Almanac Racing – Dato Day

Highly paid Sport Administrators somehow manage to fan spotfires and distract from the main attraction, testing our resolve. Just look, for example, at the AFL’s “feted” bye round and the build up to the Finals – Lachie Whitfield’s girlfriend and Ty Vickery’s trade become news!

Racing’s a market leader in self-destruction. The noms are in for the Cups and calendars are turned to September. You’d reckon the spinnaker would be hoisted.

Here are the racing headlines in Melbourne:-

  1. Noel Callow’s detained in Malaysia with a couple of passports and excess attitude.
  2. Police investigate abusive phone calls to the Chief Steward.
  3. RVL now needs to replace its CEO, the Chief Exec of and the head Vet.

The trots traditionally trump the gallops so, unsurprisingly, the denouement of the big Breeders’ weekend was the arrest of leading identities on race fixing allegations!

But this week’s winners are the Balaklava Racing Club which reconfirmed that marquees matter more than racing. Their Cup Day was going ahead despite the track issues – by moving the cup distance from 1600m to 1300m after acceptances had been declared and betting opened. Superb!


Winx, which just might get a horse back in the news for the “right” reasons, goes around again in Sydney (Chelmsford Stakes. SR7, 1600m, WFA, G2). 3.50pm. Be sure to tune in. She’s a beauty. The support card at Randwick includes the Tramway (SR8, 1400m, SWP:, G2), the Fast & Furious (SR6, 1200m, 3yoF, G2) and the Concorde (SR9, 1000m, SWP, G3).

I’ll be at the Valley for the Dato Feehan, now being rebadged as the “Cox Plate ballot exemption”, a formerly time-honoured race that qualifies winners to be classified as a “Valley horse” – a critical criteria for form followers at the peculiar track. This year’s edition (MR8, 1600m, WFA, G2) is fascinating. The Cleaner returns for an unlikely threepeat and probably guarantees a true pace. You could make a case for a lot of these but I’ll plump for The United States fresh (Katie’s an interesting choice). The wildcard, of course, is the toppy, Tosen Stardom. Its best form smashes these. Autumn’s outings didn’t reach those heights. Massive “watch”.

The good races in Melbourne start at R5 (McEwen Stakes, 1000m, WFA, G2). Heatherly.

The Quaddy kicks off with the Atlantic Jewel – wasn’t she something?! (MR6, 1200m, 3yoF, SWP, Listed). Some reputations go on the line here, including a big spruik for the unraced emergency Piccadillies. Bad gates work against likely contenders I Am A Star and Zamzam so I might tip unheralded hoop C.Parish to get a cosy run and salute on Athena Lass. Tough first leg.

Next up is a really competitive sprint (MR7, 1200m, H’cp, Listed). You just can’t back Fast’n’Rocking with any confidence – I agree with the policy of waiting for him to pinch a really good race at odds in The Quarterback mould. The fav, Voodoo Lad, has Weiry’s trademark toughness and consistency. He deserves top pick. Keen Array will be in the money. I’ll be giving Le Bonsir its last ever chance at blowout odds of 40/1ish.

It’s the imports that again provide most of the interest – and the conundrums – in the last (MR9, 2040m, H’cp). Olly’s riding Aloft for Lloyd Williams. Admittedly it has been bought for bigger prizes but it might pull out a run fresh. This type and grade of race are Weiry staples and of his four runners I lean to Killarney Kid. O’lonera and Bold Sniper have the form for undeniable claims and I’ll be having something on Swacadelic at about 25/1.


The Moonee Valley card looks enticing so I’m cautiously optimistic of a good crowd and a few collects, including some at odds. The Winning Post is on the table and I’m ready to get stuck in. Any advice welcomed.

Good luck!




  1. The old Friday track dilemma.
    Randwick’s down to an 8 and getting soaked. Can’t imagine Winx running.
    The Valley surface will be great but there are concerns it’ll be a rails benefit…wiping most chances. Monitor.

  2. Randwick an unravelling 9…

  3. Crio,

    I thought Suavito had all the Course, Distance and Second Up form to make her a great chance in the Ftang Ftang Ole Biscuit Barrel.

    Tearing myself away from the WA toppy in the 6th, I like Sebring Dream. Third behind her first up was the impressive Tavistock winner from this week Harlow Gold. She then won over 1400 at Flemington at her second start. I like that. I reckon she will sprint very well fresh.

  4. Yes, Elvis, it is boom or bust for Suavito. I’m writing her off as breeding-barn-bound… probably too early. Tomorrow will tell as, to be honest, it is not a race of great depth.
    Good luck with your horse. You sure can stop the rain. Dry here tonight.

  5. Crio,

    Thanks mate. She is rated at 77 and lobs in a BM 84 with saddle cloth No. 2. If she races tractably, she is in it up to her ears in my biased opinion.

  6. Really interesting day at the Valley with a lot of European form on show, I’m not buying into any track bias until I see it especially as the rail is at 3 metres where it’s generally OK.
    Elvis is a big chance in the first, particularly if they go forward as there doesn’t appear to be much speed, many are a doubt at 1600 including Baby Don’t Cry- Dulverton is the one to beat.
    Race 2 is really interesting: Shamklyr- no run for 15 months but won a maiden then 2nd to The Great Gatsby in a group 1 so has a bit of form behind it, Mihany will be hard to beat with an easy run near the front but doesn’t look to have the class that a few other may have.
    Race 5 Sheidel wins because it will be too good for Heatherly.
    Race 7 I’m with Crio on Le Bonsir at odds because its form is fine and likes the Valley if he can get a sweet run will be a great chance.
    Race 8 If Entirely Platinum gets a run I’m on board, huge run first up where he worked hard for the first 400 metres, if he doesn’t get a run I’ll try Jameka.
    Race 9 I reckon one of lloyd Williams will win but not sure which, leaning to Aloft.
    In Adelaide the bet of the day is Redeem Bounty EW in raced 5,, loves track/distance and will get a perfect run.. I like Rampage in race 3 and in Race 6, I expect Nordic Eclipse to run an improved race but not sure if I can invest on it.

  7. Good luck Jock. Cautiously optimistic about at least a collect to turn around a bad trot.

  8. Interesting, it appears we’re unanimous on a roughy here, I’m on Le Bon Sir also, given no hope last start and was surptised when watching replay how close it still finished. Races out of his skin at the Valley and well in…..value!!

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