Crio’s Racing: Sitting on hands at Caulfield while waiting for Darwin

Anyone who’s previously browsed these musings should already have pondered, probably deduced, that I need to “get a life”.

For those not yet au fait…with nothing better to do, I went out to the “new” Pakenham yesterday (Tuesday) – except it is not really Pakenham given that you drive past plenty of paddocks beyond the old set-up and turn off at NarNarGoon. The venue’s apparently Tynong, but this direction is better and more suitable. A bloke at the ‘G last night asked me what it is like – I replied: “What image do you glean from the word NarNarGoon? Whatever, it’s probably about right!”.

Drab. Desolate. Windy. Stuck in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful rolling hills and dairy country in the distance, but hardly my first choice for impending Thursday night racing (unless, of course, I’m able to score a job!). We walked in to the enclosed betting ring/bar/café and looked up at a TAB monitor. Fittingly they were going around at Menangle. I shook my head wondering if Racing knows it has jumped on to the same slippery slope that quicksanded the trots from public relevance. Yesterday was, admittedly, a low profile meeting but there were just a silent handful of people and 5 bored bookies (no need for staff, no “calling the odds” – just transfixed by their computer corporates) providing atmosphere. The horses race far away in the distance and there’s a feeling of detachment. It’s all for off-course betting and TV. Might as well just relay Yonkers.

With seemingly no prospects of work at Caulfield on Saturday (or anything much at all, alas, in the current economic situation), I’ll skip on heading out to The Heath and save my pennies. If you’re on that train line though, consider dropping by as you’ll have time to take in the main race and then jump back on the express (via South Yarra!) to Richmond Station in time for Tiges and Freo. The feature race (MR7, Bletchingly Stakes, 1200m, WFA, G3, 3.40pmAEST) has the muncher Lord Of The Sky at 7/4 – this is certainly its grade but how can you butter up! – yet, how frustrating if it gets up on you? Almanac sponsors (and infamous benefactors to Marsh/Lillee) might have the solution – if your bet runs 2nd or 3rd you get a free throw with Ladbrokes, so logically you go against the fav and, if he has a random “good ‘un”, you have a get out contingency. See their site for Ts+Cs etc. 7,10,2,4 for me. One of the biggest “heads up” for Petrology came this morning when Olly chose to ride it ahead of the offer for the “Lord”.  These hoops are playing for keeps at the moment and their choices are great indicators for punters wanting to get involved this weekend. Olly and C.Williams are fighting out the metro premiership, with D.Dunn now suspended and out of contention. Some Sandown transferrals meant today’s Bendigo card – with a D.Oliver treble v C.Williams double – has set the scene for an interesting finale and, to the surprise of some, the denouement will come on Sunday when Ballarat’s meeting is a metropolitan fixture. What punters know for sure is that these two will chase the best mounts and their struggle will add interest for viewers, especially on a normally unremarkable Sunday.

Elsewhere around the nation it is mostly humdruml.

The Sunny Coast will be pleased to have metro status for their Cup Day, but punters will shy away from the likely Soft track. $100k feature and plenty of money on offer all day should ensure some profile.

SR is at Canterbury. No thanks.

Morphettville’s Acceptances look peculiarly good for this time of the year. Consider.

Over in WA the Pilbara stalwarts return to Roebourne for their $50,000 Cup! I noted and hyperlinked this venue a couple of weeks ago and have heard from the youngest sibling who went on Ladies’ Day – she says it is a big local “catch up” but warned there’s some rain around – perhaps not grasping the insignificance of this to a dirt track! I’ve given M.Heagney and Randy Tan some profile up there, but, as well as the consistently successful Clinton Porter, it is interesting to note that Melbourne hoop Nathan Stanley is also on the circuit – just 4 months ago he steered Override to a win at Moonee Valley for Brent Stanley. That’s the nature of this game.

Darwin, of course, has another strong card at Fannie Bay, but their gems are next weekend so I’ll hold the focus until then.

Meanwhile, I’ll have my annual mull about not booking to head north and sit on my hands from a punting perspective – it keeps them warm in our chill and keeps me disciplined in the off-season.

Tips (or casual jobs!), however, are always welcomed – as are any conversations pertinent to our much loved sport.

Good luck!


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  1. What race is Denoument in?

  2. cowshedend says

    Great stuff Crio, don’t complain, any day at the track is better than any day at work!
    Is the betting ring inside at Pakenham? (although with 5 bookies ring is a bit of a rich description!)
    Love the story of the Trevor Sutherland horse ‘Spare Parts’ born with the deformity of an extra Canon Bone, it going around tomorrow at Wagga

  3. Saw that…”jake the peg”, though that song’s taken on spooky connotations.

    Pakenham apparently trialled an outside ring at the first meeting and intend to use it at “big” meetings – bookies hated it as the wind howls through.
    Change of plan now for me with a call-up to work at Caulfield, so suddenly interested in the form. The Bletchingly seems very early this year?…no Regal Roller/Elvstroem etc. Will take my own advice (reckon I’d know better!) and train to the ‘G after the races for the second half of Tiges v Freo.
    Cash in the kick would help. Any tips?

  4. Hard day to find a winner.
    Maybe Good Value in the last is the best value for the day and I’ll have something on Cuban Fighter in the 6th.
    Not sure in Adelaide, BOM is predicting a fair bit of rain but haven’t seen any yet, in fact a pretty nice day. If it does rain and gets heavy then Daytona Grey will win again but if only slowish it is worth risking and maybe About Square is the one.
    Still waiting on my replacement FOX box, courier says they will deliver today but they’ve been saying that since Tuesday. Managed to get Foxtel Go operating on the laptop but cannot get races, at least I got my dose of 360 during the week. Fortunately I can see Vic racing but if the courier runs to form I’ll probably be watching more footy this weekend.

  5. Terrible situation for you Jock – how are you managing?!
    To help…may i suggest Perth R5 No7
    Reckon Dr Matthews is going to help the cobaly inquiry over here.

  6. I’m back in business…finally.
    I emptied the wine rack over the last week as compensation for the “situation” and also as training for attending a 21st this weekend where the parents are very serious tipplers…. clearly I’m getting old.

    Forecast is still for plenty of rain here but still only a drop has fallen. Prepared to back Mickiem in the 2nd in adel off a big run last time out, horse who beat him is fav (odds on) but is likely to get a much better ride this time with Lindop on board.

    Need help with the Caulfield form as I’m not too up to date with all the provincial form coming together.

  7. Patchy meeting here Jock and, as you say, provincial form. The track mightn’t be too bad. R5 is the one needing scrutiny – some awful gates for moderate conveyances.

  8. btw…asume your commenting on races = footy gone bad?
    Can Bays bite back v Peckers?

  9. Eagles/Peckers have won 11 of 13, Bays 3 of 13 including a blackout. I’m predicting a bit of a hangover Sunday so will probably watch on telly from the couch and hope they can stay in touch

  10. Crio, my tip is get on Freo to beat Richmond. Can lay Tigers at $1.86 on betfair.

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