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Max Presnell - Racing Talk - Racehorse TALK

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Offline Jeunes

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O.P. « 2020-Jan-18, 12:49 PM »
I thought I might post a couple of articles now and then from Max Presnell.

Offline Jeunes

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« 2020-Jan-18, 12:51 PM Reply #1 »
Odds of a return to the golden age of bookmakers lengthen

By Max Presnell
January 17, 2020 — 6.00pm

Maybe it was because Doug Carroll's car, with him in the saddle, hit a kangaroo out Broken Hill way and was out of action that he missed the cut for the Bookmaker Recognition program at Rosehill Gardens today.
Yes, he did have a race named after him on the corresponding meeting last year, but the Broken Hill trotting season was about to start and he is the only fielder so was a scratching.
Carroll, 94, is the world’s oldest bookmaker, a point that is being taken up with the Guinness Book Of Records. The current titleholder is 88.

When he started 63 years ago, his home territory supported 45 bookmakers. He is now the lone ranger but branches out far and wide to the gallops, picnics for amateur riders as well as the pros.

Still, his spirit should be celebrated with the late Bill Waterhouse as well as worthies with races today carrying their name such as Lou Cox, Mark Merleno and Jack Ashman, who also has a Broken Hill link.
It was said that after World War II a bookmaker’s bag could be opened in Martin Place and the attraction was so great punters would throw money into it.
Ashman was a schoolteacher there in 1959 and branched out as a bookmaker’s clerk.
When Waterhouse was plying his trade at Royal Ascot, Carroll was doing the rounds and still is at Louth, Wentworth, Pooncarie, Cobar and Nyngan where other bush greats including Hillary Cohen and Noel Teys left their mark.
Legendary bookmakers had it easy compared to the current diehards and today should be more about appreciation for them.
It was said that, after World War II and for decades after, a bookmaker’s bag could be opened in Martin Place and the attraction was so great punters would throw money into it.

Deluged by the currency of the era and a captive audience it was easy to be a high roller and colourful in a vibrant betting ring, but modern day it’s more drought conditions with no end.
The official invitation for today’s brunch for the occasion held by the Australian Turf Club features smiling faces – basically a youthful demographic – plus the hint of a betting ring due to the back of a bookmaker’s clerk.
Even in the Member’s Stand in the great days, this fun loving throng would have been bowled over by punters with the enthusiasm of Sam Burgess on the boil chasing the best odds. At Royal Randwick a yellow line was drawn, a prohibited area to keep women away from rails action for preservation purposes – an extreme which is rightfully long gone.
Unlike the British equivalent Australian betting rings, supplying atmosphere and information, were special. Sure, the Poms had the chant and the bustle but also niggardly traits that have been imported here by most of the corporates.
Perhaps the Rosehill ring today will be a ghost town compared to the glory days, but the best odds can still be found and the flicker of a former flame still alive, not quite as bright as Harry Broadley but with a better ending.

In the golden years when the provincials and the country racing had the same sense of purpose Broadley, a flamboyant fielder at the provincials and Newcastle, was only too happy in his prime to accommodate punters. It was a period when trainer Jack Denham was dynamic.
When the right Denham mail was circulated, the surge around bookmakers took on tsunami proportions, and Broadley was up to the challenge.

The bookmaker could write betting tickets as fast as Bill Waterhouse and smoke more cigarettes, traits worthy of Guinness. Alas Broadley ended up fielding in the Leger at Harold Park trots. Those looking for his last settling found an empty bookmaker's bag at the stand. The Red Hots did what Jack Denham’s provincial plunges couldn't.
During his long career Carroll concedes he had to stage a tactical retreat to "regroup" and puts his longevity in fielding and living to "don’t worry".

"I lost a thousand quid [pounds, so that was before 1966] once when a quid was a quid and figured it wasn’t going to bring it back," he maintained.

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2020-Jan-18, 01:04 PM Reply #2 »
Great article by Max
Sadly bookmakers dont exist any more

Offline arthur

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« 2020-Jan-18, 05:59 PM Reply #3 »
https://www.facebook.com/onthebitqldcountryracing/photos/a.1855585964768943/1878393935821479/?type=1&theater

Dunno if Ron got into Guinness . . but reckon he was 88 or better when he wrote his last bet

But he wasn't 94   :noteworthy:

Offline Jeunes

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« 2020-Jan-18, 08:34 PM Reply #4 »
One thing I will say for Max is that unlike some racing “journalists”, he is usually at the track during the off peak season.

He is good for a chat too and seems to be a nice bloke to boot.

Offline Jeunes

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« 2020-Jan-27, 11:28 AM Reply #5 »
A bit late as it from Friday.

Hallelujah for Inglis but it’s hard to beat poets in motion

By Max Presnell
January 24, 2020 — 2.52pm

‘No use to try and beat it out/’Twill dry you up like toast/I’ve done as much as I can do/ Although I never boast/ I think you better chuck it up and let the jumbucks roast/ But though they worked like Trojans all/ The fires went ahead/So as far as you could see around/ The very skies were red.”
Banjo Paterson’s The Bushfire is appropriate considering today’s Appeal Day at Royal Randwick where unraced and highly priced two-year-olds, Mount Fuji and Rulership, give spark to a stage of the season so lacklustre it prompts reflection on dead poets like Paterson and Charles Bukowski, a wayward stallion of yore in the United States.

Racing, playing the horses, was their passion albeit expressed in different styles. Perhaps they don’t stimulate betting turnover like the $2.8 million Mount Fuji and the mere $900,000 Rulership in the $125,000 Inglis Millennium on a program bolstered by two $75,000 Highways for country horses, a category that would have pleased Paterson. Without them the meeting would have been very sparse indeed.
Most turf jurisdictions have slack periods during which pundits, particularly in the United Kingdom, give horses to follow for their next five starts. It doesn’t appeal to me because every race has its own structu distance, track condition, handicap, jockey and barrier draw.


Favourite horses didn’t come into play for Bukowski but Banjo had a yen for a mongrel grey.
Bukowski caught my eye when he described being downed in a prelim bout, laid out on the dressing room table, battered and bleeding, when a cigar-chomping wise guy advised him to do something he was good at.
Bukowski struggled to his feet, decked the mug with a right cross and retired, dropping boxing for poetry described by Leonard Cohen, an expert on the subject, as bringing angels down to earth.

Banjo Paterson would have approved of the Highway Handicap concept.
Certainly he lacked the pace of Paterson although the words resonated, particularly the experience of a day at the track when he could do no wrong, gathering a following that included a younger female who, he figured, was lured to his banner by judgment and the acumen of an older man.
At the end of the poem she left with all the pelf and didn’t even leave him with his trousers, hardly the same tone as Paterson verse like How The Favourite Beat Us and other turf classics. Bukowski was generated more by nicotine and bad coffee. Note his No.6 ...

“I’ll settle for the 6 horse/On a rainy afternoon ... the jocks come out for a middle race/ silent/ the horses at peace with each other before the drunken war/ then the horses walk by/taking their little men away -/ it is funereal and graceful/and glad/ like the opening of flowers.”


Note the American way of horse numbers rather than names to placate the machine (tote). Of course we used the names because bookmakers wrote them on tickets but numbers are coming into vogue here.
So instead of Mount Fuji in the Inglis, it’s horse 2 in the the first. Like Paterson Rulership is more tractable and seasoned. Mount Fuji had plenty of scope for improvement in a recent trial and has the assistance of a lugging bit today, the like of which wouldn’t have kept Bukowski on course.

Offline Jeunes

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« 2020-Feb-01, 12:00 PM Reply #6 »
From Fairfax

Hot air abounds but Super Seth and Alizee can turn up heat on track


By Max Presnell
January 31, 2020 — 3.44pm


The big heat, temperature and emotion, this week can end by flushing out the horsepower of proven top-liner Alizee in Royal Randwick’s Expressway and the potential of three-year-olds Super Seth and Dalasan at Caulfield.
On the human front the switch from the more punter-friendly Rosehill Gardens to Randwick on heat grounds has again generated comment regarding the fragility of the modern day thoroughbred.

Blood pressure has arisen over the status of The Everest, denied group 1 status. Others can make the argument.
Black-type is a label. The Everest is one of the best sprints in Australia but doesn’t adhere to qualifications of the Pattern Committee which allocates the grading.

Intriguing, too, is the Japanese barring their agencies betting on Australian majors, particularly the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups as well as the Cox Plate in which they played a major role last year, and described as “in commercial terms not an immaterial amount of money.”
But a more temperate zone is Ken Callander’s OAM for services to racing as a television commentator, presenter and journalist plus his charity work, a satisfying breeze the like of which is anticipated at headquarters today.
The thoroughbred, hot bloods, originated from Arab and Turkish stock, at home in desert conditions and the foundation of Australian racing was hard tracks and hot weather.
Again horse received more sympathy than man in Perth last November when the Ascot races were called off due to the heat while a nearby cricket match continued.
It would seem the anticipated 41 degrees today at Rosehill was regarded as too high for equines but not as extreme as Ascot.

My hottest race day, in more ways than one, was the Perth Cup in 1987 when Laurie Connell, one of racing’s dirty, rotten, scoundrels, triumphed, plucking a huge result off bookmakers. Rocket Racer, ridden by veteran John Miller, a 54kg jockey who boiled down to 49kg, sizzled over 3200 metres and Miller had trouble pulling him up.
The cry of ‘‘elephant juice’’ went up. No samples were taken from Rocket Racer. On returning, Rocket Racer was near collapse. Officials had to carry the gelding out of the enclosure. Because he had to be treated for dehydration, it was impossible to get a urine or blood sample. Nobody worried about the jockey.


Ten years after Rocket Racer, Time Frame won the Perth Cup in similar conditions. Temperature? 47 degrees.
Ray Murrihy, the former Australian Jockey Club and Racing NSW chief steward, was a forerunner of the new comfort age for racehorses.

“Once the policy was the show must go on,” Murrihy commented. Now the Wet Bulb Thermometer, measuring humidity as well as temperature, comes into play to dictate suitable conditions.
Horses in the heat these days get benefits including hose spray and iced water - albeit Sydney tap - from bins on their return to the enclosure.
Callander, however, was renowned for remaining cool not only under the pressure of Channel Nine but putting on mammoth bets for Kerry Packer. Alas on one occasion when he started as a bookmaker Callander was tested when approached by a punter wishing him well to the extent of “I hope you end up bigger than Waterhouse.”
Requesting a tip Callander obliged with a winner. The punter returned to thank him, to which the bookie replied ‘‘Any time”.
While Callander was diverted the punter went to the bookmaker’s bag man saying “Ken said it was sweet to lend me $200”. He called to the clerk $200 to “Ken’s mate” who turned out to be a conman.

“He taught a young mug a new trick and I’ve had $200 worth of pleasure telling the story,” Callander recalled.
And Callander’s tip for the Expressway? Alizee.
Despite the odd storm predicted today the Caulfield conditions should be more horse comfortable for the Manfred when Super Seth, conqueror of Alligator Blood, takes on the highly talented Dalasun among others.
Super Seth for mine.

Offline Jeunes

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« 2020-Feb-01, 12:07 PM Reply #7 »
The Perth Cup win by Rocket Racer and the aftermath below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feCyWl2Dc4Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PLE0BSKc6Y

Offline Gintara

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« 2020-Feb-01, 05:47 PM Reply #8 »
Imagine that aftermath going on today  :shy:

Offline Jeunes

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« 2020-Feb-15, 11:07 AM Reply #9 »
From SMH.

Lunch with Cummings provides food for thought on Libertini

By Max Presnell
February 14, 2020 — 1.20pm

Supping with Anthony Cummings is not for speedy squibs – being adept with chops sticks and bending the elbow like an old-time poker machine handle are required to see out the course and distance.
Despite a demanding race, the experience was more than worthwhile, centring on turf lore, horses – “they are smarter than we are”, according to him – the Cummings dynasty and word games.

Obviously, the decades have slid by fast and furious since a fresh-faced, much slimmer version of Anthony joined his father, the master Bart Cummings, at Randwick.
The venue on Tuesday was a leading Woolloomooloo Chinese eating joint and the host Royal Ascot, whose director of racing and public affairs, Nick Smith, picked up the settling.
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Jack Petley, whose dulcet Kiwi tone is sadly missed on racing radio, selected the field, which included Anthony’s son James, Godolphin’s Vin Cox, jockey Jason Collett and owners of Nature Strip, which is set to make his mark at Royal Ascot.
As it happened to be his birthday, Anthony made the pace a cracker, although Smith wouldn’t allow him near the wine selection – a situation he filled a few years back leaving Royal Ascot on the verge of receivership.
Anthony was keen to take on the top-class speedsters Redzel and Nature Strip with Libertini because he figured Redzel would eyeball Nature Strip and test his wind problem.
Due to the Nature Strip involvement, Saturday’s $750,000 Lightning at Flemington was an early topic. Libertini, trained by Anthony, will be missing because owner Gerry Harvey preferred the easier $200,000 Light Fingers at Royal Randwick.
Anthony was keen to take on the top-class speedsters Redzel and Nature Strip because he figured Redzel would eyeball Nature Strip and test his wind problem. The issue affects those afflicted to different degrees, an example being So You Think, a Bart Cummings great. The stallion had a breathing drawback that had other horses gasping. Libertini would get a perfect trail behind the tested Nature Strip and, under the scenario, would be too powerful at the finish.

However, what Harvey wants, Harvey gets from the trainer, who describes him as racing’s greatest benefactor. Mind you, Harvey was instrumental in achieving a financial result for Anthony against Nathan Tinkler – the equivalent of climbing the most difficult side of Everest.

Getting back to Anthony’s youth was entertaining. On route to school one morning in the 60s he saw Galilee lying down on a stable lawn as a vet chipped away with a chisel and hammer on his leg. Saintly was good but Bart Cummings never had a better horse than Galilee.
Following the early courses James, who now holds the reins at Godolphin, took his leave. Previously his diction had impressed the company.
“We always encouraged the children to play word games,” Anthony divulged, which prompted the memory of another son, Eddie, in a partnership then with Anthony, after they won the Villiers at Randwick with Sky Boy.

Eddie referred to the “serendipity” of the occasion. I had to ask him how to spell it. Anthony’s eldest son Bartholomew is a weight-for-age debater, a legacy from which his brothers benefited, and an English teacher.

Throughout his career, Anthony has displayed a knack with outsiders. Thus the subject arose concerning his charge Fayerra in the Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm on Wednesday with Collett in the saddle. The trainer described him as “the most successful betting jockey in New Zealand”.
Over there, jockeys are allowed to punt but have to publicly list their bets. “Jason was on top,” Anthony maintained.
The trainer, too, has dabbled in successful punting and attributed much of his profit to speed maps.

Now retired, he caught the ear when he declared he was considering a comeback for Fayerra, which sent the audience scuttling for ammunition to support the two-year-old. Alas, Fayerra was scratched at the barrier.
With the staff readying for dinner I took my leave. The trainer was still in a full gallop, no wind infirmity evident, with Vin Cox and a brewery owner from Melbourne.
Passing an outside table on legs unsteady, a diner remarked: “There’s a classic case of peripheral neuropathy”. I wasn’t going back to Anthony to find out what it meant.

Offline Jeunes

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« 2020-Feb-22, 11:21 AM Reply #10 »
SMH.

Trainers lable tongue tie switch from stockings to Lycra sheer madness


By Max Presnell
February 21, 2020 — 6.00pm

The “respiratory problem” tag given to his highly promising Shadow Hero instigated the answer from Mark Newnham that he would be switching to Lycra tights from women’s stockings.
It’s not a fashion statement but regards the new rule about tongue ties – vital equipment for racehorses – that the Australian Racing Board will bring into operation on April 1.

Apparently the RSPCA is against the use of tongue ties because they cause pain, anxiety, and distress with swallowing difficulties as well as possible damage to the tongue by restricting blood flow, and a change or compromise had to be made.
“It’s ridiculous,” Newnham, a former jockey with a long-time link with Gai Waterhouse and now a leading light trainer, commented.
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Of course, Newnham has the experience of not only being on ground level but in the saddle to judge in what way the equine machine, so delicate in some ways yet durable in others, handles gear changes.
“How do you think horses react galloping when getting only 80 per cent air flow?” he argued about the necessity of comfortable tongue ties.
Newnham’s Shadow Hero, which is one of the most promising three-year-olds at present, resumes in the Hobartville at Rosehill Gardens on what is a day the current crop promise to again put their quality stamp on the season.
Alas, Racing Victoria stewards reported that Shadow Hero, which is not fitted with a tongue tie,   had a “respiratory problem” after being a dismally beaten favourite in the Victoria Derby at Flemington last November.
“It was an absolute nothing,” the trainer explained, adding his breathing was unimpeded, which prompted my tongue tie query. “They scoped his lungs after the Derby and found a few blood specks but I told them that 12 of the 15 starters in a distance race like that on a rain-affected track would come up with the same result.”


Shadow Hero will have a return bout today with Victoria Derby winner Warning  as well as the boom colt Castelvecchio, which was runner-up in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley  after Newnham’s charge beat him in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
The clash will feature these quality colts best suited over longer journeys than today’s 1400 metres against Microphone, which is promising and fitter but coming from a demanding launch – barrier 11 – plus others on an upward spiral.
Caulfield, though, has a superior program with three group 1s, two where three-year-olds oppose older rivals, including the talented Super Seth taking on Kolding and the outstanding New Zealand mare Melody Belle in the Futurity, and in the Oakleigh Plate, where Anaheed is a major contender despite drawing barrier 15.
Three horses at Caulfield will wear tongue ties for the first time: Legion Of Merit (Autumn Classic), Tagaloa (Blue Diamond) and Zoutori (Oakleigh Plate) while Mustajeer (Parramatta Cup), Oriental Runner and Bodega (Extensive), who had a “poor recovery” last start, are doing likewise at Rosehill.

Under the new rule, apart from Lycra, a leather strap will be permitted but Newnham described it as “thick and chunky” as well as being difficult to apply. Elastic, too, is coming to the end of the use-by date.
The issue gained prominence when the Victorian trainer Pat Cannon posted a video on Twitter of  feeding a horse with a tongue tie, accompanied by dialogue: "There is no cruelty whatever involved with that – the horse is quite comfortable with it. I've been putting tongue ties on like this for over 30 years and I haven’t had one horse reject it." The video had been viewed 13,000 times by last Wednesday.

Maybe wise guys questioned the credentials of Cannon, who is obviously a very capable horseman if not a headliner, but Newnham is major league.
Breathing is a major influence on performance. Horses can get their tongue over the bit and have air flow problems that necessitate operations. Trainers look for the best, safest and most comfortable answer. Newnham reckons the Australian Racing Board didn’t have enough consultation with the industry on this issue.

Anyway, there is an upside for him. With the Lycra move he won’t have to riffle through his wife’s wardrobe seeking laddered stockings.


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