Almanac Racing – Punters, keep your eye on, and off, the (foot)ball!

The footy feeding frenzy is not necessarily an excuse for overlooking the racing menu this weekend.

I’ll forgive you Friday night – Moonee Valley needs good weather and strong fields to be an “action attraction” and it would take more than’s on offer to trump the MCG’s allure.

But the unfamiliar timing of the other Prelim gives race lovers a chance to keep up with the form before the Bullies take to Giant slaying.

If you’re on course it’ll be tricky but, as usual, TV schedules simplify the challenge.

There’s a really good card out at Caulfield and the banner G1 races, the Rupert Clarke (1400m, H’cp, G1, 4.15pm) and the Underwood (1800m, WFA, G1, 4.55pm) will be weighed in before the first bounce. So…no excuses unless you’re heading to the footy.

A couple of fascinating Group 2 Guineas Preludes precede the main events.

The girls’ leg is a beauty but I’m pretty sure I’ll try Samara Dancer, which looked short of a run at Flemington and is genuinely up to this grade.

The boys’ division is probably inferior and the winner should come from the top 3 (I hope).

Voodoo Lad’s win at the Valley was unbelievable and, on that, he wins everything – thus he’s my tip for the 7f classic.

I’m less certain in the “main” race and will doubtless stay out – chewing my fingernails pre-bounce (and avoiding ANY Bruce commentary).

For those whose teams are already eliminated there’s also a classic card at Rosehill – dedicated “sportsmen” could leave Rosehill after the Shannon (R8) and get to the new Showgrounds by the opening siren! I went through this meeting in detail last year. It unveils plenty of winners over Spring. Again, despite the good track, there are some disappointing acceptances, including just 5 in the G3 Queen’s Cup (SR2) and now only 6 remain for the G2 and time-honoured Stan Fox (SR5), in which I want to see Mediterranean do something at the crossroads of Caulfield Guineas or imposter. In the main race all eyes will be on First Seal (SR7, No1) which has teased and sometimes delivered. I’m still, but only just, in his corner.

As a Footscray (and Cronulla) supporter, I’m unaccustomed to the emotional distraction at this time of year. Priorities can, and must, be juggled. These meetings are important…and go Doggies (and Sharkies and Double Blues).

Good luck!


  1. I thought you jumped off Sturt circa 1973?

  2. downhill skier

  3. No Jock…check my tips over the years – I certainly have an affiliation with losers!
    Only cheering the Double Blues because they tipped out Adelaide and, of course, they’re LB’s old team

  4. OK, Cronulla?

  5. 32 years. Have an old shirt somewhere from a visit to Shark Park in early season ’88.
    But as with the punt, winning has never been the cause of ongoing interest…each week it’s the intent, but you have to have a deeper connection to really enjoy. Any Bays supporter knows that!
    Any mail on Samara Dancer? I reckon she’s top notch and looked a shade fat at Flemington.

  6. Interrogation over.
    No mail but trainer is top notch and grand final would be the Thousand Guineas so I would risk from the barrier and be more inclined to look at Sebring Dream this week. Rail is back to normal so I don’t expect them to race in the middle of the track.
    I thought Savannah Moon was a good chance in the 3rd tomorrow night. I notice a horse called Elegantly Wasted in the same race, I thought Elvis had copyright on INXS names.

  7. Great card at the Heath but won’t be punting to Xtravagantly. Fillies prelude is a cracker and I see Murray Baker is producing another one.

  8. Based on the MV performance Voodoo Lad just wins.
    The Underwood’s tougher. Awesome Rock’s probably the value.

  9. Baker’s best 3yo will be unveiled Sunday week at Flemington – Highlad. Running over1800m, before Caul Classic, then Derby.

    Black Heart Bart looks under the odds. Awesome Rock should box seat behind a strong speed set by The Cleaner, and hoping he can hit the front and hold off the swoopers. Firm track will be against Lucia Valentina.

  10. Not sure what to make of some of these in the Fillies Prelude, a few probably have bigger fish to fry and won’t be 100%. If Zamzam happened to turn up she could swoop at big odds if pace genuine but there are a couple of Zamzam’s it appears (can’t geld fillies can you?!)
    Thought Tivaci really good odds at double figures in the Rupert, there are some robbers engaged here, he’s raced very consistently against the best and looks well in here…looks excellent value, if he gets clear run at them he’ll be very hard to beat. Xtravagant may be 2 stone lighter if he puts in similar performance to last time as the Pentires are very colty and normally need that gear change. His form in NZ does look suspect tho so I’m tipping he’s over rated.
    Black Heart Bart unders again, Awesome Rock a chance again but find it hard to come in at the price since I backed him at 40s last time. Value might be The Cleaner at 20s and didn’t think Howard be thy Name was the worst at 100s. Small bet race for me.
    Good luck to all.

  11. best roughy today for me is Mr individual in Melb
    In Adel Mio Dio is a good chance back to 1400 in race 6 where they will work hard up front and Force of Three in the last at odds

  12. My best roughie is Badawiya. Reckon she has more claims to be in a Group One than Bon Aurum and is about 4 times the price.

  13. Wtf would I know?

  14. Isn’t it remarkable how many horses ‘repeat”- winning at the same meeting in consecutive years?.. same track and timeframe are good indicators.
    However C.Parnham could have changed that stat!

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