Racing news and views from around the country

August 1 is the horse's birthday; but only if you're a thoroughbred. Photo: Katrina Partridge Photography
August 1 is the horse's birthday; but only if you're a thoroughbred. Photo: Katrina Partridge Photography

Yep, fake news!

The twitterverse is far from a resource of fact. In my view, it promulgates fake news, promotes personal agenda and vicious mud-slinging all too often.

One tweet which caught the eye - while absolutely not genuine Sarah Hanson-Young 'gold' - made yours truly, and many, many others chortle last week.

The tweet that had me smiling this week. The quote is fake, but funny regardless.

The tweet that had me smiling this week. The quote is fake, but funny regardless.

The supposed quote had the SA Greens senator marvelling at the cleverness of horse breeders to arrange for all their foals to land on the one day - August 1, the horse's birthday.

While many of us may think pollies are this out of touch with the real world, surely even the worst of them aren't this naive.

We all know it's only thoroughbred breeders who have to aim for August 1. Standardbreds hit the ground collectively on September 1.

Sarah Hanson-Young surely knows the horse breeding cycle.

Sarah Hanson-Young surely knows the horse breeding cycle.

By the way, happy punting, Sarah. Remember, being a politician, you're best betting each way. And always gamble responsibly.

Sayonara Des

One of the saddest of farewells was held for Sale Greyhounds honcho Des Dooley on Saturday at a vineyard at Traralgon.

Family, friends and greyhound industry participants gathered to thank the now permanently disqualified Dooley for his dedication to the code spanning 45 years.

Dooley's sin for the DQ was to own a piece of lambs wool (much akin to a portion of an old car seat cover), which contravenes Greyhound Racing Victoria's live baiting ban.

Dooley was given a life sentence for possessing (not using) the 'material' even through ownership and use of the same product is legal in WA, SA and Tasmania.

An appeal on severity has been lodged.

The 4 Corners vision in 2015 of live baiting was galling and absolutely unacceptable but when the use of a 20-year-old lambs wool remnant (not sheepskin) brings a life ban, I'm of the opinion it's an overreach!

Des' wife Di also got her marching orders and both are now ineligible to attend racetracks whatsoever (regardless of code) across this broad land.

At another property, I'm told a trainer was warned to not leave a pup's dinner at the top of his straight track as an inducement to run up the hill. In the case of regulatory oversight, this is out of control.

Maternal instinct

While her winning time was shy of her previous best, Ritza Millie's all-the-way effort to score at Wentworth Park on Saturday night was noteworthy.

The lightly raced daughter of Collision turned three last month but already has a litter of pups (by Ritza Lenny) on the ground.

Millie whelped nine pups in late January and has now raced twice for Mark Gatt, with Saturday's win following a first up second to Sunburnt Highway at the same track on July 27.

It's not uncommon for a bitch to return to racing after the motherhood stakes but rarely are the girls just three years of age when they come back.

Ritza Millie is high class (as her record of 13 wins from 29 starts suggests) yet her real value to the Gatt family may be as a 'blue-hen' producer.

Dollar dilemma

Harness racing has an inherent cost for owners well short of what a thoroughbred represents but success is still a gamble when it comes to affordability.

Prizemoney is significantly less and opportunity is limited (racing venues). I hear that one interstate body has asked its state government for an injection of funds ... to the tune of $12million-plus.

The cash has been pinpointed as 'critical'. The response from the Racing Minister cannot be printed. Needless to say, it was negative.

The upside

The major talking point at Menangle trots on Tuesday will be what time will the flying Balraj run in Race 3.

The former Kiwi 3yo set tongues wagging when he broke the all-age track record at Newcastle last start.

After racing without cover, driver Robbie Morris let him loose at the 700m and he raced away to score by a staggering 60m in 1:50.9 secs for the mile.

That's roughly equivalent to a 1:48.5s mile at Menangle - the track and Australasian record for a 3yo is 1:49.6s (set by Muscle Factory in January earlier this year).

Trained by Shaun Simiana, Balraj is now unbeaten in three starts and connections have been enticed with a six-figure offer for the son of Art Major.

He will be at Winx-like odds on Tuesday but is a rising star.

Cashing in

Our Saturday night special Courtsinsession was successful at Menangle.

His task was made easier with the scratching of pre-post favourite Majordan and deductions were from his 10/1 early quote.

Our roughies Smithstars Lexus (50/1) was a flashing third and is ready to break his 36 start duck in town while our other roughie Chevrons Reward (40/1) struck trouble and broke.