I couldn’t believe it when the fields went up.
I had thought we’d decided that Livia wasn’t quite up to the very best of Victorian fillies. Although she’d been barely whiskered by Aussie Made Lombo and Bella’s Delight (who ARE the very best) in the Vicbred Super Series, maybe she was better off running in slightly less ritzy races.
But Graeme evidently didn’t think so.
There she was, Livia degerolstein, one of twelve Friday starters for Tabcorp Park’s $20,000 Harness Breeders Trackbred Classic, along with classic placegetters Milliara Lombo and Rhodium Castle, and top-rated fillies Beach Melody and Leilani Lombo. And she was drawn ‘in the carpark’ again. Number seven.
Way2Bet didn’t judge her worthy of even a mention, but got curiously positive (as it does) about one Ezee Duzit Lombo (which Livia has previously beaten fair and square). The public did likewise, obviously influenced by Ezee’s good draw (three_ over the 1720 metres. Aalyah Rose, drawn one, was heavily backed too. And, if Beach Melody was duly elected favourite, the other three good fillies, from the second row, were neglected. As for Livia, she was paying 80-1. Utterly unloved. Less loved, even, than Riviera Kiss, which she beat last start!
I know, lots of names. But these are top fillies.
I can’t say I was confident. Other people’s disbelief makes you doubt. Like a proud mum who doesn’t want to believe that Little Johnny is going to come bottom of the class.
Good old Barry put a tenner each way on her, anyhow. And I sat up till after 10pm and drank too much wine to stay awake..
Well, from the start Livia, of course, dropped out to last. I don’t know why the tipsters worry about her draw, she’s always going to go out ‘at a walk’. Aalyah Rose, Ezee Duzit and Riviera Kiss used their draws to take the front, rattling along at (hurrah!) a tidy but not excessive pace. Livia was at the back with Milliara Lombo, Blissful Kisses and an uneasy looking Rhodium Castle. Third quarter in wow! 28.5 secs. But with the straight in sight, Blissful Kisses was having a go, and Milliara Lombo was powering from the back .. oh God there was a bloody gap between the second last horse and Livia. How shaming!
But into the straight and the little head stuck out, the red nose roll glowed like Rudolph, the little legs revved up and – with her eternal preference for the outside to the inside rail, home she steamed. Milliara Lombo had flown impressively towards victory, but just short of the line Livia bludged past the favourite, which a moment ago had looked a winner, and just failed to get to Blissful Kisses for second place. Third! $15 a place … and behind her not only Beach Melody, but the overrated Ezee Duzit, Leilani (8th), Aalyah Rose (9th), Rhodium Castle (10th) … ye Gods!
Mile rate 1.57.9. The fastest race of her life!
Joy! and … confusion! Where do we go from here? Not my problem. I shall leave that 100 percent in the hands of our nifty trainer-driver!
Note: the Vicbred fillies’ ratings have Aussie Made Lombo as number 1, with Leilani Lombo (3), Lively Moth (4), Bella’s Delight (5), Milliara Lombo (8), Rhodium Castle (11), Beach Melody (12), Aalyah Rose (23), Blissfull Kisses (33) and Livia .. thirty-eighth. Definitely unseeded, but maybe henceforth a little more considered?