Crio’s Racing: 2012 Australian Guineas Day


Seems I might be tempted to “declare one”. What’s that TV disclaimer?…”LOOK AWAY NOW”!

For weeks I’ve been clicking away on RVL’s site awaiting the resumption of Jim Conlen’s 2yo Rhandara and finally he is presenting….MR1 No8. Seems I’m not alone in my anticipation with a Wednesday fluc of 3.50 in to 3.10 indicating the cat must be out of the bag. The race itself, typical of these Listed VOBIS juvenile scrambles, brings together unmatched and unknown form so can be a trap. I do know the 2 will be a good horse, probably a little later but it is certainly worth a black bookmark. Presumably Mick Price is placing his good ‘uns around Samaready. Hayes’ youngsters seem to be responding to the new complex and his starter, by Exceed and Excel, has Olly up. The pre-post market is often instructive. It warns to be wary of Craig Williams on the toppy and Freedman’s 5.

Most punters won’t bother to bet. It is an early race and will be watched with a view to later prospects but, for me, I have to have a bit of a dip. I don’t have the nature to put Bendigo Bank’s house on it, but there’s certainly the temptation to abandon a punting rule and spec on a Slipper run and also bet to win.

So my day will be decided early.

However, I might need a contingency in case Plan A fails.

It’s two-pronged.

Recover some ground with Drunken Sailor (MR2 No1), suited to the big track, in the Roy Higgins Quality.

Then, with a small bank, I’ll need to take flexi-Quads, looking for a portion of the guaranteed $2m pool. The strategy is for a skinny one and another with some speculators. Here’s some early prognostications, subject to further study, advice and whim…much poring and pouring it seems.

Weather conditions look dire so my intention is to keep options open and not put my multi on until just before the first leg (MR5), a really tough 1400m with a capacity field and many of the better hopes drawn out. A topographic map of Flemington shows how the 7 furlong gate releases them to a relentless wheel until finally straightening for the tough run in. Thus this course has usually suited front runners from inside barriers, though this can be complicated when, especially in large fields, anxious jockeys surge across from outside gates and clap on the pace. But with a lot of stayers having a run in this event, it is likely the pace will be moderate and on pace runners suited. First mark on my card will be the number 2, Red Colossus. He might become a muncher but I’m prepared to give him a go. First up last August he ran bravely behind King’s Rose and Heart Of Dreams and here he has a good draw and is comfy on the wet. I’ll ponder including Doubtful Jack, a nob in mud but who has drawn shockingly and might be over the top. Another dilemma is whether to include the erratic Dao Dao. He does have a fresh 3rd to More Joyous and Whobe on his card but also has let the punters down often. He’s in my wider Quaddy along with on-pacer Danzylum. 2,3,9

The Guineas (MR6, 1600m, 3yo, Gr1) doesn’t look vintage and, once again, punters are being asked to put their faith in Helmet. Despite the temptation – embraced in pop press – to use puns on his name, he is certainly not, as Budge emphasized to me, bullet proof. Once again speed map students will be enrolled to sort this field. On balance, I’m prepared to tip him to get a cushy run, but not keen to back him outright. One out in my skinny, definitely include Sabrage and even Mister Milton in my scoop at the pool. 1, then decide including 3,7,14

A surprisingly small field has accepted for the Bob Hoysted Hcp (MR7,Listed, 1000m), but it is again a hard one for punters to sort. With big numbers I’d’ve been looking for those drawn the outside fence. Here I still want to include the widest of 10, Panipique, although she can take a few runs to peak. Certainties to make my “cut” are Happy Angel, which likes the straight, and Eight Bills, a good on pacer who handles the wet. When noms came out I was really keen on We’re Gonna Rock, with its fresh and Flem form, but I query the wet. 8, 7, maybe 6, query 5, quandary 3.

Golden Penny looks the safest option in the last (MR8, Gr3, F&M, 1400m), though it is, as always, far from straightforward. I don’t discount I’m Discreet as the inside will have chopped up and she’ll get over from her gate and I also give a strong chance to Marveen who should camp on the pace. 7,4,6.

Despite the terrible weather, the Flemington Autumn Carnival should provide great racing and a terrific segue to the Rosehill riches.  Pleasingly, racing has managed to stay newsworthy thanks, amongst other foibles, to some fantastic racing and a freak sprinter and, once again, it has been another fascinating week in Melbourne racing.

The Inglis Sales at Oaklands Junction got broad and mostly positive coverage with buyers putting their faith and money in the marvellous sire Fastnet Rock. Prices held up OK – neither boom nor bust. As usual, it is a good few hours spent out there looking at the yearlings and watching the auction process- especially when the doyen, Peter Heagney, is brandishing the hammer.

Less savoury has been some coverage regarding the great sprinting duo, Black Caviar and Haylist.

Somehow there were media calls early in the week for a special race to be designed for Black Caviar to reach the 20 wins here in Victoria. Hopefully this was just a ridiculous kite flown as for any so called record to have kudos it needs to have been obtained credibly. Sure, owners shy away from tackling the great mare, but that is different to stumping up a “boatie”. Undignified.

This may also have been a stimulus to John McNair’s rejoinder to the release of weights for the upcoming Newmarket Handicap. As many suspected, his “hulking Haylist” was allotted 58.5kg, a seemingly reasonable impost relative to the already scratched mare, but worryingly creating a 5.5kg turnaround with Foxwedge from a 2 length margin in the Lightning. Whilst McNair is entitled to go in to bat for his gelding, his summary comments appeared over the top and perhaps aimed elsewhere…

“If I owned him, I wouldn’t be going back to Melbourne…They obviously don’t want us down there…They are only interested in one horse in that state”. (Herald-Sun, 29/02/12, p78).

Fortunately, by Wednesday afternoon part-owner Peter Davenport had been able to restore the peace – perhaps the required volley had been shot – and RVL’s site was reporting that Haylist was back on target for Australia’s most famous sprint. ( )

There’s certainly never any shortage of stories or action in the racing game – in fact, the question of trying to find a “race free” day each week has been raised in debate in recent times- and the final meetings of Melbourne’s Autumn Carnival are sure to once again provide highlights and controversies before the spotlight heads to Sydney and beyond. Be sure to cast an eye over the Rosehill replays, especially as the glory bound youngsters prepare for gold with the Silver Slipper  (Gr2, 1100m), the 3 yr olds Guineas and Derby types step out in the Hobartville (Gr2, 1400m)and the mares contest the Millie Fox (Gr3, 1300m). Heavy up there also, so be either wary or canny.

I’m having a Friday night off from Moonee Valley but will be calling the odds from the rails at Flemington on Saturday, happy to take advice and money from anyone venturing out there.

Good luck!




  1. Crio,

    Looks a good race for Dao Dao. I know he has more convictions than Ivan Milat but most of those (the horse’s) were in Group races. Wiped for good if he doesn’t perform tomorrow. I agree Red Colossus is the main danger though a wet track (plus no Black Caviar) puts Doubtful Jack right into it.

    The “bullet-proof” Helmet is still the one to beat in the Guineas. He has lengths on these at his top and the wet track is the main issue, apart from his propensity to find odd ways to frighten his backers. The interesting runner is the Anthony Cummings’ Savabeel gelding, Strike The Stars, down from Sydney. He may turn out to be more of a Derby horse but appears over the odds here – throw him in your multiples.

    Re the MRC’s proposal to provide a “suitable” race for Black Caviar to hit the 20 in a row mark, the whole thing smells of desperation and must be avoided at all costs. When Zenyatta went for 20 straight in the US a couple of years ago it was in a legit Group One race, the Breeders’ Cup Classic and while she was beaten a lip, due to pilot error, her credibility never waned. She retired to stud a true champion prepared to take on all-comers in the top races available. I hope BC’s connections quickly rule out MRC’s “offer” and make a clear statement that they want her to win her races on merit not have a benefit put on for her. If she was to take the record in this way, her reputation would be forever tarnished with a big asterisk next to ther name in the books. She has built up so much goodwill that could quickly come undone. Her, and racing’s, credibility and integrity are on the line here!! Rant over.

  2. Budge,

    You managed to fit Ivan Milat’s name into a racing piece. Nice job. I’m a bit of a sucker for the two Dao’s also, but I saw Red Collosus win a trial the other day and he looked very, very impressive. Good first up and went around in some pretty decent company last prep. I’ve got a bit of time for Folding Gear also, and he could run a very good race at odds, track conditions permitting. This might be his prep.

  3. somehow they need to ride all of the Dao’s forward and not have him pull…nutter horse with talent. Goes in to my Quaddy with the Red Colossus.

  4. $5 Quaddy voucher on ScabTAB in the Winning Post this week.
    Also, Sportsbet are calling for you Elvis….they’ll payout regardless of a protest outcome. Unfortunately not retrospective.

  5. Elvis,
    I see Free Wheeling was $4.40 v Hot Snitzel 2 starts back in Qld Sires produce last June (lost rider). You might be on to something there. I was thinking Galah looked over the odds in same race.

  6. Whoops, got Folding Gear and Free Wheeling mixed up. No idea how that happened. I retract compliment for selecting Free Wheeling. Folding Gear no hope.

  7. Crio- a most comprehensive coverage and of your thoughts for Saturday and other racing matters. Perhaps some racing journos could take a leaf out of your book and make their contributions as interesting and thought provoking

  8. Budge,

    First compliment I have ever recieved from you and it lasted all of about a minute. Thanks anyway.

    I have just backed First Course each way in the Guineas at a lazy $151. Will race on the pace and has a great jockey up.

    Where is Free Wheeling running? Resgon.

  9. Crio,

    Thanks for bringing up the 1992 Cox Plate successful 5th V 2nd protest. Thought I might have been half a chance tomorrow till that memory shattered my nerve.

  10. Elvis,
    Box got the tri but it hasn’t done him any good.

  11. btw, if any one is interesting in going to Flemington for some of the day, get somebody’s TAB account card and present it at the gate for (allegedly) free entry.

  12. 3 minutes actually Elvis. Free Wheeling is in the Hobartville – not up to Resgon standard.

  13. Did anyone notice that the InterDominion Final is on tonight? Bumper crowd at last wek’s semis at Gloucester Park and traditionally a great event….I’ve even heard of some of them

  14. Peter Flynn says

    I reckon I’ve posted this before.

    The famous 1974 Inter Dom Final.

    Crio, I’ll be refreshed early at Headquarters tomorrow.

  15. Stand 11 on the fence Flynny.
    Do you reckon we could build a bank tonight? Not a bad little meeting.

  16. Peter Flynn says

    I haven’t (and won’t) look at tonight.

    Might call in tomorrow.

  17. Crio,
    I specked Salade at 200’s prior to his first start in last years Slipper and was a losing genius. Got another one this year but only $26. Nediym’s Quest is in the Silver Slipper tomorrow. Watch him win and shorten up for the GS.

  18. and then either draw barrier 37 in the Slipper or break down….

  19. Wednesday and Thursday when I did my preview there was one “given” – a very wet track.
    Today (Friday) has been the best drying day in history! Now Dead4 already!

    Some tips.
    Tonight R6 Faster Son & R8 Debecca…D/D solved.

    Push for Corsten’s in the time honoured Mrs Mac’sBeef Pie Sprint tomorrow. Be told!

  20. Crio,

    See there was a yearling sold at the Inglis sale yeterday and the purchaser was “Trotter Racing” Pat might have found himself at the wrong auction.

  21. Pat Trotter, Reckless’ jockey!
    Trotter rode lots of winners…. including a Caulfield Cup on Analight, the George Adams Handicap on Maybe Mahal, the Newmarket Handicap on Coolalinga and a West Australian Derby on Seltrice.

    btw, Noblett’s a good thing iof money arrives in first tonight…13 mins to start.

  22. and fav declared in the InterDom Final.

  23. Crio,

    Impressive. Are you in the middle of writing Pat Trotters biography?

  24. hope you didn’t get on in the first. Money did not lob and Melham missed the start and found trouble.

    ref P. Trotter. Knew the Reckless and Maybe Mahal bit and cheated the rest.

  25. Uncharacteristically, I fell in to the punt last night.
    True to character I lost.
    But there’s a few upcoming winneres amongst them

    The mail in the first was if they bet it wins. The didn’t. Melham missed the kick. Fav won. ahem…
    DD’s tip ws a big run. I bet straight out.
    Faster Son got smashed when Olly came down.
    Watch Debecca’s run in the last and let me know when it next is in.

  26. Helmet getting out to silly odds now. Two starts back it was favourite in the Cox Plate! and start before wins Caulfield Guineas.

  27. Skip of Skipton says

    Mosheen paying $5 is handy. She’d be the best 3yr old around. I have never liked a chestnut in the wet, I can’t think of one that was any good. Please advise otherwise.

    Mister Milton was a good call, and I hope someone cashed in on the $21 a drum. $27 on NSW tote. I didn’t.

  28. Isn’t Mosheen a bay?

  29. Agree – can’t think of any star chestnut wet trackers though not sure what population of horses are chestnuts these days.

  30. Sorry Skip – just realised you were referring to Helmet.

  31. Skip of Skipton says

    That’s OK Budge. I was referring to Helmet. Maybe this could be a topic for a thread here; “Chestnut wet trackers!” Grey’s are ‘good in the wet’, is a good old aphorism, if not an axiom.

    The ’92 cup was always going to be Subzero’s chance to claim some fame. Let’s Elope was scratched in the morning due to the rain.

    As for the population of Chestnuts, it is bigger than Grey. Around 10-15%, I would reckon.

  32. Speaking of chestnuts and Helmet, ginger-headed K. McEvoy gets beaten on a lot of shorties.

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