Almanac racing- Crockett and McKenzie meeting at MV 2010

This Saturday’s Moonee Valley card is a bit of a letdown after the excitement of Group One horses last weekend, but we’ll have to wait until The Memsie meeting next week for another juicy offering in Melbourne.

Warwick Farm will be the focus of Australian racing with an excellent Quaddy. The major caveat on Sydney punting has been the mudheaps on which they’ve recently raced. Despite encouraging weather reports, I’d be very wary of betting until the track rating is well understood.

Solar Charged will start short in the Silver Shadow (R5) – a lead in to the rich first Group One of the season, The Golden Rose – but Obsequious has been impressive and Gybe is one to consider at long odds.

The Colts and Geldings version is the Up and Coming Stakes (R7), in which Decision Time is the likely popular elect, whilst Spirit of Boom and the roughie Sea Lord are worth further study. Skilled is another with an undeniable chance.

The Warwick Stakes (R6, 1400m), always a beauty, is a ripper version this year. Real quality and there’s a huge push for Danleigh. I’ll be watching Metal Bender as I think he could become a real top flight horse. Looking forward to seeing Cinderella horse Brilliant Light also, but there’s a case for plenty of them. Sniper’s Bullet might be the safe option.

Even the last race is a good ‘un, though Neeson and Pinwheel will be expected to fight it out.

There may well be some very talented gallopers entered for the Valley, but it is one of those occasions where the quality of the racing is only really apparent in retrospect. The best rated, Listed, races are the Crockett Stakes, for fillies, and its kindred McKenzie Stakes, for Colts and Geldings. Form for these races, almost universally impressive, comes from a wide range of races and is very difficult to “line up”. Several of these will be looking to head to Sydney for the aforementioned “Rose” and many have a sneaky eye on later Group One riches.

In the Crockett (R4, 1200m), the Moody/Nolen juggernaut will produce the likely favorite, Curtana (No1), though stablemate Miss Gai Flyer (No3) has already run well in good company and will lose nothing by having the newly inducted Breasley Medallist Glenn Boss up. Darren Weir’s undefeated Royal Bender also comes under notice in a very difficult race.

The McKenzie presents a similar scenario except that this time Nolen’s mount may be the lesser fancied of Moody’s pair, with early spruiking supporting Froggy Newitt’s Achievements (No7). This is an incredibly competitive race, but I am very interested in Ollie’s ride for Mark Riley, the Elvstroem colt Innocent Gamble (No2). After overcoming strife to win a Blue Diamond Preview, it all went wrong in a Prelude, copping interference and then pulling up shin sore. This fella, part owned by caller Dan Mielicki, has been nominated for the Guineas and the Cox Plate and will want to strut to justify those ambitions.

So there are a lot of tea leaves to sift through in the 3 yr old events but punters will also want to have a crack at the other races on a fairly mundane card.

Tinamou (No1) will start favourite in the first and looks the one to beat. A watch is recommended for Kav’s last start winner Sea Hunter with an apprentice’s claim.

The second does not look a good race, though early observations are tilting me towards Greg Eurell’s Lion Hunter mare, Dazzling Rubi (No2), who has raced well without luck.

I’ve nearly had enough of Confidence Reef (R3, No1), but formed an opinion last time in that he was a bit above average – and then flushed my dough as he kept finding ways to lose! He should have most of these covered. I backed Bondarchuk (No4) E/W at the big odds last start and watched frustratingly as he was bumped and hindered in to a close 4th. Hence the old dilemma – to butter up again and risk sending good money after bad?

After the 3 yr old races there is a really good Open Sprint, the best race of the day “down here”, and Russell Cameron is throwing his highly rated 4 yr old, Testapal (No8, 25/1) up against the seasoned Stanzout, Gold Salute – rumoured to be en route to HK -, Secret Flyer, Keano and co. These are good, hardy sprinters but most have convictions and I’ll be happy to have the roughie and Morgan Dollar (No6) in my exotics.

Early money in Race 7 favours the flawless first upper Tio Rossa (No6), with perhaps Margham being one to chuck in to the Quaddy. Two Hills (No5) is an obvious trifecta candidate.

The last is a raffle.  I hope some readers took the Haddle McDaddle lead last week ($30 on Betfair) – I didn’t for a variety of unfathomable reasons- and are cashed up for a bet this week. He’s probably a rough chance again, but I’m sulking (having then gone to watch the Dogs get pasted!). Ghostmilk (No9) is the interesting runner here, returning from a close defeat at Rosehill and still nominated for “Two Cups and a Plate”. My query is the one gate and I’ll risk him at the short quote. First Emergency, Eraset (No14), another with a Cups dream, will be sweating on a start and would then be a genuine chance. Be sure to throw in Mangonui (No10), as it has form behind our King Carnage! Makeadreamcometrue (No13) has been a feature of Stewards Reports and must thus be worth a speculator, though I cannot catch jockey Craig Williams – rides a lot of winners and gets beaten all the time for me.

Admittedly there are better meetings to come but it will still be an interesting day at the Valley and I’ll be hawking business for Turfbet in the main ring. Hopefully I can find a formguide and some time in class tomorrow  (Friday) to refine these musings.

As always, any input is appreciated.


  1. Crio,
    Deanos picks were R3 9, R7 6, R8 9, and the Moody/Nolen combos in the colts and geilding. Black booker for you. Sound Journey which ran a first up 2nd from the carpark last week is in great shape. I know the owner and get the stable reports.

  2. Tony The only thing worse than a coat tugger is a Carlton coat tugger !!

  3. Crio,

    I agree with you about Metal Bender. I might try him early tomorrow for the Plate as I think he will either win or run a very good race first up. There is something about him I like.

    I will back all Morgan horses, obviously, and I like The Ruffian in the 5th. Went directly to the deep end last prep, and was talked up a bit. Very well bred.

    The last, and I hate Danehill Dancers. He has thrown over 100 stakeswinners, but I reckon they are, in the majority, heartless. Ignoring that, I am going to back the Williams trained Grand Ducal each way. He was a brazillion to one, but ran in an “Arc” I love some quality and whilst Haddle Mc daddle (congrats) and others have recent, regional form, they would get lost on the tube to Longchamps. Tomorrow might be the start of something big.

    I will try him also in the WSCP as quite clearly, I don’t think Shoot Out can possibly win it.

  4. Watch Sky Channell’s previews carefully to see if Templeton leaks any Mike Moroney mail – especially Race 1 and 2 – as they were seen heading towards each other in an Ascot Vale imbibery last evening. See how dedicated I am to cutting-edge research? Two more pots please…and a tax receipt!

  5. Unfortunately I am also keen on Metal Bender. he’s going to have to be pretty good to carry our combined weight.
    Agree with Elvis re Haddle McDaddle & Co. They would get lost trying to get from the bush roads to the freeway to the airport let alone making it to the Metro to Longchamps.
    Excellent surveillance work Crio. I see Moroney got one up at odds at MV. First Four paid $60k!

  6. Crio, 2 pots please? You buying em two at a time now or are you suggesting you had company?

  7. Didn’t back Metal Bender!
    Note that Moroney trained a winner.
    Poor staking has again meant a shocker for me.

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