Racing

The Hangover: December 22 Racing Review

The build up to the final Saturday of racing before Christmas was dominated by talk surrounding the revamped Eagle Farm track, which was due to host its first meeting in 18 months.

But on the day, the feats of one jockey at a country Victorian meeting, whose own career in the saddle was recently resurrected, stole the limelight.

Here’s our take on the pick of the action from Saturday’s racing.

DUNN DEAL

It wasn’t that long ago that Dylan Dunn, son of veteran jockey Dwayne, elected to hang up the saddle after height and weight issues proved too difficult to overcome.

But the young star returned to race riding in mid-2018 and enjoyed his most prolific day in the saddle at Saturday’s Colac meeting, riding an incredible six winners from six rides.

Dunn bookended the card with driving, narrow wins and scored four more comfortable victories, leading to this response from his manager

BACK TO THE FARM

Many Australians make the pilgrimage home to the Farm at Christmas time but for the Queensland racing fraternity it was a return of a different kind as the Eagle Farm track hosted its first meeting in 18 months.

Leading jockeys spoke of how the surface was akin to “chalk and cheese” when compared to the previous renovation disaster which forced the Brisbane track to close in 2017.

Winners came from the front and rear, with a number of Magic Millions contenders enjoying a final tune up before the big day on January 12 including the aptly named winner of Race 1, Dubious.

WHAT’S IN A NAME

‘Etymology’, according to online dictionaries, is the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.

Unfortunately for the Godolphin horse of the same name, money-muncher has never really changed meaning in the punting vernacular. But on Saturday the serial non-winner turned things around, winning his first ever city race despite being twice Group 1 placed.

It remains to be seen where his next assignment may be, or if the Sheikh will be as patient as the punters who stuck fat over the journey.

HIGH FIVE

Sydney’s staying races are regularly dominated by entrants from the Chris Waller stable, so it was no surprise to see five of the nine runners in Saturday’s Benchmark 88 at Warwick Farm coming from the leading yard.

But few expected to see them fill the first five placings, with $5.00 chance Naval Warfare taking the honours under James McDonald.

The result sent historians reaching for the record books to see whether the feat had been matched before, and just how many times it had occurred.

WILLOWED

We hate to head into Christmas on a sour note – but Creedence backers were well and truly Willowed at Flemington. Check out the vision below (Purple and Gold Stripes, Gold Sleeves)