Welcome to the October edition of Grandstand View, the second in our new format.
As part of our new newsletter system, we have sent out two interim reports to-date, celebrating the win of CONFIDENTIAL in Canberra and sharing our excitement in having EXCELTIC as our first-ever runner in the Breeder’s Plate, the first 2yo race of the season. Unfortunately the latter did not eventuate. We sent the pre-race report on Wednesday; by Thursday there was an element of doubt as to whether Exceltic would be right to run; and by Saturday morning he was scratched from the race as it was clear that he had had enough for the time being and a spell would do him more good than a race start.
To their credit, the Australian Turf Club still provided Member’s passes for all attending owners, as a lot of owners had planned to be at the big Epsom Day race meeting, but suddenly did not have a horse racing.
Off the track it was a very big month for Jill and me as our only son, Alex, whom many of you know as part of the Laurel Oak team, married his sweetheart, the lovely Rachel, on 7 October. With overseas relatives staying with us for almost two weeks before and after the wedding, a lot of our focus in that time was on the wedding itself (which went off superbly), and pre- and post-wedding celebrations and activities.
It is obviously a very exciting time of year, with the Sydney Spring Carnival culminating in The Everest now concluded, and the Melbourne Spring Carnival building up to its highlight, being Melbourne Cup Week. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we will have a Laurel Oak runner competing in the big events this year. Social media reminded us that Caulfield Cup Day was the 12-month anniversary of Laurel Oak’s best-ever day at the races, when REBEL DANE won the Gp 1 Manikato Stakes and SIR BACCHUS won the following race at the Moonee Valley meeting to make it a sensational double for our owners. Runner-up to Sir Bacchus that night was Redkirk Warrior, who subsequently went on to win the Newmarket Handicap, and then earlier this month ran in The Everest.
Rebel Dane is of course now retired and at stud, whilst Sir Bacchus is having an extended spell recovering from a cracked pelvis. While our racing team appears to be oozing with talent, so far none of them has emerged to prove to be as good as Rebel Dane or even Sir Bacchus at this point in time, while timing has not worked out right for our proven Saturday-class horses and potential Carnival horses to be running in big races this spring.
Fortunately, away from big Carnival races, the team is racing well. While we haven’t had a lot of runners in the past few weeks, compared to some months of the year, there is a wave of horses in work and getting near the trial or race stage, so there will be increasing action to report in the coming weeks and months.
From our recent runners though SIKHING GLORY and FLASH IN THE DARK both made it back-to-back wins.
We certainly do not plan to bring you an interim Grandstand View update every time we have a runner, only when we have an extra-special runner. (All our runners are special, and render us excited pre-race, hence the need for “extra-special”!)
For the first time in Laurel Oak’s history, we will have a runner in the $150,000 Listed Breeders’ Plate, the first 2yo race of the season for colts and geldings, run this Saturday, 30 September, on what is Epsom Handicap Day and Sydney’s premier spring raceday.
Two weeks ago we introduced our new format of Grandstand View, which gave us the flexibility to bring you interim news messages on a more timely basis.
Unusually for Laurel Oak these days we went thirteen days without a runner, but pleasingly the thirteen days were book-ended by two wins. Thirteen days ago it was SIKHING GLORY, and now we are delighted to celebrate the win of CONFIDENTIAL in Canberra last Friday, as the first of our interim updates.
Welcome to the first edition of the new format of Grandstand View, Laurel Oak’s monthly client newsletter.
This is a combined August/September edition that allows us the time to establish this new format, and a fuller explanation can be found here. There will be two stages to the format change, and this newsletter will reflect the first of those, which will also be explained in greater detail later in this newsletter.
The purpose of the new format is to be able to provide you with more timely information between Grandstand View editions, and also to make the newsletter more concise whilst still providing you with access to the information that you would normally have received in the newsletter.
But first, we will focus on what we really like to do best, and that is our Laurel Oak racehorses.