THE “AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE” ISSUE

BLACK CAVIAR: A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE

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She is to racing what Shane Warne was to cricket, what David Beckham is to Soccer, what Roger Federer was to tennis, what “Tiger” was to golf and what John C Holmes was to porn.

If racing ever needed a front page story this was and is it. And it doesn’t get any better.

It is a story that gets the turnstiles clicking. It’s the story that dominates conversations among sport-crazy Aussies.It’s a story that, over one week later, everyone is still talking about.

Wait and correction: Those talking are not just the sporting-minded, because the big powerful mare has created a wave of public interest, which has not been witnessed since Makybe Diva did her famous Melbourne Cup hat-trick in the early part of the new millennium.

There are just not enough superlatives to describe Black Caviar, except to say that she is the best sprinter for many, many a long day. She just could even be the best racehorse to have graced the turf for as long as our present generation can remember.

It’s not just her amazing physique which is the first thing that strikes you when she walks in through the door. She makes Angelia Jolie look ordinary.

It’s quite intimidating when you strike her derriere. It would put J-Lo’s million dollar-insured and, say some, surgically-perfected ass, to shame- though we would love to give it a whack.

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It’s big and powerful- Black Caviar’s derriere- and very obviously a very potent weapon which propels her enormous stride. Guess the same can be said about J-Lo.

And then there’s that amazing acceleration. In racing terminology they call it turn of foot. But call it what you like, its breathtaking. And she does it so easily.

The gear change is quicker than you would expect going into overdrive in the fastest car in the world. Or even quicker than listening to Charlie Sheen go off about WINNING in a strange hybrid of the English language and cracked logic.

But last weekend’s Super Saturday was notable for much, much more.

Sure, Melbourne is a sports mad State, but we’ve never ever seen scenes on a race track before. They started cheering her just before the 300 metres mark when she moved up alongside Crystal Lily under Luke Nolen’s vice like grip. When he let go of the pedal for just that fraction of a second, it was all over.

Instantly, Black Caviar got into top gear, and the mercy rule came into play for her opposition. With the cheering and clapping getting louder, Luke Nolen eased her down over the last hundred metres or so to post a conservative three and a half length margin.

She was a blink away from smashing the record for the trip and would have done so if Nolen would have given her a fraction more rein. But it was hardly necessary.

She gave every one of her rivals weight– a challenge that only one racehorse was capable of meeting. And that was Black Caviar.

Post-race, the scenes were euphoric. Rival trainers, owners and racing officials joined in the rousing ovation that greeted this once in a lifetime champion.

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Peter Moody’s fellow trainers forgot any of the rivalries that bubble under the surface of racing to acknowledge this amazing racehorse. They waxed lyrical about her.

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When the great Bart Cummings, Lee Freedman, Mark Kavanagh and others declare her a freak, you realize just how good she is.

So what now for Black Caviar?

Peter Moody has an ambitious program planned for her over the next few months: The William Reid at Moonee Valley, the TJ Smith at Randwick and the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 await her, before a spell and three sprints in the spring. And then, just maybe, the world awaits – Hong Kong in December is firmly on the radar.

Let’s hope she gets there. It will certainly put an end to Singapore-based trainer Patrick Shaw’s “sour grapes” commentary questioning Black Caviar’s “rightful rating” as the world champion sprinter.

If he can’t wait that long, perhaps Mr. Shaw can bring his Rocket Man over to Flemington for the Patinack Farm Classic in November for a clash with Black Caviar. We hope he does.

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Ooompah Loompah pictured with The Chump

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THE BLEAT GOES ON:HIGH COURT TO DECIDE PRODUCT FEE

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Yes, it’s true, Racing NSW and its CEO Peter “the not so great” V’Landys, the Darth Vadar of Australian racing, still refuse to sit down with the corporate bookmakers and Betfair and sort out the product fee debacle that seems to have gone on for longer than Days Of Our Lives.

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The Federal Court decision to grant the bookies the right to appeal to the High Court comes as no surprise – nor does the bloody-minded belligerence of the NSW racing industry in perpetuating this farce.

It is clear from what we observed while in Melbourne during their Autumn carnival that forces aligned to Racing NSW and their mates were doing their very best to undermine Racing Victoria’s attempts to find their own workable solution to the product fee debacle. So THIS is what do these over-paid loons DO all day.

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What we found absolutely laughably pathetic was the attempt by Racing Victoria’s de facto opposition– the Victorian Owners Association and its leadership to question the terms of reference and credentials of one of Australia’s leading business and financial consultancies Price Waterhouse Coopers to conduct a review into the various options on a product fee.

Perhaps if Racing NSW channeled some of the obscene sums of money that is finding its way into the bank balances of its legal team, it just might get a speedy and financially beneficial outcome to this whole sorry saga, which continues to tear the industry apart.

It would also allow the owners, trainers, jockeys, strappers and stable staff and their families in NSW to get an early return from racing that they have been waiting for so desperately, for so long.

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HE’S A FREAK!

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“Gawd, I love myself!”

When it comes to the really Big Races,The Bossman can never be counted out. Sure, these days, the focus and the headlines seem to be reserved for Corey Brown- and riding better than ever- Nash “The Gnasher” Rawiller, Hughie Bowman, Craig Williams, Michael Rodd and Luke Nolen, but forget Glen Boss at your peril.

On Saturday at Rosehill when some “sure things” shot blanks in races which barely attracted a handful of runners- truly embarrassing for Racing NSW and their fearless leader and the Darth Vadar of Australian racing- in torrential rain, Glen Boss banged in a four-timer including taking out both Group 1 races, winning on 55 to 1 shot and the forgotten horse, Zavite and the $600,000 Coolmore Classic on the Mick-Price trained Aloha.

How well did he ride? Just ask Boss. When you’re this great, who has time for humility?

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MAHLUCKYDAY TURNS UGLY?

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After its run in the Ranvet Stakes is all hunky dory between the Hawkes and “The Pumpa”- Jimmy Cassidy?

We were there and heard some pretty “fugly” scenes going on between both parties- and some interesting- and arresting- third parties.

What next? We highly doubt that The Pumpa will ride the horse again and we hear some think Mahluckyday has its day. Heard the same?
………………………..

RUN FOR COVER:TVN–SKY OWNERSHIP STAR WARS TAKE SHAPE

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The word is out in the Sydney media that industry broadcaster TVN’s $400 million offer to but Sky Channel has been knocked back by Tabcorp. This is yet another decision that is arguably not in the best interests of the Australian racing industry.

The logic of the racing industry not owning its Intellectual Property- and content- simply beggars belief.

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The Productivity Commission virtually validated the proposition in its Review of wagering and gaming last year, deeming it to be anti-competitive for Tabcorp, the wagering operator to own a big slice of racing’s vision– the cornerstone of racing’s IP.

Ideally the Federal Government should step in and FORCE Tabcorp to divest itself of Sky Channel, and to TVN, the industry-owned broadcaster, whose sole raison d’etre is to maximize the value of racing’s IP. And IP- and content- is arguably one of the most valuable assets that the racing industry owns and whose full value is yet to be maximize.

What these jokers don’t seem to understand is that the term, “Content Is King” is not some archaic term.

In this day and age of new mediums and consumer-generated content, Content is more “Kingly” and pricey and valuable than ever before.

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The owners of TVN– the newly formed Australian Turf Club in NSW and the three Melbourne Race Clubs and the Country Racing Council must be relentless in pursuing such an outcome.

If not, they’ll be dead and gone and exclusive content will eventually become a freebie just as music is now FREE for all to take, steal and devalue.

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MELHAM BECOMES A MELHAMHEAD AGAIN

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Victorian jockey of the moment Ben Melham is in strife with Racing Victoria stewards again– this time over his ride on Montgomery in the 3000 metres Handicap at Moonee Valley last Monday. According to many keen observers it was a shocker.

Melham was only recently cleared by a stewards inquiry into his ride on the David Hayes trained Cross Street and fronting to a stewards inquiry so soon after the last one would be a worry for him.

Over the past racing season, Ben Melham has proven to be one of the most improved riders in Victoria and has come under the radar of many of the big stables and is in demand for some of the better rides in Group races.

Last Saturday, for instance he had the “plum” ride on Star Witness in the Newmarket and is a very talented rider. He needs, however, to keep his focus and not jeopardize the giant strides that he has made towards becoming an elite jockey- and instead, being reduced to a Melhamhead.

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