Crio’s Racing: A Crowded Weekend

We have a ridiculously cluttered metropolitan racing schedule this weekend and, it would be fair to say, the quality of the local fields could not be the lure for attendance.

I guess the 3 meetings- Valley Nights on Friday, HQ Saturday and a twilight at MV Sunday- each have their particular focus and we need to accept that betting is no longer always intrinsic to a race day.

Moonee Valley is determined to secure its Friday night niche. They’ve had a torrid tradition of unsettled weather which has meant the family evening on the lawns has not taken off. Generally average fields with “hot” bias has meant for uninspired punting. Which leaves dinner and party packages and they, apparently, are going OK. Despite the sparse crowds there still seems endless taxi queues after the last and a suspicion that public facilities at the Action Attraction are pretty run down. It remains, though, a good place for a casual Friday.

No doubt the Members will turn up in droves and disappear up in to The Stand to review their Cup Week car spots and offer Christmas cheer and networking opportunities. Again, and understandably, the public area will be largely empty and totally disregarded by the VRC who have got their cop for the year. The Quaddie might end up with a fair pool, especially as Sat’dy arvo cricket looks possibly rain affected again and so the flannelled ones tend to turn to the punt and listen to the Test whilst watching showers pass by!

I’ve had barely a cursory glance but here are my starting markings;

1st LEG, R5 1200m- I like Cascabel (5)in this but am hoping for an Almanackers match race as C.Down’s highly regarded Mr Griswold (2)tries to hold off our middle pinner King Carnage(10). Box them.

2nd LEG, R6 2000m- 4,2,7

3rd LEG, R7 1410m- Go wide if you can or else try building around 2 and 3.

4th LEG, R8 1000m- possible result race. Definitely put 6 in. Maybe the top two also.

TVN takes us back to Moonee Valley again Sunday evening for a twilight card – first at 3.45 and the last at 7.45. This has been trialled unsuccessfully the last couple of years . Despite the poor crowd though, it is still an avenue the Club wishes to explore as this timeslot taps in to the lucrative Asian betting market and there’s no better day to give it a go than this Sunday when Hong Kong hosts its flagship meeting.

Turnover for Hong Kong will be high and the MVRC simply hopes to slipstream. I know some people who developed a Sunday custom of meeting to watch the “late” Sunday footy match in winter and they have transitioned seamlessly in to Asian form experts in the off season.

They’ll have plenty to keep them interested this week. Even the casual racing follower can find points of interest in the big 4 Group Ones.

I’m looking forward to seeing Cirrus Des Aigles in the 2000m Cup (HKR8). This is a remarkable horse with a great back story – look it up if you get the time – and is best known to Aussie sportsfans as the conqueror of So You Think in the Champion Stakes at Ascot. He remained in the news for some time afterwards when his jockey, Christophe Soumillon, was banned and fined over his whip use, igniting a flurry of controversy. This is a really good horse who deserves this prestigious race. As a gelding he was denied a chance for fame in The Arc and so will look to stamp his status as arguably the world’s best over a middle distance with a Happy Valley win.

Antipodean favourite Jimmy Choux fronts up for the Group One Mile (HKR7)with his wonderful support cast of jockey, trainer, owners and fans who were so popular during Cox Plate week. If the horse is still “up”, he looks a ripper miler ideally suited. I hope he wins but, be wary, he’ll pay way unders on local totes.

The Group One Vase (HKR4, 2400m) is the first rematch for Cup stars Dunaden – this time with C. Williams up – and the desperately unlucky Red Cadeaux. I’m tipping that once again cup winning hoop C.Lemaire will take the honours, this time on 3 yr old Vadamar.

The other Group One on this ripper programme is the Sprint (HKR5, 1200m.), sadly without an Australian entrant but once again pitting Rocket Man and Sacred Kingdom in a battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of the local fans.

I’m swinging the satchel on Friday night and Saturday and looking forward to watching the action at HK on Sunday evening from either the track, the pub or the sofa. Either way I’ll be looking for some tips.

Good luck!




  1. Crio,
    I see Undeniably is in a listed race in Adelaide tomorrow. Thought he “wasn’t seen to advantage” last start and is the bet of the year (since my last one got beaten a few weeks ago).

  2. notes from the Valley tonight…
    Stick with Stackhouse. He is riding as well as all bar prob Froggy and gets 2kgs as a bonus. great value in upcoming weeks.
    Continue to avoid Moody. Poor value x poor strikerate. Vasil might be worth a little sqizz and Aldersons are in form.

    We had a record low hold on a pathetic night (but won). I went out the front to watch R7. Balmy. Plenty of buzz. Seemed like a success. Massive cab queues again!

  3. crio from your comments about the MV meeting last night it seems to me that “the party crowd” around Xmas compliment the Clubs and are probably tote punters

  4. It was an awful day at Flemington. The rain never came until after the last but it was a muggy, windy, hot atmosphere and stories of doom kept presenting from nearby-ish Werribee where an emphatic washout occured. The track was dangerously hard, with a “2” recorded I believe – and no doubt they’d be loathe to acknowledge anything harder. I’m sure many of the runners will “knock up” tomorrow. Like others, i wish our horse had not run on such a road.
    Bookies again took the honours, though it was a boringly unremarkable day in a vacant main ring.
    Points of interest included a double to Russell Cameron who has not trained many city winners in a while but, to be fair, has not had many runners.
    D. Dunn continues to ride well.
    Put Alderson runners in any exotics.

  5. Budge,
    Undeniably “failed to flatter”. Kav’s are unders at the mo.

Leave a Comment