Almanac Racing

One feature race in each of Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide is enough to warm the cockles of those of us who’ve ploughed through the bleak winter. Sure, the fields generally lack depth, but I’m looking forward to a Friday formguide moreso than in recent months.

The biggest billing must go to Winx’s return in the Warwick Stakes (SR7, 1400m, WFA, G2). She’s unbackable odds but racelovers still want to see her go around. Lucia Valentina, Rebel Dane and Hartnell give cred to this as an important signpost to Spring. The rest of Randwick’s offerings include several of Group status that may be overrated but watching replays will bear fruit in future weeks.

The Carlyon Stakes (MR8, 1000m, SWP, Listed) is the best of Moonee Valley’s card. I’m a big fan of the beautiful Shiraz but expect Heatherly to be too quick. The last is a typically good MV closer and, though too late for on-course patrons, it’ll be a get out worth studying.

Morphettville’s standout race is the Penny Edition (AR7, 1400m, WFA, Listed). Again, some of these are just warming up but, in contrast, Ulmann has been on fire. Logically the one to beat. I’ve noticed a couple of interesting race names over there in Adelaide on Saturday – I was never a BLU fan but the Better Loosen Up Memorial seems inappropriate as a 1400m, BM64 worth $30k! The other one that triggers memories is the John O’Neil OAM Handicap. Indeed a stalwart who’s outlasted his contemporaries who littered my youth.

Finally I want to mention that the JustRacing site closed a fortnight ago. I’ve read it occasionally. The owner, Phil Purser, is well described as “old school”. He seems permanently tormented but a different voice was always good for racing. Archives remain and some are recommended.

My form’s reflected by a couple of the sides I support – the Bays and the Sharkies – but I’m hoping for a change of luck as the really enjoyable meetings approach – starting next week with the Memsie.

Good luck!



  1. I’ll get in early with one in Race 4 at the Valley.
    Motown Lil was a great run in the Lightning in Adelaide where Ocean Embers ran 2nd and has since franked the form. She couldn’t get a run until the race was over and sprinted well when finally clear. The replay is here She is in red & white and settles near last after jumping OK but dipping and dropping back, Nick Hall replaces Daniel Moor. With the rail true and some rain coming I’m very keen. Picadillies is the unknown but I assume it’s pretty good- the owners have good form at least.

  2. Nice run Jock. Thanks for the replay.

  3. Certainly is!
    Given that you Adelaide boys are on site, don’t Penny Edition and John O’Neil cover some of our history?

  4. Big Penny Edition fan. Won a Toorak or 2 and rarely lost when he went to Adelaide.
    John O’Neil gets some points for durability…

  5. Will never forget reading JustRacing’s first article spruiking Starcraft. The article was in late 2003, and Phil declared he would develop into a top class galloper, and would prove to be the best stayer trained in QLD for many years.

    I started following & backing Starcraft after reading that article, and was at Flemington for his southern debut when he flew down the outside in the Debonair at $40, defeating Elvstroem.

  6. It would be somehow appropriate if we ended up on a Heavy track tomorrow – Bob Skelton died this arvo.

  7. Van der Hum the only horse to win a Melbourne Cup in slower time than the Cup Hurdle on the same day.
    Wet track brings Buzz Punch’s nemesis Robbie’s Star into the equation. The Thug also a good hope that race.

  8. Adelaide is a heavy 8 and assuming on pace is going to be the way to go, It’s No Joke in Race 6 and Force of Three in the last should be good chances. Ulmann looks the goods in the Penny Edition but Jim’s Journey goes very well fresh and may be a knockout hope.

  9. I’m happy with my 2 bets; 2 collects.

    Sticking to old favourites, the former Riverina sprinter The Monstar is now in Brisbane. I had it in its last start at Eagle Farm, where he saluted. Went in as fave today, but only scraped in at third ; money back.
    I got a better return on another old fave, Riziz, in Adelaide. Yes he won this race in 2016 but with a wide barrier, being a7 year old I wasn’t overly confident, but he went out well, taking the lead, unlucky to be overrun in the last half a furlong. Still paying $4-20 for second is not to be sneezed at.

    Happy Punting.


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