Rosehill 19 May 2018
When I was growing up, in our handicap races, the average handicap limit was once around 47kg. Now you rarely see horses in handicap races with under 54kg. In 1969, Rain Lover won the Melbourne Cup with 60.5kg (adjusted for the metric era). He was the top weight and deserved the weight. However the bottom weight in this particular edition of the Melbourne Cup was a horse named Wyscan who carried just 44kg.
A unintended consequence of lifting the limit weight is that the average age of our ridders has risen since then, and there is no better example than Jeff Lloyd – who at a ripe old 56 years of age, rode three winners at Doomben on Doomben Cup Day at prices of $7, $9.50 and $12. Jeff is still the leading rider in Queensland, having completed his apprenticeship over 40 years ago. Moreover, Jeff suffered s stroke a few back. Can our jockeys not get down to the weights of the previous era because we are a fatter population?
On page one of the Sydney Morning Herald, March 27 1951, the following paragraph appeared within a bigger article…
For the full article please click here…
I was fixated with the above named bookmarker Jack Shaw when I was around 16 years of age. Jack a heavy smoker, and he was also famous for declaring that the finishing post at Rosehill has caused more suicides than any other object in history. Punters again fell into the trap on Saturday when Smart Missile at $3 was called the winner by the race caller in race seven at Rosehill. However I always trust the cameraman (or men), who year after year is proven to be the proverbially ‘Deadeye Dick.’ The camera always focuses on the winner – today it ignored Smart Missile and only showed King Darci. The judge declared King Darci.
There is a subjective line placed on the picture on the TV screens to show the putative finish line. It is incorrectly placed. It is at a right-angles (90º) and that is wrong.
The actual Rosehill finish line, which is the line between the finishing post and the photo fish camera is on an acute angle (less than 90º).
The camera man is on to it!
However, the track at Rosehill played beautifully. We are in a period in Sydney of dry tracks and it is of great advantage to everyone. I thought the rail maybe went a touch off late in the day, but I have no problem with this, because while the photo finish might ever-so-slightly advantage an outside horse, a horse closer to the rails has to travel a shorter distance over the entire race. The rail is the fastest way home. Always has been. Just ask Gai!