Almanac Racing

RVL have declared another week of 30min race gaps and certain sectors are outraged. Stuff them, I say. RNSW hinted about vague OH+S for jockeys etc – what crap…Royal Ascot, the 4-day pinnacle of our sport, has R1 @2.30 and the last at 5.35 each day! My only suggestion to the current format (other than cutting back from 9 race cards) would be to press it forward by 30 mins, starting at 1pm to make lunch bookings relevant, and finishing at 5 because patrons leave then (but, understandably, pubs like a later race and broadcasters creep to news).

Hopefully the public respond and start pushing for more incentives like free admission, better food options on course etc.

Game on. At least there’s some discussion at last about what might be a workable schedule rather than just loading up more and more.

It’ll start to become a juggling act this Saturday as some quality horses line up at both Caulfield and Randwick (incredibly with the prospect of decent weather and puntable fields).

I’m at the Heath so let’s start there. It’s a meeting which brings back great memories for me (as cited last yr and is sure to ignite many more as the Autumn stars begin to align.

Which conveniently leads us to the Orr Stakes (MR7, 1400m, WFA, G1). It’s like the return of TV ratings season. Suddenly, formguides have recognisable horses for the occasional fan. Only 5 of the 18 starters have had one run this prep and the rest are first-up (caveat emptor!). Lots of them, of course, have arduous programmes ahead so it is vital to look for fresh stars if punting and replays if plotting. Lucky Hussler fits the requirements, having won in Qld first up and being ready to add more black type now. Work around him in exotics.

Earlier in the day there’s plenty worth noting.

I’m keen on MR2 and especially Mossin’ Around @ about 3/1.

The 2yo form is always tough to line up so that’s the challenge for the Preludes. In the Fillies’ division, Calliope is the logical choice but Zamzam was unexpectedly sensational in a seemingly weaker Valley night performance last start. The C+G options are tough with so many unraced. “Watch”, as they say.

And “watch” is a pertinent warning for multi-state punters as Randwick also has a meeting worth attention. As usual, I’ll begin with a mini-swipe, this one not just ATC-centric. I’m really pleased that Lonhro, a very good horse and sire, has a race named for him…but SR1 2yo 1100m?

Anyhow, let’s focus on some of the horses featuring on this excellent card.

I’ll be especially keen to see how Stay With Me resumes in the Light Fingers Stakes, how Rich Enuff presents for SR5 and, like all race fans, hoping that Winx struts her stuff in the Apollo (SR7, 1400m, WFA, G2).

Scarily, I’m warming to a few already (Wednesday) despite my form being very ordinary.

Good horses, good tracks and bigger fields should ensure some decent punting in future weeks.

As usual, I’m excited at the prospects. I’ll wander down to the Valley on Friday night to enjoy a balmy evening and then head to Caulfield for work on Saturday. Plenty of other Buchan options for the more ambitious.

Good luck!

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