City Racing in the Country

When I first heard that last Saturday’s race meeting was going to be a stand-alone at Bendigo, I thought the world, or maybe just the racing industry, had gone mad … again.  Why move the races to Bendigo on the weekend that Melbourne was full of tourists here for the Grand Prix?

I’ve always held the opinion that the city tracks are over used and a break from the weekly grind might help even out the various biases that beset them from time to time.  So I was not against the concept but thought the timing could have been better.

As it turned out, the meeting was a resounding success and the government and industry have combined to further bolster prize money for the meeting next year.  It may prove to be the perfect end to the Autumn carnival.  Maybe next year I’ll even back a winner.


The performances of Mosheen to take the Australian Guineas and Rosehill Guineas on top of her Oaks win last spring and second placing in the Golden Slipper last year place her in elite company among fillies.  She was dominant at Flemington and overcame difficulties last Saturday to get to the line first.  I’m happy to stick with her in any race against three year olds they decide to take on.  It will be fascinating to see how she goes as a four year old mare next year.  Will she be added to the list with Special Harmony, Serenade Rose, Shamrocker and others who were dominant three year old fillies and couldn’t reproduce that form as older mares.

6 thoughts on “City Racing in the Country

  1. During the Winter Carnival in Queensland they share the Saturday meetings around to include races like The Ipswich Cup and it seems to work brilliantly.

    I’ve always thought Flemington is over-used and should be kept for big meetings, giving dates to places like Seymour seems win-win to me. There’s a lot of tracks and if they spread them thin enough the novelty value will alway be there.

  2. I think we’ll see more of it in the future after the success of the Bendigo meeting and the Mornington meeting on AFL Grand Final day. There’s no reason why Ballarat can’t be used in the same way. I think the other tracks close to town have ‘quirks’ that might effect the punting turnover and make them less attractive to authorities.

  3. As the old saying goes: “you can’t blame a bloke for trying”. Errr, what I am trying to say is, at least the industry (whoever that is!) tried something different.
    That it seemed to be a success is a credit to them.

    Elbarto, agree with your comments….I have been to mid-winter meetings at headquarters when I was phoned up by the caterers prior to arrival and asked how many pies they should put into the warmer (for the record, my best effort is 5).

  4. Agreed, Smug. Kudos to ‘them’ for trying something different and it appears to be aimed at getting new people involved, which is admirable, and giving the city tracks a rest, which makes perfect sense. Most of the changes you see in racing seem to be designed to give punters more opportunities to get rid of money. What ‘they’ don’t realise is that if the racing is top notch and on a fair surface, punters will swing down out of the trees to get on and more people will go along and watch.

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