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Almanac Racing – Extra Zero tons up on the VRC’s Hall of Fame day

While the South Australian and Queensland carnivals continue with strong meetings, Melbourne’s metropolitan scene transitions into the typically drab winter season with a competitive nine-race card this Saturday.


The VRC will honour this year’s Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductees by staging the first five races in each of their names.


The first race is named after Saintly, for two year-olds over 1400 metres, and may prove to be a handy form reference when some of the runners contest a spring campaign as a three year-old.


The second race is the Light Fingers Hall of Fame Trophy down the straight for some second-tier three year-olds. Divine Quality is one that could progress to better things though, having won both of its starts by three lengths. Hussy’s Glow can run into the placings at big odds.


After the JJ Miller Trophy comes the Winx Trophy, which shapes up as an interesting race over the mile for the three year-olds. Spanner Head is much-fancied after its second to the great Egg Tart a few weeks ago, but faces an honest field among which you can find some value.


Ex-French horse Radipole makes its Australian debut for the Moroney stable in the Lloyd Williams Trophy, after accumulating over €800,000 in France. The Smerdon-trained Now Or Later drops a few rungs in class after running its first Australian race a fortnight ago in the Sangster at Morphettville, finishing less than six lengths from the winner. Up to 1400 metres looks to suit it far better and it is another to watch.


The quaddie kicks off with the Andrew Ramsden Stakes over 3200 metres, Flemington’s only other two mile event. De Little Engine comes off a win and will rightly start as favourite, but I’ll be with Renew.


The Straight Six is an open affair where many numbers will be taken to try and stay in the quaddie, and the same can be said about race eight.


To continue my low-key obsession with imported horses this weekend, I fancy Guizot to win the last. Like the Clappers loves a damp track and looks well over the odds at 50-1.


Finally, a fortnight ago I wrote a tribute to Extra Zero as he prepared to run his 99th race. After running an honourable sixth in that, the Chairman’s Club Handicap, he will go around for the 100th time in the eighth at 10 past four this Saturday afternoon. Give a cheer as he keeps pushing over that last 50 metres, most likely to finish once again in the prizemoney.


This year’s Goodwood looks to be a terrific edition. The defending champion, Black Heart Bart, will start as favourite, but in the company of some seasoned group one horses. I’ve always liked Malaguerra, and it is an obvious chance to steal BHB’s crown, and I see Lucky Liberty as a decent outside shot.


I’m not overly savvy with the Queensland form, so I’ll prefer to look on as the Doomben Cup is also held this Saturday.


Good luck if you’re having a flutter!

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. Rain’s missed Flemington today. Track still very firm.

  2. Not being savvy with the form has never stopped Crio or others on here having a stab (myself included). Benzine for the Doomben Cup into Jungle Edge in the last.

  3. And Extra Zero got up. Great result, and a day out for the stable.

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