Almanac Racing – The Championships (Rd1)

The forecast, thankfully, is for improving weather in Sydney as the ATC nervously monitors its Heavy8 track ahead of Saturday’s opening day of The Championships. They can’t afford for the next two weekends to be anything other than overwhelmingly successful in light of the obscene money splashed to rebrand the tiring Sydney Autumn and an unconvincing debut presentation in 2015. Personally I don’t reckon it has done anything for the Industry as a whole – look at SA’s Goodwood which will attract a gilt-edged field for 10% of the Randwick prize! – and by next month SR fields will once again be limited and predictable (but Messara and the invested breeders will be, like the pigs in Animal Farm, feasting on success).

We’re not going to solve those issues here. I’m just going to enjoy the ripper card produced this week, working on an improving, maybe even Soft5, track.

The four Group Ones kick off with the $1m Sires’ in R6 but, to be honest, the Quaddy legs that follow (especially legs 1,2,3) are more interesting:-

SR7 AUSTRALIAN DERBY (2400m, 3yo, SW, G1, $2m)

The Derby shaped as vintage but has fallen away. It’s Tarzino’s for the taking. Possibly even money. Hard to bet against him. Tally, trailling a picket fence, is the logical Quinella. Any others must be speculative.

SR8 T J SMITH STAKES (1200m, WFA, G1, $2.5m)

Fabulous race. Most of the big guns have made it to the wire (special exemption to the mighty Buffering!!). Tipping Shiraz as the 33/1 blowout here in a terrific betting race. Class runners from top to bottom. You could have 5 tips and miss. Look for value.

SR9 DONCASTER MILE (1600m, Handicap, G1, $3m)

The old punter’s quandary – the fav or the field? Winx looks to have earned her weight and quote. I’ve given up tipping against her…but I’ll not be backing her. “Odds on; look on”. Cheer home a genuine champ if she can salute. Impossible to tip any other, but I could easily get talked in to the 33/1E/W Volkstok’n’barrell.

SR10 ADRIAN KNOX STAKES (2000m, 3yoF, Quality, G3, $200k)

Not a great closer but these Quality’s offer punters a challenge. Toppies are usually well in, much like the old Welters. Thus, Sacred Eye is the logical first one in to the final leg. Then you must decide if to look at improvers reaching a suitable distance or just follow those rated next. For the latter category follow racebook order. Spotting those on the rise is more difficult. Olly is an obvious lead so include his Rainbow Park. Otherwise, try Snowdens’ beautifully bred (Street Cry/Tuesday Joy) and unfortunately named Daisy’s Joy (5) as one likely to relish the longer trip.


It is only Wednesday and I’m getting toey to have a go this weekend. Some patience will be required to assess likely conditions so those able wait until the coverage unfolds will be advantaged.

I’ll be on my post (Rails4) for the marathon Mornington Cup day at one of my very favourite provincial tracks, this Saturday ordained with a city categorised card…and hurrying home afterwards to see the Doggies.

Good luck!







  1. At Mornington on Saturday, keen on Tom Melbourne at 7/4 in the Cup and E/W Rough Justice at about 10/1 in the Hareeba.

  2. After Tosen Stardom bled at track work there are NO internationals running in “The Championships”.
    They could halve the prize money and get the same fields.
    I see they also have about 20 trials scheduled for Randwick next Friday…..

  3. the latest news on their track Budge?

  4. Improving. Now a Soft 7.

  5. Gerard S says

    Good work as always Crio.
    Inspired by The Buff and an improving track and hoping little brother can kick me off in R1.
    Agree re Derby. I am throwing the two NZs (8& 9) and playing some multiples.
    Exosphere back in Sydney with no hoodoo.
    Go you good thing Winx. But, yep, with my bank it will be a watch and appreciate.

  6. Up to Soft 5 now. As much as I have been on the Azkadellia bandwagon since day one, find it hard to enthuse as equal second favourite for a Doncaster when she has only won one city race. Prefer to forgive Turn Me Loose last run. Those NZers are crafty (read shifty) and if he can get back to his high pressure front running role he will give them something to catch. Currently $32 on Betfair!
    Agree with Crio re Shiraz being a great each way chance in the sprint. Happy to risk Exosphere so only Chautauqua and English the dangers.

  7. Thanks Gerard. Can’t work out if Winx is going to be 6/4 on or against. Good Handicaps are fascinating. I’ve had a nibble at Volk but will salute the mare if she can win.

  8. Shiraz probably not well weighted but races handy.
    Thought you would be a push for Volk at the mile and quote Budge

  9. Yep. Happy to nibble VSB but prefer Turn Me Loose at same price.

  10. Peter Flynn says

    Number 11 each way in the Donnie.

    1/3/10/11 trifecta.

    Good punting to all.

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