More to come from Henry Field after Capitalist’s Golden Slipper win

Capitalist’s decisive win in the Golden Slipper is a wonderful boost for a young star of racing, Henry Field and his Newgate Farm.

Audaciously, Field and partners bought the stallion as a yearling for $165,000,hoping he might go on to do exactly what he has done – win the Slipper.

For a stud to secure a well-bred Golden Slipper winner, the ‘benchmark’ sticker price is about $40million. It can be hard to make this work financially.

Capitalist’s Breeders’ Plate, Magic Millions, Slipper, ‘more to come’ CV reads well for a sire prospect. No accident that it is a well-chosen name for a sire.

To get such a Slipper winner onto the Farm is a massive coup for the up-and-coming breeder. Well done, Henry.

In this column, we at least identified the Randwick-run Todman as being the strong form race into the Slipper. What a fool I am to have ignored his $1.22 starting price in that race!

Trick Vandyke

The biggest talking point in the Rosehill betting ring was David Vandyke’s training performance with Slipper second Yankee Rose. She was an “unheard of” four-months first-up – something most would regard as an impossible task in a Slipper.
I dismissed her chances totally because she was first-up and I didn’t like her two recent trials.

With the benefit of hindsight, her form was more than sound. In November I marked her the best filly and second only to Capitalist in my Australia-wide “free handicap”. Moreover, she had run an outstanding sectional in the Golden Gift.

It must be said, it was so brave of Vandyke to start her in the Slipper totally fresh but he was so right – it worked. He has changed people’s thinking.

With regard to the 1400m Sires’ Produce in ten days time, Yankee Rose has ‘back me’ written all over her.

Melbourne storm

I had expected the Melbourne raiders Extreme Choice and Flying Artie to dominate the Slipper but did warn in this column that it is hard to get the “soufflé to rise twice”. And that proved to be the issue. To my eye, Extreme Choice just didn’t want to be there. He missed the start (whereas I thought he’d be close to the lead) and raced as he wasn’t interested.

The Blue Diamond is held ten days before the Moomba Festival, the second Monday in March. But the Slipper is held on Palm Sunday Eve, the week before Easter, which can be anywhere in a five week time frame (the first Sunday; after a full moon; after March 20). This year, ‎we have an early Easter, which has made it harder for the Blue Diamond horses to manage the second “grand final”.

Equine Influenza forced an abandonment of the moon-controlled Sydney Autumn racing schedule. It was a big positive and it’s a shame we’ve now allowed Easter to dictate again. This early Easter has been a even bigger negative for connections trying to run at both carnivals generally and for our carnival in particular, which has suffered.

Newcastle disappoinment

I was one of the enthusiastic Sydney-siders who trekked to Newcastle last Wednesday only to have the races called off before the first – after a total of only an inch of rain. Evidently, debris from the construction of the new track blocked a drain which caused a part of the course to be flooded. Sadly for those in attendance, there were no announcements, let alone explanations or apologies. Not good customer service, I’m afraid.

Newcastle, which had a great course-proper, is installing a $7million Strathayr surface, same as at Moonee Valley, Kensington and a few other racecourses. It is a great surface but requires maintenance vigilance. Constantly ridding the surface of grass cuttings, for instance, is essential. Toowoomba’s Strathayr gras‎s, with relentless attention, has been a great success. I hope Newcastle will be up to the task. ‎

Moody blues

I hope Peter Moody doesn’t throw the towel in and retire from racing forever. Racing needs “Moodys” – trainers who are not only good at their craft, but people who can attract owners into racing.

The Victorian Stewards are said to be considering an appeal. If that is the case I think it is a real shame. Thirty years ago Stewards would never appeal decisions. They saw their task as being there to assist Tribunals, by presenting the facts but then accepting the umpire’s decision. It was better for racing.

Thank you

I’m grateful for the kind thank you emails after we tipped Giddyup, who won last Monday at Moonee Valley ($7.5 into $4.4).

The Sydney Morning Herald: March 21st 2016

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