30 October 2005

BC: Starcraft intrigue

Vic Zest in The Age: "Immediately, a rumour swept through the press corps like bird flu. 'Makin's going to scratch (in the Breeders Cup), for sure,' a woman with the British press said. 'He's got to get out from under all those bets he made with the bookies,' she went on."

MC: Gonzo graphic mars Cup coverage

This bizarre photo montage was used to illustrate speculation of a massive plunge on Makybe Diva, should the horse line up in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup. What is the world coming to?

MC: Vinnie Row vulnerable

"Vinnie Roe ran an absolute corker when chasing home Makybe Diva last year... however, he seems to find two miles just a bit farther than ideal – all his best for is over 14 furlongs – so it’s likely that he will again be vulnerable to something at the business end of the race," so says readaBet.com

29 October 2005

Call to strip racing from the Bush

Back in August business analysts IBISworld painted a gloomy picture of the state of the racing game in Australia. Now, with the Melbourne Cup media frenzy in full flight, the researcher pops up again to prescribe a massive rationalisation of country racing as a panacea to an industry stretched to breaking point by poor profitability from too much country racing. Racing bosses don't buy it.

BC: Starcraft goes with throttle up

"I wanted to see how good he was, and nobody really does that anymore with their horses, do they? Of course, he's never been on dirt, and I'm only getting about even money on my money," owner Paul Makin told the New York Times (reg.required) about his decision to pay the US$800,000 late entry fee to run Starcraft in Saturday's Breeders Cup Classic.

BC: Transglobal Stoute

Sir Michael Stoute "already successful at the Breeders’ Cup with Pilsudski, Kalanisi and Islington, has a relative outsider this time in Favourable Terms, who contests the Filly & Mare Turf. It will barely be run before the trainer is dashing to the airport for a flight on to Australia, where he saddles Distinction in the Melbourne Cup. “I’ll even have to leave before the Classic, which is a race I love,” he told the Times of London.

19 October 2005

Read her writs

Andrew Eddy in The Age reports "leading rails bookmakers Simon Beasley and Alan Eskander are being sued by fellow bookmaker Kathryn Read over comments allegedly made by the pair at a meeting in Melbourne on October 10 to discuss the workings of the Melbourne Cup call-of-the-card function. Beasley and Eskander were both served with a writ on Saturday while working at the Caulfield Cup meeting, with Read seeking damages."

Betfair: Tasmania tempted to say no

"Racing Victoria has made a lucrative multi- million-dollar offer to Tasmania that would see an increase in prizemoney, more races and the scrapping of nomination fees," says Greg Mansfield in the Launceston Examiner. The Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon, Racing Minister Jim Cox, "and local racing administrators are aware of the details but have been told not to say anything." Mansfield speculates that the offer is designed to sway Lennon from handing UK betting exchange operator, Betfair, its first license in Australia.