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Turf Deli Dud Of The Week
The Flemington Track 07/10/00

Track bias has become this huge black cloud that always seems to be hovering over any major race meeting. The poor track staff who have to prepare the track week in, week out are in a no win situation - they are continually having to juggle between getting a decent racing surface for this week’s meeting, whilst still trying to provide new unraced ground for major meetings to come. Growing grass is still a science that eludes man, as the events at Colonial Stadium this year proved (sun ?? we need sun ? what for ?)

Such was the situation at Flemington on Saturday for the Turnbull Stakes - the rail being out 9 M meant that the track being raced on was tired and worn, but the inside turf had to be protected for Derby Day. Which means that the poor old punter will have to put their extra large thinking cap on over the next couple of weeks to try and decide which form to pay attention to.

Having said that, track bias makes a punters life so much more interesting ! If you are clued on , and can decipher any biases early then there is a windfall to be made. Smart jockeys adjust their riding tactics accordingly and work with the bias. Others, get to use the bias as a be all and end all explanation of their horse’s poor performance, which is just a cop out in many cases (like their fate is predetermined and out of their hands).

What is required though is more effort to acknowledge that track bias does exist and a part of racing. Some areas of the press have recently called for the creation of a new position of full time track walker, who could report on the track and give a genuine assessment, instead of just relying on the tit bits of information we get from various interviews during the day. Now there is a damm good idea..

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