Almanac Racing – Weiry and Michelle’s celebratory tour heads to the Forest.

There’s no shortage of options for Melbourne racegoers this weekend.

Friday night it’s The Valley, Saturday afternoon we head to the bumper Ballarat Cup Day, that night there’s the tri-code “racing/pacing/chasing” at Cranbourne and the Kilmore Cup soaks up any coin left on Sunday!

Nationally the focus shifts west where the widely admired Buffering seeks a sixth Group One in the $1m Winterbottom at Ascot (R7, 1200m, WFA).


The feting of local heroes D.K.Weir and (Ms) Michelle Payne will continue out at Dowling Forest where they’re expecting a crowd of 10,000+. Owners and trainers have certainly jumped aboard the provincial excursion with capacity fields in most races… the notable exception being the “novelty” ($200,000!) anti-clockwise MM dash (MR5, 1000m, 2yo, SW), which is already down to 8 runners. Ballarat has worked hard to get the “stand alone” Saturday and the Cup champs have given them the chance to cash in with a real day of celebrations. There’s little doubt that Weiry will saddle up a winner and hopefully Michelle can do likewise to thrill the patrons. They’re teaming up in the Cup (MR8, 2200m, H’cp, $300K, Listed) with Akzar, the frustrating stayer whose win at the ‘Bool last year was to be a springboard to the “silk department”. Since then he’s been a real disappointment. One of my theories is that he’s not overly big and thus battles with the weight he’s earned from that glorious campaign of 18 months ago. This week he has crept back down to 55kg and, from a cushy gate, this is his chance to regain form against a competitive but by no means outstanding batch – though this season we’ve learnt to respect the older horses and there are 4x8yo and 2x9yo in this field! The fav is the baby, 4yo mare Ungrateful Ellen (by Grey Swallow out of Degeneres!), trained by another ex-Ballarat legend, Robert Smerdon (whose great-Uncle, Arthur, is part of local racing folklore).

Without having looked through the card yet, I will suggest including Clairvaux in R9 chances and Sang Choi Bao in the last.

There’s plenty of time to sift through the big fields but, for now, it is off to the Almanac launch.

Hope to see some of you there.

Good luck!


  1. G;day Crio. There was a Q ? i meant to ask you but it got lost in the bon homie , is that the correct term, of the book launch. \where is Bill Vlahos?


  2. Not a bad race to have a punt in the Ballarat cup, Akzar’s sentimental money will add value to the other runners, and despite the Ararat cup being far inferior like Mujadale a lot, gets a 4kg relief, and will race handy, always tough making ground up the hill at Dowling Forest

  3. I notice the rail is 5 metres at MV tonight which usually means leaders in sprints so I’ll go Ionlythinkofyou in the 5th all up Rough Justice in the next.
    Hopefully I have a bank for Sat-
    R 7 Nordic Empire- unbeaten fresh so I’m on board
    R8 Mujadale- should have won last start pilot error not getting off the fence at the turn 2 for at track/dist.
    R9 Orion
    R10 Gallant Harmony-query rider but well suited at 1200
    R5 Karacatis- dogged by wet tracks last prep, very good fresh
    R8 House of Wax- 1 len from Rifleman and Classy Jack 1st up last time in would be good enough for this.

  4. forgot Ascot group 1’s.
    I notice Rommel is 40’s in the Winterbottom, has pretty good form around Disposition so should go OK
    Delicacy will win like the champ that it may be despite the draw, Balmont Girl the roughie

  5. At this stage i’m looking ao further than MV tonight. One of my fave bush sprinters, Steel Trigger is running, so i’ll put a few $$ on him.

    Happy punting,


  6. I’m having something on Ticket To Toorak @20/1 in the opener tmrw

  7. Jim Moloney passed away today. R.I.P.

  8. Sad to hear Red Cadeux was killed this morning.

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