Almanac Racing – another place and another time


Check out Ladbrokes prices for this round


Soft tracks and an icy chill will be the pattern of racing in southern Australia and, accordingly, there’s little public interest and pretty modest fields. Punters must wait and see how the tracks come up. Today has been dry but not necessarily drying here in Melbourne. Flemington, a great drainer, is sure to at least be soggy. Rosehill is Heavy – maybe Waller should find a better venue for his private meeting!

Darwin meteorologists, meanwhile, have posted a 29degree max for the as long as you like and retired to the trough. The track manager doesn’t bother to check – not only is it always perfect at this time of the year, but the unique surface is always rated “Good”.

Fannie Bay’s  “smelly” oil with sand mixture does not suit all types. Increasingly, owners from down south are buying good performers to go up and contend for the nowadays healthy prizemoney – but there’s no guarantee of a profitable trip. The fields are getting better by the year and some horses simply don’t handle the going.

So watch the results of lead-up races. Look for something tough, on pace and, preferably, with form at the venue. If you’ve not yet started, this Saturday’s a good time to initiate a focus on the Top End – but a warning:- you’ll soon be wishing you’d booked a trip up for the big finale which culminates on the first Monday of August!

Derby Day this week ends with the $135K feature at about 6pm our time – perfect for TV punters. Plenty of these have strong local form but, as an unabashed fan of trainer Tony McEvoy, I’m tipping the toppy, Affendi (no idea of likely odds etc!).

The main supporting race, the 1200m WFA (R4), has just the 8 runners. Infinite Energy and Underestimation have found their way up there from verdant fields but are yet to perform on the surface. Their opponents have mostly graduated via Alice or even Tennant Creek. The 4 has a picket fence – respect winning form.

That’s about it for my Saturday advice. There are so many other sporting options there’s no point “hyperbolating” about the racing options just for the sake of it. I’ll be at Flemington so will, as a matter of course, browse the options whilst watching the golf and cricket the next few nights.

Couch surfers on Sunday have some interesting possibilities via Sky.

I’m determined to watch at least one race from Pt Hedland’s Ladies Day to affirm my belief that the dirt track morphs to grass in the straight. Maybe I’ll tune in for the last – the teasingly titled “Gift of the Gab” Handicap and cheer Randy Tan home.

The other TV flick-over will be to Pt Augusta where they host the Whyalla Cup, another leg of the Outback Series which takes us to iconic venues – Whyalla, basically a BHP “Steel City” port, doesn’t have its own races these days but, I’m delighted to hear, has revived its old connection with the trots – lots of stories…maybe some other time.

For now I’ve a prime spot awaiting in front of Fox Sports – with an eye on any tips which might reverse my bleak recent punting form.

Good luck!


  1. Probably won’t watch a race this weekend. Golf, cricket, footy will be enough for me.

  2. Like these on Saturday:

    Morph R8 Star Recruit
    Flem R3 Iteration

  3. I’ll be in Corowa Saturday, most likely in the Royal or the RSL. I’m looking at an all up at headquarters, putting in Herstory from R5, and Bagman in the last. Might have a closer look at what Neil Dyer has running in Darwin.


  4. Glen, perhaps his best up there is R2 No9

  5. Ta Crio. I don’t mind his Royal, damn i can’t recall the rest of its name, in one of the later races. Three consecutive 4ths, then a win so he’s been around the mark. Narrandera Sunday, there’s a few interesting runners like Emma Steel’s Defenceman , but i’m not sure if i’ll be investing to much on what will be a heavy track.


  6. Too busy in nth Qld chasing the warmth . Racing can wait

  7. Not too ken for tomorrow but Our Snippy is a hope at good odds in Adelaide race 7.
    Ryan Balfour has El Prado Gold in Flem Race 4, should be OK down the straight in an ordinary race and worth at look.
    I noticed a couple of runners during the week with INXS related names……any known Elvis involvement?
    I expect to have some sort of repetitive strain injury from the TV remote by the end of the weekend.

  8. cowshedend says

    Not too many Chicqita’s or Dalray’s ( maybe Danny Delray’s) at HQ tomorrow, but will have a few dina on Champagne Cocktail on the short backup and back to the 7f, drawn the paint with Gauci on board, missedthe kick last start, but if it gets away tomorrow, the frontrunning Gauci is hard to get passed.

  9. Disaster.
    Foxtel box is found dead on return from the pub.
    Telstra advise that I’ll have a new one in a week with no appreciation for this being the prime time of the year to actually have the service.
    Looks like the British Open goes on without me but may save a few $$$ from a lack of punting but at least I can see melb racing on free to air.
    I’m now trolling the Internet looking for someone to provide some therapy.

  10. That’s a disaster Jock. Golf coverage magnificent. At least you get to see Bays live?

  11. I sat up until about 2 am last night on the golf and was ready to go again, incredibly disappointed. I did for a second entertain the thought of moving to Rogers place for the weekend to get Fox but the therapy sessions after that would kill me.

  12. Don’t resort to Ian Healy or Bruce!
    Is Test Pattern still on?
    Geoffrey Boycott on the wireless, a formguide and some wine should get you through…

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