Horse birth­day is just the start

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Ray Thomas

THE new rac­ing sea­son starts at Rose­hill Gar­dens on Au­gust 1 and the fea­ture race is the $100,000 Win­ter Chal­lenge (1500m).

Although the recog­nised car­ni­val horses have only just be­gun train­ing and are not due to re­turn to rac­ing un­til later in Au­gust, don’t dis­re­gard the Win­ter Chal­lenge form.

Last year, He’s Your Man was a fast-fin­ish­ing win­ner of the Win­ter Chal­lenge. Later that spring car­ni­val he won the Group 1 Ep­som Hand­i­cap and was a close sec­ond in the Group 1 Mackin­non Stakes.

The race also set the tone for trainer Chris Waller’s ex­tra­or­di­nary 2014-15 sea­son when he trained the win­ners of a record $26.5 mil­lion and claimed his fifth suc­ces­sive Syd­ney premier­ship. WORLD’S FORE­MOST THE Aus­tralian rac­ing in­dus­try is one of the largest and most suc­cess­ful in world rac­ing.

Dur­ing the 2015/16 Aus­tralian rac­ing sea­son, there will be more than 35,000 thor­ough­breds com­pet­ing in nearly 20,000 races on 368 race­tracks for to­tal prize­money ex­ceed­ing $500 mil­lion.

NSW is the big­gest rac­ing state with 121 race­tracks and more than 750 race meet­ings. HORSES’ BIRTH­DAY SATUR­DAY is also the of­fi­cial birth­day of all south­ern hemi­sphere thor­ough­breds, re­gard­less of their ac­tual birth date.

The breed­ing and foal­ing sea­son be­gins in Au­gust. The na­tion’s foal crop has been in de­cline in re­cent years and about 14,000 foals are ex­pected to be born this spring, con­sid­er­ably down on the 18,510 live foals born 20 years ago. JOCK­EYS TIP MY TIP for this week­end is to fol­low form jock­eys Hugh Bow­man, Blake Shinn and James McDon­ald.

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