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Horse racing is much more than an excuse for gambling. It is a love for the beauty, grace and speed of the horse. It can also be an intellectual battle of examining competing facts and trying to formulate the future from results of the past. In some ways it is an investigation, as performed by an eager detective. And in other ways it can be the thrill of a crossword puzzle, with multiple possible responses, but ultimately only one correct answer. It is a thing of beauty as much as it is a matter of commerce. I have been involved with horse racing in both practical and intellectual ways. From time spent as an apprentice jockey, to later the research of bloodlines in the multimillion dollar world of thoroughbred breeding and sales. And for the past twelve years I have provided speedrating information to the racing industry and public through my company: Speedratings - Leonard Marlborough.

Fawkner

October 17th 2014 05:30
Fawkner
words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray



The Caulfield Cup winner of 2013, Fawkner, was a very impressive winner of the G1 Caulfield Stakes over 2000 metres at Caulfield on the 11th of October. Fawkner won by a head over the fast-finishing Criterion (Hugh Bowman) with Side Glance (Jamie Spencer) third.

Trained by Robert Hickmott for 'Team Williams' the grey son of Reset is bypassing the 2014 renewal of the Caulfield Cup with the aim to win the 2014 W.S. Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. Fawkner is currently favourite to win the Cox Plate.


It is also worth remembering that Fawkner ran a very strong 6th in the 2013 Melbourne Cup after settling near last and making up tons of ground in the latter stages.





click images for enlargements

(above) Fawkner with Nick Hall aboard on his way to the start in the Caulfield Stakes

(below) Fawkner bursts clear from Side Glance (3rd on rails in yellow) with 2nd placed Criterion (blinkers) starting to issue a challenge.


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Divine Calling

October 12th 2014 22:23
Divine Calling

words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Tony Wong



Divine Calling, a striking grey son of Stratum, had a stellar 3 year old campaign in Australia. Trained by Gai Waterhouse, his peak performance was a G2 win at Moonee Valley in the Stutt Stakes (1600m) - defeating Shamus Award and Cluster. A month later Shamus Award would come out and win the premier event, the G1 W.S. Cox Plate over 2040m at Moonee Valley.




click image for enlargement

Divine Calling also finished 2nd in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) behind Long John - with Shamus Award finishing behind him again, this time in third placing. He finished his 3 year old year with outstanding speedfigures.

Soon after Divine Calling was sold to Hong Kong to be trained by Tony Millard.

Making his debut at Sha Tin on the 12th of October, Divine Calling was ridden by Zac Purton and started favourite in the 1400m Cafeteria Handicap over 1400 metres. The win was stunning - with the time recorded a very fast 1:20:98 - and Purton never asking Divine Calling for anything more than minimal effort.

Divine Calling is most likely to become a star of Hong Kong racing.
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Lucia Valentina

October 6th 2014 03:10
Lucia Valentina

words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray




Star New Zealand mare, Lucia Valentina, overcame pre-race concerns with a hoof issue (and subsequent examinations from the Racing Victoria veterinarian) to take out the G1 Turnbull Stakes (2000 metre) at Flemington last Saturday.





Photo above: head on view of the runners hitting the line: winner Lucia Valentina is wide with green & blue stripes. Directly behind her is the grey Puissance De Lune (4th) who pulled up sore and is now out for the spring. Far right (against rail - with nose roll) is Brambles (Luke Nolen) & outside of him is (also with nose roll is fellow Peter Moody trained stablemate) Lidari (2nd).

click images for enlargement



Jockey Kerrin McEvoy settled Lucia Valentina in a midfield position, angling her through traffic in the straight to run down the brave on-speed runners, Lidari (2nd) and Brambles (3rd).

The Kris Lees trained Lucia Valentina is now outright favourite for the upcoming Caulfield Cup.





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Chautauqua

October 6th 2014 02:02
Chautauqua

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Magicool

October 5th 2014 19:31
Magicool
words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray

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Equine Psychology

October 1st 2014 00:29
Assessing horses through their physical output is what I do. Times recorded: against par, against peers, against the clock. Tick Tock. I measure speed by mathematical means and gift each horse a number. A rating. A grade. A guide to past and future performance.

With science and quantifiable fact as my base in racehorse assessment, I have studied the horse on the racetrack. And still today - after many years - I† love the performance and puzzle of racing. As detectives we deduce racing fact from racing fiction (the alibi of defeat). The race as a puzzle to be solved (though as detectives we should lean towards the prowess of Poirot, rather than the comic deficiencies of Clouseau


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Rich Enuff and Kenjorwood

September 29th 2014 09:40
Rich Enuff and Kenjorwood

words by Leonard Marlborough


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Afleet Esprit

September 29th 2014 04:15
Afleet Esprit

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Longeron

September 29th 2014 01:56
Longeron

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Best Jade Triumph

September 23rd 2014 07:32
Best Jade Triumph
photography by Neil Murray
words by Leonard Marlborough

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