Monday, August 20, 2012


Group One winning Danehill stallion, SHINZIG, has burst through with his first stakes winner following the emphatic win of Psychic Mick in the Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield today.
Living right up to his massive potential, the Adelaide trained speedster put the issue well beyond doubt with a withering finish to score by over three lengths.
Racing out of the stable of Daniel Clarken and ridden masterfully by Chris Symons, Psychic Mick was resuming today and remains unbeaten following three 2YO city victories.
Adding merit to his Vain Stakes romp is Symons’ admission post race that Psychic Mick really struggled in the heavy conditions!
A first crop son Shinzig, Psychic Mick is out of the Bianconi mare Super Fund and was sold by Eliza Park at last year’s Adelaide Magic Millions.
With only a handful of runners to date – including fellow city winner Beer Belly – Shinzig represents enormous value at just $6,600 inc. GST.
Here’s a terrific yarn from Matty Stewart at the Herald Sun on Sunday, following Psychic Mick’s Vain performance:
To see racing’s true colours, you must immerse yourself in it.
You can read the papers and “tsk tsk” about it, you can tarnish an entire sport with alleged shenanigans of an individual and his mates, or you can go to the races.
It wasn’t the perfect start to spring racing at Caulfield yesterday. It was quite miserable. But the racetrack creates its own warmth.
The outside world might presume that racing revolves around rorts, but inside the gate it’s different.
Where else would you encounter a story like Psychic Mick? It goes like this: Adelaide trainer Daniel Clarken has a brother-in-law called Mick Duffield, who doesn’t bother with silly things like sales catalogues.
At an Adelaide yearling sale in 2010, Duffield had a premonition about lot 118. He hadn’t seen it, it could have had eight legs for all he knew.
But with No. 118 swirling around in his head, Mick checked out lot 118 and discovered it was a pretty nice colt. He forked out 10 grand for it, then told Clarken what appealed most to him about lot 118 – its number.
“The rest is history. We named him straight away,” Clarken said yesterday, adding he was keen to hook up with his brother-in-law for next year’s sale.
“I think he’s got a premonition for next year, but he hasn’t given it up yet," Clarken said.
Psychic Mick won his fourth race, the 1100m Vain Stakes, from as many starts at Caulfield yesterday and is going to have a crack at the Caulfield Guineas. Clarken was almost speechless he was so thrilled to have won a nice race at Caulfield.
Psychic Mick’s jockey was Chris Symons, who celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday. On the same day six years ago, Black Caviar popped out of her mum, Helsinge, on a farm up at Nagambie. Remember that racing story?
Symons is a jockey, so if you’ve been reading the papers but have never entered a racetrack, you might roll your eyes.
Those who know a bit about racing are aware of what Symons has been up to for the last few years.
In his spare time, which is rare, Symons takes his silks to primary schools and talks to kids about a wonderful sport called horse racing. No one pays him, Symons does it because he has got a big heart and is proud to be a jockey.
His farm at Mornington is more like a zoo, with snakes and birds and a freshwater crocodile.
Occasionally he'll take one of his pets along to a school or hospital, where he regularly visits kids with cancer. Symons sends out funny tweets, linking the names of his mounts into strange sentences.
He invented racing’s version of planking, called hooping, and it went viral. He is proud to be called a racing ambassador.
Symons shares the jockeys’ room with blokes like Glen Boss, who spent all of last week in northern Queensland fulfilling public speaking engagements in country areas that had done it hard after months of floods.
Boss grew up in Cairns, and wanted to give something back.
These are the sort of characters, the sort of stories, that appear every day at a racetrack near you.
If you reckon racing is riddled with crooks, perhaps you should wander through the gate and see its true colours.

Photo courtesy of Turfpress

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