Crio’s Racing: Caulfield Cup 2011

Caulfield Cup Day is an institution, primarily in Melbourne’s south-eastern burbs but, more broadly, it has a recognition factor beyond race fans and it traditionally coincides with a spate of iconic meetings around the country. In fact, if I weren’t swinging the bag on course I’d be more likely to be found in the more convivial climes of Avoca (or Wodonga, Bendigo, Traralgon…).The mighty mile and a half handicap has produced some legendary winners – and famous runners ups which missed weight penalties for Flemington’s 2 miler.

Cup Day earned a bad rap with juvenile drunks and packed amenities but the MRC has tried to address most of the issues – though they still seem too keen to cash in with exorbitant costs rather than work for return business!

Those who get to The Heath – and care about such matters –will be presented with a pretty ordinary Cup but a better than usual support card.

Naturally the hype will focus on the $2.65m Gr1 but it is of questionable depth with a short priced fav, December Draw, which has pranced through prequels but is tight odds for a 2400m rookie. The time honored process is to look for a handicapped advantage, but even here Kav’s boom looks well in. There are a stack of imports with credentials, but I’d usually rather them on Flemington’s wider expanses. And poor barriers have hurt other contenders. No bet for me, unless a solid case can be presented.

Thus I’ll not be in the Quaddie this week.

There are some quirky races scattered over the formguide.

MR6, Gr3, 1400m looks an unusual challenge as so many of the chances excel on the wet. I anticipate a Dead4 track. I reckon Snowden’s second stringer, Launay, might be the one to watch here.

Earlier in the day, there’s a serious “watch” on Cross Of Gold (MR2, No7), blinkers off and hopeful the track is not a “road” (ref stewards’ report).

The Norman Robinson (MR4, Gr3, 2000m) is another of the Spring races where the form is retrospectively relevant. These horses are eyeing The Derby but many won’t measure up. I lean towards Costly Commitment (4).

The “star” value in the day is undoubtedly in the Colt, Sepoy, long odds on in the Gr2 Sprint (MR5, No6) and the wonderful mare More Joyous (MR9, No1), a “risk” according to judges at Wednesday’s meeting, but surely a cut above the opposition. It is great for patrons that these outstanding racehorses are in “support” and hopefully they both produce their best to thrill the fans. Black Caviar aside, these are the great drawcards of our sport.

Should be a good day. I’ll be fighting the flu and the fwits to call the bets in the main ring…if you are attending, get out on the lawns where Budge makes a return from a significant lay off to swing the bag and offer top odds and dubious advice.

Good luck!


  1. An oversight not mentioning the filly, Atlantic Joy, and her devastating win in the Thousand Guineas on Wednesday. anything to add to that or other casual obs from the lowkey mid-weeker DD or others?

  2. Crio,
    Atlantic Jewel really looks the goods….will they try to emulate
    Surround and have a crack at the Cox Plate?

  3. It so often backfires, Smoke, but it must be tempting in such a shallow year.SYT winning two in his first 10 starts rewrote the rule book a bit.

  4. Spot on report Crio but anyone who can rate the overseas horses against the locals and can pick the winner of the Cup deserves to collect. Just to confuse us all its rained steadily all day in SA so far and its heading your way

  5. David Downer says:


    As mentioned in the other thread, a great fillies race tomorrow for the Oaks candidates – but news that Atlantic Jewel is heading in this direction will temper the other connections’ hopes. Shame she’s not Cox Plate bound. Would crown a marvellous 3yo season squaring off against Helmet and the older horses. A 3yo filly with a genuine chance in the race would create that extra buzz at the Valley.
    Will be interesting to see the crowd at the Heath tomorrow. I reckon many of the casual spring attendees (and other assorted “fwits” as you refer!) may have had their Caulfield carnival day last week thanks to Black Caviar dragging them through the gates. The 10k extra they gained last week might result in a, say, 6 or 7k drop off for Cup day. Well, for you, I hope that’s the case anyway!

  6. Crio,
    I was trying to calculate what the ‘significant layoff” had been and could only narrow it down to between 26 and 30 years! Not sure how I’ll cope with 1 and 2 dollar coins instead of equivalent notes. Doesn’t matter what they’re made of so long as we keep more than we pay out!
    Unusual Suspect my roughie for the Cup. Favourite is way too short but hard to get to confident on any particular one to beat him.
    More Joyous a special – as much a good thing as Sepoy and fancy Psychologist in the last (which will be among the many physicians I will need by then).

  7. Response (R9) is ridiculous odds ($17 Betfair). She’ll beat Sister Madly (currently $4.20) just probably not More Joyous.

  8. mark freeman says:

    My first step onto the turf was at Caulfield Guineas Day 1976 and I can still see the dappled grey filly streaking clear with A Trevena in the red silks with black and white striped sleeves.

    Agree with above re Cox Plate with Atlantic Jewel v Helmet, would have made the spring, as would a Black Caviar v Sepoy clash, but none of these is on the cards and we’ll have to suffer through a series of processions at long odds on.

    Won’t be there tomorrow Crio, have tipped in the Leader Newspapers gig after a dozen years of free party pies in the press room. But after being a Caulfield boy for so long, I’ve missed out on the Valley, so sling me a ticket if you can next week you old bagman.

    Good luck

  9. Budge,
    This is exactly what the new promo is after…delete More Joyous from the field and back Response. Let us know what odds it becomes. $3.20?

  10. Love to Freeza but security is tight. You’ll be one of the first males on my list…so wait your turn!
    Great to see Hissing sid nom’d tomorrow. sorry we won’t see the moths from your wallet!
    Catch soon for some hydration?

  11. Cup fav 9/4 on Betfair!

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