A busy week in racing

Matt Smith
Matt Smith gives us a rundown of the week in racing.

You live . . .

Another New Zealand Cup Week is behind us and — despite the lack of Otago success — there was plenty to take out of the week. Such as:

— it may have taken the southerners a while, but finally there was a full field for the South Of The Waitaki Pace on Show Day.

— Southlanders know how to train a horse, too. Kirk Larsen’s win with Bettor Ops in the South Of The Waitaki Pace was the first of four wins for trainers south of Balclutha on Show Day. Notably, Captain Dolmio is no slug and looks to have a big future for Gore trainer Matt Brinsdon.

— greyhound fans can get animated. As mentioned in the race review and Monday’s top 5, the cheering from Swimming Goat’s supporters as soon as the boxes opened is something Racing Matters has never heard at a greyhound meeting. More of that, please.

— you never know who is going to turn up at a stable. To discover veteran jockey David Walsh at All Stars Stables on the Saturday prior to the New Zealand Trotting Cup was a surprise, to say the least.

. . . you learn

— the wise philosopher Homer Simpson once said "water, water everywhere, so let’s all have a drink". That was a feasible option for thirsty punters at Addington on New Zealand Trotting Cup day. Addington officials showed great foresight to have about 10,000 bottles of water to give away, rather than trying to fleece another $4 or $5 at every given opportunity. Host responsibility should take precedence over clipping the hospitality ticket, and the results — no arrests — speak for themselves.

— On the other side of the coin, it seems the police still weren’t thrilled with crowd behaviour at Riccarton on New Zealand Cup day for the thoroughbreds. It might be hard to spot too much trouble when you’re based in the members’ stand and the birdcage, but the levels of intoxication just in the members’ stand seemed considerably down on previous years.

We’re all in this together

Good news — commingling has resumed for quinellas, First4s and late quaddies as of Wednesday. Now it’s actually worth having an exotic bet on race 7 from Redcliffe harness on a Wednesday night (not joking either).

Easing down

This will be the second-to-last — or as the Trackside presenters like to say, "penultimate" — Racing Matters column. I only mention it as you will hear more about my replacement early next week before I sign off from the column next Friday.

Lazy Fiver

Racing Matters was too busy banging out a story to get a bet on the last race at Riccarton on Saturday. So naturally, Margarita Mover powered past William Wallace to win, paying $7.80. I think a couple of people got involved, so we’re happy to help. Seconds to Alderbeck and Dark Horse have to be great form for Rydgemont Milly in race 5 at Ascot Park on Sunday.


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