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MY CALL: DRILLING DOWN ON RACING SURFACE PROBLEMS

By David Fowler | Tuesday, March 14, 2017

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

It’s hard to digest and comprehend the flurry of ideas and events that traversed the racing industry in the past week.

Some were old chestnuts yet some touched the cornerstone of Australia’s racing tradition.

One even clashed head-on with an issue much wider than racing itself.

Let’s examine the week that passed.

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RACETRACKS: The Eagle Farm situation reached a highpoint (lowpoint?) when there was a fight to get to the outside rail at Monday’s meet.

Brisbane Racing Club understand this has reached a crisis point, particularly with the Winter Carnival on the horizon.

There will be robust discussion, and hopefully some positive results, between the relevant parties before Eagle Farm hosts the April 1 meeting.

This writer believes the track is being watered too much which is resulting in a damp surface, inconsistent track ratings and jockeys navigating wider paths.

Some refute this line of thinking vehemently.

It doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong as long as we can, and excuse the pun, “get back on track”.

Eagle Farm wasn’t alone in track woes as cries of bias to the inside section of Flemington were heard at the last two Saturday meetings.

Flemington track manager Mick Goodie is certainly no stranger to “controversy corner”.

And I’ll leave it at that.

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CAULFIELD AND MELBOURNE CUPS:-

Melbourne Racing Club’s move to shift the Caulfield Cup to weight-for-age generally received an unfavourable response.

To a small degree I can understand the MRC’s line of thought.

The Caulfield Cup is not the attention grabber it once was, living in the shadow of the sexier Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup week.

It’s high on tradition but fading on glamour.

But will a switch to WFA result in such a sharp turnaround?

I doubt it. A smaller field will result in less turnover and do we need a WFA Caulfield Cup a week before the Cox Plate.

The MRC and MVRC say neither race will have an effect on the other. Rubbish.

And the chatter of moving the Melbourne Cup from the first Tuesday in November was consigned to the dustbin as quickly as it was raised.

And that’s a good thing !

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RACING ON GOOD FRIDAY:

I’m not religious but I respect religion.

Good Friday is “time out” for me and Christmas Day is all about family and friends.

Perth’s decision to race at Ascot on Good Friday on April 14 will create the “domino effect”. I expect other states to follow suit.

Reaction has been mixed.

I don‘t like it but, hey, I don’t have to watch it or bet on it.

It’s like those who complain about a certain TV show or a publication. If you don’t like it, it’s simple, don’t watch or read it.

My views are mine and don’t need to be imposed on others.

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I’ll end on a fastidious note but some things are consistently bugging me.

Can we have the presentation of runners parading for a race at south-east Queensland tracks smartened up.

Runners regularly come out in the wrong order or at various intervals rather than a neat and tidy 1 to 12.

There’s no excuse and it lacks professionalism.

And, of less importance, can we have a ban on one word and one expression in the racing media.

Are you sick of seeing the word “cracking” apply to everything in racing? I am.

And what does the “penny drop” actually mean. Bar it for life.

Over and out !

More articles


David Fowler
David Fowler
The Eagle Farm situation reached a highpoint (lowpoint?) when there was a fight to get to the outside rail at Monday’s meet

Photos: Graham Potter
The Eagle Farm situation reached a highpoint (lowpoint?) when there was a fight to get to the outside rail at Monday’s meet

Photos: Graham Potter
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