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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 seventeen years I have provided speedrating information to the racing industry and public through my company: Speedratings - Leonard Marlborough.

Hong Kong Captain

January 26th 2015 00:05
Hong Kong Captain
words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray



The impressive Hong Kong Captain (Michael Walker) brought up his 2nd win from 3 career starts, running down Profit Share in the straight to win the 1500 metre Antler Luggage VOBIS Gold Star at Moonee Valley last Saturday by half a length. Part-owned by Hong Kong trainer David Hall, Hong Kong Captain eventually seems destined for the racing mecca for which he is named.




Michael Walker gets Hong Kong Captain into top gear as he sets out past Lucky Paddy (4th) to run down Profit Share who held a big break at the top of the short Moonee Valley straight.



Trained in partnership by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, Hong Kong Captain is now to be set for the G3 CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington in February. This feature race is named in honour of Champion Trainer, Colin Hayes, the father of David Hayes & grandfather of Tom Dabernig.

Other long range plans for Hong Kong Captain - an $85,000 purchase at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale - potentially include the G1 Australian Guineas at Flemington.
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Royal Snitzel

January 25th 2015 23:42
Royal Snitzel

words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray








The very talented Royal Snitzel returned to racing in good style with a 1.5 length win in the Schweppes Handicap over 1000 metres at Moonee Valley last Saturday. Talented New Zealand apprentice Michael Dee - on a three-month loan to Mick Price at Caulfield - rode the filly, presenting him with a winner at his first Australian ride.


Royal Snitzel possesses high quality speedfigures already from her limited career of just 4 starts. She was narrowly defeated at G2 level in the Quezette Stakes at Caulfield last Spring and expectations are that she will most likely secure a blacktype victory in the near future.

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Sprint Shock and Shark Bite

January 25th 2015 03:07
Sprint Shock and Shark Bite
words by Leonard Marlborough
photography by Neil Murray

Saturday the 24th of January saw the running of a 9 race card at Moonee Valley.


The feature race on the program, the $200,000 G2 Jeep Australia Stakes over 1200 metres, was won in a boilover by the middle-distance specialist Mourinho (Vlad Duric). Though never having won a race at a distance less than 1400 metres (in fact, never starting in a race over this sprint trip previously) the Gelagotis stable threw in a late nomination for the race when it seemed obvious that there would be a small field for the 2015 renewal. With the knowledge that there would be prize money down to 8th placing ($4,000) the stable reasoned this a better option than paying the fee for a trial at Cranbourne. Mourinho saves his best for Moonee Valley - although Vlad Duric had to ride him on one rein as Mourinho tried to lay out rounding the home turn and all-the-way down the straight. A protest entered by Matthew Allen on 2nd placed It Is Written was unsuccessful.


click images for enlargements

Vlad Duric can be seen here trying to steer Mourinho on a straight course. A tight grip on the near-side rein & loose off-side rein indicative of the difficulty in getting him to run straight. 2nd placed It Is Written looms up on his outside.





(above) Scarlet Billows gets past Sumakaray (Australian Flag silks) and gives chase to reel in the leaders.


The Darren Weir trained 4yo mare Scarlet Billows (Michelle Payne) stormed home from last at the 800 metres to score a narrow win in the 1200 metre Alternate Railway Handicap. Scarlet Billows is an interesting name, deriving from the lyrics of the classic song, Mack The Knife (lyrics by Bertold Brecht - music by Kurt Weill). The first verse:

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe
And he keeps it, ah, out of sight
Ya know when that shark bites with his teeth, babe
Scarlet billows start to spread




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Sammy The Snake

January 18th 2015 11:09
Sammy The Snake

guest contribution by Neil Murray

[ Click here to read more ]
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Aldolphin

January 17th 2015 05:53
Aldolphin

words by Leonard Marlborough

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We all love thoroughbreds with striking colour. Usually it is the greys or chestnuts that get most attention. Recently the German paint thoroughbred, Silvery Moon, has been one to attract a worldwide fan club.


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Friday Night Payday for Free On Saturday

words by Leonard Marlborough


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Hong Kong International Race Day Review

December 29th 2014 02:00
Family illness has kept me away from posting over the past month. Hopefully I can return to posting articles & photographs with my usual frequency in the New Year.

Below are two file photos from the 2014 Hong Kong International Race Day. Typically, Joao Moreira was well to the fore winning two of the four G1 feature races - and riding a treble at the meeting. Douglas Whyte - a 13 times winner of the Hong Kong Jockeys' Premiership - took the riding honours for the meeting with 4 winners, although none of these were in feature events


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Blazing Speed

November 26th 2014 05:10
Blazing Speed

words by Leonard Marlborough

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Peniaphobia: Have No Fear

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

words by Leonard Marlborough

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