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Almanac Racing: Creative ways to stay warm

As I sat down to begin this preview, I switched on to get myself in the mood. As Brad Bishop and Kevin Casey discussed the chances in the upcoming sixth race, I had a quick gander at the field. I’m not usually one to impulsively bet on midweek races – I see that as a trait of someone with significant issues – but with leftover money from last Saturday’s Invincible Al winnings I thought I’d chance my arm. Snipfit was a great proposition at $8.50, so I placed a bet of $2.50 each-way via Sportsbet. At the very least it would shape the tone of this article. It won, so this will be a positive edition of Almanac Racing.


Metropolitan racing in Victoria comes from Moonee Valley, which will host nine solid enough races with fields sure to test your form-reading ability.


I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the Valley is such a good racecourse for the public to attend. Even during winter, when the grandstand’s shadows extend by metres every minute and send the temperature spiralling downwards, you can still enjoy yourself.


Just take a leaf out of my mate Aaron’s book.


A fortnight ago we were perched at a table on the public lawn, looking for a winner as the temperature plummeted. He threw a few dollars at Violent Snow, which went around at over 20-1. It snuck up along the rails and won, courtesy of an incredible Dan Stackhouse ride.


At that moment, Aaron drew a line in the sand decided that he would stop complaining about how cold it was and instead take advantage of the merchandise clearance sale, spending his Violent Snow winnings on a heavily discounted vest.


Violent Snow has accepted to run in the fourth race this Saturday, but I think Soho Ruby will win.


It’s hard to give a push for anything in the first leg of the quaddie, however a good bet looks to be Liberty Song, which rarely runs a bad race and at odds of $3 to place represents value.


The next race is over the Cox Plate distance of 2040 metres. Hursley is the early favourite, but I’m willing to look elsewhere. Rose Of Virginia ran in some top notch races last spring, presumably on the back of performances in New Zealand, and was embarrassed each time. It ran impressively at the Valley last start and might be finding some of the form it showed back home. Another Kiwi galloper in the seventh is Megablast, which will have its first Australian start after being competitive in recent group races.


Beau Mertens is in with a huge chance to take out the final two races on the card and yet again edge ahead of Craig Williams in this season’s Metro Jockey’s Premiership. He will ride for Mick Kent in both races; Data Point in the eighth and Leodoro in the last. In both races he will have to overcome a wide barrier, but Mertens has shown that he is good enough to win in most circumstances.


Queensland’s Group One feature racing wrapped up at Doomben last weekend and moves roughly 40km south-east to Ipswich for Cup day this Saturday. The meeting boasts big fields and should be run under clear skies. Benzini is one of the main chances in the Ipswich Cup, and the former Brisbane Cup winner is hard to go past. Flying Light looks to be a good chance in the third race.


There’s group racing in Perth and standard meetings at Rosehill and Morphettville. Wherever you choose to invest your money on Saturday afternoon, I hope you are able to profit handsomely enough to stay warm.


Good luck.


About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.


  1. Corowa ran a good day on Tuesday. They had a lovely sunny day, good turn out , with a 7 race TAB card.

    It was a nice day in the Riverina. Jerilderie trainers produced a double with Phil Sweeney and Ross Purcell, both training a winner. The latter saluted with Saint Aquilina coming home to win the last at big odds, putting value in the Quaddy. Patrick Holmes with a double took the riding honors.

    Country racing, it’s a great day out !!!!


  2. Tom Riordan says

    Thanks Glen!

    Tracks along the Murray must be terrific at this time of year. Wodonga hosts the country card in Victoria tomorrow.

  3. Last Valley meeting tomorrow until August 26.

  4. Best $25 I’ve ever spent.

  5. MR3 No11 Essence of Terror E/W

  6. Saluted! $8.50

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