Sunday, February 5, 2012


Your remote and tardy correspondent is back to briefly report (via the SSS spy network) another damp and slippery Sydney Summer Series event - this time Alan 'The Hangman' Tilley's Gordon Gecko Gourmet Gasper. Looks like around 180 hardy souls gathered at the new start venue, and agreed in nervous chatter over the pre race Bonox that it was a probably a better one than previously. Where in 2011 we began high (Alan is an old Haight Asbury man after all) and descended (on ropes and pulleys) before the ambulance ride return, this time Mr & Mrs Contour played with the mind - sending you first up, then down, then up, then down again...get the picture.

Despite the hilly nature of things, some good loops beckoned with only a fearsome (or rather, fearless) flog in the north to make the fancy colts earn them a rewarding nose tickle from Lady Potter in gloved hand. I liked how young Al posed a fifty on bush tracks to the east. A sort of starting loop for the unwary perhaps, where the 3,23,10 circle looked close, but time might have ticked, much as a bomb, if the tracks were slow. Anyway, depending on this potential start sequence, you looked likely to then add a decent western circuit that suited those that like a little highway flash, and those that like a leech. Going 12,11,7,9,1,18,4,17, highway, with map waving to passing motorists as mandatory,21,15,13,14 (forget 5),24,19,27,8,6 and home for a hot toddy. Quite a bit of the Mozart 'Uppity Downity' Sonata, but a reasonable loop if the wheelchair has a slight right hand bias.

On the above loop, checkpoint 28 is the decision point - with more ambitious flogsters needing to check the level of single malt in the hip flask before engaging overdrive in tackling this northern add-on. Things suddenly look steeper. Up and down to 16, up to 29 etc, etc. Just as well the contours are nice clear lines painted on the ground so you can tick them off as you stagger past. Unless you could bear the ignominy of returning from 16/29 back to 28, you were committed as far as I can tell. The nightmare had begun!

Anyway, looks like we had some good scoring with two sweepers taking a fifty over in clearing the table. Steve 'Davis' Ryan managing to sink the final black four seconds (!!) in front of the Horrocks Express - 49.41 to 49.45. Pretty close stuff, and very exciting racing for these two Garingal stallions. I heard of the early excitement in the Veterans enclosure that Mike Burton was a no-show (last weeks injury?) and several ponies toyed with their silks, and almost felt the touch of the podium - only to see Greg 'Sweeny Todd' Barbour fly home with a 530 and claim from 'Oh' Brad with 500. It's just not fair!

Michele looks to have another win over Rachel, and Eoin has once again 'done the doc' in SVM. Local junior Matty Hill pulled 520 to Luke's 440 in the colts - and Natalie 'King Kong' Fey scored 1,660!!! I believe this interesting score is because The Nat forgot to punch at the start, but I like her style and am now resolved to go 'no-punch' myself at the next outing. Pork Pie like to think big. Beware of the wounded pig. Speaking of wounds, I understand that Gordon 'The Blue Engine' Wilson missed his footing in a private property area and tangled with the wire - drawing the royal result and earning a rebuke from the fat controller. Hope it wasn't too serious Gords.

So, amazingly, yet another less than summery day behind us in what is shaping as the dampest series ever. Let's hope the Big Feet tribe can consult the weather man and turn on a stinker at Castle Cove. This, as you might have guessed, is our next event. Number 19 no less, and another area that has known the kiss of the contour. Listed torturer David Gatwood is on assignment, and The Feet will be thrusting forward another from their bosom to set. Could it be The Royal once again? Turn up in tights to find out, as we race towards the pointy end of another great balmy season on the nibble and enjoy a superb evening at The Castle.

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