Group 1 Weight-for-Age racing at Newcastle on Monday and pony racing making the headlines around racing twitter and media.
They say there is a first for everything and that is certainly true with news in the racing world this week.
Pony racing at Moonee Valley and Group 1 races at Newcastle
Pony racing steals the limelight
Yes, there was a Group 1 race at Moonee Valley last Friday night with the running of William Reid Stakes (1200m).
The odds-on favourite, Marabi, was rolled, and Chris Waller’s mare September Run found winning form for the first time since her Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) win back in 2020.
But little did the racing world know her win would not be the talking point out of the weekend.
The headlines were stolen by the pony racing concept in between races.
A bunch of children and aspiring young jockeys were plucked to ride in the mini race around Moonee Valley and it attracted attention from Racing.com journalist Paul Tatnell.
He dubbed the concept ‘gimmicky’ and copped the wrath of industry participants slamming his opinion on the concept.
Tatnell is allowed to have his opinion without being personally lambasted for it.
His opinion was hardly as controversial as made out to be, but when you dig a little deeper and what this might mean for the future generation of industry participants, racing needs to attract a new audience.
Some in the industry suggest the rumblings around horse racing being ‘cruel’ are being peddled at schools with children taking an opposing view to racing.
Maybe introducing these gimmicks can humanise racing for the younger generaion.
Newcastle makes history
Newcastle Racecourse hosted its first ever Group 1 meeting with the running of the Tancred Stakes and Vinery Stud Stakes.
The track has been in operation for over 100 years with its biggest race on the current racing calendar being The Hunter, worth $1,000,000.
Chris Waller dubbed the Newcastle surface a ‘metropolitan class’ track in a massive testament to the show delivered by the race club.
Waller might have been up and about after his fillies fought the finish of the Vinery Stud Stakes with Fangirl out-bobbing Hinged in a grand finish.
The meeting was ended with local trainer Kris Lees taking out the last race on the program with Gem Song saluting as a $21 elect in the Kingdom Stakes.
Think we can safely say that Newcastle is definitely a viable option shall another big meeting in the city be cancelled.
Josh Parr is the star
With the gloomy and ugly weather around Sydney ruining the Rosehill meeting on Saturday, the hopes of Josh Parr riding another Group 1 winner were rained away.
But Newcastle Racecourse was the saving grace.
Racing NSW announced the Tancred Stakes meeting would be run on the Monday and it did not disappoint.
Parr rode a patient race aboard his four-year-old mare Duias who started a $2.40 favourite with BetDeluxe.
The Edward Cummings-trained mare was hauled over the line by Parr.
With an arm in the air past the post, Parr saluted the judge in first place after scorching home down the outskirts of the Newcastle home straight.
Duais is now a $3.5 favourite to win the Group 1 Sydney Cup on April.
Get the feeling Cummings and Parr will be hoping Newcastle becomes available again.