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Hawkes in no hurry

John Hawkes is in no hurry to declare his hand as to whether his star colt, All Too Hard, will take his place in the field when final declarations are taken for the Golden Slipper Stakes, the richest two year old race in the world tomorrow morning.

He is not the person to be rushed, he has time on his side, be it only 24 hours, he is carefully weighing the issues, he has been there before, he knows what it is all about.

Should All Too Hard he a final acceptor it would be the answer to a promoter’s dream, imagine the scripting, the battle of the sexes, the unbeaten colt versus the unbeaten filly.

The race would take on another dimension; it would be no walk in the park for All Too Hard, an outstanding colt and equally, Samaready, a quality filly who demolished the field in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.

Both youngsters have much in common besides being unbeaten; each is adaptable to racing in the clockwise direction.

Barrier positions will undoubtedly determine who will start favourite, at present both are sharing the top of the charts at $3.00 each of two.

If All Too Hard happens to draw close to the fence it could be to his disadvantage as he is not a fast beginner and with the usual break neck speed in the race he won’t receive too many favours.


Nothing wrong that cannot be righted

Racing Victoria must take a firmer stance to improve the image of racing after consistent debacles at both Benalla and Geelong over recent weeks.

Clubs should be penalised in some form if they cannot perform to the optimum, the racing public is entitled to a better deal than what is being served to them.

Benalla has become literally a mine field; the track opens at the most inopportune times, with not the slightest sign of a statement from any member of the committee.

There is no point in passing the buck, the committees having an obligation to their patrons to ensure the track is presented in a fit state for racing; a haphazard attitude is not acceptable.

Racing is a huge business, it must be treated in that manner, and if private enterprise would not accept excuses, why should Racing Victoria?

As for the Geelong issue last Friday that is only minor compared to Benalla, there will always be varying opinions as far as track ratings are concerned, that is never likely to alter until such time as another rating system is introduced.


Bendigo – A wise choice

When Racing Victoria granted a stand alone race fixture for a provincial city, Bendigo was the obvious choice.

Nothing was taken for granted, the committee took the bit between their teeth, and this was the ideal opportunity to showcase a racecourse that any city would be proud to call their own.

Bendigo has a great racing tradition, long before the mid-twenties when Manfred, among the most gifted horses the turf has known, was stabled across the road, opposite the member’s drive, trained by Harry McCalman.

While the club was entitled to expect a larger crowd than just fewer than 4,000, it was a great race meeting held under ideal conditions on an excellent track.

Racing Victoria got it right when Bendigo was the selected course for the stand alone fixture.


Chosen Moment – Too smart at Bendigo.

Chosen Moment landed some nice wagers when he was backed in from his opening quote of $4.00, to start a solid favourite at $3.60, in winning the Southern Cross Ten Handicap.

This was his second start; previously he didn’t handle the heavy ground at Sandown when finishing out of a place, but found the better ground at Bendigo more to his liking.

The money was there to suggest he was the one to beat and he didn’t let his supporters down, it was an easy win and will continue to improve.

Imprimus, who has run a string of placings, was again the bridesmaid, after leading early she compounded in the straight showing little resistance, she is not the most tractable of fillies, she carries her head too high and want fully stretch out.

Chosen Moment’s win continued the great run of success that Anthony Freeman is enjoying since he took over the Markdel operation from his brother, Lee.

The colt looks as if he will get further as he was drawing away from his opposition when the post was reached, he will have his next run in the city in a couple of weeks.

Chosen Moment is a good type of colt with a nice pedigree; he is by Choisir, from a half sister to Emancipation, who had numerous race duels with Sir Dapper close on thirty years ago.


Chosen Moment opens his winning account.


Local Mare Wins Gold Bracelet

Locally trained mare, Sparks Alight, a last start winner at Moonee Valley, retained her form in winning the Gold Bracelet at Bendigo on Saturday.

She was among the on pace runners when the field settled down to the 1400 metres, with another local ,Two Hills, setting a fairly solid pace.

Once heads were turned for home it was obvious she was the one to beat, she went to the leaders quickly and soon put the issue beyond doubt within a few strides.

The filly is prepared on the track by Shane Fliender, he served his time as an apprentice jockey with Fred Hood, at Rosehill, before coming to Victoria where he rode successfully for several seasons prior to taking out a licence as a trainer.

He has done a great job with the mare who continues to hold her form remarkably well; she has not missed a place in her last six starts.

The mare is part of a long range plan when it was known six months ago that Bendigo had been granted the date to race, Fliender set the wheels in motion saying, “I will set the mare for that race. “

Sparks Alight wins Gold Bracelet

Sparks Alight was ridden the prefect race by Jacob Rule, he still retains his touch after a break of five months out of the saddle, returning to race riding in July.

The break was more of a necessity than a holiday, he was getting tired of the busy lifestyle that jockeys often have to lead, racing is seven days a week, plus wasting and travelling to race meetings from one end of the state to the other, at the end of the day it is all about winning.

Since returning to the saddle he has ridden 20 winners, he has now joined forces with John Sadler, the partnership is working well.

Jacob Rule


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