We are back for another Friday edition of Punt Drunk and doesn’t it feel good knowing that in the next five days we are going to have five Group 1 races on our shores? The Caulfield Guineas takes centre stage at Caulfield, but the Zaaki show will steal a lot of the limelight tomorrow as the Caulfield Cup Carnival kicks off. Throw in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick and we are set for a ripping Saturday on the punt!
Regan Bayliss goes from hero to zero
He is arguably one of the most likeable jockeys going around and the majority of the racing world would have been thrilled for Regan Bayliss when he took out two Group 1’s on Saturday. However, despite taking out the Flight Stakes and the Epsom Handicap last Saturday, the in-form jockey is in danger of missing the remainder of the spring having copped a three-week suspension at Thursday’s Gosford meeting.
Bayliss has been pinged for not riding his mount out All Too Scottish in a maiden on Thursday, where the jockey seemingly thought he had the race sewn up, before the fast-finishing Midori Beauty got there on the line. It means that Bayliss will miss the ride on The Inferno in The Everest and Private Eye in the Golden Eagle over the next three weeks, which is a cruel blow.
However, if it has taught us anything, it is to never go the early crow!
RIP the Oakbank Jumps carnival
The jumps carnival at Oakbank over the Easter long weekend has been a key staple on the Australian racing calendar let alone the South Australian schedule. However, the decision has been made to halt all jumps racing in South Australia effective immediately, meaning the infamous Oakbank jumps are all but laid to rest.
Unfortunately for the club and Racing SA, the crowds which gathered on Easter Monday for the jumps meeting has been dwindling over recent years, and more importantly the numbers on the track have mirrored that too. The Great Eastern Steeplechase is the marquee event on the Monday, however in the past five years, four of the races have only seen five horses go around with veteran duo Undergroundfighter and Spying On You competing in all five of those.
It means that jumps fans will have to travel to Warrnambool for a carnival atmosphere, which isn’t the worst thing. It is just unfortunate those who never got to be trackside for the infamous long weekend at Oakbank are going to miss out on some of the best experiences a racegoer can endure.
Internationals set to arrive in time for the Melbourne Cup
Despite needing to jump through countless hoops to even be allowed on the plane to come to Australia, defending Melbourne Cup champion Twilight Payment is en route to defend his title. Joined by Spanish Mission, Away He Goes and Sir Lucan, three of the four listed travellers are guaranteed a spot in the Melbourne Cup due to their place on the Order Of Entry. Sir Lucan, the brother to Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet is the only one not guaranteed a run in this year’s Cup, but it does look like he will continue the remainder of his career here in Australia with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
It may not be a field stacked with international gallopers, but this year’s Melbourne Cup is shaping up to be an absolute corker!
About Punt Drunk
Welcome to Punt Drunk! Our new daily column covering all the latest horse racing and punting controversies, dramas and headline news. Have a story or gripe or issue that just grinds your gears? Just hit us up in the comments or contact us page and our jaded, punt hardened Punt Drunk staff will give it the Punt Drunk treatment it deserves. Don’t expect pleasantries or typical racing media fanboy gloss from Punt Drunk – we’re on the punt and we don’t have time to bullshit; the next is about to jump…