Almanac Racing: Charging past the school (of hard knocks)

If, as they (ironically repeatedly) claim, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result then, despite these weeks being punting nirvana, maybe I should just cool my heels?…mind you, if Michelle hadn’t blindsided Avdulla on Solicit the tide could’ve turned on my wretched run.

But, for now, I’m not good for tips.

Would you ask Levi Casboult for advice on goalkicking?

After Saturday’s debacle I tried to blast my way back to form with some supposed “morals” at Bunbury. Second and second.

Yesterday, at Geelong, I sat on my wallet.

The road to recovery, apparently, begins with step 1: admitting the problem and then step 2: seeking help.

So, my salvage strategy is to acknowledge that I can’t back a winner and now look for leads from fellow Almanackers.

Not getting on the punt is a possibility, but I can easily be convinced by those of you who seem to be coming in to form when it is most needed.

Which is now.

The Valley double this weekend is an unnecessary marathon (ref last year’s rant) but the pointy end of each meeting is very sharp.

Friday night’s Manikato Stakes (9.45pm, MR7, 1200m, WFA, G1 $1m) is compulsory viewing. Though we can’t expect drama like last year’s blanket finish and Stewards’ inquiry, the quality of the field is at least comparable. Chautaqua is a star. Can he round them up on a true rail which tends to suit on-pacers? Buffering looks bullet proof at the Valley but his second-up is not as authoritative as fresh. So many things to consider. I’m Buffering E/W, but riddled with doubt!

Saturday’s rail is out 3m. Watch the pattern. Easy to avoid early races I reckon.

Here’s my Idiot’s Guide:-

MR1- raffle. Sweet Sherry (9) has the plus of experience.

MR2- Tawteen (6) wears black shorts here.

MR3- if you can get E/W Don’t Doubt Mama (3), it is a free shot.

MR4- Mawahibb (3) should win. Quinella with 6.

MR5- very ordinary edition. No opinion.

MR6- like Escado (4) here at big odds. Bohemian Lily (11) the danger. Interesting betting race.

MR7- need to see the 10 in the yard. My suspicion is she’s not come up. Others may counter that her coat’s about to flourish. As of now, I’ll risk. Jameka (11) is a safer option.

MR8- Not a fair dinkum WFA. Lucky Hussler should be a lock on form. Bow Creek (6) the obvious watch.

MR9- any selection is easily justified. Toppy was so impressive. Internationals must be rated. Hope Winx is a superstar. My numbers are 1,8,13,6

MR10- the old Lady Lynette get-out! 10/1 the 9 looks perfect, especially off a frantic pace. 12 the danger.


Always a rollicking day out at Moonee Valley if you can make it. Even better if you can find a winner. Help needed. Tips please!

Good luck!


  1. I’m with you on the Manikato Crio, an absolute must watch, but a definite no punt for me, should be excellent pace in the race and Chautauqua runs over the top.
    The Cox this year is a fascinating race, a heap of pace up front should see some amazing sectionals.Been holding an Arod-Fame Game double ticket for quite a while, so will stick solid to Arod, it’s 2nd to Solow was amazing.
    Surely the United States gets the chockies in the MV cup

  2. MV tonight:
    R2 Girl in Flight – should just be better than these? Blinkers go on first time
    R7 Rail true gives the backmarkers a chance, but might be a few speed humps in Chautauqua & Terravista’s way. T Berry on Chautauqua at even money is not for me. Buffering e/w

    MV saturday:
    R3 Seeking Asylum – looks value at $13
    R5 Serene Majesty – will settle near enough last and round them up
    R6 The United States
    R8 Lucky Hussler
    R9 Criterion

  3. Happy for you both to collect on The US, but it has been so frustrating that I’ve just decided to leave it out until it can savage the line. Not a quality Cup but (given it has G2 status) but an even bunch and interesting. Taiyoo is the handicap tip but, though prefer wet, I reckon Escado is ready to figure.
    Anyone going tonight or is it a TV watch and keep powder dry for tomorrow?

  4. Put some aside for Azkadellia In the get out on Saturday. Wins.

  5. Great run from Azkadellia last start but I’m with Manageress in the get-out

  6. normal rail at MV: 29% of races are won by horses settling 1st or 2nd in run.
    3m rail at MV: 39% of races are won by horses settling 1st or 2nd in run.

  7. I reckon Tayioo is an EW special tomorrow back to a suitable distance but first things first.

    The Manikato is very interesting with Chat drawn 2 which could mean trouble. I’ll be taking the big odds ew Griante who I thought was fantastic last time out at 1000 and is clearly better suited.
    Watch Exodus improve in race 2, a good horse at its best and meeting a poor field so worth a punt at double figure odds.
    I wouldn’t totally ignore Rifleman in race 5, he will have to go back but is brilliant fresh and the field is not too strong, a chance with luck.
    Track specialist It IS Written should win the 6th, I doubt Cashed can beat it, Tudor is probably the danger as my money beat it last time out.

    I’ll wait until my punting form for tonight discloses if I’m in form before tipping anything other than Tayioo for tomorrow.

    CRIO, each loser is just a step closer to your next winner.

  8. Peter Flynn says

    Will watch the Cox Plate on At The Races before getting on the Tube to Heathrow.

    Backing Criterion and Highland Reel.

    I’ve seen Solow in the flesh so definitely respect Arod.

    I saw Highland Reel at the Curragh. Slightly disappointing there when well backed but back to 2040 metres should suit.

    Box trifecta 1/2/8/13/14.


  9. My Poppette looks to get very soft run today and just wins, so at $3 I may use that as a bank builder. Another looking set for a soft run is Jameka, hard to find one to beat her too.
    Cox Plate and Highland Reel clearly looks the best of the imports, Criterion the best of the locals and just think Hartnell is getting to sill odds now. Although I rarely bet into these mares races I do think Manageress looks great value, Azkadellia I’m not sure is up to this class and happy to risk. Manageress looks a good bet at $8.
    A day of few bets for me, will just be trying to stick with a few that I have confidence in.

  10. R6 Bondeiger
    R7 Shards – they paid the $80k late entry into the Derby so must be going ok
    R8 Strawberry Boy each way

    Happy Trails is getting to good odds. Just beaten by Criterion last start and lengths better at the valley.
    Good luck to all.

  11. Popette looks the one now with scratching.
    R1 wipeout. Weiry’s. Plenty of $13.
    Paid $5.70!
    Bookies unconscious

  12. Girl Guide comes into the race in the last now with this leaderish track, assuming she jumps and gets lead ok….currently $16 fixed.

  13. cowshedend says

    WTF are they doing at the Valley? Dancing girls behind Better Loosen Up down the straight.. what year is this 1974? Have some faith in your product, best field in the best race in the country not good enough to keep the interest up?

  14. cowshedend says

    Highland Reel fizzing up massively

  15. What were those jockeys doing? Red hot rail all day and they present it to the quinella

  16. cowshedend says

    Scared of the paint! Reckon Bowman could be in strife for crossing Criterion without being clear, terrific ride regardless, acceleration from Winx was breathtaking

  17. Peter Flynn says


    Scrap Friday night.


  18. Gee Whizz, didn’t Winx win well ?!?

    I did my $$ on the Cox Plate. However Cracajack saluting @ Yarra Valley did OK for my sky rocket.


  19. Higgo, bookies sooking but they put up $3.6 Poppete on a railing track. 9/4 at best! Won like an old trotting boatrace. Hope you cashed in.
    Track a disgrace. All results with asterisks

  20. Although l had a profitable day today, I’m a little confused as to why MVRC want to toy with this Manikato meeting the night before the Cox Plate. There is a clear pattern developing (look at recent Cox Plates) and one day they will have a deluge of rain and say how unlucky they were. It’s a recipe for disaster and only a matter of time before our sacred Cox Plate day is a quagmire.
    For goodness sake, can they not move the Manikato a week earlier?
    A child would tell you that this is a problem that needs to be addressed….todays racing along with recent years tells us the same.
    Any opinions?

  21. Completely agree with the jockey analysis. Some would have their time again. When they fanned Preferment and Happy Trails were 8 wide and 20 lengths behind in a few strides.

  22. Peter Flynn says
  23. Bowman has been given the ride on Etymology in Derby which means James McDonald must’ve wanted Shards.

  24. They’ve done a switch now….Bowman declared himself rider for Etymology, he’s now on Shards!

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