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By Damian Browne | Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Brownie’s Blog is the weekly blog of multiple Group 1 winning jockey Damian Browne. In this edition Brownie turns his attention to the Ascot Racing Carnival in Perth as well as giving a tip of his cap to the popular grey The Candy Man who bounced back to his best with an emphatic win on Saturday. This is Brownie’s Blog – exclusive to HRO.

The Group 1 racing focus now turns to Perth with three consecutive weeks of racing at the elite level featuring the Railway Stakes, the Winterbottom and the Kingston Town Classic.

The onus is on trainers to target the right horses for Perth. For visiting runners, it is a fair sort of trip and obviously it is a bit warmer over there.

There might have been a time when the bigger stables might have lined up the Group 1 races in Perth thinking they were a bit weaker, but West Australian horses have proved in the last twenty years that their better ones are certainly up to challenge … so it is pretty hard to go over there and beat the locals. It takes a pretty handy one to do it.

It’s a really good carnival. They get a great crowd, great support and, generally, the weather is good. The two times I’ve been there the crowd has been jammed and I’d say they have been very happy with amount of people they get through the gate.

They are racing for good money there now. They get all of the good jockeys … I know Douglas Whyte came from Hong Kong on occasions to ride there as well so they have got a lot going for it.

If they do lose out anywhere it is possibly related to the time difference to the east coast. People maybe turn off racing at five or six o’clock in the evening on a Saturday after watching racing all day and that’s where Perth might lose out a little bit … but it is well worth staying tuned.


The Winterbottom might have a unique record. It is certainly a special one as no less than three Winterbottom winners … Takeover Target, Ortensia and Buffering … all went on to claim success on the international stage.

I have ridden at the carnival on two occasions and was fortunate enough to come away with back to back Group 1 wins in the Winterbottom aboard Buffering … wins that were achieved in two very different circumstances.

The first win was a very gutsy win because I felt he was probably coming towards the end of his preparation. He felt a bit flat that day. It was uncomfortably warm and Moment Of Change looked like he had us at the 200m, but Buff, to his credit, as usual gave all that he had and he got the result.

Moment of Change was trained by Peter Moody so it was nice to get one over Peter after all of the times Black Caviar kept Buffering back in the minor placings.

Buffering was a lot more dominant in the second win and I didn’t get fined or suspended (like I was in the first win) so it was a more pleasurable experience. My wife Kim came over with me for that second win so it was nice to have here there in what is really a lovely atmosphere.

It is a bit more relaxed than Sydney and Melbourne and it is just such a beautiful place … although you do have to get used to the flies.

I actually just got to go along on the ride for the second win. Buffering won pretty easily.

Good memories.


Away from Perth, how good was it to see The Candy Man back in form and back in the winner’s enclosure at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

The Candy Man was a very big talking point during the Winter Carnival last preparation, with all of the problems he has experienced, so it was great to see him gaining another success for Lucky Pippos and Barry Baldwin under a beautiful ride from Matty McGillivray.

Sadly, The Candy Man’s regular rider Michael Cahill, who has been out with injury, suffered another setback this week.

I wish him all of the best in his recovery.

More articles

Damian Browne
Damian Browne
The Candy Man … winning again (see below). His connections (pictured above) deserve every success
The Candy Man … winning again (see below). His connections (pictured above) deserve every success
Michael Cahill and The Candy Man

Photos: Graham Potter
Michael Cahill and The Candy Man

Photos: Graham Potter
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