Almanac Finals Predictions: The Muse is musing on the form





Jeez it’s been a long winter and whilst we are a day away from spring the best thing I can say is the days are getting longer. Sunshine is scarce and rain is abundant but, as everyone knows, I am not one to complain. Given the weather I haven’t transitioned from Abbottsford Stout to the nectar of the Gods, Abbotts Lager, yet so tonight I enjoyed an longneck [or two] of stout rolled a Capstan ready rubbed and commenced to muse on how a racing form guide analyst might describe the chances of the teams still in the fight for the premiership.


Firstly these teams would need to revert to monikers more appropriate to racing names so for my purposes I imagined the field would be in barrier order. For those of you not steeped in history past last week you may need to research the connection.


The Pivotonian [Geelong]

Fuchsia  [Melbourne]

Blood Stained Angel [Sydney]

Carringbush [Collingwood]

Heavo  [Fremantle]

Son of Fitzroy  [Brisbane]

Struggle Town [Richmond]

Scragger [Bulldogs]


Now as a racing man let me say I view form analysts with more than a modicum of scepticism. If they had a gift for spotting winners surely they would hold that gift tight and drive a Rolls Royce and live in Toorak or Double Bay and send their kids to Geelong Grammar or MLC in Melbourne or Scots College or Kambala in Sydney. However they share their knowledge for a fee and drive 2002 Commodores and their kids go to Broadmeadows Tech or Strathfield Secondary. They really are more polished versions of the race course touts of last century who whispered tips out of the side of their mouths on the track for a fee and were quick to find the winning punter for a sling if the ‘good thing’ got up. In fact the only truly gifted form analyst of my time has been Bill Vlahos who enjoyed a spectacular run of good fortune which unfortunately came to an end. Bill is now enjoying a well earned Government subsidised retirement. Sorry, I digress. A form analyst might well analyse the finals race as follows:


The Pivotonian: this country trained galloper has had a remarkable season and has met every challenge. A classy performer who rightfully goes into the race as favourite albeit won’t get the advantage of his home track. On form it’s hard to see The Pivotonian losing but he has been known to stumble in big contests in the past. Trainer Scott has been a leading trainer for several years but his record of late in Group races indicates he may have become the perennial bridesmaid. Scott is well known to indicate his displeasure at stewards decisions a trait which continually amuses the punting public.


Verdict: the horse to beat .


Fuchsia: this regally bred stallion won the race last year and has enjoyed a good season despite showing signs of tiredness mid-season. A brilliant performer on his day he is more than capable of winning particularly given his form over the last few weeks. Trainer Goodwin is establishing himself as a leading trainer despite narrowly avoiding the sack from the horse’s owners two years ago due to alleged off-course behavioural issues .


Verdict: a serious winning chance .


Blood Stained Angel: this wonderful Sydney trained mare is a model of consistency. This season she has seemed revitalised and is racing consistently with renewed energy. Trainer Longmire who has a real affinity with the horse has her ticking along nicely and she should never be underestimated.


Verdict: with the right run in transit she is capable of upsetting the favourites. Be wary.


Carringbush: was a maiden galloper twelve months ago. Has transformed into a group performer since being transferred from the prestigious Buckley stable into the little-known McCrae yard. May be a year away, but if he gets half a chance in the run he will capitalise on it. The punting public are enthralled with his courage and will to win which means he will enjoy lots of support despite the rather dubious background of his ownership group.


Verdict : genuine each-way chance.


Heavo: the Western Australian entrant has had a consistent preparation under rookie  trainer Longmuir but has never saluted in a big race and lacks the class to trouble the more credentialled runners .


Verdict: not likely.


Son of Fitzroy: this much travelled galloper now trained in Brisbane has enjoyed big race success in the past but his form leading up to this race has been patchy and it’s difficult to like his chances on current form. Is in the hands of a very astute trainer Fagan but I think he may be found wanting in this field.


Verdict: rough place chance at best.


The proven big race performer Struggle Town goes into this race full of confidence given its recent form and in my view can upset the more fancied candidates. Trainer Hardwick knows how to prepare a horse to the minute and if he can regain the services of Australia’s champion big race rider, D Martin, Struggle Town’s chances will be further enhanced. Expect raucous on and off course celebrations from Struggle Towns large, uncouth syndicate of owners if he wins.


Verdict: the value bet in the field. Can win .


The erratic performer Scragger trained  by the equally erratic and often eccentric Beveridge has made the field as a consequence of Old Dark’s recent poor form when it looked to have a spot sewn up.  Whilst Scragger’s best form is good enough this plain old gelding is too inconsistent for my liking.


Verdict: might give some cheek early in the race but won’t get the trip .



The head says The Pivotonian and Fuchsia will go to the line neck and neck but as I’m not a big fan of either horse my heart hopes it’s Carringbush and Blood Stained Angel going toe to toe as they charge to  the post. I have dismissed my all time favourite horse Scragger but he has more than surprised me in the past so I live in hope he can make me look like a fool [easily done] again.


Finally in other news I note the master trainer Clarkson has chosen to ignore the approach to train Fallen Jet [breeding Once We Were Great out of Delusional] and opted for the battler Shinboner  [breeding Life is Tough out of Abattoir] and I think that is good for racing.



Clarence the Clocker signing off and remember if you punt you never lose. If you back a winner it’s a profit and if you back a loser it’s another lesson in the rich  tapestry of life. Sometimes I think I have had enough lessons to do me for five lifetimes .



Read more from The Muse HERE.



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  1. Hayden Kelly says

    Well that’s a good start Struggle Town falls at the 1st hurdle oh dear .

  2. …and Fuchia looks to have something fetlocky going on (horse people can translate whatever that is).
    I’m going to work on the theory (two races, two wins so far) that the less Drizzle says about each horse, the more likely it is to win.

    On that basis, clean out your granny’s purse and whack it on Heavo.

  3. Struggletown was narrowly beaten in a photo finish.

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