Almanac Racing: A new season beckons

A rider must accompany this rant, warning that I have overnight returned from an extended visit to Darwin which encompassed the last three days of their Carnival. My best tip, therefore, is to book early and go next year. Great fun is assured, but it can be tough going and may have taken its toll on my already questionable judgment. From shorts and sun to the rain, the cold and the Year 10s are making this a hard graft.

I’ve managed to smuggle some form guides in to class and note that, despite the extra colour and words, the Herald-Sun’s liftout only shows last start for most horses. Does anyone have an opinion on the new set up or looked at the site?

Although it is the first Saturday of the new season, it is hardly a fresh start, with wet tracks and winter formlines still the dominant factors for racing at Flemington and Randwick. The better horses are still dribbling back and there is, at least, still Group racing at both venues.

The likely point of interest over the next month or so will be to analyse returning horses and restrict my betting to some running doubles and flexi-Quaddies. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that bookies are struggling at the moment and just trying to tread water before a Spring windfall from “mugs”. So perhaps we should be paying more attention to betting right now.

The first at Flemington is a tricky little race as the now 3 yr old fillies step up to 1400m, not usually a very demanding transition at the generally on-paced route at HQ. Vasil’s TRISARA will start fav and I’m E/W Ollie on No3, INVINCIBLE YOU, but with no confidence.

Freedman’s CENSOR (R2, No1) will be short but ticks enough boxes to win. Big watch on Moody’s No4, taking a 3kg claim, SAYAHAILMARY.

A tough straight race follows. Keen here on visitor BONDARCHUK (No4) if the inside is not hopeless. Of those drawn on the likely preferred outside, FEROCIA (No12, barrier 13) has undeniable claims at big odds, coming back from WFA to this easier test.

The first leg of the Quaddy, has too many “failed to flatter” nominees. One of these, O’REILLY’S CLOCK, was my deluded tip for the Winter Champ Final so deserves another shot at my bank. Most of these “don’t win out of turn”!

The Aurie’s Star Handicap (R6, 1000m, Gr3) should be worth study for future reference. Peter Moody’s HEADWAY is a Group One winner and will be looking for further riches this preparation. Kav’s ELUSIVE TOUCH has already fashioned a “straight specialist” reputation and will have supporters. But I reckon that Greg Eurell, whose horses are firing, might have targeted this suitable race for THE HANDSOME ONE (No 10). Be sure to keep an eye on SPACECRAFT (No8), which I expect to become a good horse this prep, and LEICA LARRIKIN (No4), the stayer with the massive head and great Flemington affinity.

Cups bound THE MINIVER ROSE (No3) makes his Australian debut for the Price/Ollie combo in Race7 and, though the 1410m looks totally unsuitable, there has been some early specking. Our intrepid “special comments”, Elvis, will no doubt make a case and that might be a good lead – Elvis is in top form, having only visited the ATM once over a 2 day Darwin races spree. Logically, though, hardened wet trackers MOUDRE, RICEMAN and SHEEDY have stronger claims, along with the Wildes’ ARCH SYMBOL.

The last is a field leg but if you must “go small” then include Tony Vasil’s RUBINACCI(No8), by Johannesburg, and Tassie visitor PRINCESS SOPHIE who has a lightweight and ploughs through real mud. How jockey Ms. C Hallett handles these conditions, though, remains to be seen.

Randwick hosts two Group races tomorrow on an otherwise unremarkable card.

The WFA 1200m Missile Stakes puts the in form LOVE CONQUERS ALL up against proven quality sprinters like DANLEIGH and SNIPER’S BULLET. Should be fascinating.

The 3 yr olds line up in the San Domenico and all eyes – and most money – will be on last season’s Autumn 2 yr old SOLAR CHARGED. She should thrash these but I’ll steer clear on a bog.

Any tips or comments are welcomed. Good luck!


  1. mark freeman says


    A racefield is a beautiful thing. It need not be defaced with orange bars. What were they thinking?

    Hopefully they won’t be tempted to ‘refresh’ the Post this spring.

    Word from the west is that Moudre is working up a storm. Hasn’t won on the heavy before though. Will have shrapnel bets on Grand Nats in Adelaide Sat and three jumps at Coleraine Sunday

    cheers and good punting

  2. It certainly is “busy” and the random insights are interesting…but the form has been compromised.
    Any fancies?

  3. I just lost my entire spiel again.

    In short, MOUDRE, race 7 Flemington is a special. I also like CHERONBUTCH in the Aurie’s Star at big odds, and PRAY FOR ME in the last.

    Very frustrating.

    Great to catch up in the Territory Crio. Good luck with your POKE at the last. (Just Poking Around)

  4. We are set for the Daily Double of a pair of 10s.
    My computer did that at times so I copied before sending just in case.
    Refresh button also is worth a try.

  5. Is Solar Charged, a ripper filly, a “moral”, or is the wet an issue?

Leave a Comment