Almanac Racing – memo from misty Melbourne

Wednesday evening and it is raining steadily in Melbourne. Finally a city track will be “yielding” on Saturday. The feature jumps have been hidden out at Sandown and, barring something from the ghouls, the weekend’s racing here will garner little attention. Unsurprisingly, keen punters will be looking for The Courier’s formguide, seeking winners at the BRC’s Doomben 10,000 day.

Is it just me or does this Brissie meeting evoke some vivid images – Rothman’s, blokes in short sleeve shirts with ties and Russ Hinze? It actually comes as a shock that Boags can be sponsors as this is such a “maroon” fixture. The Straddy is certainly the jewel up there these days but for the smaller neighbour this is the GF.

Next week (hopefully) they’ll decamp over the road for the grand reopening of Eagle Farm as the “Winter Carnival” escalates. I say hopefully because the whole Eagle Farm revamp has my natural scepticism on “alert” – how could they wait until the big days to reopen? There’s a terrible prospect of something not being right, forcing abandonment or reassignment. Hope I’m wrong. The 7-day forecast up there’s good but any rain could be catastrophic.

Doomben’s offerings shouldn’t be underrated. With different weight and course conditions, the G1 this Saturday is equally a guide and a foil for the main goal a fortnight hence. Most punters have already made an Azkadellia rating so they’ll be comfortable with the back or lay decision for the fav. Others have to make a call on Fell Swoop. Is a good G1 just beyond him or was the barrier and subsequent slaughter enough to forgive? I’m with him one last time – E/W forever over 1350 from the pole.

Support races up there include the 3yo Grand Prix and Weiry’s taken up Howard Be Thy Name to challenge Waller’s fancied colt, Mackintosh.


As usual there’s been a lot of issues to unwrap in racing this week. As usual, the Industry gets more profile for unfortunate stories…like Michelle Payne’s fall and injury at Mildura on Monday. Obviously we all wish her well but it is worth noting that several lower profile hoops (including the very highly credentialed Sam Clenton and Taylor “son of John” Marshall) copped injuries in a terrible Taree crash. Theirs is a dangerous profession – the only one, it is sometimes noted, where an ambulance follows you around whenever you’re at work! And, as usual, there are “hoverers” trying to undermine our great “game” – most recently the low-life out at Cranbourne trials who risked spooking the horses in the hope his associates could get a publicity shot of a falling horse (and rider). Bastards.

To those of us who love our sport, despite it all…

Good Luck!


  1. Mount Gambier meeting moved to Penola this weekend. A few distance amendments and the hurdle is now a jumpers flat. Reckon I’d be wanting a no fee scratching for that! “If I wanted it to run on the flat I would have nominated for that…”

  2. theJudge says

    Lots of discontent coming out of the Melb Racing Club – ‘junket’ trips to Japan, ‘rigged’ voting, etc

    Way too much racing in Victoria at the moment with these Thurs/Fri night meetings, alongside the day meetings. Is it really necessary?

    My most interesting race on Saturday will be the BRC Sires Produce. I’m a big fan of the stallion – Pour Moi and his best 2yo Sacred Elixir runs. Will be a task for him on Saturday, but looking forward to when he gets to Eagle Farm for the JJ Atkins. I reckon Pour Moi will have plenty of Derby & Oaks contenders next season.

  3. 2 certainty’s this weekend..very heavy track in Adelaide & dodgy “full of it” following the big quaddie win.
    In Adel race 7, Daytona Grey gets his first wet track for the prep and should go very close. Voodoo Lad is short and will have company if trying to lead so Daytona looks the goods EW.
    In Melb, I like Cooldini in the 3rd, ready after a couple of runs and a hurdle trial .
    Not really a fan of anything in Brissy but interested to see how Howard Be Thy Name goes after being too good for all comers in Adelaide over the past 5 weeks.

  4. Anyone that’s not a fan of jumps racing needs to go and watch a replay of the 1st at Sandown…if that doesn’t make you a fan nothing will.

  5. theJudge says

    Casterton was a great jumping spectacle last week too.

    Sacred Elixir into favoritism for the Jj atkins

  6. Must get to Casterton some time.
    Live hedges = residents Steeplechase

    What is the MRC goss Judge?

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