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07 March 2013

Permission to jolly well speak, right now Sir!!

I had a lovely and funny conversation with turf doyen Les Carlyon at Flemington Racecourse last Saturday.  He jokingly ticked me off and told me I should be working on photographs instead of watching Blackadder at night!  I asked how he knew I had been watching Blackadder!  He replied that he reads my Blog!  So we then proceeded to swap stories of which scenes and lines we liked the best.  I think Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson are 3 of the funniest people on the planet!!

We both loved the "Flanders Pigeon Murderer" (not the real name) episode, as well as the episode before it when Blackadder 'stole' George's painting and claimed it as his own, with George not allowed to speak without permission.  Hugh Laurie is ace, especially his huge goggly eyed face when where he burst out "Permission to jolly well speak right now sir, otherwise I might just burst like a bally balloon!!!" And let's face it, I like to think that it is a healthy thing to have the right to speak your mind...

So Les and I talked about books, both his recent "The Master" book that I worked on with him and his past classics like Chasing a Dream and True Grit, as well as the wonderful success that Gerard Whateley's Black Caviar book is enjoying.  It was great to see him and catch up with him.

It's true that the racing was disappointing on the weekend.  I felt sorry for my friend Rick Jamieson.  He bred All Too Hard, who was of course scratched race morning, but he also had Philippi, who he still owns and races.  The colt had drawn perfectly but was a victim of circumstances, being shuffled back to last then running the fastest last 200m.  It must be bitterly disappointing to know you had bred 2 horses good enough to win the race, and then factors completely beyond your control take the race away.  The winner of the race is actually unbeaten and therefore must be a good little racehorse, but still, it's not what I went to sleep dreaming about.

All Too Hard.  A raging Guineas favourite, but scratched on race morning with an elevated temperature.

My buddy Mark Gatt took this while we were mucking about waiting for a race to start.  "Gatty", Gaz and I were joking about all day about various funny things which was a lot of fun.  The lower profile day and the absence of All Too Hard meant that all of our minds began wandering about a bit.  I am liking my new camera.  It is amazingly fast, and super sharp.

Ferlax and Stephen Baster score an upset win in the G1 Australian Guineas

Looking forward there are some fun and important photo shoots and treats that may eventuate this weekend in Melbourne.  I know better than to count my chickens before they hatch, however if even one of these shoots occurs this weekend it will make me feel good so fingers crossed.  There's a few logistical hurdles to jump though, and it may well end up that I need to make an additional, and special, trip so at present I am just waiting and seeing.
Peter Moody, with his champion Black Caviar

In between now and arriving in Melbourne I have the usual repacking of my suitcases, charging of my camera batteries (I've slipped back into my old habit of charging them before every race meeting), and getting everything ready.  It will be hot, yet again, this Saturday at Flemington.  I'm tired of summer and the heat!  And Flemington is merciless in the heat.  At least at Caulfield you can hide out of the sun a little bit and still operate effectively.  There's no reprieve at headquarters though, none at all.

Lastly, today is the first day that my head hasn't been splitting in half.  I've been sick since Saturday afternoon when I lost my voice. I've had 5 days of vicious headaches and aching all over and having to use far more tissues than is humanely possible as well.  It has to be said that being sick while you're on your own isn't nearly as much fun as having someone to fuss over you!! 

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