Almanac Racing – focus on the fields

The 2015 Stradbroke was always going to have an asterisk but no-one quite anticipated the nightmare leadup to what is always the banner day for racing in Queensland.

Quite simply, the Industry up there is on the nose and on notice – when they hoped to be positively “on show”.

The palaver from officials has finally been exposed and now a political football match has enveloped the sport. The old Jo “don’t you worry about that” won’t cut it anymore and, ironically when Brisbane’s hosting its first $2m races, the auditors have declared them financially broken and the ABC has exposed them as morally likewise.

Good luck unravelling the web and sorting through the long-term deals and convoluted relationships that bog down the state which hosts the majority of the nation’s meetings. I’ll stick to trying to decipher the form for Saturday.

This is always a fantastic meeting, though it beggars belief that they’d need to stump up 4x the Goodwood prizemoney to attract a good field; it is always well patronised. This year, with Eagle Farm out of action, the smaller Doomben has not been quite as appealing to trainers looking for the more spacious layout and the (lack of) point of difference has taken (even more) shine off the Winter Carnival. Nevertheless, this meeting demands attention.

Here are some early obs:-

Firstly, disregard a lot of historical blather as the Doomben track certainly offers greater chances to on-pacers.

Secondly, don’t throw the formguide away if some Sydney arrivals improve. Remember, they’ve been dogged by wet tracks and some will naturally improve on the better going.

It is a strong card and here’s a quick synopsis:-

  • (1200m, Quality, Listed) tricky gate but might try 11E/W @$9
  • (1200m, 2yoF, SW, Listed) odds on (3), look on
  • (Wayne Wilson Mile, 1600m, SWP, Listed) Strawberry Boy just loves this course. Skinny race
  • (Dane Ripper, 1350m, F+M, SWP, G2) G2=Catkins although Lumosty quoted early fav. g race
  • (Guineas, 1600m, 3yo, SW, G2) too open. No bet
  • (J.J.Atkins, 1600m, 2yo, SW, G1) Press Statement’s gone to the well. Waller must fancy
  • (Derby, 2200m, 3yo, SW, G1) Werther
  • (Straddy, 1360m, H’cp, G1) will send good after bad on 3. 15 has convictions but 50/1 overs
  • (Cup, 2200m, Quality, G2) massive move for 4. terrible race

The metrop meeting down here in Melbourne is at the Valley and, though it is not bad for this time of year, the desired venue is up at Swan Hill, where the annual 3 day Carnival kicks off tomorrow (Friday). I’ve written about this meeting in the past – how it is tremendously popular amongst on-course staff (warmer up there); how the history of sensational sprint times was finally solved by the discovery of a “short” barrier placement; how A J Vasil and those champs, Elvstroem and Haradasun have become folklore…if any of this is unfamiliar or of interest to readers, send a comment and we’ll revisit some of the great stories that surround this fantastic meeting.

Friday is often the best betting day of the trio. The club offers two $100k races that are always highly sought after and well worth a look. Use lunchtime to find a double –

R4-  Elvstroem Classic, 1300m, SWP, 2yo

R6- Golden Topaz, 1200m, H’cp

Saturday’s a lowkey meeting and Sunday’s only rescued by the Cup.

Nationally, public holiday Mondays have fallen off the punting radar.

Internationally, this is a massive weekend. Epsom hosts the famous (English) Derby, American Pharoah chases the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (New York), Japan has its premier G1 mile (the Yasuda Kinen) as racing retains a global fascination for so many of us who, notwithstanding the corruption that lurks beside all sports (and money making enterprises) nowadays, love the thrill of horses (and pundits) taking on the challenge.

Good luck!


  1. cowshedend says

    Why in Gods name would they have that crap 2yo race instead of the Dane Ripper as 1st leg of the quaddy?
    kept watching the 10000 , crying at Bowmans slaughter of generalife, but the more I watch it the more I love the run of knoydart, ran the best last 300

  2. as you know, it is those runs (and the weight conditions) which always made the transitionfrom Doomben to Eagle Farm so fascinating.

  3. Cowshedend….I’m with you on Knowdart’s run but I was also really impressed with Sacred Stars in same race…. as Jock pointed out last week a few were inconvenienced on the fence when they slowed up in 10000 (Rock Sturdy) being another although needs luck to get a run). Delectation another that would beat these easily if the real Delectation came out with Boban for multi/savers.
    Curio, with you on a couple of these races being no bet races, particularly the Guineas. As for the quaddie, I’m disappointed they thru the jumpers flat (aka Cup) in as a leg, however it is was it is.
    As for the other races I think there is a feast of value, some of which are…

    Dane Ripper… Peron flying, still hasn’t got out from last time…. Bring Me a Maid would be a Special if wet but still a hope and Politeness (yeah yeah I know, you heard me right) a knockout if pace on and able to run on in first couple of races.

    Derby…. happy to risk the fav although is going to get a super run on the fence, but let’s face it, last start was a gimme… an up and coming 3yo at set weights against older (old) horses at end of long preps and staving off the pony clubs (harsh? Maybe but seriously, do they have any big plans ahead any of them?….NO!)

    Selections on value…..Thermogenic great value at $21 (is it me or are try slow.earners when Stokes travels?) and C Williams has chosen to ride… good enough for me! Other chances at odds in my opinion are Worthy Cause $21, Chilled with Dylan $41 and watch out for Harry $21, he could just be a very good horse and the stable is flying (snr and jnr).

    That’s my early thoughts… food luck to all and hope everyone gets a small quid at the very least!

  4. Curio (sic)…..crio

    Darn iPads!

  5. cowshedend says

    Reckon my bestest buddy in the world, otherwise known as that thieving prick Oliver(or that champ Ollie, as he is known by the sychophantic racing media), will be in for a huge day at the Valley tomorrow.
    As my wallet was conceived without morals going to follow him in with an early running double with Magic Boy and Flying Aurora.
    And Crio, know you were down at the ‘Bool’ and it was a bog but tell me why Royal Island isn’t a moral a drum in the last after winning the Wangoom?
    Large day with the large German tomorrow upstairs at the valley, comes with his 2 favourite words in racing (and i don’t mean Cox plate) “All inclusive”

  6. all inclusive
    trifecta action
    one more

  7. I’m looking to Swan Hill and the South Oz contingent to get me back on the winning list (plus Yendall who is riding at all three days a good deal of Weirs horses too)
    Richard Jollys top weight in the Cup and Kennewell has a strong chance with his horse. Tony McEvoy also has a runner
    Not keen on the Adelaide card though Jock may have other ideas
    Crio and Budge and other Bay supporters have the old Roosters vs Bays Monday with a reunion of players from 85/86 also there
    (ok boys enough of the sledging)

  8. The Magicool form is looking OK in the Derby, was a sitting shot in Adelaide behind Delicacy and Werther has made that look OK, not much between Werther and Magicool.
    Peron EW all day in the Dane Ripper and Sacred Star also looks hard to beat in the Straddy but look out for Black Heart Bart, he was really strong to the line in Adelaide and may be up to it with a little luck in the run. Worst ever Brisbane cup.
    Adelaide is a poor meeting but Duckworth will improve a lot in Race 7, slow start and the Parks track didn’t help last time out and other form is really good.
    Oges, some of the 85/86 team would be welcome on the park on Monday

  9. Kompy in for a big one tomorrow. Not only is there a number 13 in each leg of the quaddy but they have ALL drawn barrier 13!!

  10. cowshedend says

    Yep, sent that through to him Thursday he said his punting is more science than superstition, I reckon its more scientology than science.
    You heading over Budge?

  11. Won’t be in the big room with you but hope to make an appearance after picking up Matt from Metropolitan. Probably get there around 3pm.

  12. agree re Royal Island – but you’ll be out of the Quaddy by then…

  13. Is it wet enough for Royal island? I’m going to assume backmarkers are the go late in the day and the Prince Harada has a huge form reversal

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