Almanac Racing: The Heath…and beyond

Financially fragile following its rain-lashed 2010 Cup Day, MRC power-brokers would have shuddered as rain tumbled this morning and (much) more seems assured for their race day tomorrow – an excellent programme which precedes “Classic Caulfield” cards on the 12th and 26th of February.

One thing that we learnt last October was not to fear the new track. It handles extreme weather. But patrons stay away.

Other than sunny skies, the best way to get the turnstiles ticking is to present good horses and enticing match-ups. I’m looking forward to the return of STAR WITNESS (R4, 1200m, No1) who promises to be an Autumn attraction. He’ll be short, has a tricky gate, but is absolute top notch. 2, 4 + 6 will also win good races this prep. Key formlines will emerge from this race so try to watch some TVN or website replays.

In the preceding race (R3, 2yo, Listed, 1000m), Diamond markets will take clearer shape as the juveniles press their claims. Cape Canaveral (6) has the big boom (no pun intended) but I’d rather the proven 9, from 1 and 10.

The Quaddy legs are interesting. GAIL (R5, No5) has hit a rich vein of form and must go in. FASHION BLACK (2) was awful last start so probably best to just Trifecta the fav with 1 and 8.

The Listed W J Adams Stakes (R6, 1000m) will be a spirited betting race and a prelude to future riches such as the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket. BROKEN (9) and CANALI (7) are early shorteners but I expect solid support for SOLAR CHARGED (8). An interesting nom is the Fastnet Rock gelding FASTER SON        (10), winner of 6 from 7 and, despite the class leap, apparently outstanding and adaptable to any conditions. Watch REWARD FOR EFFORT(2) to see if he can come back OK and keep safe EAGLE FALLS (1) and CRYSTAL LILY (5) from their wide gates. A terrific race. If forced, would BOX 6, 8, 10.

CABEZA (R7, No5) might have to anchor a wide Quaddy. He’ll be 6/4 in a good field but looks the one. 7, 1 and 3 accompany him in exotics.

MIDSUMMER MUSIC (R8, No2) will again carry punters’ hopes in the last. I’ve warned previously about Moody’s stable seeming just off the boil. They’ll bounce back but, meanwhile, I’d avoid their shorties. Thus, here I’ll go wide, including VIVID VIXEN (1) first-up, KOALA BEAR (8) and the 4 and 7.

The best race in Australia this weekend, it must be said, is the WFA Expressway Stakes (1200m, 4.28pm EDST) at Rosehill. At this weight scale, the popular HOT DANISH (8) should win, but it is a ripper race. Dangers include the heavily backed LOVE CONQUERS ALL (2), wet tracker BORDER REBEL (4) and evergreen topweight DANLEIGH.

Good luck wherever you are punting. I’ll be on the TURFBET bag at Money Valley tonight. Last week’s fine weather and good horses produced a fantastic night – alas, this evening’s prospects are less enticing. But it is a good night out if anyone is in the area.

If you are out of town, keep in mind the Buchan Cup tomorrow in East Gippy or the Healesville picnics on Sunday. Details on CRV site.

As always, tips and comments are welcomed.


  1. Peter Flynn says

    Beware of the Buchan horse at the Buchan Cup.

    The Buchan pub is also a big trap.

  2. Not Buchan kidding. Time-honoured gag Flynnie!

  3. Valley track collapsed from FAST to Abandoned …only got 6 races in and today’s Caulfield card is OFF. Long time since a city meeting washed out.

  4. NOTE: Caulfield track was “marginal raceable”…surrounds and facilities were waterlogged.Photo finish, catering etc were unusable.
    Sandown’s hosting some of the rescheduled features in a bumper 10-race programme on Wednesday.

  5. Reminder to race fans to look at Sandown’s races tomorrow (Wednesday) where some of Saturday’s card has been rescheduled…including Star Witness’ return. Track should suit him.

Leave a Comment