Almanac Horseracing – Monkeys off (and on) the back

There’ve been lots of sporting references to “monkeys off/on the back” during the extraordinary Finals Series’ in AFL and NRL but, heading to what’s often the best Saturday of the racing year, I’ve got my own punting drought in serious need of redressing (and, if I may indulge, plenty of my ire has been towards the little hoops who’ve spoiled my recent plans – yes, you J.Allen, on Tosen Stardom, as Exhibit A and you, C.Parnham, on Voodoo Lad!).

What better time to strike back than Guineas Day at the Heath, where the big guns traditionally roll in?

On first glance the fields, although very good, don’t appear “vintage”, with the Caulfield Stakes (MR6, 2000m, WFA, G1) listing just 3 Acceptors!!! – there’s $27k available for fourth! What a debacle. Winx returns to Melbourne and hardened Black Heart Bart is a worthy opponent but it’s a joke of a race.

The Thousand Guineas (MR7, 1600m, 3yoF, SW, G1) nowadays adds to the fantastic fixture and it looks to be a good edition, ironically arguably stronger than the boys’ division. Sydney form seems stronger but then we always wonder about them getting on the “wrong leg” skidding around the Heath’s turn. Harlow Gold and I Am A Star might be the value to get cushy, on pace runs.

The Guineas itself (MR8,1600m, 3yo, SW, G1) has plenty of permutations but I’m happy to back Saracino E/W at about 16/1.

The Toorak (MR9, 1600m, H’cp, G1) is always a ripper betting race. Tosen Stardom’s my conundrum. Don’t like backing horses after injury and hastily revised programmes, but I suspect he’s better than these so will send my “good after bad”.

The Ch7 News intro, aka Schillachi (MR10, 1100m, WFA, G1) is a worthy closer. Where do you stand here with the fav, Star Turn?

For those with stamina or discipline there are highlights throughout the day, beginning with the speculation of the Debutante (MR1, 1000m, 2yo, SW) which leads in to the Herbert Power (MR2, 2400m, Quality) a soft G2 in which Prince of Penzance, under the old “toppies in Welters” mantra, looks overs at $14 (he’s also accepted for Cranbourne on Sunday) and then continues for a marathon including the unfortunately oft-rebadged but high-class Mares’ race (MR5 ), one of the most interesting fields of the day.

Always a great meeting if you can get down Dandy Road – or, much easier, the train to the racetrack’s doorstep. You get the best of the horses without the worst of humanity. Those wishing to head further afield better get going soon to make it to the legendary Manang Cup on Saturday and, if you still have the money and motivation, I’ll be on the bag at the Cranbourne Cup card on Sunday…hopefully betting with “theirs” and not chasing (again).

Good luck!


  1. G’day Crio, WTF happened with Throssell. He was midfield turning for home, then seemed to be pulled up. The TV coverage didn’t show the stragglers from the end of the race, but i’m intrigued/concerned. Did he get injured, was there a problem with his running gear ? I had a few $$ on him so i’m intrigued.


  2. Glen – see below extract from stewards report

    Throssell – An irregular heart rhythm was detected on post race veterinary examination. The gelding shall not start in any race until the Stewards have received a satisfactory veterinary report. The report must include the results of an ECG performed at rest and cardiac auscultation performed within thirty minutes of completing a satisfactory gallop of at least 1000m.

  3. I see Tosen Stardom is scratched again. His Spring program must be up in the air now.

    Keen on a few tomorrow. Flamberge must be an each way special in the last. Won Oakleigh Plate (top weight, barrier 15) first up last time in and ran 2nd to Chautauqua 1st up previously. Meets Fell Swoop 5kg better for narrowly beating him in that Oakleigh Plate and has a 6-3-1-1 record for track/distance.

    Big Memory looks suited in the 2nd race.
    Mabeel (race 4) is unbeaten fresh and in astute (in form) stable.
    Sheidel should win the 5th
    Happy to back both Missrock and La Luna Rossa in Thousand Guineas. Throw in the toppie in multiples from good alley.
    Tough race the Caulfield Guineas. Suspect Sacred Elixir might be a bit too good for them but I will have a saver each way on So Si Bon who is crying our for the mile.

  4. Ta Budgie, not good for a young horse.

    A pity as he started his career in fine style . Oh well i’ll just have to watch this space.

    Happy Punting.


  5. My focus is naturally on the Melbourne races but given the rating of sydney form as superior to ours I guess we should be monitoring Randwick – especially the Spring Champion Stakes. Tips please.

  6. Facing a career threatening drought and appreciate the help, Crio and Budge.
    Looking to Rageese and Missrock to change that and the Oakleigh Plate quinella Flamberge and Fell Swoop in the last. Have struggled with the Toorak since they retired Umrum and suspect the favourite is the one but the price is a problem. Any help there?

  7. Wrong bloke to ask here Gerard – I’m poison. Thankfully this is a forum and hopefully some advice will arrive. The Toorak’s always a really good race and, like so many, one I’ve failed miserably to master. Think I might have snagged Solzhenitsyn in 2012 but another red ink race for me. Happy to butter up again however (as we do)

  8. Budge,

    I get the impression you are morphing into a bit of a “Kiwi in the Spring” fan. No need to say I agree with you on all counts.

  9. Not quite the blind faith you have.
    As fate would have it, one of Blind Faith’s earlier songs was titled “can’t find my way home “.
    As Guru Bob would say “just think about that “

  10. Agree the fave looks the one in the Toorak, Gerard. If it’s odds you’re after Miss Rose de Lago has amazing form at Caulfield and may be overs.

  11. I can sympathise with Gerald S re: the drought, I’ve been in one of a different sort for a long time but found you can always take solace in trying the Draught or lager in moderation. The good news for Gerald is that his drought will be over when Ragesse wins.
    Race 5 Silent Sediton will go well fresh
    Race 7 Foxplay looks too good but I liked Sebring Dream’s last run and give it an EW hope
    Race 8 Wazzenme and Sacred Elixir quinella
    Race 9 Rokki or Tivaci
    race 10 Hucklebuck if he gets any breaks from barrier 1 otherwise aRace 6 Rock Status and race 8 De Jorvik

  12. Assume you cashed in on Benz last week Jock?

  13. Sebring Dream blinkers on. Good hope each way Jock.

    To make us feel old, fifth dam of Impending is Better Draw and fifth dam of So Si Bon is Pure Of Heart.

  14. Crio,
    that would be a yes
    Looks like the Budge is taking his advancing years a bit seriously

  15. Great day for me. Only had 2 bets. Sure, they both lost but I Am A Star gave cheek for 2nd (bet straight out of course). Still have money for Cranbourne tomorrow where the locals will struggle to focus – it’s Bathurst day!

  16. Verstappen was very highly rated before MV loss v quality opponents. Reckon he is the kick off tmrw at Cranbourne. R1 No1

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