Crio’s Racing…as distinct from racy!

There’s something about a Handicap event that connects with Australia’s sports psyche….the Stawell Gift, The InterDominion and, of course, every town has its Cup Day for the gallopers, the grandest of which is undoubtedly Melbourne’s on the first Tuesday in November.
The Caulfield Cup, an arduous mile and a half around the Heath due to be contested again this Saturday, is the next most celebrated. Maybe it is the “fair go” ethos or, just as likely, the chance of a “sting” – whatever the rationale, it means that the best horse does not have a right to win and thus, when a Champ can overcome the opposition and the weight impost, it’s stature is assured….Redcraze (63kgs), Rising Fast and Tobin Bronze (61.5kgs), even the vanquished like gallant Gunsynd, 3rd with 62kgs, have forged their legend in the race that tends to frame markets for its big brother 17 days later.
This year’s edition seems to lack quality and diversity, with weights raised and fairly compressed, but we’ll let history be the judge. Sweeps are being cut from the papers, corporates are luring accounts with fantastic deals and the workplace footy pest is morphing in to a racing tout.
The big race is, as is MRC’s wont, last of 10 on a mixed, epic card. I reckon there are lots of runners with no hope – ordinary draws, hard track and lack of form puts a line through most. Take your pick. Mine’s Silent Achiever, a watch on Dandino and a bet at big odds on Moriarty.
The programme kicks off at the reasonably civilized time of 12.15 but punters won’t engage much before R3, The Ethereal, where the boom Arabian Gold (2), plunged to beat Guelph 2 starts back, comes to town. Hayes’ Star Fashion (4) is the main challenger, but there’s always a watch on Clarry Conners’ runners, in this case Refer (12).
The Norman Robinson (MR4, 3yo, 2000m, G3) is a traditional Derby prelude. I have no grasp on the Derby colts this season, assuming NSW form is superior. No bet here (Orion the selection).
A real drawcard is Boban (MR6, No1) in the Moonga (G3, 1400m). Might be the Spring star, but is dropping back a furlong. Only the pace and track are obstacles – class is not an issue.

The Quaddy leads off with the Sprint. My tip – do not take a Quaddy! If somehow obliged, try these (or your powerball numbers/postcode…)
MR7 – 10, 11
MR8 – 3 (Gris Caro a lock in the old Coongy)
MR9 – fantastic race. Field leg. Put in 6. Maybe 18 if it gets a run (or back it at Seymour on Sunday if it doesn’t)
MR10 – whatever.

The weather forecast is perfect so hopefully you can enjoy the Caulfield Cup – just the name evokes memories of time and place. It is a Cup Day in so many places and one to be relished. I reckon Avoca would be a nice spot to watch this week, but there are also Cups at Deni, at Innisfail (check the name of R1 there), Stanthorpe and dotted around the nation. I’ll be at the track, of course – this time, though, helping on the Lillis/Kilmartin stand on Caulfield’s lush front lawn so more able to engage a chat and, naturally, offer best odds to any Almanackers who come up for a chat…Budge will be also be at the stand! Must be a big day!
Good luck!


  1. Peter Flynn says

    I like Katter in the opener at Innisfail.

    Trained by the great Lawrence Reys at Gordonvale.

  2. I’m working the front lawn this week…sunny and windy – classic “fillies” watching scenario

  3. Peter Flynn says

    And its by Mossman.

  4. Flynny, the funny thing is that Mossman’s usually love the wet. Not much chance of that!
    The race name, for those interested, is

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    I’m rather keen on Jet Away. This was his first run in Australia, check it out…… His next run in the Easter Cup at Caulfield was equally impressive.

  6. cowshedend says

    Crio,you’re right about the Quaddy,a near impossibility.
    The earlier part of the card is where there is some value. have been a fan of Epic Saga as a Derby type,but after watching the tapes the run of the cleverly named Famechon(Haradasun) was astounding. 3 Deep without cover at Flem. from the gate and was still pulling ground off them at the finish, love it tomorrow and took some of the $24 in the Derby.
    Fantome Gris in the 3rd, a moral beaten last start, still a maiden, and gets my beloved Oliver on board.
    in the first Scarlett Billows coasted at the Valley for a soft win last start.
    Had a go Hawkspur a while ago in the cup, hopefully there is enough pace early so he can get across, after a warm windy day reckon the rail will not be the best place to be by the last (be prepared for the annual whingefest re rock hard tracks)

  7. After some thought and study I have decided the Cup is beyond me in picking even a place so I will concentrate on the lesser races,Thus I now find myself asking questions
    Perhaps bowls will save me from a wipeout
    Can Molto Bene reproduce the scintillating run of last start in a tough race this time and can Jollys Avoid Lightning (second up) measure up to the strong field it encounters and can Gris Caro continue on its way after a great Balak Cup win?
    Great pick Wed Crio

  8. Oges, Molto Bene was awesome last start. Could be this year’s Divine Madonna. Stick with her!

  9. My only confident tip of the day, Gris Caro, has been scratched!!
    Definitely no Quaddy.

  10. HAve to agree, very ordinary cup field, lot of horses out of form,many who should not even be in the race “Glencadam Gold..!!you have to be kidding.I cant pick the winner so am turning my eye to a lesser race .After having watched Boban win his last start after missing the start by several lenghts ,being near last on the turn and still winning,I dont see how he could get beaten in this lesser class.Wow!! he has found many lenghts since he last raced in Melbourne,must be something in the Sydney air

  11. David Downer says

    My take on the Cup…

    If we assume every horse gets it chance and we line up the merits of ability, form, timing, and weights etc – Hawkspur wins.

    Luck in running is a crucial factor of course, particularly at Caulfield in an 18 horse field as opposed to the wide expanses at Flemington. As has plagued the Caulfield carnival so far, those gusty northerlies are forecast again for tomorrow, and you’d hate to be trapped wide down the side, or leading, for that matter.

    Whether Hawkspur goes forward from his outside draw or snags back is the key decision. He’s been drifting to the rear this campaign, but was up on the pace in his successful Brisbane winter. With J.Cassidy on board you know he won’t be shy to crank him forward – refer Might and Power 1997 (good), Inaflury 2001 (not so good).

    G.Gold, Julienas and Mr O’Ceiren will lead them out. That the latter two are coming from outside gates should ensure it’s run at a solid clip early. Obviously the brakes will then go on, but how much probably rests with G.Gold who seems prone to just tear away for a bit longer – refer 2012, J.Cassidy in the saddle!

    With the unknown of Hawkspur going back or forward tomorrow, Royal Descent then presents as the horse with the least knocks. Gets a cosy run from an inside draw, and won’t have too many to pull around when the whips are cracking. Won the Oaks by 10 lengths on a bog back in April, but it might say more about her staying ability than her prowess on the wet. Was completely knocked out of the Turnbull when starting her runs.

    Jet Away is a bit of an X-factor in that he’s missed a run this campaign. Have been in his camp since his couple of impressive Autumn starts. He’s been well worked up at Euroa in compensation. My eye is untrained, but he looked pretty good in this week’s youtube clip of his trackwork up there!

    Silent Achiever has been ticking over nicely for this and has drawn well to sit handier this time.

    Dandino has been spruiked as the best of the internationals for a number of weeks in regards to this race – looks a tough old horse, probably should have won the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot this year. From a bad gate will be another key decision whether he pushes forward or back, or gets trapped wide mid-field (not ideal). But C.Williams knows how to handle these jet-setters.

    And just because – I’m wary of Lloyd leaving just one in this race – Fawkner.

    Best roughies for me are…

    MQF Peace – beat Dandino over 2400 at Goodwood last year, ran a very close up 5th in this last year, and everything since has been a little inconclusive. Is drawn to get a similar cosy run in transit this year.

    Ethiopia – has a bit of freakish ability about it – and like MQFP everything a little inconclusive since a very good Spring last year.

    So there we have it. Working around the Waller pair, slight saves on the others mentioned, include roughies in the multiples. Er, then maybe extend that to the Field??…


  12. reads like “no bet” DD.
    Will we see you out there?

  13. David Downer says

    Well if you wanted one substantial bet, Hawkspur is the one.

    May get there Crio (would make it 19 of the last 21 CCups for me!), but Echuca is also looming this weekend.

    Unfortunately no Gunbower to keep me occupied this weekend though. Or Echuca raceclub itself for that matter. Bendigo is closest with a meeting tomorrow. Fields are horrible!

  14. Dave, there’s Seymour Cup on Sunday and, of course, Geelong next Wednesday.
    I managed to grab a Winning Post en route to school this morning but thyese pesky kids are a bit too demanding…I’ll look for a winner over a frothy later.

  15. You are right Budge- Molto Bene was the best run of a horse Ive seen for a long time- yes I will follow
    DD- you give me confidence in a hard race but still not convinced I will have a bet
    Crio- you are going to need more than one beer after fielding all day – dont let dehydration set in

  16. I know nothing about horse racing but I’m putting a tenner on Hawkspur (natch).


  17. David Downer says

    Have noticed Out of Coober is back in tomorrow too.

    I missed him saluting at $84 a few days after my old mate Cuba passed away, but hopefully at about half the price tomorrow he’ll give me another chance to redeem an omen missed!

    #cuba #coober

  18. I think we’ll skip the first couple and ease into it at R3 on FANTOME GRIS. Terrific run last start and D Oliver jumps on.

    The Norman Robinson looks a great contest. Some up and comers here. I really liked SAN DIEGO when he ran 3rd to Long John. Step up to this distance ideal and stable in fair form. Plenty of dangers though.

    Need a lead from Oges in the next. Looks a good race for AVOID LIGHTNING. Any beach mail?

    Like SHEER TALENT and CONSERVATORIUM in R6. Maybe lean to the latter at the odds. 59.5kgs and back in distance makes the toppy a lay.

    Another fave to lay in R7. Platelet, a mare with 59kgs, giving weight to seasoned males. Ready To Rip, Pago Rock and Broken go into 1st leg of quaddy.

    SCREAM MACHINE was an eye catcher in the Epsom running on well from last. Extra distance suits and D Oliver gets on him too! SPURTONIC battled on well in the Epsom also and looks main danger.

    If MOLTO BENE runs up to last start she wins again but these mares races are always tricky. HI BELLE consistent in these types of races.

    In the Cup, I think the market has the main chances highlighted. ROYAL DESCENT (superior stayer), JET AWAY (a run short?), SILENT ACHIEVER (good prep this time in, fits right profile) and HAWKSPUR (great Cup trial last start). Don;t fancy any others to win. MANIGHAR might be best roughie if you can forgive last start – has decent record at this distance range.

    We’ll all need luck in running tomorrow!

  19. No beach mail on Avoid Lightning but Jolly is astute and the horse wouldnt be going for a run Budge
    I will have a small wager though

  20. Crio,

    Watched the tapes. Xanadu is near a Laydown. Probably better off over the mile of the Myer at Flemington, but that’s to come after she wins tomorrow.

  21. attaboy Elvis…easily the toughest and best race of the day! Love the confidence. I never get time to watch tapes – more like a facilitator nowadays and sniffing around for one or two bets max. Still looking but agree with Cowshedend that the chances might be early.
    Kennewell is a key. Will update, poss on course

  22. Budge,

    Quaddy first leg. Pago Rock and Broken! Are you takin the biscuit. Sure, they have had their fun in the off season, but they’re pissing with the big dogs now. They would probably be two of the first four I would exclude. Surely there are others on the ascent.

    Await your comment on my success rate.

  23. Send me a case of your juice Elvis. On fire. Has Budge seriously tipped Broken?…Jo is away and he is clearly now like Chalk without Shelley.

  24. Elvis
    spot on, Budge is on drugs, I backed Pago Rock last week and he should have won easily with the run he had: must be the pressure of looking to a working day at the races after a long lay off. I like Shamal Wind down in weight.
    Conservatorium will be very hard to beat in the 6th as it is very good second up and I’ll be looking closely at Manawanui to be a big improver at odds as he can hold a position from the barrier.
    The rest of the day is impossible from my point of view and if I try in the cup it will be something on Dear Demi as I think a rock hard track and a long wide run will suit by the end of the day.
    Adelaide is very ordinary but I’m having something on Natural Disaster in the main sprint (currently 60’s) for a roughie and hoping the day doesn’t finish that way.

    Oges, I debuted in night owls this week and had a blinder and cleaned up on all the raffles…a stubbie at every second end sorted me out eventually though.

  25. Might be right about scouting wide on a road late.
    Any inkling, Jock, on Kennewell and Stokes horses earlier.
    Adelaide runners doing well.
    This a famously twitchy course for Sydney rookies

  26. What are the big dogs Elvis – I must have missed Black Caviar in the acceptances? Broken was 1st up from a month off last week. I’m happy to go with D Weir / C Williams combo. Pago Rock is 4 for 4 at 1100m. No big dogs here mate!

    As for Xanadu, apparently its Mandrake the Magician’s fictitious home. Mmm…that sums it up.

  27. Crio,

    El Magico is very good but wait for the straight 1200.
    Molto Bene is also good but it will give a huge start, it seems to get off the bit mid race quite often and i think needs a fair bit of pace on to do it’s best against good horses.
    Budge, nice return of service but if Pago Rock wins, I’ll eat it….best fresh.

  28. Skip of Skipton says

    I have mail for El Magico.

    Still keen on Jet Away for Caulfield Cup. He had Fiorente’s measure back in England last year. Be told.

  29. Jock- have been coaxed back to serious stuff in bowls this year so the neddies are taking a back seat. Glad you have helped the cause and like Crio keeping dehydration at bay
    Crio- had a call from our daughter who spotted a famous correspondent yesterday in Flemington . You and Budge will earn your keep today

  30. Peter Flynn says


  31. No Flynny…BANG!
    Famechon to KO R4

  32. David Downer says

    Rest of the card. I will be heading out on course now too…

    R2 – Will keep the faith and speck Le Mans at the price ($27). Back in trip and blinkers off first time today which hopefully settles him down. Has heaps of ability but has been pulling his head off every run.

    R4 – Norman Robinson. Tricky race, hard to pin one down here, their natural improvement rates probably all over the shop. Polanksi is a tough stayer in the making, at about $10 he’s not bad value to repeat his solid Flemington win. Can fight and keep them at bay. As per Crio’s bang, Famechon finally draws a gate too.

    R7 – Almanackers are always a sucker for a boom, so have to default to Spirit Of here. He’s due! Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. BOOM!

    R8 – Admittedly Hvasstan is “one of mine” too. He won this day last year in the N.Robinson. Should get some cover today from the draw and then bullock his way out. Bass Strait going super, quick back-up a concern.

    R9 – As alluded in dispatches above, the Kiwi Xanadu has very consistent G1 NZ sprinting form. Watch for her screaming home over the top of them after a hot tempo (if the pride of today’s forum Molto Bene doesn’t scream home over the top of her!). Steps In Time has great runs around all the top mares from the Sydney Autumn. Have already dabbled at double figure odds there.

    R10 – The Gup. Have taken “double the odds” on Hawkspur at Ladbrokes. He presents good value at $10 I gotta say! Having savers elsewhere on others I mentioned previously.

    Hope you all survive proceedings, gonna be a loooong day!

  33. Hawky has tipped Melaleuca in the third – in a few minutes.

    I am going to play with Royal Descent.

    If there are eight lanes across the track I’m looking for the white and the blue lanes. Just a hunch. Who gets the split and takes one of those lanes?

  34. BTW, enjoying editing the finals matches for The Footy Almanac, with Bruce in the background. Beautiful vitriol from Tony Robb occupying my mind right now. About to tackle more Hawthorn love in the prelims.

  35. General Truce a rough chance to sneak under the fanning runners and storm home.

  36. Peter Flynn says

    I’ve received a duplicate comment message.

    I’ll change it.



  37. money for the 9 in the CCup

  38. Crio,

    If you weren’t in the first four on the turn today, goodnight nurse. What a Pox race meeting, Only thing lacking was the sulkys. Nearly every race was tedious to watch.

  39. Boom Boom…..Qld and NSW too good

  40. Elvis, I hardly see a race when I work……and there were plenty of magnificent distractions on the lawn! I’ll be happy not to hear another Irish accent for a while but, sadly, they invade Flemington.
    I kept hearing inane Sportingbet propaganda over the PR all day – the free to air stuff must be nauseating.
    some casual obs…
    Nick Hall is riding in peak form.
    Qld and NSW form has Vic covered
    Horses will have jarred badly
    Caulfield is a bookies’ graveyard

  41. cowshedend says

    Officially cast! The northern states own us. Please tell me though WTF was ring a ding doing out the back on Hawkspur ?
    Bitter Moi? Perish the thought!
    Boban will go around 4/6 on in the George Adams,too smart me, let him go round at the Heath at 4s

  42. At least they notified of riding intention. Amazingly, the money went on!!
    Boban is a gun.
    Most of the rest of the form has an asterisk.

  43. David Downer says

    Survived the Heath with a bit in the pocket (and about time too!).

    Roughie Le Mans running a place,
    Polanski very good.

    Made the slightest of profits on the Cup with a saver on Fawkner. Perhaps should have taken the forum’s advice and not had a bet at all! But J.Cassidy, please. Miracle rails run rubbish on the race favourite.

    Sorry I didn’t get out to the lawn Crio. Was hard to pull away from your old stomping ground in the owners lounge of the old bookies area. Really is a nice escape from all the madness, plenty of room to breathe.

    But it didn’t seem an enormous Cup crowd yesterday, so all things being equal, was a pleasant day and a well-behaved crowd.

    Let us close out with this…

  44. Peter Flynn says

    Flippin heck Jet Away has an apt name.

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