Winter is followed by Spring and that is the one time of the year when many of the broodmare population get to meet a new boyfriend, sadly not of their choice - and the end result about 11 months and 7 days after the union is the birth of a thoroughbred foal.
The Tattersall’s Tiara tomorrow at Eagle Farm is the last Group 1 race of the Australian racing season – and it will hopefully be the last time that punters will have to put up with some of these slow and enigmatic mares that have already graced our racetracks for far too long. In fact I think it’s really sad that Australia doesn’t have a Punters Association, or we could all launch a “class action” against some of these mares for all the money they have cost punters over their far too long life. If a successful class action was launched, it would serve as a warning into the future to owners and trainers to retire “slow” and “enigmatic” horses early – or face the consequences.
Hopefully tomorrow will be the racetrack swansong for enigma Miss Keepsake. She strolled to Group 1 glory at the very track she races at tomorrow – Eagle Farm – in 2010 when she won the Queensland Oaks at 30/1 by half a neck. Punters detested her that day and in the subsequent 24 months, she managed just one win – and that was a Kembla Grange, which many think is in fact a kind of wine.
Then what about another little darling of the turf – Sistine Angel. She hasn’t won a race since 3/10/10 and that’s 20 months. Even on that day (3/10/10) she only fell in by a head and in a strange twist, she’d only won one race prior to that – and that was amazingly also by a head. It’s sad to think the field in the Group 1 Robert Sangster in Adelaide on 28/4/10 was that bad, that she ran second to champion mare Black Caviar. That’s now eternally on her CV, but what a blight that is on the great mare. Geez I hope Liz and Phil don’t pick that up on Black Caviar’s form.
What about another darling of the Australian turf - enigma Divorces. Do they come any lower? She is living proof that “bad horses” can win nearly $500,000 in prizemoney. She’s a “bad horse” in the eyes of 99% of punters having only won two races in her entire career, but she’s won $431,800 in prizemoney. She’s won just one race in the 19 months since an 18/9/10 win at Caulfield – and that was when she won just over a year ago (7/5/11).
A lot of “the boys” got excited about the thought of Varenna Miss coming to Queensland after a seemingly “unlucky” fifth of six to Master of Design in the Group 1 T.J. Smith at Randwick. Sadly Vareena Miss hasn’t fired a shot in Queensland and the facts and realities are she’s not run a placing in the last 55 weeks – that’s ever since she won at Eagle Farm on 4/6/11.
So Pristine is a stablemate of Black Caviar, but no ability from Black Caviar has rubbed off to So Pristine. She’s won just one race, a Group 2 on 28/4/12 – since 21/5/11, so she’s a worry.
Balmont is another what I’d call “excuse for a racehorse”. She went like a mule last Saturday at Ipswich and is on a seven day back-up tomorrow. She’s won just one race – and that was in a photo – since 22/9/10 and that’s 19 months.
So hopefully the owners of in racebook order – Miss Keepsake, Sistine Angel, Divorces, Vareena Miss and So Pristine will see it is in their mares best interests to pull up stumps after tomorrow – to allow their enigmatic galloper to begin the next phase of their life on Planet Earth – motherhood, that’s if you must breed with them, which is sadly your democratic right.
I can’t help but think though that a yearling by say Churchill Downs out of Miss Keepsake would have little value. If the yearling was a non-winner, the person who bought it as a yearling would kick themself every time it went around the racetrack of dreams.