A day at the races

Perhaps a day at the races with the right skills and knowledge could be quite profitable, but for me (first time in over a decade), it certainly wasn’t a money maker — it was about the company.

Quite a glorious day, relaxing, standing in the sunshine, chatting to the blokes I was with, pondering horses and bets, and watching the races as they happened.

Caulfield Racecourse

For the record:

$45 entry. (You can book online for $40… plus a booking fee of, from memory, another dollar, which hardly makes it worth it)

Drinks $7.50 for a can of beer, $4.80 for a bottle of soft drink = $19.80. Was interesting to see stricter limits of 2 cans of alcohol per purchase after 4pm. I can’t say I saw any alcohol-related problems.

Starlight Foundation charity badge (pictured below) $5

I didn’t splurge on bets, but did put $5 each on Oasis Bloom (which came second) and Speediness (which came fourth) based on tips from friend of a friend, as well as liking the names — perhaps not the best strategy ever, but the best one I have.

Betting, Caulfield races

Caulfield Guineas day isn’t the busiest day of course. They had said at one stage they reckoned a crowd of about 25,000. Seemed well-behaved from where I was standing.

For the men there was a mix of casual dress and suits — probably more of the latter in the public areas, even more so in the more exclusive sections no doubt. Most of the ladies seemed to be in frocks. A few people were in fancy dress — I saw one Star Trek captain (a Trek tunic, plus a sailor captain’s cap), and several people in animal suits, though they’d all taken off the heads as it was pretty warm.

And the winner of the feature race? Long John.

There seemed to be plenty of staff and extra trains at Caulfield station afterwards, so getting home again wasn’t an issue. I wonder how they’ll cope on the really busy days.

Plenty of staff, announcements and extra trains after the races at Caulfield

Anti-pigeon defences

And now for something completely different: anti-pigeon defences.

Pigeons can get everywhere, making nests, leaving droppings. These ones seem very interested in the next trains from Caulfield.
Pigeons 1, Metro 0

It’s probably gone mostly unnoticed, but over the past few years, various methods to prevent them roosting have become commonplace.

In the case of Caulfield station, they’ve put in a lot of netting that cordons off parts of the platform roof areas, including the tops of the signs. (I haven’t checked if they’ve fitted the sign above, which is in the subway.)

Solar-powered road signs now often have spiky bits on them, as do increasing numbers of shop signs, including big ones like this. (I think it looks a little odd up close.)
Anti-pigeon defences

On this building in Centre Road, Bentleigh, there are fake owls around the top. I’m not sure how effective they are.
Fake owl

But despite these methods, sometimes the pigeons still win.
Pigeons 1, Shop sign 0

Street name clusters

On my day off yesterday we sauntered down to Jaycar in Cheltenham for electronic gadget goodness. I noticed looking at the map beforehand that a bunch of the streets are named after newspapers: Argus St, Herald St, Age St, Times St. No Sun St that I could see.

There are plenty of clusters of street names about the place. Some of the others that spring to mind include:

MurrumbeenaMurrumbeena has streets named after Australian cities — Brisbane St, Perth St, Adelaide St, Sydney St, Melbourne St, Hobart Rd.

Elwood/St Kilda — lots of writers and poets: Tennyson St, Dickens St, Milton St, Chaucer St, Wordsworth St, Shakespeare Gv, Shelley St, Byron St, Mitford St, Southey St… and of course Poets Gv. There’s probably a few others around there that more cultured persons than me might recognise, too.

Elwood near the beach: Spray St, Tide St, Beach Av, Wave St, Foam St. Maybe Docker St as well?

Caulfield South, around the area once called Camden Town, formerly occupied by a camp site for timber workers — Olive St, Poplar St, Birch St, Cedar St, Sycamore St, Larch St, Almond St, Teak St, Beech St, Maple St. Would Jasmine and Filbert count too?

Perhaps this sort of thing saved time when large numbers of streets had to be named, and it might save agonising over who in a local community should get a street named after them and who shouldn’t.

Thankfully most of them are more imaginative than what they ended up with in Parkdale: First St, Second St, Third St, Fourth St, Fifth St, Sixth St, Seventh St, Eighth St. Then they threw caution into the wind and made the last couple in the group Bethell Av and Stewart Av.