Almanac Racing: Diamond Day

Take my tip! For once, this is a sure thing. Get to Caulfield on Saturday where, in the promised benign weather, you’ll see really good horses in some outstanding races. What a mix.

There’s a long time between now and the Heath – including a night on the bag at the Valley tomorrow (Friday)- so these indicators are just that. Try to be on course, wander out the back to the beautiful stalls and parade ring and watch for market moves. The “coat tuggers” should be out in force.

The Group racing starts in R3, where the 1400m Angus Armanasco functions as a stepping stone for some fillies to an AJC Oaks date – though Serenade Rose (2006) was the last to complete the double.

Peter Moody’s Zelsnitz (2) is a solid favourite but I’d go wide here and insist on Sistine Angel (1) and Jesse’s Girl (3) for any exotics.

The Group 2 Autumn Classic (R4, 1800m, now rebadged) has some developing stayers including one with the “JB polish”, Kim Divine (3). Good Sydney form and has Dato as a co-owner. Can’t ignore that pedigree.

Markets are cramped for the Futurity Stakes – pleasingly back to its traditional 7 furlongs – by the appearance of Gai’s great mare More Joyous (8). She should be too good. Much interest will surround Whobegotyou’s return and he races well here. 2 + 6 might be worthy trifecta additives, but I think this is a good time to test a first frothy, visit the stalls and settle on a Quaddy attack.

The Gr1 scamper of the Oakleigh Plate is a tough opener and may be a field leg for those who take flexis. I’m a Set for Fame (9) fan and intend to make it the anchor of my day’s diverse wagers. Star Witness (6) and Catapulted (1) are logical inclusions but “throw a blanket” over the rest.

Fixturers  generally avoid putting cramped betting races in to the key R7 slot but here they have little choice, despite Blue Diamond markets being dominated by the seemingly invincible Sepoy (1). Stranger things have happened, but I can’t make a case against his winning.

(BTW: if you are concerned here of a lack of punting prospects – perhaps momentum lost – take a Rosehill formguide where you’ll see the Silver Slipper, Hobartville and Millie Fox offering enticing Group racing options!)

The Gr2 St George Stakes promises a fascinating battle and will be reviewed eagerly for pointers in future classics. Heart of Dreams (2) should be cherry ripe for this but punters will bet wide and E/W on Shocking (1), Linton (9) and Spacecraft (10) amongst others. At this early stage, I’m looking at quinellaing the fav with Precedence (4) and Linton (9). Watch import Rebel Soldier (13) with an eye to Flemington.

The “get out” is the Gr3 Mannerism (1400m, mares). A very tough finale.  I’ll be taking the trifecta of 1, 6, 10 and whatever else I’m tipped and can afford, and backing Red Flair (6) to get half-out!

I’m not a big fan of these 9 race programmes – the first two, good most other days, become irrelevant here. Get to Caulfield about half past one and enjoy a relatively uncrowded and definitely memorable raceday. Trains stop at the gate. Find me if you are going and we can pool our funds and knowledge.


  1. Peter Flynn says


    I think I’ll back Set for Fame (first-up).

    I’ll be at home dabbling on B Fair.

  2. Crio,

    I agree with Set For Fame. Get the impression she is fully wound up for this. I will also be backing Eagle Falls. I know D.Hayes can’t train a winner, but I reckon this bloke might get under peoples guards.

    I will be having a lash at Ginga Dude in the St George. He’s a tough little blood nut with great spring and recent form. The trainer is keen to win everything he can with him. No warm ups.

    Jesses Girl has drawn a barrier for the 2nd time in her life in a decent race and she can reverse an ordinary, but wide run first up. Second up form is good.

    I am going to back Masthead (sire of Matrice) in the Diamond and get out on Culminate and So Anyway in the last.

    Good luck.

  3. General Truce was very unlucky on derby day – has pace. At 50/1 gets to carry some of mine from barrier 18.

  4. David Downer says


    I will be on track tomorrow – may have to pool your knowledge, the Summer/Autumn form has got away from me thus far. Been brandashing a paint brush most weekends, as opposed to my speed maps and racing replays.

    Star Witness’ amazing barnstorming win in the Diamond last year has stuck with me, hoping they’ve pulled the right rein switching him back to the sprints this campaign. Seems to be a heap of pace on to suit him tomorrow, the 56 perhaps a worry. No doubt I’ll get sucked into Avenue also. Terrific race!


  5. Elvis,
    I think Hayes has 3 runners tomorrow. 2 are at 50/1 and the other is Eagle Falls. They’d have had 25-30 runners and half a dozen favs in their glory days.

  6. DD,
    Cans or members? I can probably swing a ticket to the Members if you frock accordingly!

  7. Elvis,
    Remember the Willow Star money in the Diamond last year. I reckon they’ll punt again. Fav looks bombproof but would love to find a roughie swooper. Any advice? Maybe the bottomweight?

  8. David Downer says

    Cheers Crio,

    I do have a members pass already, but i’ll be frocked inappropriately and going cans today.

    Whobe is overs today, surely? He did beat More Joyous home in the Cox Plate (ok that was 2000m), but he was half a length from So You Think in the Memsie over the same distance here last year.

    Given today doubles as my brother’s bucks day at the Heath, should More Joyous salute and Singo shouts the bar, I wont begrudge her win.

  9. Crio/DD,

    Have mail on Delago’s Lad. Each way at least. Was $32 on B Fair last night.

    Good luck at the Heath today.


  10. DD,
    Just talking to Budge who tips that this weather is shorts and cans. Text me and we’ll meet for one and pool our updates.Topically, I’ll be putting response in to my multis.

  11. David Downer says

    Thanks CD,

    Had been looking at Delago’s Lad as the Star Witness-like blouser, confirmed he’ll get my folding now!

    Will do Crio.


  12. Peter Flynn says


    Pure genius re Eagle ‘bloody’ Falls.

  13. Elvis, looking forward to reading how you talked yourself out of EF today. 75/25 chance of being in Darwin 17-20 March. 6 blokes celebrating a 50th. Darwin races and NTFL GF that night. Chalk

  14. Hope others got out on the last.

  15. Alovesupreme says

    You seem to have spotted some gooduns, with Red Flair, and the Precedence quinella. I came out OK, thanks to Heart of Dreams and Decision Time in Sydney. I squibbed the Plate, but even without your recommendation I was interested in Set for Fame (I’ve thrown a few bob on her for the Newmarket). My other one which I considered Faster Son. As I didn’t see the race, and haven’t caught a replay, I’d be interested if you have any idea what happened to SfF especially, noting that my two selections finished in the coveted 15th and 16th position. In the Diamond I had a little nibble at Delago’s and Grand Brittania, both virtually missed the start, and made up a heap of ground, but Sepoy is obviously exceptional.

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