, which entails 14 meetings.

Any young person with designs of becoming a horse trainer would be advised to seriously consider Ballarat as a training base, it is fast becoming a popular area, it excellent facilities that cannot be equalled, the best all round training centre in Australia.

An all weather pro ride straight track of 1400 metres, with a rise of 9.98 per cent, is railed both sides and adjacent to the members drive being a major feature at Ballarat.

With around 200 horses in work at the course, at least 130 uses the straight track each day, Darren Weir is a great advocator for the track, all his horses work on it each day, and he should know, he is getting the results.

There is not much chance of any course in the country emulating Ballarat with such an excellent facility, as they are all cramped for room.

The straight gallops are the secret to its success, it places pressure evenly on forelegs, instead of turning tracks where the bulk of pressure is placed on the inside leg.

It is a great sight to see horses gallop in a straight line and being eased up as they reach the foothills of Mount Pisgagh, had that same track been available in the days of James Scobie, he may never have gone to train at Flemington.

There is no room for cheats, that message was sounded very clearly earlier this week by Racing Victoria’s recently appointed C E O Bernard Saundry, “we want anyone who does anything that compromises the integrity of the sport brought to account and penalised”

During the spring carnival the Compliance Assurance Team conducted 117 stable raids, with five of those resulting in stewards inquiries.

The two completed to this date have bought about successful prosecutions, Racing Victoria invests $10 million annually into integrity related services, including the funding of integrity staff costs and expenses , disciplinary board costs, external legal fees and drug testing.

Plastic running railing will be rolled out to a further eight racecourses and training centres this month, at a cost of $65,000 to $80,000, the budget for railing is $400,000 per year.


Treble for Rawiller

Brad Rawiller completed a winning treble, his first on a city track, when he rode Lord Of Brazil to win the Tony Beddison Cup, at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Few do it as tough as Rawiller, he puts in the hard yards and deserves the results, pushing himself to the extremes to ride at a competitive weight.

It is not uncommon to see him arrive at the races, stepping out of the car with the heater on all the way, rugged like an Eskimo, all for the sake of losing a few ounces.

He seldom takes passengers to the races with him, if they go once it is generally the last time, they rarely put their hand up a second time.

For all that hardship he put himself through, he is one of the fittest jockeys you are likely to see, his ride to win on Lord Of Brazil was testimony to his strength and fitness.

There was no time to celebrate a good day at the office; it was off to the races the next day for the last of the Cup series at Ballarat, another hard slog saw him take out the major prize on King Diamond, by a nose.

Tony Beddison Cup Lord of Brazil B Rawiller GAZ 2630 Custom

Lord Of Brazil -  third leg of a winning treble for Brad Rawiller


Secret Liaison delivers

Secret Liaison, who has been absent from the winner’s circle for longer than expected, put her best foot forward, on Saturday, to defeat Koe in the Printhouse Handicap.

Her form had been a bit ordinary of late and there may have been some excuses, a freshen up has been the answer, she has returned to the stable much brighter and eager to race.

There are no plans for her; she will take races as they come along, similar to her Moonee Valley win would be ideal.

Her win was better than it looked; she had a lot of ground to make up in the latter stages of the race and didn’t look a real threat until halfway down the straight.

Koe, whose racing has been confined to country tracks, where she was won four times, turned in a nice run; she was looking all over a winner until Secret Liaison appeared on the scene.

Champagne Ruby continues to show promise, she was running on nicely, a lightly raced mare, she was not far away, over the Flemington carnival, when finishing fourth to Kasane.

Greg Eurell is sure to place her to advantage, there are suitable races about, we may not have long to wait.

Printhouse Hcp Secret Liaison D Lane GAZ 8780 Custom 2

Secret Liaison riden by Damian Lane


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