Crio’s Racing


In yet another calendar reshuffle, Mt Gambier hosts their main Carnival today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) – probably preferable to the recent Friday/Sunday split but a poor shadow of the halcyon days of my “Uni years” when it seemed convoys of Adelaide and Western Districts racegoers would converge on the idiosyncratic little track (dogleg at the furlong) on the fringes of the shivering, hospitable regional town during the first week of June. Was it 2 or 3 days back then? – in my recollection the Wednesday evening coincided with coverage (thus betting) of the Epsom Derby, with Jens Hotel the preferred venue. Those grand times are, of course, memorialised by Sandy Roberts’ unforgettable Leanne Dick gaffe! Mt Gambier has horse heritage (think Adam Lindsay Gordon and his famous leap) and it is important to retain a strong Cup Carnival as a focus for the Club, which has held meetings for over 130 years. Not surprisingly they have tended down the years to have a lot of proper bog tracks and have produced hardy stayers and jumpers. This week the conditions are perfect (Dead5) and acceptors plentiful – after 9 on Thursday, the feature meeting has 8 races, including, of course, a signature Steeple (always S.Pateman the one to watch) and the Gold Cup (try 7,1,12) which, naturally, includes a D.I.Dodson entrant, the stoic Texan Warney, who is always around the money at this class.

As “The Mount” battles to maintain a meaningful foothold on a fixture, another Country Cup this Friday is part of a flourishing, vibrant racing region, awash with wealthy sponsors and quality entries. Scone Race Club’s slogan is “Where the racing and breeding industries meet” and, being in the lush Upper Hunter stud heartland, it is no idle claim. This is no bushman’s backwater – here we are dealing with the pointy end of precocious racing thoroughbreds and the races themselves are prestigious and rich. Cup Day is Friday, but even Saturday has a $400,000 Guineas amongst a host of black type races sponsored by big studs and even named for local champs such as Luskin Star, Denise’s Joy and Ortensia. Friday’s 1600m Cup is a beauty…maybe Kaypers at the 12/1 E/W.

The Group One focus, this week and for the next month, is in Brisbane, where Saturday’s feature is the Doomben Cup (BR7, 2000m, WFA, $500k). Leebaz looks the one. Streama the logical danger. Akzar probably better suited in the upcoming Brisbane Cup. Despite the lofty rating, I reckon there are better races on what is a pretty good card, with special mention to the cracking “get out”, the G3 BRC Sprint. For what it’s worth my best is Safeguard (BR5, No2) at double figure odds in the Fred Best Classic.

Down here in Melbourne there’s a reasonable little meeting at Caulfield. Quaddy suggestions are 2/16/7/11. Recommendation is R7 No7 E/W @20/1.

The weekend rounds out with the Singapore Cup/KrisFlyer Sprint meeting on Sunday in Singapore. Olly and Tommy Berry go over to join the usual suspects, including white-hot Zac Purton and perennial star Brett Prebble, but the “magic man”, Joao Moreira, is always the one to follow. He’s on Military Attack in the Cup. Another interesting entrant is Side Glance, a bold last start winner of the Mackinnon at Flemington for Jamie Spencer. The KrisFlyer has become a highly regarded International sprint, with Lucky Nine and Sacred Kingdom recent winners – as, of course, was the mighty Takeover Target on one of his global jaunts. Lucky Nine defends this year – I’d like to see former Narbethong boy, Cliff Brown, salute with Zac Spirit.

There’s still plenty of races to sate fans – I’ll certainly be watching Doomben on Saturday and perhaps some of Singapore on Sunday night. Scone goes on to my bucket list.

Good luck!



  1. No news from the beach this week and the fields in the city haven’t got the depth of the last few weeks. Crio would you reckon the late Jim Easom would have to be the ” King of the Mount” ?

  2. cowshedend says

    Oges,Stokes brings one over here tomorrow Lucky Symbol, it gets the dry track and good gate it is looking for.
    Crio, will be interesting to see hom RVL handle the Paul Hamblin case, 39 bets totalling $620.50 ($15 per bet) over 3 days, and was not involved in any of the races he punted on.
    If they use the Oliver case as their benchmark, he will be given a new car and a small island in the south pacific.

  3. Does anyone have any good mail for Morphetville on Saturday? On Sunday at Wodonga the Brian Cox trained pair , Bay of Biscay & Pink Jubilee catch the eye.


  4. Glen, we will need to hope that Jock has his beer goggles focused when he gets home from the Holdfast tonight.

  5. Brilliant Cowshedend- I will check out the form of the Stokes runner but would say he doesnt travel with no-hopers
    We will wait with interest Jocks tips but cant help you Glen as the locals are thin on the ground Saturday

  6. No probs Gents, i’ll play it by ear.


  7. I’ll try my luck pre-pub. last week I kept running second or third so I’ll see if tipping sober makes a difference.
    The meeting is a bit of a ‘barry crocker’ but maybe a few chances:
    Race 2 Texan Warney meets a poor field and J Childs replaces Holly McKechnie, not sure how positive that is but 3Kg’s come off so should go well.
    Race 5 Nearest to Pin has had some racing and could be worked over in the lead so I’ll be going with Almighty Bullet and Dashitude will improve on a good track this week.
    I’ll have a couple of tries at Caulfield, Rescue Mission who goes pretty well 2nd up and has a claim and also I am Titanium who could have won its last 2 with any luck but should get the choccy’s tomorrow.

    Oges, Jim Easom was king of Two Up at Mt Gambier, that’s for sure. I remember his special announcement in a very large motel room with about 40 smoking/drinking/ yelling punters at about 4 am following a noise complaint, ” I don’t think the people in the next room are sporting people”. he was right.

  8. Thanks Jock – a mate who knew him from school days and after reckons he was a real character.

  9. Great comment Cowshedend re Hamblin V Oliver. The high profile embassador of the industry got off lightly, and has been snickering ever since. He lied through his front teeth and brought the sport that he owes so much to into nationwide disrepute.

    For ones so hell-bent on integrity, they set the mark pretty low with Oliver.

  10. Elvis & cowshedend – get over it!
    Jockeys have been betting since the beginning of time. Olly was stiff to get caught in a phone tap sting that was unrelated to that incident. if every jockey’s phone was tapped they’d be none left to ride.
    Having said that, I think its been made fairly clear since that any further action on that front will be harshly dealt with. Hamblin is obviously a knucklehead! The fact that he bet peanuts is irrelevant. He’s gone big time, I just wonder how they got him.

  11. Budge, we are on the same page. Paul Hamblin is a jockey, jumps jockey to boot, don’t set the bar too high.
    Obviously a victim of the punt.
    Expecting a bit of banter from the Budge tonight given the 1/4 time score, may be better to concentrate the attention here

  12. I’m a bit confused re Brisbane track…Heavy9 on Gold Coast, a 10 at Sunshine Coast, yet a Dead4 at Doomben!

  13. Budge,
    stop press…. been talking to Roger over beers, he noted that I think Rescue Mission has a chance, it has a gear change ( tongue tie or something) but he gives it a point!!!
    Maybe I’ll bail out.

  14. cowshedend says

    Never ever given a toss about a hoop having a punt, and know from the minute they whacked a saddle over Godolphin Arabian, there was a little bloke saying ‘geez, I reckon there’s a quid in this’.
    But I’ll be buggered if punting on another horse in a race you are riding in is ever acceptable.
    This poor prick Hamblin is indeed a victim on the punt, a jumps jock with limited opportunity, he hasn’t hooked one to make a few bob, he’s just a mug chasing.

  15. Cowshedend

    Beautifully said. Your’e response nailed it. Couldn’t agree more.

  16. I reckon anyone using “points loading” should add 2 for late noms

  17. Skip of Skipton says

    Don’t they cloister the jockeys in Hong Kong and Japan the night before the races?

  18. wouldn’t want to be stuck in that room

  19. Jock, wouldn’t start on the footy if I was you! Roger clearly has no idea. Any gear change gets him over excited.

  20. Nice to see Budge receptive to a discussion of ideas

  21. How about Laxon’s duo in the rich Singapore 2yo?
    Filly firms late to beat drifting odds on stablemate

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