After a huge start to 2015, a quieter day for the Dungeon Saturday where we only played the Rosehill card and despite several suggestions at odds looking the winner/right in the mix in the dying stages, we were only able to collect a winning dividend with arguably Australia's best racehorse at the moment in CONTRIBUTOR, although we did also suggest a saver/multi suggestion with VANCOUVER. Additionally, there were plenty (a few too many for our liking) placings with 4 x 2nd placings, 3 of which by very small margins.
In saying that, we have decided to reflect on the card and noticed that we were still very much on the pulse with several winners not suggested but mentioned as big watches (VOLKSTOCK'N'BARREL, REAL IMPACT - both having first start in Aus) as well as VANCOUVER who was the one to beat in the Slipper. Additionally, 3 x 2nd placings where we were simply unable to get our head down at the right time (MUSIC MAGNATE, CRITERION, PHRASES). CRITERION the most shattering after looking home metres before the line at juicy odds. Finally, also worth highlighting what we considered to be a brilliant ride on SWEET IDEA by our boy Blake Shinn who we put a line through with most of the field due to being an on pacer, but he smartly went back instead in what in our opinion was most definitely the race winning move.
Race 1: SHAMALIA too good with our suggestions running 2nd and 3rd respectively. MOSSFUN looked to be cruising on the turn and had every chance, YGRITTE got us $2.30 place following our each way investment. (RESULT: 2nd, 3rd)
Race 2: We successfully laid RISING ROMANCE at the $1.80, however unfortunately couldn’t find the right roughie to beat her. SCRATCHY BOTTOM snuck up on the rail and stole it right on the line. Dungeon never close with ENTERTAINS over-racing the entire race (and later found to be carrying 1kg extra which never helps), the over-racing probably helps Buick get away without a suspension as the horse was cooked in the straight and had he been closer the excess 1kg would’ve been dealt with much harsher. INISHOWEN and JIAYUGUAN both had support pre-race at big prices but struggled. (RESULT: UNPLACED)
Race 3: Our longshot SNAKE CHARMER was backed from $51 into $31 and we were quietly confident, however chances were over after 100m after suffering severe interference and effectively taking us and KUMAON out of the race. However, it then looked our top pick was going to get the chocolates, but MUSIC MAGNATE who looked the winner with 100m just couldn’t reel in PEEPING who dug deep. This was unfortunately going to be the first of several times we looked the winner in the closing stages only to be the bridesmaid. (RESULT: 2nd)
Race 4: This one was won a long way from home and thankfully we were on arguably the best racehorse in Australia at the moment in CONTRIBUTOR. Most definitely the one to beat in the Queen Elizabeth and we secured $2.60 for our troubles, of which there weren’t many. (RESULT: WIN)
Race 5: We mentioned we were wary (big watches) of the kiwis in MONGOLIAN KHAN and VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL, with the later reeling in PREFERMENT on the line. Unfortunately for Dungeon followers our pick SWEYNESSE put in arguably most disappointing run despite finishing 4th, but was well behind the first two and wouldn’t be surprised if they find an issue, as it was out of character. (RESULT: 4th)
Race 6: We got the speed map here spot on, taking on every horse that we expected to sit on what was always going to be a hot pace up front. Problem was SWEET IDEA has always been one of those to sit right on the pace, but arguably our favourite jockey in Blake Shinn proved his brilliance but summing up the situation perfectly and deciding to sit midfield in 8th and sweep past the on pacers who as expected faded late. Wish we had we known this was going to happen, but the lesson if anything is to never discount those with the very best jockeys aboard. By the best in Australis we mean Shinn, Bowman and McDonald and obviously the magic man Moreira when he makes the trek down under. Of ours, both settled further back as expected and both were coming at the business end, however could only manage 4th (FAST N ROCKING, missing out in the photo for 2nd, 3rd, 4th with KURO and MIRACLES OF LIFE) and 6th (KNOYDART). Not that it gets any of our coin back, but reports today are that KNOYDART felt the firmer track late and needs some more give in the track. (RESULT: 4th)
Race 7: Have heard the conspiracy theories by the bar flies at the pub (in reference to how easily the field parted to make way for VANCOUVER to find a decent spot, 3 wide with cover from barrier 18), but a completely dominant victory to favourite VANCOUVER who looks straight out of the top drawer. Doesn’t get our money back for EXOSPHERE who ran 17.9L last but there was an excuse with him suffering cardiac arrhythmia. A shame for all connections and punters who were aboard for this to happen in such a big race. FIREWORKS was well beaten and obviously the late entry fee was a waste in hindsight, but our longshot SERENADE at $151 gave a brilliant site, just missing out on a place at a huge $37.50 the place! Finished 7th beaten 2.1L (0.5L behind 3rd). Fair site for something at the huge $151 win / $37.50 place quote. (RESULT: UNPLACED, although suggested VANCOUVER for savers/multies)
Race 8: We were wary (big watches) of the Japanese raiders WORLD ACE and REAL IMPACT, and unfortunately the later beat us on CRITERION in a very close photo finish. We slowly but surely reeled in REAL IMPACT and have no doubt hit the lead, only for REAL IMPACT to kick again late and get his head down at the perfect moment. We looked a big chance at 400m, bigger at the 200m, looked the winner at 100m, looked home until the final 5m and then unfortunately got nutted on the line. Some consolation we got $3.00 place for our troubles, but obviously would have much preferred the double figure win dividend. (RESULT: 2nd)
Race 9: In the lucky last, we were very keen on PHRASES who we made our BEST VALUE bet of the day. We expected to get our own way up front, so was a little wary when the 3 Waller runners (smart enough to know on pace was the place to be) came around PHRASES who settled 3rd to sit 1st, 2nd and 4th. PERMIT ended up leading with Tommy Berry taking the ascendency and it proved a race winning move. PHRASES unfortunately just lost his position on the turn before hitting the line very well but just couldn’t reel in the winner despite his best attempts close to the line. Consolation with securing $3.40 place, especially given we had a decent crack, but again we obviously would have much preferred the $15 win dividend. (RESULT: 2nd)
Would have loved to finish the day with a couple of juicy winners (@ $10+, $15+ respectively) but we've had some luck on our side of late, hence it was our time to get done by small margins on a few occasions, as that's racing! Onwards and upwards to the rest of the Autumn carnival.