Almanac Racing – Stakes Day Get Out

I can’t quite fathom why the new breed of rank-and-file punters – those who sit at home watching TV and Betfair – should sook about track bias. It is really playing in to their hands if they’re able to not have preconceptions and wager to the conditions. So many horses can be eliminated by their racing pattern or barrier which stacks the odds in favour of winning. Alas, most mugs hedge bets or second guess evidence and continue to lose; and blame conditions. On track it is bloody hard to find out what’s going on…but that’s still where I’d rather be.

What a week! Hasn’t it bloody nearly had it all? And Stakes Day to come.

This is such an improved meeting over the last couple of decades, with the Sprint and the Mile being in the top handful of highlights of the Carnival.

This year promises to be no different and several of the “support” card are also noteworthy.

Despite being shuffled around the calendar, the Maribyrnong Plate (MR1, 1000m, 2yo, SW, G3) still rates as time-honoured….and carries the perennial “Watch Betting” tag. Spruiks are everywhere, especially for the 9, but race experience is invariably critical. 1,8,2.

Most speculation on the day will surround the correct price for the mighty sprinter Chautauqua in the Classic (MR6, 1200m, WFA, G1, $1m). At the weights and down the straight he’s a moral. $1.25. On a choppy track with an insideish gate, there are reservations. Srikandi relishes it wet. Flamberge the place might be a viable option. Wait.

Whereas the sprint has the focus of a key shortie, the Mile (MR7, 1600m, Quality, G1, $1m) is always a wide and wonderful betting extravaganza. Imports Magic Artist and Bow Creek will rightly lead betting but, as per earlier variables, I’d be waiting before committing (an old trait!). Undeniably, Politeness must be rated – good mares hold form and her’s is irresistible, but I’ve missed the cash cow so am loathe to join in at the pointy end. Forced to tip early, I’ll go 3,5,6.

Another really prestigious prize is the Matriarch (MR8, 2000m, Mares, SWP, G2) and, unsurprisingly, there are plenty of problems confronting analysts. Some of the higher credentialed have copped tough gates (or so it seems from Thursday preview) and it is really hard to factor what might by start time be a sloppy track. The temptation is to dodge top weights so, provisionally, I’ll go with the clichéd “best profile” of Zarzali (13).

I understand the determination of punters to find the winner of the last race of the Carnival – lots are involved in tipping comps – but, unless you must, it’s foolhardy to put your money down early. As referenced earlier, rate the horses on categories and bet to conditions. Eliminate ruthlessly. Be prepared to change habits – 1400m here is red hot for inside barriers but don’t abandon the outside gate (Timeless Prince) if it is squelchy and you want a roughie.


What a week! Expect the unexpected, whether it be a 100/1 Cup winner or a tornado on Oaks Day. You gotta love it.

Good luck!


  1. Peter Flynn says

    Yes I eliminated Prince of Penzance early.

  2. track bias, Grrrr.
    It’s really a disgrace and more from an owner perspective, as they plan and prepare, spend a fortune and then arrive at either Cox Plate, Derby or Cup day and if you either don’t have an ideal barrier or aren’t a front runner you have no hope. That said, I haven’t really got close apart from laying a few I didn’t like.

    Really hard tomorrow at this point but Lucia Valentina looks classes above in the Matriarch and Amovatio appeals as a roughie in the Emirates looking at recent form ( no chance at the valley) and weights on Turn Me Loose if you can forgive the valley run. He handles the wet OK and all his Melb form, particularly at Flemington is great.

    In Adel, Stratumsphere in the 5th has great 2nd up form and should be a good hope-weight turn around on Swinging Arms is 5Kg. A tip for the next few months in Adelaide is that Dylan Caboche has started riding in town ( a winner last week I think) he claims 3Kg and is going to be a very good hoop so don’t back off if you see him on something you like.

  3. cowshedend says

    Light rain here again this morning, will forgive Arod for ordinary first up in the Cox, Flemington should be more suitable as well as the mile.
    Surely in the sprint, there will be a herd heading to the grandstand side as the track continues to chop out.
    Might head down to see you this arvo Crio if it fines up.
    Oges, anything from the beach?

  4. I’ll be the other side of the rabbit-proof fence…”jackets on p-lease!”.
    You looking for a Member’s pass?

  5. Good luck to anyone drum betting in Sydney, only 3 of the 9 races paying first 3, jeez their racing is in an awful state

  6. Peter Flynn says

    Out of the quaddie after leg 1.

    Back to reality.

  7. Winner our worst.
    Chautauqua $1.98 Betfair

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