Many eyes when it came to the Victorian horse racing scene were on the Goulburn Valley on Monday.
Lindsay Park Euroa was the scene as jockey Luke Nolen had his first ride aboard Oscietra, the daughter of unbeaten champion mare Black Caviar.
‘‘I like her — she’s got a temperament just like her mother,’’ Nolen told Racing.com.
‘‘She’s a bit smaller than she was at the same stage of her career, but she moves like a bigger horse.
‘‘She’s quite deceiving.’’
The two-year-old filly is set to have her first public appearance at the Flemington official jump-outs within the next fortnight.
Nolen acknowledged the weight of expectation was going to be on the shoulders of Oscietra, by sprinter Exceed And Excel.
The first of three foals Black Caviar has had to date, Oscietra impressed Nolen when allowed to stride out.
‘‘What I did like today was that it was probably the first time she’s been opened up a bit and she did it very professionally,’’ he said.
Following the retirement of Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody, her owners chose Lindsay Park as the place to send her progeny due to its country location.
Racing Victoria stewards have disqualified renowned Wodonga trainer Brian Cox for 3 years.
Cox had been found guilty on November 2 of four charges relating to administration of an anabolic androgenic steroid to two horses on two separate occasions after submitting a plea of not guilty to stewards.
He pleaded guilty to possession of Nitrotrain and to manhandling stewards when they attended his border stable in March.
Cox, who regularly saddles up runners at Goulburn Valley tracks and has won feature races including the Echuca Cup (Minnie Downs) and Italian Plate (Bringenbrong) in recent years, was also found guilty of providing false and misleading evidence.
The horseman came out swinging after the verdict was handed down in a bid to keep his 45-year career going.
‘‘I think it’s a disgrace the way Racing Victoria has handled this. They’ve got the money, they can treat you any way they like, there is no respect,’’ Cox told G1X.com.au.
‘‘It’s an antiquated system the way this has been run. You’d get a much fairer hearing in the court system, but I just haven’t got the money.’’
Southern Riverina News journalist Jamie Lowe caught up with Jerilderie riding export Brooke Sweeney, who is on the mend following a horrific fall on Berrigan Cup Day in October.
After the final race of the day the talented apprentice jockey was running a barrier trial on the horse Fabled Warrior, which her father Phil trains.
Sweeney, 22, was knocked off the horse by stablemate Gentleman Charlie after passing the winning post, suffering a severe leg injury.
‘‘I completely ruptured my calf muscle and fractured my fibula,’’ Sweeney said.
‘‘It was just so unexpected. Before that I was having a great day ... I’d ridden a double in my first and second races and everything was working out well.
‘‘Then we had a barrier trial and after the post Charlie started misbehaving and instead of running left where dad was guiding him he ran to the right straight into me.
‘‘When I came off I was trapped in between the barricade and Fabled Warrior. My leg got caught under my horse’s leg and the rest is history.’’
The fall was the worst in Sweeney’s four-year career, but most certainly not her first.
Among other mishaps, she was concussed and suffered a sprained ankle in a fall at Wodonga last year.
But the injuries have not deterred Sweeney from wanting to get back on the horse next year.
‘‘I should hopefully be right to go again in two to three months,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve been told that I should make a full recovery, so I can’t wait to get back into it.
‘‘I’m undergoing physio sessions in Melbourne and my physiotherapist is quite happy with how I’m coming along.
‘‘I’ve also been doing extra fitness work to keep my body strong and make sure its ready as soon as I’m healed.’’
Benalla is scheduled to host a seven-race TAB card on Saturday.
Acceptances for the meeting will be taken today for a program that consists of two maidens, four Rating 58 Handicaps and the strongest race in terms of grading, a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1106m).
Close to 300 nominations were taken for the meeting, so expect some sizeable events when the final fields are released.
Considering our latest outstanding run of fine weather, it is no surprise to see the track rated a Good 4.
Seymour’s father and son duo of Barry and Reece Goodwin enjoyed success on the picnic circuit at Woolamai on Saturday.
The Goodwins combined to win the Ken Reid Memorial with The Flying Doormat.
A recent addition to the stable after doing his early racing under the guidance of Pat Cannon, The Flying Doormat produced a sharp display to prevail by 1 lengths from Muss in the 1008m Open Trophy event.
Named after Carlton champion Bruce Doull, The Flying Doormat arrived in the Goodwin stable with a reputation of promising the world but delivering an atlas, as highlighted by his career record of two wins from 20 starts.
But if this result is any indication, his new owners are going to have a bit of fun with the mercurial six-year-old gelding.
The success proved the start of a good weekend for the stable when The Sands scored a narrow, but hard-fought win in a $16000 Benchmark 58 Handicap (1600m) at Swan Hill on Sunday.
I have been to a few different racecourses across Australia, including Innisfail, Moulamein, Eidsvold, Alice Springs and of course Darwin.
But one place still on my bucket list is King Island, located off Tasmania.
Located in Bass Strait, King Island has a thriving racing carnival that starts on Saturday and runs through until the end of January.
The highlight of the season is on New Year’s Day when the King Island Galloping Cup and King Island Pacing Cup is staged.
Shepparton jockey Jake Duffy is heading down to Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Duffy will partner Anemoi, trained by Danielle Loos at Geelong, in a 2040m Benchmark 64 Handicap.
The hoop is no stranger to riding the son of Street Cry, having partnered him to a debut win at Cranbourne back in July.
The race is on at 9.30pm.
Echuca trainers Daryl Archard (Blue Jangles) and Gwenda Johnstone (Pravro) are also saddling up runners at the meeting.
Great to see Runsati back to something like his best form with a slashing third behind Shakespearean Lass at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
The Benalla Bullet bounced back from a down the track run at Listed level, to be beaten little more than a length in a $90000 Open Handicap (1000m).
His record at the Valley is outstanding and no doubt trainer Bryan Maher has already marked another race on the calendar at that venue for his stable star.
The connections of Sheidel experienced déjà vu all over again at Ascot on Saturday.
The bonny mare, trained by Lindsay Park Euroa, was narrowly denied her maiden Group One win for the second time in six months.
Takedown ran the game speedster down in the $1million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
Back in May, Sheidel experienced a similar fate in the UBET Classic (1200m) at Morphettville, when run down by the Goulburn Valley-owned mare Precious Gem.
A dual Group Three winner, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor is surely going to go one better soon.
I wonder if the $200000 prize money for running second in Western Australia’s premier sprint race helped ease the pain somewhat.
Just on that Ascot carnival, the racing has been magnificent and the Sandgropers will take on the eastern state raiders again on Saturday.
Lindsay Park Euroa has He Or She in the feature race of the day, the $1million Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Having been on the New Zealand raider Kawi in his past two starts, the change to weight-for-age conditions and step up in trip, I’m banking on him getting the job done this time around.
Until next week,
Back a winner.