Here’s a few things you might have missed in the wide world of racing over the past week.
QUIRKY (from abroad)
Horse declared a starter in controversial fashion (USA)
This is just another way to do your dough.
Seven-year-old mare Awesome Sunset obviously has some quirks, so they attach a piece of gear called a ‘flipping halter’ to her in the barriers.
A flipping halter is a piece of gear tying the horse to the barrier, in order to keep the animal straight as they jump.
It has been known to happen that this piece of gear can hinder the gates opening a shade, although in this case, it was several seconds before the horse could emerge.
Not only that, she played up so much she unseated jockey John Jude in the machines.
But if you backed her, your money was done cold as the authorities declared her a starter.
Granted, she was the $24.60 roughie of the six-horse field … and we found out one reason why.
Lightning time clocked (Japan)
They certainly don’t muck about in Japan, but taking close to 1s off any record is quite remarkable.
Time of 1:43s flat for the 1800m is a national record in Japan, with Masked Diva lighting up the Hanshin track in the G2 Rose Stakes on Sunday.
The previous record for the 1800m in Japan belonged to Escola (1:43.8s), set in a Kokura 3YO maiden in 2021.
Masked Diva paid $23.20 locally, on the 7th line of betting in the 17-horse field, having her fourth career start and first since June 11.
The 2nd (Brede Weg), 3rd (Malaki Naia) and 4th (Anri Road) horses home were all sitting in the last half-dozen at the top of the straight, as the field in front may have – largely – been feeling the effects of the sustained speed that the clock showed was on.
Blindfold can’t stop horse from winning (UK)
It was a week for troublesome 7YOs playing up at the gates – although in this instance, it didn’t stop him from winning.
Jockey Daniel Tudhope was unable to remove the blindfold – meant to be for the barriers only – at the first instance due to his mount Azano ducking down.
That meant the horse’s first few strides at Sandown Park were running blind.
However, he then went on to score by a neck in the 1400m race.
The horse threw its head around in the gates, making it hard for Tudhope to get a hold on the blindfold
Same name, different calibre of horse (India)
Indian racing does dip the lid to a few namesakes from time-to-time – there was a Winx running around there a few years back.
Recently, it bobbed up they’ve got a Pinatubo too, although not quite as fast as the triple G1 winner Godolphin had a couple of seasons ago.
The Indian Pinatubo finished last at Hyderabad last Sunday, and has won one of his 14 starts.
QUIRKY (from Australia)
Horse throws away win
This was pretty extraordinary.
The $2.50 equal favourite Avenue Of Stars was out in front and looking like a big contender to take out this race at the Gold Coast.
What happened next was far from ideal – but well played by jockey Emily Lang just to stay on in the circumstances.
Waller’s intriguing import
A Brazilian G1 winner has landed in the Mount Macedon stable of Chris Waller, via Hong Kong.
The well-travelled Orfeu Negro – known as Dynamic Spirit in Hong Kong – was a two-time G1 winner in Brazil, including a 6.3L romp in the Gran Premio Ipiranga (1600m) in September 2021.
A stint in Hong Kong followed for trainer Danny Shum, but Dynamic Spirit couldn’t crack it for a victory in seven starts there.
His most recent there – in January 2023 – saw him over-race and run into trouble before being beaten 3.75L by Rising From Ashes.
Iene Fortune ran 2nd to Orfeu Negro in his G1 win as a 2YO, with that horse now in NSW with trainer Rodney Bailey at Wyong.
It came to our attention this week that Orfeu Negro is in town, so we’ll wait and see if/when they unfurl the covers with him in Aus.
Long-time maiden retired
‘They can’t all be champions.’
It’s a familiar saying in racing circles, and it is of course, true.
After 93 starts, eight-year-old Big Brown mare Glam Time has called time.
She started out with Bjorn Baker, one of six trainers in her career – with Annette Lee taking the reins for the most part.
Her career highlight was coming from last to run 2nd at Port Macquarie in May 2022.