Almanac Racing – take heed

Real racing fans will have noted the hectic start to the week and the usual packed calendar awaiting. They know that, for all the negativity peddled, there are exciting times ahead and more wonderful memories to be banked for dotage reminiscences.

It’s easy to be cynical about Sydney races. I looked up on Saturday and sniggered to my boss – “Business as usual. 5 runners. Heavy 8. Randwick”. $90k minimum! Remarkable. But keen students of the Turf will have noted the trials listings, which took another leap forward on Monday at Warwick Farm. Unsure? Check out Trial 1 in which potential Autumn stars Exosphere and Press Statement were engaged. Make no mistake the good ‘uns are ready to return.,NSW,Warwick%20Farm,Trial

Caulfield’s Diamond Preview heats on Tuesday signposted that we’re close to hitting the MRC Carnival (in fact the Blue Diamond is 4 weeks away!). Cohesion continued John O’Shea’s prominent push south in the boys’ leg and, it is fair to say, unplaced fav Weatherly was a big “forgive”. The girls have held sway in recent years (too many metaphors to even consider!!) but their division’s winner, Sword of Light, hasn’t nom’d for the Diamond and is no certainty to pay up. Stay tuned.

Whilst the upcoming big prizes dazzle the big stables, grassroots racing continues its fabulous year. I was amongst 5 or 6 thousand at Balnarring yesterday (Tuesday) for their Cup. Onya Keithy got to ridiculous odds ($4) and stormed home under Adam Bodey (74kgs) to claim the $1,840 prize. A cracking day – they have two March meetings to end the season and, on a fine day, it is highly recommended. The circuit rolls back to Healesville this weekend but, as much as it is on my “must visit” list, I’ll be required at Kyneton for the always terrific Woodend Cup Day. This is one of my very fav courses and I only hope that the showery forecasts are wrong – locals swear that they never get any rain so for once let’s hope they’re correct.

Melbourne metro cards are at Moonee Valley on Friday Night (unfortunately looks like rain around) and at HQ the next afternoon for the Kensington Stakes card. Fair to say that we’re a fortnight away from fields that really excite but it is a typical Flemington meeting with big fields and wide betting. Melbourne’s getting absolutely smashed with a storm right now (Wednesday 6.30pm) so it is foolhardy to try to make any sort of call, especially in the feature which runs down the straight (MR7, 1000m, H’cp, Listed). Expect 1,5,6,11 to be prominent chances.

Up in Sydney, the normally excellent Expressway Day is again asterisked by rain and some smallish fields early. In the main race (SR7, 1200m, WFA, G2) Our Boy Malachi deserves favouritism as he’s been a remarkable performer but sceptics were unconvinced at his most recent trial. Expect money for Solicit and Generalife. 5 is probably the blowout.

Even if you’re not flush for punting, it is time to take heed of form for Feb/March opportunities and to try to get to a provincial or picnic day before the drudgery of the “merry-go-round” reclaims your weeks.

I’m looking for mail and hoping to contribute myself once Saturday’s track conditions etc become more predictable.

Good luck!



  1. Defcon, the second fav for the Blue Diamond makes his debut at Rosehill on Saturday in the Canonbury Stakes.

    The Canonbury usually produces a handy winner!
    Past winners:
    2015 – Vancouver
    2014 – Fighting Sun
    2013 – Never Can Tell
    2012 – Raceway
    2011 – Diamond To Pegasus
    2010 – Hinchinbrook
    2009 – Tickets
    2008 – Sebring
    2007 – race not held
    2006 – Danehill Smile
    2005 – Diego Garcia
    2004 – Bradbury’s Luck
    2003 – Not A Single Doubt
    2002 – Hammerbeam
    2001 – Snowland
    2000 – Excellerator
    1999 – Kootoomootoo
    1998 – Shogun Lodge

  2. aaah…Shogun Lodge. What a bag filler for Melbourne bookies.
    It is, however, as you said, a very impressive roll call. Given that the smarties reckon the SR juveniles have lengths on ours, it is a must watch.

  3. Group 1 in HK Sunday – The Stewards’ Cup 1600m – sees the return of Luger, up against Designs on Rome, Military Attack, Contentment et al.

  4. good get. Punting or just watching?

  5. Watching, unknowns of designs on rome & luger back from injuries makes it hard. There is also a G1 sprint on the program that I overlooked. My only bet on the program will be R8 Eastern Express

    Keen on Brockhoff tonight in the last.

    Best roughie at Flemington is R5 Sky Dazzle. Not sure if barrier 3 will be the best spot, so monitor thr earlier races. Looked sharp in recent jump out and beat rival Magna Rossa at first start.

  6. I see Phil Sweeney has three nominated for tonight. It’s a damn, decent drive from Jerilderie. I have/am a big fan of Sweet Emily but she doesn’t like the wet. Let’s see who runs.

    Happy Punting,


  7. Looks like the inside will be place to be up the straight at Flemington

  8. Get on board Prince Albert in Adel race 6 tomorrow, loves the sting out and anything around 4/1 is good odds. Also a bity keen on Falago in the last at Flem. and risk Heatherly in its race

  9. Rosehill no certainty to run tomorrow.
    Will follow your leads Judge and Jock

  10. caveat emptor

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