Crio’s Racing: Aurie’s Star Handicap

The Aurie’s Star Handicap is on at Flemington this Saturday. Actually, it is not that important an event – Budge, who goes back a bit further than me, reckons it was formerly run mid week – but it has the potential to create a groundswell of interest and notice that the “good ‘uns” are not far away. I remember it as a race in which some Cup hopefuls would make a tentative return. A dogged 3rd or 4th would enable bookies to begin their annual hype for pre-post feature markets, with early noms for the Cups coinciding. It can also be a launching pad for some of the good sprinters and often a “tester” as to how they handle the “straight six”. These days it is a $150,000 Group 3 so, not surprisingly, there are some good entries and good angles for some media. Speedsters, though, will dominate the market, with Miss Gai Flyer likely to be supported to burn off early fav Perturbo. There has to be a big watch on State Grade, backed for plenty when stepping way up in class but racing well last start. Last year’s winners of the AAMI Vase (Rekindled Interest), BMW (Cedarberg) and Autumn Classic (Folding Gear) will be scrutinised on replays, as will the Australian debuts of Lloyd Williams’ project imports Midas Touch,At First Sight and Green Moon and the resuming hopeful Alandi. An interesting race, but go thin as the 2nd Quaddy leg with 5 and 9.

Part of the interest in this week’s Flemington programme surrounds the 3 heats of the Asian Young Guns Challenge but, whilst it is a great chance to see future Internationals stars show their wares, punters are generally reluctant to invest on unseen hoops. Still, apparently it is not all totally about the punt!

The apprentices have been entrusted with the first Quaddy Leg, a dash down the 1000m straight. It is not a high calibre race. I anticipate good money for Prussian Storm at double figure odds. First up, in a new (firing) stable, blinkers on and D. Lane up are all ticks. Back to 1000m is the only query. Great value. 6, 8, 10 are others to consider.

In the 3rd Leg of the Quaddy, Race 7, I prefer 3 and 4 but, logically, there must be a big watch on Moody’s two runners, numbers 1 and 10. I’m also wary of Danny O’Brien’s Savaging (6) as, on a day when apprentices get more opportunities than normally, I’d expect Bossy to make his mark where possible.

G. Boss could be a key player in the last in which he rides Little Tycoon for Robert Smerdon. It and Lady Mahler are the logical inclusions for the closing leg.

Quaddy summary…6,8,10,11 / 5,9 / 3,4 / 2,7 (and check early bird flucs)

Elsewhere around Australia are indications of the new season taking shape with other Gr3s at Randwick (Missile Stakes) and Morphettville (Spring Stakes).

Perhaps some time in the next few weeks we can have a look at some of the feature noms. SYT for the Cox Plate (most unlikely arrival yet installed as favourite!) and “The Queen’s Horse” as a Flemington nom are good publicity…sometimes the value lies though in a maiden paid up for the Guineas!!

Best to avoid the pre-post specs for the time being and concentrate on what is on offer tomorrow…and buy a new black book for the Carnival.

Good luck!



  1. Skip of Skipton says

    Crio, the Aurie’s Star was held on a Wednesday, not sure exactly when (10 years ago?), but recently shifted to a Saturday and given Black Type status. It was always considered the ‘first day of spring’ and usually had a strong field for a mid-weeker.

    Named after Aurie’s Star who held the Straight Six record at HQ from the early ’40s until Final Card tied it in the ’91 Derby Day sprint (I was there). Cop that Mary T. Meagher! Since lowered a few times by Brawny Spirit/Sequalo, Iglesia etc. among others.

    Midas Touch is an Irish Derby runner-up I’m told. Love Lloyd for being obsessed with the stayers. A very interesting race for sure.

  2. Thanks Skip…I had classes all day today so was pretty pressed for detail!
    Logically it is a skinny race for punters now and a binocular watch for later.
    Lloyd Williams has some interesting goers tomorrow and the rain outside won’t hurt. Some of these types do alright first up on a big track. London Stripe (R4, No11) may be that type…though there’s thought that Noble Park (13) might be a good thing in that race (especially with Knacker and Mr Griswold partner CD sunning in the tropics!).

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    Maybe the VRC could split the Aurie’s Star into two divisions from next year. One for the in form and race fit sprinters. One for the stayers resuming. Or maybe have the two split between running the inside rail and the outside rail.
    Looks like Lloyd’s romance with Zabeel is over and Galileo is the new flame. A good day for watching, not punting I’m tipping.

    P.S. I have the race book from the ’91 VRC Derby, and on the page for the Gadsden Rheem Stakes (G1)* Aurie’s Star is listed as the record holder of the Flemington 1200m at 1:07.8 set on 7/9/1940! The best metric time was Planet Ruler at 1:08.1 set in the same race the previous year.

    *This race is now a Group 2 and is/was called the Salinger?

  4. just looked at Randwick options. Not bad. The Missile is especially good. What is the recent chapter of the Here De Angels story? …trainer Ms. W. Roche / stewards reports from Grafton. My (flaky) sydney mail is bullish for Devised in R7.

  5. Include the bottom weight in Melbourne Quaddy first leg.

  6. Skip of Skipton says

    Here De Angels was first up since last September. New stable. New state. Looks like the old owners (Good clients of Freedman) dispersed with him while he was still worth a few quid. The close up 7th in the Ramornie at Grafton first up is nothing to be sneezed at after setting the pace. Was never quite a G1 sprinter (2nd in Oakleigh plate 18 months ago, mind you) but was a benchmark in lower Group standard.
    If conditions were in his favour I’d have no problem in tipping him to roll these, BUT

    *despite his record reading OK, 1200m is a query. 1000/1100M was his go.

    *non-performer on anything less than Good rated tracks.

  7. Skip,
    My first recollection of the Rheem/Gadsden was when it ws know as the Craven “A” Stakes. It would have been one of the earliest races named after a sponsor.

  8. Skip of Skipton says

    Budge, yes, consulting the said race book it states that the race was founded in 1960 and was known as the Craven A from then until 1979. From 1980-84 it was the Pure-Pak. Big names like Vain(by12 lengths), Dual Choice, Century and Maybe Mahal are on the honour roll. Manikato ran second as a 3yr old, and third as a 7yr old giving the winner 10kg.

Leave a Comment