Crio’s Racing : Australia Day Weekend

With races throughout the year there’s not technically any pre-season, but a sense of anticipation and speculation, akin to the more familiar AFL build up, colours racing media at the moment.

The critical focus is on trials at Randwick or Rosehill and preparation for this Autumn’s riches. We are heading in to relatively uncharted waters and the impact of The Championships will have to be closely analysed, both from its impact at the “big end of town” – and Sydney’s generating far more interest and publicity than is the custom – and also the knock-on effect to minor clubs and programming.

Some early gremlins became apparent this week. Like others in Melbourne I noticed the farcical (was it 3?) initial noms for the G2 Australia Stakes which grew to 7 and finally, after much urging, 15. The standard, it is not unfair to say, is not worthy of the status. Moment of Change is ranked panels over the rest and even his regular hoop, former champion Luke Nolen, is not available to ride (reputedly he has come back from a break at 60kgs!). 10 will now line up for the rich WFA 1200m as Valley Nights (MV R6 9:15pm Friday) returns and, though the fav has drawn on the Freeway, it is going to be $1.60 and have 3×100/1 opponents. Unfortunately for the “bigger picture”, 2 of the place chances, Richie’s Vibe and Zedi Knight, answered the frantic calls from MVRC and scratched at Launceston. Consequently, the well promoted night card in Tassie lost the 2 best horses from its feature $100,000 1200m Sprint on Wednesday night, running just 5 starters.

I can’t blame connections chasing coin, but this may be a precursor to a need for serious National vision regarding programming. The Australia Stakes is, itself, substandard. Perhaps the upgrading of the Lightning (Black Caviar) means more trainers are targeting that fresh and then the Newmarket with an eye on the TJ during Randwick’s feast.

For the moment it is fabulous to see Boban, Zoustar et al, like their AFL/NRL kin, “training the house down, back bigger and fitter than ever and raring to go”.

But this Autumn will undoubtedly unfold differently to those previously.

What won’t alter much will be my requirement to be on-course at the Melbourne metrop meeting each Saturday, though I’ll need to be ready for some later dinners. A trial “initiative” is for one Vic meeting each Saturday to finish late – R8 at Caulfield is 6.40pm – lucky we don’t dash straight to the trots any more! There’s the usual palaver of working parties and getting people on course – I can see the Clubs grumpy at their cosy lunch bookings being dented and the pubs delighted at clients staying on until the evening sports hit the screens. Result? = TAB turnover increase. Goal achieved.

For those able to afford a Caulfield Quaddy, here are some pointers:-

MR5- 1, carrying the grandstand, is the threat to 5 and 6.

MR6- 3, 4 and 5

MR7- 8, 10. 13 the roughie?

MR8- 6, 10

There’s a feast of meetings for those wanting to get out of town and enjoy the likely good weather…in Victoria we have Great Western and Yea on Saturday, Balnarring, Hanging Rock and Yarra Valley all an hour from town and all recommended for Australia Day and then Mornington as a metro venue on Monday!

Good luck!


  1. Rumbelow’s crays from Victor Harbour were always the best late night dinner after the Adelaide races in the 70’s and 80’s. I’d buy a couple at 3pm if I was ahead. They would hold it for you until after the last. I could go home looking like a winner even if I was skint. Such ruses can only last for so long.
    I hope Almanackers have a good day on Saturday and can pick up a few crays on the way home from their winnings.

  2. Off to the city for the weekend staying in your old stamping ground the Bay
    Forget Saturday for tips but if you have enough left there is racing at the Bridge Sunday
    all very good chances
    KI starts its annual Race Carnival tomorrow with the 2 day Cup Carnival in February

  3. Off to Yea on Saturday for the Cup. They’ves been racing Yea since back in 1881, and at the curent track since 1904. A bit of history there. Happy punting .


  4. cowshedend says

    Crio, rail out 6 gives 9 just too hard a chance in the 1st leg runs on pace, good gate andwilliams up.
    1,3,4 2nd leg
    Like 10 Nesbo in 3rd leg with superior city form for Kent/Williams, Weir has a thing that won 2 starts back at Burembeet for Christs sake!
    Will stick solid with my man Oisin Murphy in the last leg, he is a lovely distance hoop, who rode Outback Joe 3 deep from the gate at HQ but with lovely rhythm.
    Oges, will have a good look on Sunday, you’ve been in great nick!

  5. Warming to Prizum in the last

  6. cowshedend says

    Looked at it, Murphy rode Prizum last start, and imagine he would have got choice of rides here.
    Although Kate Mallyon is flying.

  7. What about D. Oliver v L. Meech last night?
    In her defense, the horse is a specialist runner-up.

  8. cowshedend says

    It’s that time of the year when dead set milk drinkers are sent out ridiculous prices, Iconic, 4/7….please!!!! Ridden by Oliver like he was on Bernborough.

  9. cowshedend says

    Love C Williams , but why when you grab hold from the gate would you cross to the fence, instead of sitting in the running line.Result, ride for luck, get held up 3 times and sprint home 4th on Nesbo…..attention..this is my wallet speaking!

  10. A couple of other notable rides.
    – Olly in the first. Went for a bath in betting then missed the kick. Crook.
    – J.Duffy trying to be too cute in R7. Heisman was bolting and is still in a pocket.

  11. Crio and Cowshedend your end of day comments are notable and spot on. Keep some cash for the Bridge and have a squiz at Dennis OLearys too

  12. Thx Oges. I will parlay the 3 you highlighted.

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