Almanac Racing: Sal’s Preview – So we are off to the races!

Greetings All,


A footy free weekend in every sense as we await the Dees and Dogs to face off in a final since 1994 where Gary Lyon booted 10 in a convincing win.  They famously met in 1954 where Charlie Sutton instructed his charges to ‘Shop Early’ – they did to win the Bulldogs first VFL premiership winning by 51 points.


It is not often that we have two preliminary finals with such devastating victories and as such there are questions of the vanquished.  Port has everything in their favour heading in but were no match in intensity – only they can answer the question why.  A coaching masterpiece from Beverige.  The Cats have suffered the greatest scrutiny – they built their great era from 2007-2011 based on quality draft picks and the recruitment of a very good ruckman.  Since then they have looked to ‘top up’ with experienced players and bringing back the locals – they have remained in the top echelon and are likely to do so with the same strategy – there are doubts the strategy can win a premiership.  Does it also serve as a warning to other ‘era’ clubs trying to hold on?  Hawthorn’s base success was on quality draft picks supplemented by picking the eyes out of free agency.  They continued on that course but that quality base of draft picks were cooked.  They look like they are taking their licks now.  Is the Tiger era over or are they hanging on?  All fun to watch in 2022 – but we have next week to salivate over first.


Track Time


The spring carnival delivered on Saturday with a great win by the cup favourite Incentvise.  He took a bit of beating from the handicapper for the cups but will take a very good one to beat provided PGM can hold him together for the next few weeks.  The show goes to Caulfield this week with the Rupert Clark as the main event and couple of important races leading to the Guineas and Caulfield Cup.  Also a ripping card at Royal Randwick that is worth some dissection also.




The usual average start to the Sydney meeting but the program improves dramatically once the group races start.  The Bill Ritchie looks a good race an important to watch the return of a couple of mares in Duais (R5, #6) and Harmony Rose (R5, #12), could be important players as the season progresses.  Four Moves Ahead (R6, #1) hits the Tea Rose third up and has no excuses.  The main event is the George Main Stakes with Verry Elleegant (R7, #7) a short priced favourite with a surface to her advantage.  Some handy opposition but not sure their in the same class.


The Shorts is a ripper as they prepare for The Everest.  Nature Strip (R8, #1) won the Concorde as he pleased able to set the tempo and run away and is the favourite here.  There is more pressure in this field with the likes of Eduardo (R8, #2), Lost and Running (R8, #7) and Rothfire (R8, #5) all on speed runners.  Can he take sit and come over the top or will he join the battle?  Or will it set up for Gytrash (R8, #3) or Masked Crusader (R8, #4) to come over the top?  Highlight of the day and reckon I might be with Gytrash (R8, #3)


Will be watching Kukeracha (R9, #2) and Montefilia (R9, #3) closely with an eye to the Caulfield Cup.  The close is another benchmark race good luck finding the winner but reckon Lancaster Bomber (R10, #8) is worth a shekel each way.




Handy opener to the card where The Gauch (R1, #2) has plenty of favours, massive watch though on the Tassie mare Hela (R1, #4) who has a great strike rate.  Pandemic (R2, #4) is the omen bet, should also be hard to beat despite the name.  The next couple are the Guineas Preludes with the fillies edition tough to sort out.  We saw CJW place Ranch Hand perfectly last week – maybe that is the same for Morioka (R3, #3) here (has been scratched from Sydney) – interested to see of any of these could make their mark in the 1000 Guineas.  The same applies for the boys and eunuch edition, Timson (R4, #8) comes off a country maiden to the big smoke – was a blistering finish and might just be OK.  Fake Love (R5, #7) returns to the scene of her debut victory, is up against a few handy types.


We get to quaddie time and a shortie in Annavisto (R6, #3) reckon it’s wider than that and was really impressed with the return of Ecumenical (R6, #5) in Adelaide, will be praying for a repeat performance.  There will be a couple more in the opening leg.  The Naturalism gives a free ticket into the Caulfield Cup, Tralee Rose (R7, #15) had an outstanding summer campaign and hits this second up.  There will be plenty in this leg too!


Race 8 – Sir Rupert Clark Stakes (G1, 1400m, HCP)


A ripping renewal of the Rupo.  Expect a truly run race with the likes of Streets of Avalon (3), Buffalo River (6) and Groundswell (8) setting the tempo.  The race needs that tempo for the top pick to slot in from a wide draw and come over the top, that is I’m Thunderstruck (17) also needs a scratching to get a run.  If he doesn’t then it looks a good race for SA raider in Beau Rossa (4), meets Behemoth (1) 3½ kg better for their last meeting where they were separated by a small margin.  Would be great to see Linda salute in a Group 1.  Probabeel (2) is the class with a handy pilot in B Prebble, some concern about the weight but ignore her at your peril. Another mare Sierra Sue (7) will appreciate a good speed and is 4 from 6 over the distance, Behemoth (1) has to carry plenty of weight but he is a lump of horse and has shown he can do it.  Of the pacesetters I like Buffalo River (6) to have the best chance of holding on.


Selections – 17-4-2-7-1


A tough conclusion to the day, Night Raid (R9, #5) will be one included in a skinny close to the quaddie.


Quaddie Time


We know it’s spring when they get this tough!


Leg 1 – 3, 5, 7, 11

Leg 2 – 4, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16

Leg 3 – 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 17

Leg 4 – 3, 4, 5


432 Combinations, $30 investment could return 7.14% of the dividend!


Best is Verry Elleegant but will be pretty short, hoping lightning strikes with I’m Thunderstruck,


Cheers Sal


The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE


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