Almanac Racing – Manfred Man

A bloke picked up the Herald-Sun at work the other day.

“Apparently Danny Nikolic didn’t shoot at the Chief Steward”, he declared.

“Who said he had?”, I inquired.

“Nobody”, came the reply.

This was racing making the front page. What is this crap?

By midweek the racing news appears to be that the MRC’s 30 mins between races initiative will clash with Interstate races and cause broadcasting havoc. Sort it out – and, while they’re at it, stop the stupid post-race interviews until a quicker all-clear is declared.

Phew. That’s off my chest.

It seems almost ridiculous they laud a Club for doing the bleeding obvious and trying to get the race times compressed, but no doubt they are facing pressure from various quarters determined that it fails! Go figure.

I hope it is a resounding success (by whatever measurement they implement).

With good horses returning we can only hope that it is equine performances which are deemed newsworthy in the forthcoming weeks.

At Caulfield the focus will be on returning 3yr olds in the G3 Manfred (MR8, 1200m SWP) – named for the enigmatic, erratic and brilliant champ of yesteryear, profiled here in 2013 and annually since!

It’s a tricky race as presumably many are being trained specifically for the Mile riches here and in Sydney. There are plenty of chances and the replay will be oft-reviewed, but my early tip is one of Price’s duo, Prince of Brooklyn, to beat Moody’s unbeaten Vostok and probably the race hardened Golden Spin. Really interesting field.

The richest race on the card is the restricted 2yo (MR5, 1200m, 2yo Inglis qual’d, $250k+bonuses). The accepted wisdom seems to be that our lot aren’t as good as our northern neighbours’ so not surprisingly Waller’s Snitzel debutante, Gretna, will be the perceived challenger to undisputed talent Hell of an Effort. Whether or not these are Diamond quality is problematic.

Randwick, alas, is still dogged with soft tracks but at least the field sizes are puntable. Rightly, the late Colin Tidy has been commemorated with SR9 his Tribute Handicap – not a bad effort for a kid who graduated from an SP runner, to bettor, to perhaps the best known, biggest and most highly regarded satchel swinger on Sydney’s Rails. I posted Max Presnell’s piece in the comments section of last week’s piece. He’s another gone from the golden era – and apparently a gentleman to boot.

Inglis host a mirror (SR5) to the Melbourne “promo”, but the highlight of the card is certainly the Eskimo Prince (SR7, 1200m, 3yo, SWP,G3)- yep, a “full bro” to The Manfred, with identical conditions and prizemoney. Last season’s Blue Diamond winner, Pride Of Dubai, makes a long awaited return but, with 60.5kg and well in the market, I’d ink a cautionary “Watch” (not necessarily a “Prefer others”!).

I’m really looking forward to my racing buffet this weekend. The intent is to take full advantage of the forecast magnificent weather. That means getting down to the lawns at the Valley on Friday Night for a couple of beers and some fun and then heading to beautiful Woolamai for Cup Day on Saturday. Highly recommended.

Some winners would help.

Good luck!


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