Skip to main content

Darwin Cup

International racing fans might not have heard of the Darwin Cup, but it is a racing event to be cherished. Darwin, at the top of the Australian continent, has a rather unique culture (some might just say it's 20yrs behind) but that's part of the charm. At this time of year, there won't have been a drop of rain for three months and it will have been 32C every day in that period, give or take two degrees. Rather than a traditional turf track, the racecourse is an oil-based sand surface which suits local conditions perfectly - it handles the heat and also the heavy rains of the wet season. When I arrived in Darwin to work for a bookmaker, there were two days of rains which led to heavy flooding in Katherine, a couple of hours south of Darwin. The racetrack had no problem handling the torrential downpours - they were still running 1:23 for 1400m!


20,000 people squeeze into Fannie Bay Racecourse for the Darwin Cup, which is traditionally held on the first Monday in August. 20,000 people mightn't sound like a lot, but when the local population is about 60,000, and Darwin is a long, long way from anywhere, it's a huge crowd!

The racing mightn't be the highest standard (the Northern Territory horse population is full of cast-offs from the southern states of Australia), but the Darwin Cup carnival is a fantastic event with a very strong bookmakers' ring. The racing schedule is done right too, with the Cup being the last race of the day at 5.30pm, followed by post-racing festivities at the track - so there's no need to start ridiculously early like they do on Melbourne Cup day, when many are passed out by the big race. It also gives the crowd plenty of time to arrive, and recover from the previous night's hangover....

If you've never been, it is a fantastic event to attend. Can't wait to get back there again myself....

For those in the UK, Darwin will be shown on the overnight Australian racing coverage on ATR, but I can't guarantee they won't switch to the teleshopping before the Cup!

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...

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

It's not just about the Tingle Creek tomorrow at Sandown, there's a Grade 1 Novice Chase amongst the rather decent supporting card. Lining up for the preview is astute NH enthusiast Sam Tribe, @samtribe87.

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

Racing Post Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
Grade 1 Chase, 2 Miles
Sandown 13:50
Likely going Soft, Good to Soft in places


With doubts concerning the fitness of last year’s Queen Mother Chase winner Sire De Grugy and of the two mile chase king Sprinter Sacre (despite bullish remarks from Henderson) there is a chance for another to step into the limelight. Both have won the feature race of the day, The Tingle Creek Chase and that will more than likely throw a few into the hat. However, I have chosen to take a look at the Henry VIII chase, which was changed to a grade 1 in 2011 and has been won by some nice prospects in the past (Somersby and Al Ferof to name but a few). Let’s hope that a potential Champion Chase contender of the future will feature in this …

Kentucky Derby preview

It's America's big day of racing, where 90% of them will be there to be seen and most won't have a clue what difference Churchill Downs Inc's latest takeout hike does to shaft them on every bet placed. Throw in the standard arguments about race-day medication in the US and the recent New York Times/PETA expose on yesterday's Oaks-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, and racing in North America could be in better health.

Still, it's one of the elite races and great occasions of the world, and stepping up to the plate is Jon da Silva again, @creamontop, with his preview in a very American style. (No I don't understand Brisnet figures either...)

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

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands

They say you should avoid food additive E-numbers which you can’t with Yum Brands…

Yum! Brands, Inc. or Yum! is a United States-based Fortune 500 corporation. Yum! operates or licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwid…