Crio’s Question: Racing Aphorisms – True or False?

Sunday morning and we’re watching one of TVN’s TopTen features. It’s The VRC Derby. Efficient rails up, switches at the clocktower and it’s over “in a twinkling”.

The comment is instinctive. “He won the Cup the next year. A real Flemington horse”.

Those readying for a Carnival crack should revisit/reassess old truisms.

“Horses for courses” is time-tested.

A more recent one has been : “The Internationals need a run here before the Cup”.

Most of these, of course, are reactive.

Some are sound. Some silly. Some just outdated as the racing landscape changes.

Greys in the wet.

Top weights in Welters.

Second-up syndrome.

No apprentice in non-claimers.

Quick back-up.



  1. For anyone having a bet over the carnival, my 2 pieces of wisdom came from Gary Crispe 30 years ago when he worked for Warren Block in Canberra. I could never follow them:
    “Winning on the punt is 80% staking and money management; 20% picking winners.”
    “A successful punter takes $1,000 to the races with the objective of winning $100. Most punters lose because they take $100 with the objective of winning $1,000.”

  2. Mick Jeffrey says

    If a pure overseas raider (trained outside Aus/NZ) has an overseas jockey aboard I tend to pass over, but I tend to include them if they have a local aboard. Hasn’t been overly successful in recent times though. Also don’t include horses who haven’t won in ages despite any glimpses of form shown.

  3. cowshedend says

    Never back an import first time around the Valley..(bloody Adelaide)
    Outside always quicker down the straight 6 when north wind blowing(they all run down the centre now)
    SA derby horses the following year in the cup( about as relevant as the Duke of Norfolk or the Werribee cup these days)
    Stony Creek winners next up at Flemington (wonder when the last time that happened)
    ‘Brian Cox doesn’t bring one to town for nothing’
    ‘Mick O’leary snuck one over the border’

  4. Chris Weaver says

    Every year, without fail – ‘Mackinnon Stakes form dictates Melbourne Cup form’.

  5. How often do you hear the following ” the horse went super” It can run super well or is super – right “chalkie” Crio ?

  6. x4 in the form guide

    Top weights win welters.

  7. cowshedend says

    the cursed ‘4 white socks’
    John few of our acquaintances go for the 24 theory and it doesn’t have to have an x in front, can be in any sequence in a prep.
    Old bloke i used to know was a shocker, his outdated theory ‘Never back sheila jockeys’ was with him one day and he was cursing that he missed out on the Sydney quaddy, ‘bloddy sheila won the last leg, had 2nd and 3rd’ , had to break it to him that one of the ‘shielas’ who had been costing him dough for a decade, and the Sydney quad that day, Tracey Bartley was in fact a bloke!

  8. popular nowadays is “jockey on the treble”

  9. Did “lol” start at the track?

  10. Stone Cold Baker and I had an hour and a half with the great Jack Styring today. He’s got a thousand of them. Stay tuned for Thursday’s podcast.

  11. Not a racing one, but a friend of mine (big character) was told by her mother (big character) that there is one rule in life:

    Buy good bras, good undies, and don’t give change.

  12. As long as I can look into the audience and see myself and the audience can look up at the stage and see themselves then I’ll keep performing – Springsteen

  13. remember the day in Charlie Suttons pub when the German’s old Dad loudly declared “Never bet on ze greys. Zey are weak in the legs”. 30 seconds later 3 greys had run 2 legs of the trifecta….

  14. For what it’s worth crio, after a vino or two tonight I have discovered some deep seeded wisdom I was unaware I had, prior to consuming the chilled beverage….

    Greys in the wet….absolute no brainer, happens every wet track, most of the horses running in the middle of winter are that old and worn out they could be nothing but grey (a little like myself)

    Top weights in Welters….inconclusive…depends on whether or not you have a 4kg claiming girl on board or not.

    Second-up syndrome….ah this is a punters paradise….absolute fallacy….depends on the horse and also the trainers ability.

    No apprentice in non-claimers…question, would you prefer to have Tommy Berry at his peak as an apprentice or R M Quinn at his lowest as a senior riding your horse in a G1?

    Quick back-up….what ever happened to the Sat/Mon long weekend back ups?? Used to be a huge guide to back them on the Monday. Now they like to give them 2-3 weeks off between runs!

    Missed one crio?… about the “dually accepted”? That does still seem to be a genuine guide does it not? It does indicate the horse is going well and they are looking fr the most suitable option.

  15. Higgo,
    in vino veritas

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