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Horsing Around 17/8 - 23/8

Our weekly dive into things you may have missed. We bring you a quick recap on the different things that happened in and around racing both at home and abroad in the past week.

Family Feud - Father and son go head to head in Gawler dead heat

Apprentice Jacob Opperman had an eventful start to his career in racing after thinking he’d won his first race a little over a month ago under hands and heels by 50l only to find out a false start had been declared.

He’s now had another interesting point in his young career by being subject of a protest thrown at him by his own father's stable at Gawler on Wednesday.

Opperman Jnr was piloting Ken’s Thunder in the Class One over 2121m and was looming late on in the race to pip Opperman Snr, father Jamie who trained Mulga Lil.

Coming into the final 100m the horses came together several times before the race was declared a dead heat.

Fellow apprentice Caitlin Jones was quick to fire in a first vs first protest citing interference stopping her from getting sole victory for Opperman Snr.


Stewards subsequently dismissed the protest and the dead heat stood leaving both sides of the family to enjoy the spoils over dinner.

The Early Crow: Veteran race caller pitches the early crow on first bend

Veteran race caller Jim Jaques has been across racing for many a year now covering events all over South Australia but he must be wondering why he went with not one but two early crows during race 10 at Gawler on Tuesday night.

On paper it looked like only two dogs stood a chance with $2.40 second favourite Dynamic Lee jumping strongly from box seven to settle just outside the lead, while heavily back favourite Nangar Cookie was slow away from the wide draw in 8.

Jaques quickly fired in an early crow: “"Nangar Cookie missed the start - she was last out, so she's got no hope now,"

Admittedly, whilst slowly into running the favourite soon rallied and moved to 3rd and only a few metres off the lead.

Looking to double down on his early crow with a second declaration Jaques cried: "Going to the front was Dynamic Lee, the one they've best-backed to beat the favourite, and it's home and hosed going around the bend," said Jacques a long way from home in the 400m affair.

Anyone who was watching the race would have wondered what he was watching with the 8 dog in the race the whole way and swooping home to win and Punters were quick to jump on twitter with feedback:


For the hardened punters out there most will also remember Jaques from the viral video of “Horse Race Caller Loses Voice!”.

Omen Betting: After the siren goal leads to new Cox Plate Favourite

The 2020 Cox Plate has a new joint favourite after Melbourne based businessman Ozzie Kheir completed the purchase of highly rated UK galloper Sir Dragonet formerly trained by Aiden O’brien.

Kheir, who also has stakes in 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist and 2019 The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes, has secured Sir Dragonet with big plans of plundering Spring Carnival.

A tab.com.au spokesman says Sir Dragonet was priced at $51 in its Cox Plate market at 1.19pm on Tuesday but five minutes later was into $15 and now shares $11 favouritism with Russian Camelot.

There was also a big shift in Sir Dragonets price for the Melbourne Cup moving from $51 into $18 by Wednesday morning.

Kheir, a lifelong Carlton fan admitted he had been chasing the horse for some time but the reason why he finally got the deal over the line was beggars belief:

"I follow the Blue boys (Carlton) and my wife, every time Carlton plays, with so many close games, she has started making me cocktails," Kheir said.

"So I had a few cocktails watching the Blue boys and I thought if Carlton can win after the siren with that kick then I’m a chance to buy this horse.

"And I’d been trying to buy Sir Dragonet for nearly a year … we looked at probably 50 horses and we knocked back all of them just in the hope we would eventually get this bloke".

"I made the call to Tom Magnier … we got on a conference call and we struck a deal after about three or four cocktails so I said to my wife 'no more cocktails".

"It was an expensive few drinks that’s for sure."

Ozzie will no doubt be looking for Sir Dragonet to replicate his UK G1 form this coming spring:

Win Train Keeps On Rolling: World's Best Race Horse Wins Again

The 2020 Longines World's Best Racehorse claimed another title in this years racing calendar by claiming the Juddmonte International Studd Stakes.

Ghaiyyath trained by Charlie Applebly had been dominating racing in 2020 and the group 1 field in front of the 5yo at Ascot on Wednesday was no exception.

Carrying 60kg and jumping as 11/8 favourite for the race Ghaiyyath never saw another rival in the running leading from start to finish pulling clear in the final furlong to win by 4l.

Appleby told Racing Post after the win that Ghaiyyath's most recent defeat, in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October last year, taught them a bit tactically about the son of Dubawi.

"The one lesson we have learned came in the Arc," the Melbourne Cup-winning trainer said.

"From our draw we made him go forward and on soft ground we went a stride or two too quick. We then saw the result. This time we have purposely just let the horse do it himself.

"The option of the Arc is there again, although in his last two starts we've seen how good he is over ten furlongs. There are plenty of options but, of course, I would love to go for the Arc. It's the race we would all love to win. We didn't run in it last year to make up the numbers. Hopefully, we might have a contender."

Passing Of A Legend: Superstar Mare Dies After Foaling Colt

Champion mare and legend of Australian racing Atlantic Jewel has died after foaling a colt to US Triple Crown winner Justify.

Atlantic Jewel, who had been standing at Coolmoores NSW farm, passed late on Thursday having previously won 10 of her 11 starts in Aus with 4 group one wins amongst those.

Announcing the news Tom Moore from Coolmoore said: “Sadly we lost the brilliant Atlantic Jewel last night when she haemorrhaged after foaling”

The superstar mare didn’t only have a place in Australian racing though having stood several seasons in Ireland where she foaled Royal Ascot Champion Russian Emperor (by Galileo).

During her career Atlantic Jewel amassed $1.5m in prize money with one of her most famous victories coming in the 2013 Memsies stakes. Returning of a 70 week injury enforced layoff she powered clear in the straight under hands and heels showing the true characteristics of a champion:

Spring Watch: Melbourne Cup Globetrotter Retires

Globetrotter and two time place getter in the Melbourne Cup Max Dynamite has retired aged 10 years old. Willie Mullins made the announcement after consulting with owners Rich and Sussanah Ricci.

In a career that span across 44 races Max Dynamite amassed over $2m in prize money finishing with only 5 wins.

The 10 year old competed twice in the Melbourne Cup both in 2015 and again in 2017 finishing 2nd behind Prince Of Penzance and 3rd on his return two years later.

"Jumping was never really his forte," Former Jockey Ruby Walsh said of Max Dynamite when speaking on Racing TV.

"He was a way better Flat horse. Obviously he won a Lonsdale, and he was maybe a little unlucky in a Melbourne Cup when Michelle Payne got a great run down the inside and he got caught in a little bit of a pocket. He served his owners really well and I'm sure he'll enjoy his retirement."

Cash Out Calamity: TAB punter pulls the pin on 4 leg multi to early

There are always a few sore heads around on the weekend but none more so than one TAB punter who pulled the pin early on a 4 leg multi from a $40 stake.

The unlucky TAB customer would have been happy with his $323.41 cash out after seeing Kiss the Bride $4.40 and sweet deal $5.50 salute.

However with a potential $85,184 the punter will have been let scratching his head after watching Verry Elleegant salute in the Winx Stakes at $8 and Zakat ($11) coming home as well.


To add insult to injury for the punter it worked out that if he’d have backed sweet deal and Kiss the Bride in a two legger he would have gained a return of $968 for his $40 stake.

Hot Water: Apprentice Jockey in trouble for buying dog food

Apprentice hoop Tom Sherry found himself in trouble with the Randwick Raceday Stewards on Saturday after leaving the track and making a brief detour to the supermarket prior to the first.

Sherry who had a number of rides on the card sought permission to leave the track in order to sweat to make weight for his upcoming races.

Given that the on course saunas were out of action due to the Covid-19 protocols the Stewards approved the request and allowed him to return home before racing.

It was during the four hour window of the first race and leaving the track a member of the public reported Sherry after seeing him in a local shopping centre buying dog food.

Breaking the rules, Sherry was fined $1000 by stewards with chief stipendiary steward Marc Van Gestel saying "It is a matter of some seriousness given the times we're living in,”


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