Almanac Racing: A Tough Start to the New Year

Somewhat early in the week to be hastily typing a weekend racing piece. But please bear with me.

The major weekend races are scheduled to coincide with the Magic Millions extravaganza and Sales on the Gold Coast. The glitz and glam will seem inappropriate against the destructive pictures we are now watching of the developing Queensland disaster. The Sales are terrific. The concept and the races, if they take place, are exciting. But the event must be put into perspective against the backdrop of such widespread devastation.

My racing week, too, has taken on a sad and unfamiliar, for me, focus. My beloved Dad, Barry, passed away on Sunday. This is not the right forum, but Dad was a very good man, widely known and much loved (and missed). Dad’s father and two brothers, like him, were Bookies. I swung the bag and got to know him even better during my lazy Uni years during what he said were his happiest working days.

Dad loved the racecourse and, especially, the people on it. He loved that I “got it”… not being a “victim” of the punt, but treasuring the moments and people that the sport generates. We are “sending him off” a drop kick from Morphettville on Thursday. I’m coming back to work with Turfbet on Friday night at the Valley. Tips seem irrelevant. It will be tough, but I’ll call the odds loud and proud to honour a marvellous bloke and to remember to value the people and moments we get to experience in this wonderful industry.

Next to natural disasters and family bereavements, racing is not that important. But it is part of who I am and where I come from. I’ll try to remember never to take the moments for granted.

R.I.P. Dad


  1. John Butler says

    Sad news Chris.

    Our thoughts go out to you and your family.

  2. Indeed very sad, Crio. Condolences to you and the family.

    Sounds like those times spent together at the track were very precious.

  3. Sorry to hear that Crio. All the best.

  4. David Downer says

    Condolences Crio.

    No doubt there’ll be many ripping tales of Barry’s days at the track re-told today.

    All the best to you and the Riordan clan.

  5. My condolences also, Crio, to you and your family

  6. In times such as these, when so much is affecting those around us we should be proud, respectful and grateful for the time spent with those close to us.

    Shout them loud and proud Crio!

  7. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Condolences Crio. Cherish the memories,mate.

  8. Well said Crio. All the best.

  9. My condolences Chris. All the best to you and your family.

  10. Thanks all. Our family and Dad’s many friends had a memorable day. I coped with the Valley tonight. Tough card at HQ tomorrow for the Chester Manifold meeting. Indications are that the track will have dried out pretty well. Again, though not a betting proposition, pay heed to the youngsters in the first. Some rippers on breeding.Keen on Keano in the feature race…R6 No5

  11. Good mail on MR1 No1

  12. 2nd Cliffy. Winner was a moral. Helping Hand

  13. I’m filthy Chalk. Mail seemed right and I encouraged it as horses with racing experience invariably improve. Frustratingly it was beaten by the only other with a run under its belt…Helping Hand – 20/1, figured in Stewards’ Report and blinkers first time. Very poor effort from me. at the very least a saver and Quinella were required.
    I’ll be jumping at shadows now!

  14. Crio,

    I have never forgotten LB’s wet track form advice. “They can all run on a good track, only some can run on a heavy one” A great human being in all respects and you (we) were all so fortunate to have him for as long as you (we) did. R.I.P.

    I don’t have any tips as such, just opinion. Scary. I have been following Absolute Faith (Flem R4)for 17 years now and don’t seem to learn. That said, I’m going again.

    The Chester Manifold, and with Chasm appearing a non winner, Keano inconsistant and the majority of the rest more comfortable on a Wed at Sandown, I reckon the toppy, Scenic Shot is huge odds. Won 2.5 million including a Mackinnon and first up form is reasonable. $18b e/w forever.

    I have had a bit of a crack at Five O’Clock in the MM 2yo. Race 7 No.2. I have bagged the Dane Shadow’s on this site in the past, but I’m somewhat of a fan now.

    Morgan’s got Dusty Star in the second which will go close, but watch for Folding Gear getting home. Might have some talent.

  15. Elvis, I’m not sure that Dad’s legacy should be as your punting mentor, but I take your point re his impact on our lives in so many regards.
    I hope you had something on Morgan’s. I missed the second.
    Preparing to put the next fav in to parlays with Fashion Black, Keano and Tears I Cry.

  16. Crio,

    LB had an impossible task trying to steer me to punt wisely, but I really appreciated his effort.

    Absolute Faith No More. Going down to the Club. A few suds might lead to a winner. Like this line? ” I’ve got thick skin, but your starting to chafe”

    Have a great afternoon.

  17. too deep $ me Cliffy. By moral I actually meant an omen. Anyways we all missed a $20 shot in a six horse race that had exposed form. Just saw a bit on telly where the track graders were at work during a Race in Japan. I think I saw Elvis running to get on the John Deere….

  18. CB, I obviously concur with your sentiments. The world has lost a caring and loving man. We’ll just have to cherish the memories.

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