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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.

Blazing Speed

November 26th 2014 05:10
Blazing Speed

words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Tony Wong




The G2 Longines Jockey Club Cup over 2000 metres was narrowly won by the Tony Cruz trained, Blazing Speed. Ridden by Neil Callan, Blazing Speed just managed to catch Military Attack (the 2012-2013 Hong Kong Horse of the Year) near the post to score a narrow victory by a head. Close up in 3rd position was Endowing, with the grey California Memory in 4th.





click images for enlargements

top: breaking from the barriers

below: surging to the line: 4th placed California Memory is the grey horse on the rails. The winner, Blazing Speed is carrying orange silks with white band. Runner-up Military Attack (Zac Purton) is in green silks & has hood & shadow roll. 3rd placed Endowing has purple sleeves & white cap.




below: Blazing Speed (Neil Callan - orange silks) gets past 3rd placed Endowing (Brett Prebble)



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Peniaphobia: Have No Fear

November 25th 2014 04:27
Peniaphobia: Have No Fear

words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Tony Wong



Peniaphobia, the youngest horse in the 1200 metre G2 Jockey Club Sprint at Sha Tin, displayed the form that might lead him in three weeks time to be the youngest horse to ever win the prestigious, G1 Hong Kong Sprint.

Peniaphobia is an Irish-bred 3yo son of Dandy Man and boasted an impressive UK record, with a win against 23 rivals in the Weatherby’s Super Sprint at Newbury in 2013 being his peak performance.



Peniaphobia (yellow silks - centre of frame) with Douglas Whyte aboard punching the air in celebration after crossing the line. To his right is the 2nd placed (grey) Smart Volatility.

click image for enlargement



Now trained in Hong Kong by Tony Cruz, Peniaphobia progressed from Class 3 races in his first season of HK racing to this season graduating into stellar company. Peniaphobia defeated Smart Volatility, with Flagship Nine in third placing - and a list of highly regarded sprinters such as Lucky Nine, Amber Sky, Sterling City, Spalato & Aerovelocity, all left in his wake.

For those with an interest in the name, Peniaphobia is the fear of poverty.

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Liminal: on the threshold

November 23rd 2014 23:03
Liminal: on the threshold

words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray


After striking unsuitable wet ground at his first two starts, Liminal returned to racing at Cranbourne for their night racing program last Saturday night, winning the 1000 metre Highview Account Services Maiden Handicap on a good rated track by an impressive 4 length margin, defeating Ionlythinkofyou and Ibelieveinmiracles.

Trained by Peter Moody, Liminal chased the early speed and was the only horse not under pressure on the home turn before coasting to the lead and sprinting clear of his rivals for an effortless win.





click images for enlargements
Liminal with Jason Benbow aboard


The strength of the performance also mirrored in the power of his name: Liminal. While the placegetters have complicated (though fashionable) names of several words combined together (without punctuation), there is something traditional and aesthetically pleasing about the single word as a title; as a name of substance.

With liminal being a word of complex definition, it adds even more spice to the tale. Of the three definitions of liminal, the one most applicable to the Peter Moody trained chestnut colt would have to be: the phase or condition of being at a threshold.

Although just a win in a Maiden Handicap, it might be that Liminal is on the threshold of greater wins and acclaim in the future.

Liminal is a 3 year old colt by Nicconi out of Lime Squeeze and was a $70,000 purchase at the 2013 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale Summer Book.

The speedfigures for Liminal are indicative of a horse who can rise to a higher grade.




Liminal:

origin: from the Latin limen, limin meaning: threshold

1: of or relating to a sensory threshold
2: barely perceptible
3: of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition : in-between, transitional
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Handicap Hurdle

November 14th 2014 02:06
Most of us in the thoroughbred world have an interest in other facets of racing. Growing up I could be found just as often at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds on a Saturday night watching harness racing (though then we simply called it: the trots) as I might be at Flemington, Caulfield, Moonee Valley or Sandown.

The lesser cousin to the horseracing codes is greyhound racing. The Olympic Park track was just a short bus ride from my home in Collingwood, so it too was often attended


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Chadwick Treble

November 1st 2014 01:36
Chadwick Treble

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Three for Me

November 1st 2014 01:18
Three for Me

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Zac Purton

October 27th 2014 06:13
Zac Purton

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Fawkner

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

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Divine Calling

October 12th 2014 22:23
Divine Calling

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Lucia Valentina

October 6th 2014 03:10
Lucia Valentina

words by Leonard Marlborough

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