Crio’s Racing: Channel 78 on Sunday the hopeful highlight

Here’s my habit – each year the Aurie’s Star comes around and I wax about Handicap stayers running boldly first-up, then muse over whether or not it used to be run as a midweeker at HQ. The truth’s this. Aurie’s Star was a Handicap sprinting champ – Newmarket in 1937/Oakleigh Plate in ’37 and ‘39/ Goodwood ’40. The race named for his legacy may have provided an occasional pipe-opener, but essentially it is an early season straight race as first gazetted…in 1996 according to publications! I must’ve had the wrong race in mind all these years! It won’t shape Cups doubles. A couple of them will push towards Spring – especially the favoured Shiraz and Trust In a Gust – whilst the best of the rest are either Winter successes looking to pinch blacktype (Playmaster after the Vic Sprint Series; Smackdown after the Gold Topaz) or restricted types dipping a toe in to deeper water (Zebrinz).

It is not a bad field; clearly the standout on a pretty lowkey meeting. Typically for Flemington there are large fields and very open betting races. Also typically, early betting has Olly’s rides shortening – especially Abbasso (R4) and Shiraz in the main race, where Weiry’s toppy has gone for an early bath.

Up in Sydney there’s the season’s first Group race, The Missile Stakes (SR6, 1200m, WFA, G2). Messene looks the one on unfamiliarly good ground. The 3 yr olds step out in the only other notable race, The Rosebud (R4, 1200m, Quality, Listed) – 4,1,3. Remarkably it appears that the ATC may even have taken some initiative to attract a crowd, offering free admission to all Bledisloe Cup ticketholders. Will wonders never cease? Maybe the concept of providing for the public could catch on.

Public interest, alas, will be very low for what’s the richest race on the national calendar this weekend – if it goes ahead. The $250,000 GN Steeple has lurched from venue to venue to washout to…Heavy9 with more rain forecast. The great Bashboy is scheduled to lump 74.5kgs around 4500m in his last outing. Deserves a grander audience (Ch78 @2.29pm). Even the main Hurdle (R2, J.J.Houlihan, 3400m, SWP) is worth $100k! Again, the club is doing its part – free admission and, now, with S.Pateman indisposed, the procurement of the legendary Ruby Walsh as partner for the old champ’s finale. Walsh has done it all in the jumps and, amongst a litany of achievements, is the most successful rider ever at the Cheltenham Festival – he’s undisputed as the world’s best.

Not sure yet if I’ll head up to Ballarat but I’m certainly at my Flemington post on Saturday. No bets inked in as yet but, as always, I’m happy to be convinced.

Good luck!


  1. After beating the cold weather it’s back to reality in “sunny SA” ?
    Oliver heads to SA to trial Alpine Eagle tomorrow so a big watch later in the Spring while Happy Trails resumes Sat and will probably start favourite in the Spring Stakes. Any thoughts Jock?
    The locals are thin on the ground on Saturday so I’ll stay out and look interstate.More thought and study needed here
    Cowshedend your Bullies are flying and even though Port won last week it will be a big ask for them this time around

  2. My only thought at the moment is , What Happened?
    I ironed 2 shirts and they managed to lose 4 wickets and I iron very quickly. Now 6 for..I’m shell shocked.
    whoops, 7 for.

  3. haha Jock…same habit here – put out the ironing board for the start of the cricket!
    Better off with the formguide.

  4. I like a couple at HQ at generous odds –
    R1 Al Shameel
    R2 Desert Journey
    R6 Firehouse Rock – has the class & good form behind Lucky Liberty
    R7 Trust In a Gust – purely on the barrier draw (11 Vs Shiraz in barrier 1). Weights are interesting with Trust in a Gust in lightly, as based on ratings should be giving 7.5kg + to the field, but giving 6kg instead
    R8 Orient Line

  5. cowshedend says

    Jock, Crio, what sort of sick God would not let me get the racing channel, yet give me Gem on the only TV in the house with an Aerial, so i can watch the test!
    Love the ‘rumblings’ out of the camp that the troops are not happy the Haddin didn’t get recalled… the fact that Haddin probably cost them the first test may have something to do with it!
    Anyhooo… Yes Oges Scraggers are flying, but i’m gunna whack a fair lead bag on their backs tomorrow and head down to watch them, only other appearance this year live was with Crio ,watching them surrender a 50 point half time lead against the saints!
    Love Alpine Eagle, as expected they entered for the Cox..just the slightest whif of Spring in the air.
    Like Heavy tomorrow in the 5th dee off Oliver on.
    Judge would love to have your faith in the weight pull on Trust In A Gust, but might let it go.

  6. CSE, you must have behaved very badly in a past life to have that sort of punishment extracted.

    One of my Friday night drinking buddies has a part of Jacksay in the first at Flem tomorrow, going on Mail It In’s run last week ( very unlucky to lose), Jacksay should be hard to beat, apparently will then spell and be set for the MM 3yo in January worth a gazillion. Albonetti looks right in it in the 4th, Onpicalo looks an easy leader but no Flemington form. I’m ready to jump on board with the Judge on Firehouse Rock as it goes very well fresh and has the gear change that some cruel people have suggested for me.Sentfromthe stars is a hope in the 8th.
    Adelaide is hard, track heavy but forecast is good so it may end up slow. I reckon Go Indy Go will show its class in the 7th, also think that running on wide will be the go.I’ll have something on Sole Brillante in the last against my normal pattern of dismissing 10yo’s.

  7. Don’t dare question the good judges, but Tom Dabernig did say this morning on UZ that Firehouse Rock was going extremely well, but seemed to reckon another run and furlong might be the go.

    ‘Scrays have had a ripper draw and luck….copped Cats without Selwood, Pies without Cloke, Dons without anyone and now the Prison Bars without Wines.

  8. Peter, yeah, I’m still in blackout. Guaranteed delivery time has expired as well but I’ve had a gut full of making calls so I’ll wait and see on Monday
    Crio, Bays V Port next Friday at the Bay

  9. saw that Jock…even had a sneaky look at fares as don’t think I have a gig at the Heath.

    Listed as a Heavy8 over there – hadn’t realised it was G3 Spring Stakes until Oges alluded to Happy Trails. Really interesting race but none will want a gut buster. Whitlam is maybe the best option?

  10. No, class comes to the fore and WFA.

  11. Sky Racing carries the Flemington meeting today

  12. Mick Jeffrey says

    For about $100 a pop I’d be looking for a Bledisloe ticket to get me into something else as well. Shame the racing appears to be average.

  13. Note: Flemington track walkers state there is wear and tear down the outside of the straight due to trials.

  14. You’re right Mick – I wouldn’t go to the Rugby for free beer (watch interpretive dance and then “the gave they play in heaven”..please!). at least sydney racing might finally be understanding the value of its product! As mentioned last week, bookies tell me thay can’t win up there – fields skinny and flucs deadly – so maybe we should give it more attention than the quality deserves.
    Thanks TheJudge – guess they’ll come down the middle. Where were the cones for the trials? are we talking about a significant section?
    Adelaide boys – posted a Heavy8 this morning. Genuine?

  15. As with recent years, not a lot of depth in the Spring Stks. Happy Trails generally needs a run or two and trainer has announced he’s headed for the Cup with him this year believe it or not, so will be far from best today. Although Riziz a chance couldn’t come at the short odds. Go Indy Go and Richies Vibe look the two value runners and will be on both.

    Was l dreaming last night or did I just watch the Crows demolish Richmond? Are Richmond the most inconsistent side in the league? Any time they’re shorter than evens they get beat!

  16. Spot on Higgo. I picked the Crows, solely on the basis that the Tigers can never play two in a row. Drink their own bathwater.

  17. Morphettville track should improve, warmer day ( than 11.5 degrees yesterday) no rain and a bit of breeze

  18. Yes i’m trying to make up my mind in Adelaide re Race 7, the Group 3 sprint. Alcohol, Whitlam and Riiziz are three runners who have been good to my sky rocket the last few years. Now all three are in the same race so I need to do some thinking. Touch wood.


  19. cowshedend says

    Rail off alright at HQ , watched the 3rd, like quicksand!
    got a bank to give back thanks to the Crows last night, give Heavy strength!

  20. That Spring Stakes was always going to be a “result” race.
    Bad luck Jock re Jacksay – backed off the map, missed the kick, just lost…should have won easily. Operation a success – patient died.

  21. Hmm, not having much luck this w’end. Hopefully Maddison salutes in the last at Ballarat.


  22. ouch Glen…beaten at odds on. My mail was that Collins Street (R5) was Maher’s best but it just wouldn’t go straight. Would’ve won with Froggy’s left hand.
    Wasn’t the National fantastic?

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