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31 March 2013

Website upgrade

I've danced around the edges of updating my main website (that being - which note at present appears to be 'down' seeing as the site hosting it can be unreliable at times) for over 2 years now.  Mostly because it makes my head hurt, and because I don't understand a lot of it.  But I am finally doing something about it, which includes sorting out the domain name and getting it to point in the right direction.  It's killing me!!!!  It's times like this I have to take a deep breath, and tell myself I am better behind a large lens and camera, or when playing with a Pony, and that it's not actually me being hopeless.  Which is how I'm feeling tonight...

And speaking of feeling hopeless, the win of Scandiva yesterday in the Magic Night Stakes, who hails from the Famous Family that really can do NO wrong at the moment, makes me feel frustrated that I cannot currently get my Nikon Scanner to talk to my Mac computers and scan a little negative that is still sitting in my top draw.  If anyone from Nikon is reading this, you should update your NikonScan software, to help 1000s of photographers just like me who paid good money for a v good negative scanner, only to see it sit in the cupboard because the software updates were considered unworthy of resources!

Bron and her Famous Pony

Happy Easter

"Is it Easter Day today?" That's what my little nephew keeps asking.

Yes it is. I am back home in Canberra after doing a whirlwind day trip to Sydney for the Rosehill Guineas. The Easter Egg hunt this morning, involving the discovery of the loot left by the famed Easter Bunny did NOT go to plan. My daughter woke up first but I told her she had to wait for her still asleep brother.  He then woke up, got silently out of bed and without a word proceeded to find and collect all the Easter eggs left inside by the the Easter Bunny, without his sister, who promptly burst into tears. He then started crying because he had woke up with a headache and then refused to come outside to see if the Easter Bunny had left anything in the backyard.  So Jessica, Maxie and I went outside to see what was there, and she collected the eggs.  Such is life!!

I hope all my readers are having a lovely Easter and are able to enjoy some v nice chocolate. We've got a small supply of cool and delicious Belle Fleur chocolate, and that's always a good thing.

30 March 2013

The Galaxy

Bel Sprinter had a couple of hiccups, when he missed the start by 2 lengths in the Group 1 Galaxy run today at Rosehill Gardens.  Fortunately my new camera and I didn't have any more mix ups in the 2nd Group 1 races of the day, and we performed flawlessly. There are times when you just nail it..  And that's a nice thing.  There are days when this is a nice feeling.  I'd bumped into his young trainer Jason Warren at the airport when Tanya had dropped me back after our Black Caviar photoshoot, and we'd talked about the horse's chances in the Galaxy.  Jason was hoping, and like us all, you could sense that he really wanted it to go well and to get that breakthrough. So it was a nice moment today, even though he did roll my filly Snitzerland.  There's still a link with The Famous Pony because he's by Black Caviar's sire, Bel Esprit. 

Murphy's Law and learning the hard way

I genuinely love my new camera.  It is fabulous.  It is pin sharp and has rarely missed a beat.  Today however I learnt a new little quirk it has.  I'm getting used to it, and and this means as I go along it teaches me new things and most importantly I am learning what NOT to do next time.  It's a fate universally accepted that should something have to go wrong it will never happen at an unimportant time, or for me when photographing an unimportant race.  

What did I learn today?  1) That I need to hurry up and locate and order an XCD card reader thingy.  2) that for some reason the usual trick of connecting the XCD card to my computer via the USB cabley thing doesn't work on my new computer (no idea why!).  3) that when the XCD card is set to backup and becomes full it has the unexpected effect of making my D4s fabulously huge raw buffer run out, and run out instantly!

When did this happen???  Alas and woe, it happened for It's a Dundeel's Rosehill Guineas, leaving me muttering expletives under my breath and feeling frustrated for not second guessing this little quirk.  I still spoke nicely to my camera, and told it that it was my fault (bit like nursing my old car Dan along really, right?), but I thought it was one of life's real cruelties that the card filled up right at that time.

Live and learn, right????

So fast, so sleek, so wonderful....

What a difference..  Today is my first day on track using my new computer that was badly overdue.  It's just so fast!!  Downloaded all my files in an instant....  We loves it.... 

Chiaramonte (Redoute's Choice - Chiara) wins the first race on Rosehill Guineas Day, giving his great sire yet another stakeswinner.  That's my boy...

28 March 2013

Pierro - a pictorial history

I am remiss in posting images of the great colt Pierro winning the G1 Canterbury Stakes last Saturday at Rosehill Gardens.  It's actually the first time I've photographed this wonderful colt winning since he won the G1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes.  Since that race the near black colt won the G1 Champagne Stakes on the same day that I was in Adelaide photographing The Famous Pony Black Caviar winning the G1 Robert Sangster Stakes.  It was a distinct disadvantage to have these two important race dates clashing, as More Joyous and Atlantic Jewel also won that day at Royal Randwick.  But those regular readers of this Blog and followers and friends of mine will already know that my heart belongs to the Famous Pony, and where she goes, I go.

Pierro also won the Stan Fox and the Bill Stutt Stakes last spring, but I wasn't on track for either of those races.  He then ran a courageous 2nd to the other champion colt All Too Hard (half brother to the Famous Pony) in the Caulfield Guineas and 3rd in the Cox Plate.  He resumed in the Hobartville Stakes when I was in Melbourne for the Australian Guineas with a narrow but determined win on a very heavy track before he tackled the Canterbury Stakes 2nd up.

I've also photographed Pierro's great sire Lonhro both on the racetrack and at Darley at stud, and his famous grandsire Octagonal, again, on the racetrack and at stud.  And as a further bonus, I photographed Pierro's dam, a lovely grey mare called Miss Right Note, with her gorgeous little Street Cry filly (again I've photographed Street Cry as a stallion) at Darley's Woodlands Stud in Denman late last September.  So again, I have real pleasure in seeing the family history unfolding pictorially before me.  Indeed, the Image IS everything...................

Pierro runs clear in the G1 Canterbury Stakes, defeating champion mare and another of my darlings in More Joyous.  "Sunshine on a rainy day, makes my soul, makes my soul, trip, trip, trip away".  Christine Anu.  I always liked the song, and as the field swung for home I could see the sun breaking through even though it was still visibly raining, and it made my heart race to see if the resultant images were as pretty as what my eye saw through the lens.

Magic Millions have just used this image in a lovely and dynamic ad.
Pierro's little sister, by champion stallion Street Cry (sire of Zenyatta, Street Sense, Shocking and Whobegotyou)
Pierro's dam, Miss Right Note, with her Street Cry filly.  September 2012.

Pierro at Randwick last July.  The clues were there for me to see last July.
Pierro winning the G1 AJC Sires Stakes

Lonhro, sporting the famous Darely blue and white stallion browband.  I think I'd almost sell my soul to the devil for one of these bridles....

It's autumn, and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be run in about 4 weeks time.  It's hard to believe that it is 10 years since I took this image, using a wonderful 400mm f2.8 lens loaned to me by Nikon Professional Services.

Octagonal in 1997 at Woodlands

Even further back.. Octagonal wins the WS Cox Plate in 1995.

25 March 2013

Catching up...

Ok, so these aren't horse racing photographs.  They are of my son Heath, who tackled mowing the lawns for the first time properly yesterday and today.  They were suddenly quite long, with all the thunderstorms, and a few rainy days, and there's a reasonable amount of grass both out the back and out the front.  We had a little issue when we couldn't get it to start again after a catcher empty out, but I ran next door, because my ace and generous neighbour Paddy has some workers over doing his concerete.  And the v nice bloke in his flouro top just said "I'm onto it" and he and Heath had it started in no time (it had flooded a little bit).  So Heath was a little tired and sweaty, but he's earned $30.00 and I was dead proud of him.  

But I couldn't help taking a few pictures of him wrestling with the mower and doing his absolute best to get it done.  I like to hope that, in addition to him being a terrific little up and coming photographer, he's going to be a great help to me over the coming years.

Heath mowing the lawn today for the first time properly.  He did the front lawn yesterday afternoon, under my brother's watchful eye.

He's a lovely little photographer too, is my boy...  He took this over 2 years ago..
Look at his wonderful image of Nelly, the Famous Pony Black Caviar, swimming at Caulfield in 2011.
Just a little flashback.  Heath and me on his first day of Kindergarten.  45 degree day, 2 dramatic low sugar episodes.  He's gradually getting there though..

The Galaxy at Rosehill???

I must have my head stuck firmly in the cloud that is known as Famous Pony Land...  

How is it that I did not know that the G1 Galaxy had been moved to Rosehill Gardens and is now being run on Rosehill Guineas Day????  

Sigh....  I was going to take the weekend off completely...  But if Snitzerland accepts, they've got me on a technicality, haven't they, being my 'My Boy' at Arrowfield, Snitzel.

Snitzerland (Snitzel - Monte Rosa) winning the G2 Challenge Stakes a fortnight ago with Corey Brown on board.

23 March 2013

Pledging my eternal love to Qantas...

I've had 4 hours sleep. And relied on the automatic check in thingy systems. Which almost sent my bag carrying essential card reader, power cord and monopod sticky thing all the way to Canberra instead of it enjoying the day in Sydney with me!

The lovely Dee at Qantas up the top and some truly ace and fabulous baggage handler found it. And fixed it. I love them!!!

Ps - they use V BIG planes to Sydney!!

All her flags flying. This is the Famous Pony.

It's so late and I have to be up on 5 hours. I am exhausted and can't do her justice tonight. But for those of you who are wondering, here she is. The Famous Pony. The great champion Black Caviar. With all her flags flying. Thanx Pony.