Almanac Racing – at all points of the compass

The Almanac’s very own Greg Carpenter has been on the media hustings today (Wednesday) which can only mean that the Cup weights are out, hopefully the Miller’s Guide is going to print and the countdown is officially underway.

There’s no great escalation of excitement here in Melbourne with a fairly low key meeting at Caulfield (their first of 5 consecutive Saturdays) which, nevertheless, has enough interesting races to require attention from punters with Spring winning aspirations.

Here’s a quick Quaddy look:-

MR6- Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m, H’cp, Listed). Wasn’t Testa Rossa a beauty? His brave wins are sometimes forgotten as history remembers the gallant defeat in the Guineas to Redoute’s Choice. You’d love to have one half as good. Punters on a budget might just go one-out on Fell Swoop (5) or perhaps throw in Sarajevo (14) if it runs.

MR7- (1200m, Mares, SWP, G3). Vezelay (14) is the obvious fav but this is a race of many chances and she might be unders. If they’re running on, try Politeness (5) @10/1 fresh. Regardless, don’t leave out Wawail (2), unbeaten first up and overs @$10.

MR8- (2000m, Quality, G3). Many of these are just getting fit. I’m prepared to try The United States (Emerg17) again now that weights are released!

MR9- (1600m, H’cp, 3yo). Wide, wide, wide open. Let’s try to get some 16/1 Zacada. Now or never.


Once again the Sydney races offer the bigger drawcards and this Saturday’s is a bumper card at Randwick. The track’s listed as a Good3 but, as so often is the case, there’s plenty of rain around. The other familiar dilemma for punters is the lack of pace in so many of these races and I’m concerned that several of the “run-ons”, still getting mileage into their legs, will be doomed.

The following’s an intro overview:-

SR1- (1100m, 3yo, SWP, Listed). Value here. 1 from 2.

SR2- (Bill Ritchie H’cp, 1400m, Quality, G3). Smelly race. 6 by default.

SR3- (1200m, BM80!). Sarajevo’s in here also. Another race worth passing on.

SR4- (The Shorts, 1100m, SWP, G2). Looking forward to this. Ball Of Muscle guarantees genuine speed. Terravista (1) is the proven class and in well at these conditions. 6/4. The magnificent Shiraz (7) the emerging star.

SR5- (Tea Rose, 1400m, 3yoF, SW, G2). Very even lot and not keen to play. 1 on top.

SR6- (George Main, 1600m, WFA, G1). No pace so the favs are a risk. Perhaps Hooked again at $13 to defeat Pornichet at $8. Replays will be closely studied to see how Protectionist has come up after a disappointing last campaign. He’s, obviously, heading to Flemington to defend his Cup title and, at his best, he looked to be world class.

SR7- (Hill Stakes, 2000m, WFA, G2). Muddling pace and thus keen on Bonfire (9) E/W at about 16/1.

SR8- (1600m, BM85!). No bet. 4 if absolutely desperate.


There are also a couple of noteworthy races in Adelaide. Not for the first time I’m taken back to my early years of interest and on-course work. Somehow I seem to recall the W.H.Wylie Handicap (AR8, 1100m, Quality, Listed) as a real speed test (probably The Messina Nymph is the safe option here) whilst a look at the winners of the oft-renamed and rebadged AR7 (1800m, SWP, Listed) offers a trip down memory lane – try Rajah Sahib, Lipman, Parvo, Penny Edition…


As your teams, local or national, finish their footy obligations, take some time to consider the form. The big players look to Randwick and beyond but the fabric of racing is represented everywhere – from ComeByChance to Kalgoorlie. Hopefully you can enjoy some of it somewhere.

Good luck!




  1. Crio, Moody had a fair old crack yesterday after his horse was scratched due to mud treatment on hoof.
    Trivial or not, seems a bit of an overreaction from a bloke facing a very long holiday for cobalt.
    Also, another great name from my youth has left us Vale Clem Dimsey

  2. Didn’t hear of Clem Dimsey’s passing. Channel 0 is a distant memory and he must have been at the end of halcyon times.
    Pat Bartley didn’t have much time for Moody’s whimpering though other media outlets recognised a bigger story by pitching Stewards v Trainers.
    All this and they’re reckoning the Samba saga is reaching resolution – not sure that ads incorporating crappy poetry and endless fascinators are going to be enough to rescue racing this Spring.

  3. Any mail on Kranji?

  4. Strath raced Wednesday with good fields and good results for the Strath based trainers. It’s hard to get too enthusiastic about Adelaide races Sat. Interstate horse and jockeys are over here again and there are a couple of interesting runners.jock and Higgo can elaborate on this I reckon
    In Melbourne I’m sticking with Vlad Durics mount in the last-looks a good one
    Following advice from a track rider at the beach I will look at what Hayes has on the Synthetics
    You are spot on Crio about the Wylie-a champions race on the past

  5. Oges, sorry to hear you’re officially senile. Please state exactly which winners of the Wylie you would categorise as champions….

  6. On the form I’ve seen of the overseas contingency for Melbourne Cup, Our IVANHOWE is the one that has stood out to me. Don’t fancy he could win this week but keep with him for the big one. Also expect big improvement from ZACADA this week.
    Brisbane tips to come!

  7. Be (uncharacteristically) generous please Budge.
    We embrace senility and other eccentricities on this thread – be honest, few in their right mind stick with us all year! You’re just bemused at his agreeing with me on a point…would Bold Prospect be about the best Wylie winner? It was always a good Adelaide Handicap.

  8. Crio, sorry if it was taken as a negative. We thrive on senility here!

  9. In regards to the Wylie…..With respect, Blahnik won it twice (reckon if I kicked my thongs off I would’ve beaten it!) and a Pt Augusta horse won it a couple of years ago.

    Hardly a form line….maybe a winners trophy something to throw on the mantelpiece in the man cave next to the dartboard but that’s about it.

    Crio, have I had a Group/Listed winner? No. Would I take a Wylie? Yes.

  10. haha..yeah, it was just the race name I recalled. The other race had the better list (more for sentimantalists than Hall Of Famers).
    The Adelaide fields are not too bad this week but I very rarely bother to have a punt.
    Thanks for your continued input. Must meet up if you venture over here to Melbourne

  11. Like Wawail at the Heath, good gate, fantastic record 1st up, beaten less than 2 1/2 Miracles of Life and Gregers last start.
    Lucia Valentina more than a flukers chance of knocking the fave off in the George Main, trackwork has been sparkling.
    And surely the best named horse in Australia heads around in the 4th ‘Ungrateful Ellen… also interesting that gear change is ‘tongue tie on’…..hmmmm!

  12. Caulfield rail out 9m, usually results in best ground being out wide, or at least off the fence.

    Keen on Bassett in the first at Caulfield, his jump outs have been good. The jock’s Mum is a part owner…..

    Sertorius is open a illness cloud

    Caul quaddie #

  13. I notice the toppie in In WH Wylie is Whitlam. Happy to have it in a quinella with the Messina Nymph.

    Races at Wagga and Jerilderie on Saturday. One day i might get to the Jerilderie Cup.

    I’m intrigued by the passing of Clem Dimsey. I didn’t hear about it. He’s a blast from the past.


  14. Didn’t like the Melb meeting tomorrow. In Adel I thought Race 3 was an interesting race with the bookies betting 80% in two, as a bookie I’d e happy to put them both in and hope for a knockout. They may ruin each others chances up front and we are back on the outer track with the rail in the true so should be able to run on a bit with genuine pace on. Looking for a couple of run on horses, maybe Windsor Cup or Single Barrel both at big odds. In the Wylie, really think Messina Nymph is a genuine lay from the gate at the price….roughies with a hope I think are Whitlam ($16) coming off a freshen up, Gambling Guru ($41) 1st up or Mio Dio ($26), very consistent and in good stable.

    In Bris Race 4, although Teronado has a bit on these, his best form is on firmer tracks so 59kg on heavy makes him a risk at $2.20 I thought.

    Good luck to all…will get around to looking at Syd over the footy tonight.

  15. Crio

    Wylie winners, doubt Bold Prospect is the best, here’s a short list of past winners
    Bonfield, Bagalot, Lord Galaxy, Red Hope (x2), Royal Ida. Karacatis has won the past 2 Wylie’s and going for a 3rd tomorrow.
    Bonfield was a great horse G 1 Winner who would have been a star if Bart had him. Did Lord Galaxy win an Oakleigh Plate? Leone Chaira also won it once but her best form is in the breeding barn.
    Might give Prince Cheri another chance in race 8
    In Adelaide I’ll give Burnro another chance in race 6 – had no luck last time and I like Pelicano in the 7th.

    This is the last sensible thing I’ll do for 24 hours as it’s a footy BBQ tonight with bourbon Brett and others so I’ll be suffering tomorrow but a winner will help.

  16. Oges, Budge, Jock

    As proof of my senility on hold, Red Hope. Now there was a horse. By Petard out of Ronlyn, he was trained by Bert Honeychurch and was ridden by G Duryea. Went around in a Cup and Is an endearing favourite of mine from the “Day”

  17. Elvis,
    The “other Red Hope” there is actually one going around now. The Red Hope you are talking about must be back in the early 70’s so senility is still a chance….can you remember what you did yesterday?

  18. theJudge, good to have your wisdom back as a counterpoint!…interesting that your “skinniest” leg is R8.

  19. If your’e talking about the Red Hope Kavanagh trained when he was in Mount Gambier( prior to himvbecoming an absolute flog!), it was the best horse in his stable, but still only a listed horse at best.
    Owners who were even bigger flogs than him thought the horse was another Bernborough, took it off him and ended up a hack.
    was not long after Kavanagjh had that thing Mr Nelson, he was drivinb the horse back home after he reckoned it had some heat in its leg, the owners pulled him over and took the horse back to melbourne, where it ran a drum in the Dalgety, and backed up in the cup

  20. Higgo, what’s with the Brissie tipping – sounded last weekend as though Budge has claimed that domain!
    Twitchy with your “each of 2” lay prospect in AR3 but might sit on my hands.

    For anyone heading to the Heath, I’ll be on the front bag of Saber on the Rails.

  21. Caulfield R1 Ability. Still at E/W odds. Good start to the day.?

  22. Haven’t looked at the early Caulfield races Gerard but I’ll be on course….make a case as I’d love an early lead

  23. Elvis , i’m curious re Red Hope. Which races was he prominent in? He must be early 1970’s because i can’t recall him.

    Bert Honeychurch is still alive. He must be close to 100. We went to a race meeting in Berrrigan to celebrate Bert’s 90th, it was on a Sunday in January, though i can’t recall if it was 2006-or 2007. I remember it was a hot weekend,but the change came through on the Sunday morning making it a nice day on track .


  24. wet track in Brisbane has stuffed my tips (done Wednesday).
    The first was originally a race between 1 and 3. Prepared to try 4 Rosador now on wet.
    R2 Charlie Cat might be too good. Adorabubble my original tip still some hope.
    Waltham should win R3
    R4 Teronado has form on wet and should be too good. My Quilter rough chance if gets easy lead.

    Like Bassett R1 Melbourne and So Does He in R3. The Bowler over the odds R6. Happy to be on Hazard R7. Don’t mind Let’s Make Adeal and Cafe Society at odds R8. Be watching Zacada with interest in the last.

  25. Crio…I’m certainly no expert on Bris races, although I’m no expert in any state, therefore I need to “hedge” on things I have no idea about. Happy to follow Budge in if he likes a couple in Bris. Just the wet track that worries me with that shorty. As for the “match race” in Adel, the two favs will be up front so something like Windsor Cup will need to charge home, hopefully off a good speed.

    Budge, where do we find your Bris selections?

  26. our very own Russ Hinze

  27. Had a great chat with Malcolm Johnston in a Singapore bar last night.

    Terrific bloke.


  28. Did he talk you through Kingston Town stride by stride?

  29. Think Gallante has a chance in Sydney today too at big odds. Has been backed $100-$34.

  30. Harmy,

    All except the 82 Cup.

    Left that alone.

  31. How many times did he call you “champ”? And did he introduce himself as Miracle?

  32. Called me Peter.

    A rare treat I must say.

    He loved Tappy and Bill Collins.

    Apparently the WA caller Darren McAullay (forgive spelling) is a ‘colourful’ character.

  33. Not backing ZACADA again until blinkers go on.

  34. McCa7uley big time victim on the punt, channeled Tappy when he called.

    Heath, rail out 9 and big fields, perfect storm for hard luck stories, lucky there wasn’t some serious falls as horses got tightened in the last furlong

  35. Budge,
    A bit more than blinkers required I think, maybe bit change and maybe wet track as well.
    Magnapal knocked me out of the quaddie but got the Adelaide one so I’m building my bank a little

  36. Zacada….not so sure about blinkers (although we all know Zabeel’s generally improve with them)…..he raced too keen without them so wouldn’t like to see him with them on just yet, he’d go like the clappers! Maybe pacifiers, and as Jock said a bit change and softer track.
    He was far too keen today.

  37. Big weekend of Singapore racing and keenly awaiting Flynny’s updates…just checking that he met the right bloke in the bar the other night…Mal Johnston is, indeed, engaging, but it is just unknown for him not to call all and sundry “champ” (and go the compulsory 3rd party self-reference as “Miracle”). Love to ask him what he really knew about Getting Closer.

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