Almanac Racing – Norman May Day (gold, gold, gold…)

It’s been a crazy Autumn Carnival in Melbourne but now it’s time for Sydney to hog the limelight. RNSW Stewards will be hoping to avoid controversy, especially the protest fiascos that have divided opinions in recent weeks here. Television providers must be loving it – doubtless the theatre of the inquiry has been milked for all that it is worth. Does Ch7s contract include a proviso for regular drama?…tough on punters (except those with “protest payout” clauses) but great for the twittersphere and the chattering classes.

There’s still a chance of hullabaloo at Moonee Valley, which hosts Friday night’s Alister Clark Stakes meeting. The track was a mess on Monday with a belated admission that an unexpected downgrade was due to “root disease”. The surface is, thus, officially rooted and there’ll be some scepticism among punters and connections as to whether it’ll be alright on the night.

Let’s hope so because Palentino’s a real drawcard for the main race (Friday MR6, 2040m, 3yo, SW, G2) and, though the odds on are well earned, he has some worthy opponents to frank his class. There are other good races for those watching or attending – “Glen!” will doubtless attack Sweet Emily in the first, Zamzam chases blacktype in the 3rd and the best betting race of the night is doubtless the Listed Abell (MR7, 1200m, H’cp) with a capacity field and a stack of chances led most likely by Miss Seton Sands and Meursault. Ripper race. Just need kind weather for a good night.

Saturday’s “metropolitan” designate for Victoria is Bendigo. Their outstanding facility justifiably attracts big fields chasing excellent prizemoney for the Golden Mile fixture. It’s been a laudable experiment moving to provincial centres after the Newmarket and not trying to compete with the real glitz up at Rosehill – Slipper Day. Although the ATC have pushed their focus and finances to the (as yet unestablished) Championships, Rosehill’s big day of 5 G1s still flies the banner for clockwise racing. There are highlights across the programme. Watch them all but punt selectively.

The feast of Group Ones kicks off in the Ranvet (SR4, 2000m,WFA) but my interest begins with the next, the time-honoured George Ryder Stakes (SR5, 1500m, WFA). Waller’s happy to put his stars up against each other and he’s got a formidable triple-prong – Kermadec, Winx and Press Statement. Throw in First Seal and reliable Turn Me Loose and this is a serious test of Winx’s presumed supremacy. $1.60? Maybe. Don’t miss it.

The 2016 edition of the Rosehill Guineas (SR6, 2000m, 3yo, SW) doesn’t look vintage but the toppy might be pretty good.

There are plenty of potential stars in the Golden Slipper (SR7, 1200m, 2yo, SW) but Mick Price’s (1 and 2) appear to be shining brightest. Beyond his it’s a dartboard. Gai’s juveniles have hit form so maybe throw them in.

Following the main act is always a tough gig but The Galaxy (SR8, 1100m, H’cp), the last of the Group Ones, is a beauty and arguably the best sprint so far this year anywhere in Australia. Magnificent. Help!


If you find the gushing faux-positivity of the day’s telecast a bit nauseating, there’s plenty of scandals that demand attention and can amuse/alarm…perhaps the Industry is just gold-plated as not much scratching is required to unveil a rusty underbelly.

Here are some topics of interest:-

NSW- Richie Callendar. 6 months. Really! Why not police charges? Deception? Certainly he and Liam Prior appear to have gained profit by deception. Hilariously, I heard Bryan Martin (a habit I try to avoid from the FOO-flog) decrying the decision – big call after his Cup scam aimed to fleece the “Mum and Dad” investors!

VIC- D.I.Dodson’s Edenhope “ring-in”. No questioning here of Dodson’s impropriety, just that he probably got sent the wrong horse and didn’t do “due diligence”. I love that it is even reported on Mauritius Turf Club’s site (

QLD- here’s a tricky one. Steward’s upheld a protest at the Sunshine Coast after a deadheat on Sunday. The objection was that one horse had been hit with the whip more than is permissible before the final 100m ( Initially amusing, think of the implications if this is applied correctly. Rules must be able to be applied. This one’s rubbery. Doubtless it will cause future headaches. Jumps hoops are sure to challenge it. The “anti” brigade will simplistically just call for an all-out ban. Authorities, uncharacteristically, will need to show decisive unity.

VIC- Mark Riley’s charged. Again. VCAT again?

VIC- probably the biggest news today (Wednesday) is The Moody Decision. Reports are focusing on his acquittal of the most serious charge which would have meant a 3yr disqualification – but he’s been found guilty of administering cobalt and might still do some time. The repercussions of this will need digesting. Smells a bit of a cop out with a compromise guilt leaving both parties able to hold heads up. Stewards still have to deal with all the other cobalt schmuck in the Appeals process. What a mess!


Don’t ya just love it?!

Racing has it all. Billionaires and bums all thrown in to the same pot – no wonder it sometimes leaves a bitter taste. But overall it is dramatic, fantastic – and even better if we can continue to tout winners.

Good luck!






  1. When Turn Me Loose won last start I declared that he would be unbeatable for the rest of this preparation. Happy to take the $7 or so to back my judgement.
    Initial thoughts on the Slipper have me leaning towards Flying Artie. Drawn a gate this time and has a blistering finish.

  2. HK Derby on Sunday – and I like the Irish-bred Fastnet Rock gelding, Eastern Express.

    The public seem to be turning against Extreme Choice. I feel the Sydney race experience gives him the edge against his stablemate. EC might get out to a backable $ 3.80+

    Hoping Jameka runs in the Rosehill Guineas from the wide gate, instead of being saved for the all-girls Vinery next week. Think she can find a position on speed and knock-off Tarzino. I was concerned with M Price’s comments that Tarzino’s Aust Guineas run took a lot out of him, & they were desperate to win for his stallion prospects. I sense the Rosehill Guineas may be ‘just a run’ before the grand final of the Derby.

  3. Very wise Judge.
    Winx layable

  4. My main aim on Saturday will be to convince some South Africans that we need to find a pub on the Gold Coast for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
    If things work out, I’ll most likely try Capitalist in the Slipper and follow my money on Boundless in the Galaxy. I’d like to see Girante run in the Birthday Card rather than the Galaxy, it was going to be in the finish in the Oakleigh Plate so would be a good hope.

  5. cowshedend says

    Really like Telperion in the slipper, dawdling run race last start with leader bias track, and he sits at the tail, one thing for sure it’ll get a cracking pace in the slipper…get on!
    Tally not heading up for the guineas? will be going to the Derby cold.

  6. cowshedend says

    Also Vale the great BLU who died this week at 30, loved him freak!

  7. There seems to be questions regarding Rosehill rating.
    I assumed good/dead

  8. Tony robb says

    All I can say is thank God there is no racing a Flemington. The track is an embarrassment and should be taken off the roster until the bias is fixed. Extreme Choice for mine

  9. Flemington being dug up now

  10. Think Tarzino is a risk in the Guineas. Just a warm up for Derby triumph.
    Will try Gust Of Wind (again) in the early race. Don’t reckon she’s been in a mares race since she beat Winx in ATC Oaks. Would prefer further but should be too classy and is good odds.
    Rain seems to have dampened the usual banter…..

  11. Track says soft5 at Rosehill.

  12. Great day of racing in Syd and a few I’m quite keen on.
    Race 1 looks 2 horse race to me, All Cerise and Sweet Fire ($4.40 and $8), back both and get off to an early start.
    Race 5 and Winx is definitely layable, she beat a field of stayers last start and didn’t look to do it as easily as I would’ve liked. This is the best field she’s met for a long time. Open race.
    Can’t really find one to back to beat Tarzino, should’ve been given the race on protest the other day and looks hard to beat again.
    Slipper, thought Flying Artie finally had his chance here, good chance to turn tables on fav. Knockouts could be Capitalist, Good Standing, Telperion and Yankee Rose. I’ll be on those four.
    Galaxy, if Terravista has recovered ok he’s good odds. Griante and Dothraki clear overs at $31 and $19.
    Cradle Me no luck last start and will be charging home if Collett thinks about getting off the fence prior to the 200m mark.
    Bendigo I like Noela’s Choice and Tivaci.
    Good luck to all.

  13. Race 2 at Rosehill will have something on Do You Remember. Is a Group 1 winner in South Africa and ran third in Sandown Classic (at WFA) this distance when second up in the Spring. Currently quoted around $40. Worth an each way ticket. Has form on soft tracks too.

  14. Bloody freezing here at Woolamai. Need to get a winner to warm up.

  15. Don’t mind Dothraki in the Galaxy today. Fantastic run from 17 in the Oakleigh plate when wide all the way, and his second up, soft and track form is good. English a big risk as a 3yo filly on as wet track against the more seasoned horses.

    Noticed Race 1 at Trentham today. Numbers 4 and 5 were incredibly Batman and Catwomandu., No happy ending, but what are the odds? The Golden Slipper is the Riddler.

  16. Peter Flynn says




    Extreme Choice

  17. Apologies to all for my rubbish tips. Fortunately I had something on Capitalist and Griante to get me out. Plus had 4 live in last leg of the quaddy so saved on the winner.

  18. Griante sounded very good…at a good price.

    Those Snowden’s are wonderful trainers and we have another MM Slipper!

  19. oops – random apostrophe!

  20. I was half keen on Lumosty in the Galaxy but when Griante got a run C Williams jumped off Lumosty for Griante. Thought that was a fair tip.

  21. Great day in Sydney Saturday….clearly I was wrong in races 1 and 5, however I collected well in the slipper and the Galaxy. 5 tips in the Slipper and filled the first 4, fortunately I took a First 4, unfortunately it was only for a half unit. I also had a good result from Griante at the $26.
    Bring on next week!

  22. Well Crio, after a respite from the computer i’m back.

    As I said to you the other night I ;m not too confident in Sweet Emilys future on the track. She’ll be 6 next racing season and not too many female sprinters , unless they’re an Alinghi or Black Caviar, perform consistently well by then. However, the fact she was scratched from both Albury and Moones Valley on Friday , doesn’t leave too many opportunities to encounter dry tracks in this prep.

    She’s been a good runner the Jerilderie sprinter, but ii’ll not be sorry for her to go off to a well earnt retirement.



  23. Whoops, hold your horses. Sweet Emily is running the Valley this tHursday. if the track sn ot rain affected put your $$ on her. I will !!!!


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