Battler has right to take on Winx
WIN X will face just six rivals in tomorrow’s Turnbull Stakes at Fleming ton but if some people had their way there would only be five horses taking on the champion mare.
Some punters have argued whether the modestly performed Sky fire should even be allowed to be in the Group 1 race.
After all he is rated $301 by the bookies and those odds should probably be closer to $3000 on the strength of his lasts tarf if hi na Benchmark 78 at Mo ring ton.
But does that mean he shouldn’ t be in the field? Abso - lutely not.
The cold, hard facts are that there were only seven acceptors for a race t hat can take a field of 16 and this is what many people, including myself, love about racing–giving the battle ra chance to take on
best horse so fall. It’ s probably the equivalent of the C-grade park footballer playing in the NRL. It would never happen of course in rugby league, and in most other sports for that matter, but that’ s what sets us apartin the so-c alled ‘ Spor of Kings ’.
If we ramp up restictions on race sin terms ability then it decreases the ever slim chance sofa rags to rich es story, the bat ler pulling off the unthinkable, which we experience in racing a few tm es a year.
Sky fire’ s trainer Amy Johnston made a great point in the media this week as well. Not only do Sky fire’ s owners get t he chance to say ‘I raced against Winx’ at Fleming ton but what happens if four of the Turn bull Stake sunners scratch on Saturday morning?
Sure it ’s a st retch but it wouldn’ t be the first time that four horses have been scratched from a race. All of a sudden there would be field of three and Sky fire would be guaranteed a Group 1 placing no matter how far he is beaten by Win x.
As it stands now, Sky fire will earn $10,000 for running last, which is a bigger przecheque the horse has picked up in all bar one of his 28 race st r ts to date.
I understand the argument that the average punter having abet on Sky fire isp robably not going to get a run for their money but there’ s three counter arguments here.
One is if Sky fire is paying $301, the‘ average’ punter should know simply by the price hat it’ s extremely unlikely to win. The second is they are betting on horses –they’ re not machines and things can go wrong some horses run below par for whatever reason, meaning the $301 shot can still, against all odds, pull off the uke lies t of victories or even place.
The third point is there are horses that go around under the odds (and over the odds for that matter) every day of the week. Do we have a problem with the ‘average punter’ taking $2.50 about hype horse that should really be a $5 chance? The answer is no, so why we have problem in Skyfire’s case? No one is making a punter back this horse.
The ‘embarrassment argument’ doesn’t wash with me either. only one who should feel embarrassed by this is potentially the owners or trainer of Skyfire and if they’re happy to race then why should we stop them. We have horses finishing 30 lengths last every week of the year for a range of reasons.
Racing is special because it allows connections to have a wild throw at the stumps( or very ild in Sky fire’ s case) and the more we rest r ict such horses taking on the gr eats
move away from what we’re about – iv ing the battler the chance to take on our champions no matter t he odds.
Speaking of Winx, good luck to the TA B punter who placed a $94,150 bet on the great mare
win the Turn bull Stakes earlier this week at $1.15.
The final Group 1 of the Sydney Spring Carnival is almost upon us in Sydney with running of the Spring champions take sat Rand wick tomorrow.
I have to be with Ace High after his gutsy in in the Gloaming Stakes a fort night ago. My best bet on the Randwick card is Viri dine in the Roman Consul Stakes, whle I also expect Dixie Blossoms to go close in Race 8.
Trainer Amy Johnston with Skyfire at her property in Mornington.