Skip to main content

as we warm up for Cheltenham in the UK, the Australian version closes down

Just over two weeks to the fantastic Cheltenham festival in the UK, the World Series of jumping. This year promises to be as big any other, I really can't see the recession making an ounce of difference.


But sadly, Cheltenham racecourse in Australia has closed its gates for the final time. Racing in South Australia (capital city Adelaide) is in a sad state of affairs. Once within sight of Victorian racing as a competitor, now it probably ranks below Tasmania and WA for interest and prizmoney. The govt really have let it slide and the big stables have deserted it in droves. Consequently, three city tracks in Adelaide had to be downsized. After debate lasting several years, Cheltenham in the north-west suburbs was put up for sale. By the picture above, you can see just how dry it is in Adelaide. Track three, Victoria Park, in the beautiful public access parklands (meaning they can never lock it up as a secure venue), will probably not be used again.

Morphettville was always the premier track in Adelaide, now all the money is going into upgrading the facility and adding a second grass track. But if the prizemoney is still poor (standard races yesterday were for $25k prizepool, very poor for Saturday metro) then the standard of facilities ain't going to make a lick of difference.

A sting might be in the tail though re Cheltenham. It was sold off to a property developer and money has yet to change hands. And it wouldn't take much cynicism in the current state of the economy to think that could be a while off yet....

Cheltenham in Adelaide has a special place in my heart. I was once kicked off the course by a zealous policewoman who picked I was betting under age, about six months before my 18th birthday. Male police didn't care or didn't notice, I'd been betting at various tracks for years by that stage! She could have picked a better time - I'd been losing all day and just started turning it around with a couple of winners in a row when I was advised to move on!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Gimcrack Stakes preview

The final day of the Ebor Festival has a great spread of races, and just one of them could be described as having a clear-cut favourite. A solid reward for anyone who can find a winner.

The 2yo feature of the day is the Gimcrack Stakes, and saddling up again for the preview is Darren Goodbody, @DarrenPGoodbody. You can read more of his work here.

----------------------

Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo C&G
£220,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


What a week it has been on the Knavesmire, some impressive juveniles to keep on the note book especially Tasleet of William Haggas's and Wesley Ward's Acapulco who impressed me taking on older horses, but even though with the 29lb allowance he could not over come proven Group 3 winning sprinter Mecca's Angel.

Mark Johnston has not improved on his six percent average here at York and I have reservations that it is going to improve with Buratino or Ode the Evening. The Listed Woodcote Stakes and Group 3 Coven…

Villiers Stakes preview

The highlight of summer racing in Sydney is the Villiers Stakes. Tasked with the preview is Mitch Fenton.

-------------------

Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT

Form link

Website
Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking


The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

I’m going to stick with that form line; here’s the horses who ran in the Festival, running today.

1 I'm Imposing (55.5) 20-1
2 [0.1] Estonian Princess (54) 7-1
3 [0.3] Strawberry Boy (57.5) 6-1
5 [1.7] Sir Moments (56) 11-2
6 [2.5] Multilateral (54) 60-1
7 [3.8] Scream Machine (56) 20-1
8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

Out of all those runs in the Festival, Strawberry Boy was a clear top pick for mine.

He worked very hard out in front with his 1500m to 600m times and was 3L quicker than the average. He was entitled to drop out of the race but instead he fought on dogged…