Crio’s Racing – 3 Days in September!!

Aussie Rules’ Grand Final media saturation allows no profile for an outstanding series of races spread over 3 days this weekend.
Friday presents the first of the “Valley Nights” summer series. Blustery weather and boozy lunches will impact on crowds at this excellent meeting. It kicks off with a fascinating $100,000 3yo at 6.15 and maintains the calibre through to the newly designated G1, The Moir Stakes, at 10pm.
Attention will certainly be focused on MR4 at 7.45pm (G3, 1200m, 3yoF) as Lauren Stojakovic again pilots Miracles of Life, this time in what looks to me to be an ideal assignment. Some early speculators are suggesting 2/1- I’d have thought evens a good get!
The Moir was always a ripper race on Cox Plate Day – the great Manikato downed Rancher to reach his “million” in the legendary 1982 edition on the unforgettable “Kingston Town can’t win” card – and this year’s instalment is a ripper. I’m a big Samaready fan and she might get to really good odds.
Saturday, with its footy distractions, was always a scheduling challenge here in Victoria. In recent years they’ve settled on a Mornington meeting which features the Listed R.M. Ansett Classic (does this race include Caulfield Cup entry?).
Sydney has also tinkered with its calendar and now has a very strong, but uncustomary (?) listing at Rosehill on Saturday. I struggle to warm to some of the fields in SR, even on good days. Again we have the situation of big prizemoney and high status races not attracting “deep” fields and thus being assigned to early in the day. The quarter of a mill Stan Fox (SR2, G2, 3yo) pits controversial Aussies Love Sport against Eurozone and Criterion. The other three are 33/1+. I’ll be interested to watch the Golden Pendant (SR5, G3, 1400m, F&M, especially hoping that Appearance (1) starts to show a return to her stellar form of last season. Be sure to catch the replays of a strong black-type meeting if you are glued to Bruce and unable to find TVN on Saturday arvo.
There’s also a Group One day at Caulfield on Sunday which can be lost in the aftermath of a solid Sat’dy. Before it was “Jeffed”, the Invitation Stakes was held on the Thursday Show Day Public Holiday but now, as the Rupert Clarke, it is buried under Berocca. It is very hard this far out to make any predictions as the weather has been temperamental and (ahem) the MRC has its G1 as the last of 8. But, again, it is a fabulous meeting and will reveal some critical formlines for the following month. One fascinating entry is the dreadfully named Sir John Hawkwood (MR3, No2), an import with fresh form and C.Williams. The Caulfield Guineas Prelude (MR7, G3, 3yoC&G, 1400m) is a “crossroads” for G1 aspirants and Long John and Fast’n’Rocking are amongst a host of genuine chances. Then, in a boilover to replenish stocks from an expensive social weekend, I’m tipping Thy (MR8, No15) in the G1 get out before the absolute good thing….a sound night’s sleep on Sunday!
Good Luck – Turnbull Stakes next week as we turn the calendar to October.


  1. Crio,
    My memory is that the 7f on Show Day was the Marlboro Cup in pre-PC days. Ah the Craven A Plate; the Hallmark (I don’t think they were selling birthday cards). I can smell the acrid desperation of the betting ring now. Were there other cigarette sponsored races? A Camel Cup outside of the Alice, or only for the ones I backed?
    I have a strong memory of Clif Cary’s advice not to back 3YO’s in Open Handicap early in the season, as they are still really only 2YO’s and badly weighted. I followed the punting sage’s advice and refused the 5/2 about Manikato in the Marlboro Cup on Show Day Thursday. Instead I told everyone Crepellox was a good thing (was that the same year?) Crepellox missed the kick and Manikato bolted in. The exception that proved the rule I guess. Helped establish the patterns of (half) a lifetime.
    Best wishes to all punters – don’t bet odds on and don’t run up stairs (KHoward).

  2. That’s the same race Peter. Registered as Invitation stakes (now referring to Miller’s Guide) it became the Marlboro Cup, the show Day Cup and then ironically morphed in to the VicHealth then the EatWellLivewell Cup en route to Dubai Racing club Cup and now Sir Rupert!!
    surely anone who remembers Fred Bills shouls have the Invitation Stakes covered?!

  3. Crio – Footy was ingrained at birth. Though my childish ears were well attuned to Bert Day and Alf Gard, I had to wait until late adolescence to lead myself astray on the punt. Racing was the Melbourne Cup and Oakbank until my late teens. I think I overcompensated.

  4. Peter Fuller says

    The Hallmark was named for the 3yo Cup winner in 1933, which also had the distinction of winning both the AJC and VRC Derby in the lead-up. The Sydney Derby only moved to the autumn in recent times.
    I certainly remember the Show Day 7 furlongs event as the Invitation Stakes – with the precision of remembering events from 50 years ago, yet no clue on where I mislaid my car keys yesterday. The invitation referred to the fact that prominent jockeys were invited from Sydney and Adelaide, when the idea of hoops crossing State boundaries other than for the big carnival was a novelty.

  5. The Doomben 10000 became the Rothmans for a decade before returning to it Original name.
    The gaspers have often been synonymous with the gallops, even today outside every jockeys room is a line of hoops on the durries.
    Bill Collins called his entire career with a fag or cigar in tow..then he cut down to the ‘Wee Willem’s” ……..Willem who..Willem 2

  6. Peter B- Alf Guard I am pretty sure was sacked by the ABC after he took on the Weather Bureau on his Sat TV wrap of the races – but he is also remembered for being associated with selling the aluminium cricket bats (which had a short life) later
    Cowshedend _ I was amazed at a Strath meet recently to see the jocks outside having a fag after races. Whats your best for the weekend?
    Jake Stephens (Alcopop fame) brings Gris Caro to MV tonight after a good win in the Balak. Cup. If he follows the same course as Alcopop it will be lightly raced (I think of what Cummings said that horses running in the Melb. Cup need 10kms under their belt)
    There is plenty to lose my hard earned from last week thanks to Yendall so I will study and see what happens
    Great summary as usual Crio – and good to see Budge out of winter hibernation

  7. Very tough weekend Oges, I’m with Crio on Samaready with Epaulette the obvious danger, very happey to lay Bel Sprinter.
    The Ansett on Saturday sees Brigantin now wearing the black shorts with Pat Carey giving the rest of the field 6kgs. Crafty Cruiser was very unlucky at the Valley, but does not win out of turn,the Heavy 9 will make it hard for anything to make up ground. Should be handy with not much speed in the race,rail will be well and truly off come the 6th. Fancy liking 2 Kiwis in the wet (Stanaway and Walker) after the week they’ve had.

  8. Thanks Cowshedend- you are usually on the money and have a good knowledge of Melbourne form .My “old man” always said back the Kiwis at Cup time so agree with you
    O Learys horse Russian Rocket in the last at Morphettville tomorrow is a good e/w in a tough race but have a tip for Magic Tigress in the same race

  9. Cowshed – hope you cashed in.
    Crafty Cruiser saluted at juicy odds in the R.M.Ansett on an improving Mornington surface. We both tipped Samaready and it got to a ridiculous price before an emphatic win last night.
    The Stan Fox was a Rosehill highlight today. Eurozone saluted in a driving finish. The 3 chances all had the runs req’d – “Aussies” got an easy lead, Eurozone box seated and Criterion had last crack at them.
    The (formerly) much-maligned Sharnee Rose won the Golden Pendant at 50/1 – this time last year she was the best maiden in Australia after a succession of defeats to Atlantic Jewel – and was tagged a non-winner before a nervous breakthrough at $1.20 on Bendigo Cup Day. She’s up with Kris Lees now and won’t be those odds again. Red Tracer was again a bridesmaid.
    From an Epsom perspective I’ll be looking at the weights and odds for Hosting which appeared to be just looking on in the Shannon Stakes, won by Gai’s 20/1 shot Rain Drum.

  10. Thanks Cowshedend – best response to tips for a while.

  11. Great work again Crio, Oges Gris Caro didn’t miss by much, .Nearly the highlight of the weekend was the protest on Friday night between Oliver and Williams,not a lot of love in the room there.
    Have a great day at the Heath today mate

  12. Conspiracy theorists reckoned Olly would be shafted by the Stewards!

  13. Speediness a moral beaten in the Rupert Clarke , nearly fell down the back, ran Into a wall of horses and failed by a head in a ripper finish

  14. Speediness is flying. One of the winning owners confessed, as he happily collected, that he’d thought Rebel Dane has neen nosed to 3rd! Filthy result for us…thought the bad gate would hurt but that little annoyance (G.Boss) lucked a perfect trail.
    Track got very hard so interesting to see how they back up.
    Gawler, on Cup Day today, registered a Fast 1!!

  15. Saw that at Gawler, heard they ran a track record in a bloody 0-70

  16. You are all over it – alas, that’s easier now off course.
    Again cursing the feature as last race trend at Caulfield today.
    Unsure if any horses will attend, but apparently Birds Of Tokyo and fascinators are the drawcards for our next trips down Dandy Rd.

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