UNSER FRITZ, a keen follower of racing especially in Queensland, became such a popular contributor to HAVE YOUR SAY at LETSGOHORSERACING that we gave him a column of his own. Here’s his contribution this week:

WHAT a brilliant day of racing it was on Saturday - absolutely outstanding and a great thrill to be a part of it even for the punters and the spectators.

After the dreadful revelations of disgraceful animal cruelty at the Belgian-owned and operated glue factory near Caboolture, racing was in the eye of a cyclone and in danger of getting flattened, but for now anyway it dodged a bullet. On the track we got two for the price of one. It was simply magnificent and had it all.

Admittedly there were some finger-down-your-throat scenes off the track amid the Everest and Cup celebrations. Bossy crying, weepy Waller wailing, young jockeys older and wiser than their time ascending from the ranks of the very good to the level of the great, under-rewarded heavy and lightweight hoops standing tall on the big stage, tough women showing the world that glass ceilings are mere illusions, models of consistency, small-time trainers knocking off Sheiks in Group races, half-starved Irishmen winning Group races, identical twins training the winner of a Highway Handicap, a grand old horse reminding the world why he’s great, an old South African hoop showing that he hasn’t lost it, a lustful English blue-bred who a smart wife wouldn’t let out of her sight, Germans who can’t call races and the low-class of cattle in Hong Kong right now.

Let’s take a quick look at the highlights and lowlights.



HORSES get killed and turned into food – so do cows, pigs, camels, deer, chickens, quails, kangaroos and a whole lot more. Let he or she who is vegan cast the first stone. We all eat meat, except Seventh Day Adventists, Buddhists, Hare Krishna’s and a random collection of others who make up the other one in 20 Australians with a moral and ethical right to protest animals being killed for human consumption. That’s issue one.

Issue two is that there were no jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, strappers or sports administrators inside that satanic slaughterhouse bashing, kicking, jolting, prodding and otherwise abusing innocent horses in the most terrible ways imaginable. There were only under-educated, fundamentally violent abattoir workers, none of whom are licensed racing participants.

Issue three is that inhumane treatment of animals such as that displayed on the ABC 7.30 Report is a disgrace and intolerable in the extreme. It still doesn’t mean that its racing’s fault. Racing is good. Animal abuse is bad. They are not the same thing.

Issue four is why on earth mainstream media journalists and their animal activist sources stood silent for so long while so many poor horses were pummeled, beaten and kicked in the head. A racing person would have jumped in and stopped it immediately. These people who claim that they are the ones who care let these horses get hurt so that they could attract ratings, win awards or let their causes be loudly heard. They are the disgrace, not horse racing.



THE wagering holds on The Everest were reportedly 50 per cent larger than those on the Caulfield Cup across all platforms.

Enough said.



Watching Glen Boss cry after winning The Everest was like turning back the clock 15 years to Makybe Diva’s three wins in the Melbourne Cup. Seeing Chris Waller cry makes it seem like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.

I don’t want to rain on their party but the day Stewards start fining licensees for flooding the track with tears can’t come quickly enough for most punters. Of course, that won’t happen!



THIS very talented rider composes himself and performs like a 30-year veteran, yet he is still only 25 years old. Lane has made some smart decisions in his short career, the smartest of which was to serve a couple of stints in the high-class racing world of Japan, and isn’t he being rewarded for it now? The Japanese people are renowned for their extraordinary work ethic and loyalty. You don’t gain their respect unless yours is equally strong or better. Damien Lane’s was and is, and he is held in huge esteem in the Asian racing powerhouse, so much so that he has convinced the connections of both Mer De Glace and Lys Gracieux to bring their quality gallopers Down Under for the Cups and Cox Plate respectively.

The former star West Australian apprentice’s patient but devastating ride in the Caulfield Cup on Saturday was as good as you will see anywhere in the world and it would be a brave punter who would bet against he and the Japanese runners sweeping the big three this Spring.



DUE to his constant battles with weight this very good jockey rarely gets the opportunities that his talent deserves, but when he does Jamie Mott never lets the team down. His victory on Humma Humma in the Listed Alinghi at Caulfield was one for the true believers. Congratulations to the man for his hard work and consistency.

Steve Baster doesn’t have any weight issues, being one of the lightest senior hoops going around, but for some reason the 14-time Group 1 winner also struggles to attract rides, averaging only about five a week over the past couple of months. But when he gets legged aboard a live chance in a race Baster gives the horse every chance, just like he did on Miss Leonides in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint on Saturday, and in a great reward for persistence and strength in the face of adversity once more the little fella landed the result. All credit to him.



WHAT can you say about this pocket-rocket powerhouse? She seems to ride a good race winner every weekend and the Meech juggernaut just keeps rolling on. She is as good as any male jockey in the land, and probably stronger and more skilled than most. Her ride on Derby hope Thought of That was a delight. Sadly it was her only ride on the Caulfield Cup day card.



IS there a meeting that goes by where this consummate professional doesn’t win a race? Melham is only 31 but has 16 Group 1 trophies on the shelf and has banked $57 million in stakes earnings, which is an outstanding record. His wonderful winning ride on Streets of Avalon in the Moonga shows you exactly why he is the first-choice jockey for so many stables large and small, and punters can always bet with confidence when Ben Melham is aboard.



SHANE Nichols, John McArdle and Shaun Dwyer aren’t trainers whose names ring bells with many outsides of the racing industry, but inside the bubble each of them are highly respected horseman who hold their own with the best and punch well above their weight. The trio’s triumphs in black type events on Saturday in Melbourne were a fitting testament to the trainers’ skills and ability. Strangely though Dwyer wasn’t at Caulfield – instead he was celebrating on old home turn at Toowoomba.



THE affable and very likeable transplanted Irishman Declan Bates is having a breakout season, adding the Group 3 Ethereal on Saturday to the G1 Rupert Clarke he won on Begood Toya Mother at the same track a few weeks ago. Caulfield is currently Bates’ happy hunting ground, but he will be equally effective anywhere during the carnival and beyond, and it’s due not to luck but rather to realistic goal setting and extremely hard work. There are a few current Brisbane apprentices who could gain an enormous amount of benefit by following this highly professional, utterly dedicated young man’s lead.



IDENTICAL twins and training partners Emma and Lucy Longmire, who like the famous cricketing Bedser twins are clearly halves of a full hole, set what we believe to be world records by becoming the first mentors with identical DNA to lead in a Highway Handicap winner, and the first identical twins anywhere on the globe to train a winner on a Group 1 program.

We’ll stand corrected if anyone can find another, but until then say three cheers for the Longmire twins, and damn good on the girls too.



WHAT a ride by Tommy Berry on Happy Clapper in the Craven Stakes.

Berry only had a split second to decide whether it was going to be guts or glory when the Clapper got trapped wide with no way in, but the world-class rider still had plenty of time left over after yelling glory and going to the front.

A prettier ride you would never see – and one that the brilliant nine-year-old $7 million stakes earning marvel fully deserved so that he could once more demonstrate just how good he really is.

I don’t think many racegoers really grasp the Clapper’s greatness. If he hadn’t had the misfortune to run into the greatest galloper ever to set foot on the turf anywhere at any time, then Pat Webster’s grand old champion may well have won a Chipping Norton, a George Main, a George Ryder, an Apollo and a Doncaster on top of his seven Group wins already, and he would been an absolute shoe-in for 2017-18 Australian Horse of the Year.

Happy Clapper is just brilliant. So is Tommy Berry. They’re a great combination.



SOUTH African super jockey Glyn Schofield, who often rides shotgun with controversy, may not be the most popular personality in racing, and many have had cause to question some of his more unusual rides, but when Chad’s 52-year-old dad is on song, he’s an absolute gem to watch.

I don’t know why Schofield lost the ride on Avilius after James Cummings’ ridiculous attempt to stretch a mile to mile and a quarter horse out over two miles ended the way it was always going to.

Schofield clearly hasn’t fallen out with the Aussie arm of the Sheik’s global operation completely because there he was on the weekend making a mockery of his less than four per cent strike rate this season by driving Cascadian through a needle-eye gap and lifting it over the line like Mick Dittman.

If only Glyn Schofield could reproduce that form every day, he would be getting a whole lot more rides, and kicking home a truckload more winners.



FRANCESCA Cumani needs to give up the gaspers – like our old mate ‘Moods’ did – at least for a while.

She did a five-minute preview of the Champions Stakes on Saturday while walking laps of the parade ring, and by the end of it she could hardly breathe.

Given what we’ve heard about Francesca recently she may well have had a gallop beforehand – at least in the dreams of that effeminate seeming swordsman that she presents alongside while the producers have an invisible transparent screen to stop them from pawing each other.

But if she hasn’t already been told, it’s none of our business, but we love the lady and would suggest that she visit a doctor forthwith, and stop at the tailors on the way.

That beige getup with the tiara on top she was wearing might look alright on Princess Anne, because anything would improve the old bag’s looks, but it doesn’t do a lot for a rare beauty like Francesca. Perhaps the breathing and beige are related, who knows, but they need to be addressed.



ENGLISH speaking German race-callers are the second worst in the world, marginally ahead of the hopeless studio callers in some economically depressed English town that call the Swedish trots off the monitor.

We watched Baden-Baden in between the Ascot races and it was just awful.

The caller was a chap who sounded like Hitler and gave us two phrases and one horse during entire last 400m. The only plus was that you did know which horse was in front, which is one up on the South Africans, whose calls make the NRL Grand Final sound like a clash of Lakemba versus Woodridge in the Church League soccer.



I know that LGHR publisher John ‘Lucky’ Lingard is a huge fan of Hong Kong racing, but I personally don’t think it’s much good at all.

The racing style’s boring, the tracks are flat and grey and uninteresting, and the quality of horse is a joke.

Beauty Generation got beaten at Sha Tin in a major boilover at Sha Tin yesterday. So what? It had been beaten plenty of times before in Australia when it was called Montaigne, so what’s new? Who Shot the Barman beat it, Tarzino beat it, Le Romain beat it, Press Statement beat it, Preferment beat it, Cruise Power (who?) beat it. Let’s face it everyone but Michael Jackson beat Beauty Generation on Australian soil.

So, for the gelding to go to Hong Kong and win 10 in a row including five Group 1’s says far less about the so-called ‘champion’s ability, and far more about the low-rent standard of racing the in the current protest capital of the world.

The truth is that Hong Kong is to Aussie racing what Aussie Rugby is to NRL – a donor of second-tier talent that in a void rises straight to the top.

Did anyone really think that Marika Koroibete was the best winger in Rugby League when he played for the Storm? I doubt it, but in the absence of Izzy Folau the Fijian is far and away the best back in the Wallabies in any position, bar none. Beauty Generation is a bit the same.

Very, very few Hong Kong horses ever travel internationally and beat the best, other than the rare sprinter-milers like Silent Witness or Fairy King Prawn who journeyed just up the way to Japan and pinched a top-class race or two. None have ever won in Europe, and we treat the Honkers horses as a joke down here in Australia, and rightly so.

You can have Hong Kong. It’s no good. The only thing it’s got going for it is that it’s better than Singapore and Busan in Korea and that wouldn’t be hard.



IT’S only when Glen Boss is back in the spotlight that a legion of his biggest fans begin to remember how annoying the little fella can be.

The tears, the egocentric introspection, the rantings and ravings, the thanking everyone while really saying Bossy (that’s me) is the greatest, gets up the nose of even his greatest supporters.

Taking nothing away from his champion qualities as a jockey but after 30 seconds of his post-race performance many punters start wishing like crazy that Glen from Gympie was back in Singapore again and well and truly out of their hair.

The problem is that Singapore was never Bossy’s city, and it was never going to be.

The small island state is a place for stock standard jockeys (with some exceptions like Michael Rodd etc). The majority simply put their horses in the same place every race and ride to the tempo, playing the law of averages rather than risking their arm.

When Vlad Duric’s riding twice as many winners as Boss and Johnny Powell’s going head for head on his outside this ‘great jockey’ who landed a Melbourne Cup Triple Crown on Makybe Diva must know that this boring joint without a cigarette butt on the sidewalk is just not his type of town.

Singapore was alright for Bossy for the first couple of years when he was getting plenty of mounts and steering home lots of winners, but after he’d annoyed almost everyone in the small little borough to the point that he found Ben Thompson ahead of him on the premiership table the Go Home Glen signs started flashing in big pink neon lights, so home the Boss Man went – to Sydney.

It was supposed to be Brisbane, or at least that’s what Bossy said to the cameras after someone – maybe it was Racing Queensland – had flown him back to Terra Australis so he could go job hunting with Sydney trainers. He always was a good man with a dollar our Glen and was never known for splashing around his own, which makes him smart as well.

He’s ever smarter in the saddle, as we’ve all seen over the past couple of weeks. His Epsom ride on Kolding was just magnificent, and his display on the former Weir-trained colt Yes Yes Yes in The Everest was even better. Bossy doesn’t ride staid Singapore style, he sits and steers with style and panache and balls and a whole lot of dash, just as he showed us on Saturday.

Glen Boss is a gun alright, and even in his vintage he’s smoking hot. But he’s still the second most annoying man in racing to most punters behind champion trainer Chris Waller though – by a furlong and a half and a country mile.

I guess you just have to take the good with the bad.

No matter how much it irks.

And as the headline says – winners can laugh and losers can please themselves.

What a smart decision it was by Waller to press ahead with an Everest start for the speedster Nature Strip – not only did he show he can run a strong 1200m (he was still in front at the furlong) but it ensured one of the backmarkers like Santa Ana Lane or stablemates Arcadia Queen or Yes Yes Yes would run over the top.

And ‘yes’ the winner was YES YES YES which boosted the colt’s stud value beyond belief and guess who the lucky slot holder was – Chris Waller Racing.

It was one of those rare occasions where Peters Investments, who win just about everything in Western Australia, had to be content with a paltry couple of million for running second last. Who cares Bob? You’ve got plenty.

One thing’s for sure – like the Japanese owners of the Caulfield Cup winner Mer De Glace – none of these multis would have been dining out on horse meat – more likely the best beef in the world – on Saturday night and good luck to them.


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