Almanac Racing – qualifying finals

Wouldn’t you love to have a good horse fit and firing right now?

Sydney and Melbourne are throwing around serious prizemoney and prestige for races in which most acceptors have eyes on a distant prize. Notable cards, really good horses, but some fields might be “skinnier” than on first glance.

I’ll be at Flemington for the old Craiglee Day, once a real favourite as my Dogs had finished their season and the Ascot Vale Stakes was worthy of co-billing. The lawns were always full of country netball and footy clubs enjoying end-of-season drinks and punters were excited by doubles markets and firmer tracks.

Nowadays the mile is renamed, the sprint has been reprogrammed and the Doggies fans will be on the train after the last for a rare ‘G engagement. There’ll hopefully be a good turnout at HQ with great weather forecast and the gates thrown open to entice the public to a Bart Cummings commemoration (10.30am!). The shadow of the great man will be over Flemington all day and, appropriately, the first is the Cap D’Antibes (MR1, 1100m, 3yoF, SWP, Listed), aptly named for a astonishing mare who could have been anything and typifies how JB was so much more than the “Cups King”. Oaks placed, I reckon she won the big sprint double at Flemington (Lightning and Newmarket) and then the mile and a quarter Kewney. Remarkable.

Some pundits hint that the fav, Petits Filou, is an exemplar of my opening comment and that she’ll soon enough be exposed by the “silk department”. I’m not so sure and am prepared to believe what I’ve seen rather than external hype – I’ll stick with a proven winner until the bubble bursts. Lee Freedman was bullish about Strykum’s price this morning so there’s your exotics value!

The other races worthy of attention are the Danehill, Bobbie Lewis and Makybe Diva/Craiglee.

The Danehill (MR4, 1200m, 3yo, SWP, G2 – selections 3,2,1) has been shuffled by fixturing so history is no real guide, but last year’s winner, Rich Enuff, carried the form and is, coincidentally, favoured for the time-honoured Bobbie Lewis Quality (MR6, 1200m, G2).

The WFA mile (MR7, G1) has not necessarily produced winners to dominate in recent years, but this edition is going to be a form race for analysts to savour. Fawkner and Happy Trails love the course. Alpine Eagle could be anything. The Kiwi rivals are genuine G1 stars of the Spring. Rising Romance seems really well suited. Boban is fav.

Sydeney has a decorated meeting which I’ll try to dissect after a Friday of internet/news blackout! The feature is the G1 Golden Rose, a big marketing success with solid lead-ups and a good field – though I question the calibre of some of its winners which are whisked off to stud ASAP. The Sheraco will be an interesting race as Catkins’ G3 crown looks vulnerable- Bounding’s win down here marked her as one to watch for the big stakes. The Theo Marx looks to be between Winx and Messene.

Hoping for more study time tomorrow night. I’m happy to starting betting selectively as form should be consistent and tracks are not wet or worn.

Good luck!


  1. I thought Leica Show beat Cap D’Antibes in the Lightning but looked it up and you are correct. Now was it Desirable who beat Leica Show in the Lightning? Anyway, great card at HQ. Great match race scenarios in Craiglee. E.g. Top class 4yo Middle distance types like Alpine Eagle and Volkstok’n’barrel. Both have blistering finishes and massive upside. Plenty of other chances in the race too. Can’t wait.

  2. Best bet is Doomben R7 no9 Sony Legend. Take the $4.20 now. Genuine $2.80 chance and will win.

  3. Following you in Budge $4 betfair

  4. Great wrap Crio, what a days racing! The Craiglee is a blinder. One you mentioned in Rising Romance is my special, was a huge run at the Heath, Boban got the gun run and ride and Rising Romance was forced 3 then 4 deep and still just failed.
    Love Alpine Eagle as a horse and looks a real Cox type, of the last 11 Craiglee winners Southern Speed was the only other to come via the Penny Edition, it will get back from the gate and be finishing hard, hopefully saving it’s best for the2040 round the Valley.
    Some Craiglee trivia, 8 of last 11 winners were 2nd up, and 9 of last11 came from inside gate 6

  5. Great to see Magic Moreira and Brett Prebble amongst the heap of good riders up in Sydney. Pleased, too, that Sam Clipperton is still getting mounts as the big guns return – I tipped him the other week as the one to follow and he turned up with a 50/1 feature last Saturday

  6. I did quite a bit of video watching last night, particularly for the Group1 and while I’m right on board the Alpine Eagle bandwagon this week, Volkstock,n barrel had a quiet one last start and just pushed up inside of Rising Romance. So Volkstock and the Eagle will be the basis of a big launch into my quaddies and trifectas.
    I wasn’t disappointed with Alpine Eagle last start, they didn’t go very quickly because a stayer was running 3rd most of the race and the final sectional was a bit over 35 sec’s by the equal leader on the turn on a slow 6 and Alpine Eagle gave them at least 6 lenghts so he would have run around 34 sec’s for the last 600..pretty good. He also has to win one of these if he’s going to get a Cox Plate run.

  7. I’m interested/investing with Riziz @ headquarters. The old fellow has won his last two starts and i’ve liked to stick with the maxim that when old horses hit form you stick with them. He’s had four starts @ Flemington winning two, unplaced with the other pair. . Touch wood he’s in the placings.


  8. Just got an email from Racing Vic. Races will be on Foxtel starting Sat on channel 55 HooooFriggenray!!!

  9. That’s channel 552

  10. The card at HQ Adelaide has me in a quandry- there are more interstate horses and jockeys here this week than I have seen since Carnival time.Now the weathers fine the locals who have been marooned in the cold are starting to get back to race in good conditions- winter down here has been a shocker and the local trainers now have a smile on their face so look for a big improvement in the coming weeks and tomorrow.
    Im with Jock on Alpine Eagle but a runner at odds could be Last Bullet trained by John Hyam
    In the big one in Melbourne Im going for one at odds Weary (named and owned by a Vietnam Vet after Weary Dunlop- he indeed has a story to tell about his service in Vietnam and his ownership of some good horses)
    Glen good luck with Riziz-an honest trier
    My last word is footy- Go you Crows

  11. Budge,

    I’m with you and Jock. Everything about Alpine Eagle in my opinion points to him being an absolute star. Reckon he will be all over any thing he contests from here on, and the $6 or $7 is a great example of “Good odds good horses” tomorrow.

    A special at Doomben from The Budge. That’s got to be a record (get it). Better have a look, though I have probably missed the boat.

  12. Huge crow for Winx in the Theo Marks

  13. Elvis, I have progressed at work to doing form analysis for Saturday Queensland Racebooks so after 2 weeks I’ve obviously got the caper covered. It’s the only one I’d be on and suggest quinella with Manu Manu (only danger).
    PS: I’ll be better once my confidence builds up!

  14. I see Manu Manu scratched so no danger now. Throw in Gid Up Strop for exacta.

  15. Don’t dismiss Mongolian Khan. Probably need further but is a fighter and silly odds for a class horse. Will sit straight behind the leader tomorrow.

  16. yeah, it appears those 2 kiwis should never be that far apart in the market. It is an exciting race.

  17. If Happy Trails wins we can spend next week revisiting the maxim of horses for courses!
    For the record, I’ve had my pittance on Rising Romance (proof I’m no omen punter!).

  18. Budge,

    Mongo won his first start over 1400, admittedly at big odds. His next start was in a Group 2 and finished well down the track. Only ever been beaten again once when 5th in the Rosehill Guineas. 7 from 9 is massively impressive, anywhere, let alone the majority in Stakes Races. You might be on to something.

    Having said that, exactas at Doomben, with a horse called Gid Up Strop! You’re scaring me. Are you alright?

  19. I have had a few! Thought that was a prerequisite for posting. I stand by my comments until proven wrong when I will use the “I was pissed” defence.

  20. Budge,

    Your form analysis in the Qld Racebooks. That’s impressive. You leave an even larger footprint. Congrats.

  21. more asparagus than analysis

  22. I’m full of confidence now that Budge and Elvis are”onside”
    Adelaide is another interesting meeting with recent form coming off slow/heavy to good tracks. I think Rock Out is a massive improver in Race 2 back to a good track with Courtside the danger.Northern Zhar should win the 3rd but Burnro is good at track and distance on good going and could also come over the top. 6th race is interesting with Lord Aspen who has great form but a long time off, Magic Boy is very good fresh and will go very well.
    I may have something on Gold Symphony in the Golden Rose, Ready for Victory is my best in Melbourne and he measured up pretty well in the Slipper, so maybe Gold Symphony is just underrated. Disappointing getting 9 runners in a $1 mil race.
    Others at Flem I lake are Sardaaj if it gets a run and Odyssey Moon in the 3rd ( wide all the way last time)

  23. Budge, very sound fall back position

  24. Beat thing Elvis is that I don’t see my footprint.
    Good effort at confident tipping there Jock but I think Gold Symphony is scratched. That’s usually crio’s going to tip scratchings.

  25. Jock,

    Sadaaj. Yes, Yes Yes. If she gets a start she will be extremely hard to beat, I have touted her previously.

  26. So the $1 mil field is even worse. Sydney racing is crap, I guess just get a speed map and back a leader.

  27. Yep. The Rose winner retires to stud and the breeders, who run the junket up there, cash in.

  28. Haven’t done much homework this week as have been travelling interstate a lot with work, so may take the advice of you guys this weekend. In saying that I am normally looking for value and haven’t had the time to go too deep, however I do think I have found a couple of shorties that are good things in Sydney, maybe a couple of all ups are on the cards.

    With the Sydney track looking like it will play pretty even this week, Bounding and Silverball both look like morals….only even money but all up could be the go. Another couple to add to the all up in Syd would be Vashka and Nancy. All meetings look a bit hard this week with tracks even but they are the best I can find in Sydney.

    In Melb, if Riziz (although he is honest and likeable) runs in the first 5 I seriously need to give the punt up….thought Worthy Cause a knockout in that race. The Makybe an interesting race…..although it does look a 2 horse race with Fawkner and Alpine Eagle (obvioulsly potting the fav) there are a few there I will be watching with interest for future G1’s (Prince of Penzance the the knockout if there is one?) Get ready for your bets on the big races after this race!

    Halfway thru the footy now….I have been potting Hawks all year as over rated (refer their recent record…only if you watched the games!) and the $2.40 offered last week to go top was great lay.

    Good luck to all.

  29. Budge….Qld has racebooks? I thought racebooks were obsolete?

  30. That’s ok Higgo so are my tips. I think they do a braille version for Elvis and his mates up there.

  31. Did the last race in Melb this morning…Obvservational looks very well suited at Flemington and does look a nice horse (has to get over bad gate) and Don Doremo a knockout at nice odds.

  32. Petit Filous a risk at the odds first time up the straight? Prefer each way Parcel at the price.

  33. Any push for Last Bullet Jock?

  34. looks a good horse but not here , also don’t get carried away on Riziz due to the dry track, needs dead/slow.

  35. Did anyone see the Freo – Syd game? They both looked to be trying as hard as the other to get beat, but luckily for Freo there was only one loser. Defititely the soft side of the draw in my mind and whoever gets Syd gets them at ANZ Stadium too I think, not the SCG.

  36. Then the lucky winner gets to play west coast over there.

  37. I had nit so good day on the tote, though I noticed some intriguing hoops # Cairns. N Callow, J Mallyon. both a few miles from Melbourne

  38. Budge….this is true and will be a big ask if the true WCE turn up, however as they keep reminding us, there are 2 WCE’s….the one that turns up and thumps teams and the other one that gets flogged by Adel, draws with the Suns or gets beaten by the Roos! If the real WCE keep turning up they should go top from here…..IF.

  39. one bet yesterday – Rising Romance. I was very happy on the turn but luck didn’t go its way. Story of my day.
    Petite Filous was fantastic in the first. One click aand she was away. $2.05 was ridiculous.
    The greatest overs was Catkins who can’t win at G1 but dominates her gender at anything lower. 7/1!!

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