Crio’s Racing: Bendigo’s Golden Mile

Successful trainers know how to “place” their horses. Those with real good ‘uns follow the Group circuit whereas others pick the eyes out of provincials and secondary meetings. It is fair to say that there are plenty of options – a three horse race at TAB/TVN venue Terang on Tuesday coincided with the release of next season’s calendar and an admission that there is a seasonal glut.

Melbourne ratifies the end of its “big” Saturdays by offering the Bendigo Jockey Club a chance to host Victoria’s premier meeting – with prizemoney approaching a million dollars. This has to be a continuing trend as country clubs can join with their communities to promote their region, their racing and benefit during what would otherwise be dull days in the metropolitan area.

The highlight of the Bendigo card is the Golden Mile (MR7, $150,000) though the richest prize is the VOBIS Goldrush, a 2yo incentive race (MR5). There are heaps of acceptors and lots of really good races to entice fans up the Calder for a weekend in a lovely town and a chance to enjoy a terrific racecourse. The Quaddy is characterized by big fields and bigger challenges.

MR6- (Gold Bracelet, 1400m, mares)

Good field. Secret Liaison (1), scratched from a City Group race for this, has been flying and must be put on top. Despite the gate and hoop, Valrouz (9) is way overs at 16/1.

MR7- (Golden Mile)

Wall Street (1) goes around again as one of the favs! Leave me out. However, I may have to send good money after bad one absolutely (I promise) final time with New York (12) at the 16/1.

MR8- (Bendigo Guineas, 1400m, 3yo)

Interesting race. Leaning towards toppy, Pronto Pronto, upon noms but it is now from gate 20 (and thus 25/1) and there are stacks of chances, several of which (12,6,4) have drawn poorly. General Peekay (5), with S.Arnold up, might get the cosy run and be good value at about 12/1.

MR9- (1300m, Hcp)

Close your eyes and touch your toes. 18, 14, 7…trust the better jockeys.


If a 90 minute hike to the goldfields is not your fancy there’s another racing option nearer Melbourne to consider on Saturday. The Geelong St Patrick’s Racing Club offers Irish revellers a chance to kick start St Paddy’s celebrations a day early at their annual and well supported Charity Day. Details on line.

Woolamai provide the picnic venue for those southeast of the CBD, whilst the eastern fringes must wait for Sunday’s big Yarra Valley Cup Day – a welcome return to the timetable for the old Yarra Glen.

Friday night it is the Alister Clark Stakes meeting, the second last Valley Night. The feature has had a chequered recent history, fluctuating between the mile and 2040m and not really producing the winners of its heyday – though last year the runner-up, Ethiopia, hinted at future AJC Derby glory. The 2013 edition (Friday night, MR6, 2040m, G2, 3yo) contains a small field.2,3,1. There are some good support races, held every 30 minutes and the weather forecast is promising. The next week will be mayhem so if you’ve been intending a night under the lights this is a best option. First of 8 at 6.45pm.

If you are, however, looking for the best horses and races, then (BC night aside) turn your formguide to Sydney for the next month or so. Warwick Farm hosts the ATC’s big meeting on Saturday, a quality card highlighted by the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (SR6, 1600m, 3yo) and the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (SR7, 1000, WFA).

Support races include the G3s for 2yo Slipper aspirants – the Skyline (SR2, 1200m, 2yoc+g) for the boys and the Sweet Embrace (SR4, 1200m) for fillies, in which Clarrie Connors presents his highly rated Assail (1).

The Randwick Guineas (SR6, 1600m, G1, 3yo) reinforces what a great crop we have this year…. no All Too Hard or Pierro here, nor the emergent Australian Cup winner Super Cool – yet still there is an outstanding field and the prospect of a mouth watering clash between Proisir (3) and Rebel Dane (7).

The Challenge Stakes (SR7, 1000m, G2, WFA) touts the return of Hay List – there remain doubts (Wednesday evening) about him starting. Let’s hope that if he does line up then he is able to reproduce his best and worthy to inherit the mantle of Australia’s best sprinter when SHE steps down.

Be sure to watch the Sydney races as winners galore will flow from this meeting through the Carnival ahead.


Get to the races before footy floods the market. There is, as I’ve alluded, no shortage of fascinating options. Looking at the national schedule I could not help but be distracted by the listing of a meeting in Texas on Saturday. This southern Qld town – Peter Hitchener’s birthplace!! – has been granted an extra meeting in a noble incentive by the Government…–new-country-race-date-for-2013  It’s on the Darling Downs – Gunsynd’s territory(??). Classic country stuff. 5 races but plenty of noms. I must admit that the eye was drawn to trainer Colin Hayes who has 4 runners engaged!!

Funnily enough he faces the might of the Smith challengers – no TJ here, but 5 trainers bearing the surname of one of CS’s most prominent rivals!

Other than their famous names, what these trainers share with the Hall of Famers is the quest for the right race and conditions to get a winning prize. It’s a cut throat game. Saturday’s  Bendigo Goldrush and a Texas Hold-em have the same time-honoured motive of trying to beat someone else to earn a quid.

Good luck if you are playing this weekend.


  1. Skip of Skipton says

    The two year old race in Bendigo is interesting. Quite a few well bred types making their debut. David Moodie has a couple in which I like to keep an eye on. One is a half-sister to Star of Giselle.

    Ms. Funovits who beat Thermal Current at their debut is in also.

  2. Think I’ll give Angola one last try also – Bendigo R2 No4.

  3. Having followed my hunch and backed the winner of the Adelaide Cup I still approach this week with caution not really confident in anything really
    Maybe after the gurus tips and “logic” I may change
    Of note tonight is the local Dennis OLeary taking Outlandish Lad to MV – his strike rate is pretty good
    Jock did you brave the heat and go to the Cup?

  4. Oges you genius…first comment on last week’s post you tipped Norsqui!
    You are certainly correct to be wary of O’Leary’s horses, especially for these MV night raids.

  5. David Downer says

    Well done Oges, bloody Norsqui, one of Tassie’s finest.

    He is absolutely one of mine (backed him at $20+ odds previously – 2800m race on Cup day and Mornington Cup), but after melting at the Echuca Cup the day prior, I tuned out and missed Adelaide Cup day altogether. Didn’t realise he was even in the field! Out of phone range in a remote farmhouse outside of Gunbower. Civilisation, let alone racing, was out of sight, out of mind.

    I was most distressed listening to 927 on the drive home Tuesday and hearing Norsqui had won it at $24. Almost put the car through the Heathcote bakery.

    Tempting to head up the Calder tomorrow…

  6. DD- all I can say is you need a medal heading to the River for the races on a “stinker”
    Got to say it was a fluke boys as I have been battered in previous cups
    Would love to join you at Bendigo now bowls has finished -its a great course and a good program but distance…
    Got one for tomorrow after your Newmarket success DD ?I Still not confident

  7. DD,
    Thought you might be on night shift following the Cheltenham Festival?
    My memories of the big jumps event is of Irishmen passed out in the sludge from midday.
    Always a good telecast, though too late for me!

  8. David Downer says


    Will certainly be endeavouring to post selection musings BEFORE the race this week!

    In the meantime, Hitler also laments missing out on Shamexpress here…

  9. David Downer says

    Cheltenham too late for me also currently, but I did happen upon this 30min doco on Sky last night, “For The Love”, featuring the story of amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen. He rode Long Run to success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2011 (beating Kauto Star), and the story follows him preparing to defend it in 2012.

    Superb. Really well done. Can view it here….

  10. Any thoughts re the Valley tonight? Not bad fields, though the Alister Clark looks a bit thin – best ride wins. Interesting to see Lady Melksham back in the dash.

  11. Thanks for keeping me entertained today DD with the videos
    Crio good to see Yendall back riding though his mounts at Bendigo dont look too flash (neither do Durics either)

  12. Skip of Skipton says

    Norsqui has had four starts at 3200m and never been unplaced. I hope he runs in the Melbourne Cup. We need a Battler to follow.

    Sheer Talent in the Alister Clark.

  13. The new Skybeau – whose trainer, Len Smith, passed away recently.

  14. David Downer says

    The Alister Clarke is short on numbers, but still an intriguing contest with the top 4 having solid claims.

    Have always been a Hvasstan man since early days, can’t possibly get off now.

    Maybe Utah Saints first up as a $30 roughie in the 1200m race afterwards

  15. Crio,

    I do like a few at the Valley tonight.
    Race 4 Spitfire Lady I think Sumarkaray is in trouble from barrier 1
    Race 5 Dream Face to beat Lady Melksham who hasn’t won below 1200 meteres
    Race 6 Phillipi no room on the fence in the Aust Guineas but an even race
    Race 7 a roughie-Blackie. has run 2nd to Woorim ( beating home King Carnage!) fresh and now with McLean on the beach ( must have some issues) and plenty of gear changes inc Blinkers off.

    Oges, Didn’t make it to Morphettville but did find the Warradale hotel and was betting madly on the mobile between pints. I did have a good day with a few winners but the cup was a disappointment, the trifectas would have been great if the winner had been 2nd or third…story of my life… conbobulations are not as effective as Elvis’.

  16. Crio, Jock,

    Have something on Proverb tomorrow in the Guineas. Short straight at The Farm will be against him and he will arrive late, but at $34, I’ll take the odds he can lob in time.

  17. Elvis,

    I had something on Proverb first up and thus agree.
    It’s obviously not set weights anymore everything else on 56.5 and Proverb on 70.
    I don’t mind them as get back & run on at Warwick Farm, plenty win that way there.

  18. What about the sprint. What would be the market if HayList was out?
    Like most racegoers I love the big fella and want him to win but there must be some risk against a pretty good line-up.

  19. Crio,

    Can’t help you mate, best horse wins.

  20. I’ll be happy to see that.
    Watching the pouring rain at Cheltenham on TV now.
    Good viewing but could not punt on that.

  21. David Downer says

    Further to the Hay List musings above, after all he’s done, I just don’t see why they’d bother taking a risk with him, or that they’d be just hitting and hoping here. I happily just took the $3 on Betfair.

    Will be looking on in the Guineas, but hoping Ferlax runs well to hold up the Victorian form!

    At Bendigo I like Livigno in Race 4. Locally trained in the Fliedner stable (who I’ve been prone to follow in the past), you think he’d be set for this specifically on their big day. Drawn to get a beautiful run from barrier 5, will sit handy. Has copped plenty of interference in previous runs, looking for some better luck today. You should land around $6 for him.

    Such an open day up there with the big fields. Might be a greater proportion of “F’s” in the Quaddie than your typical raceday.

    Good luck punners

  22. DD, you couln’t possibly take a Bendigo Quaddy. Might as well take a quick pick.
    I might box up some quinellas and trifectas…. listening in on the radio at Kew Cricket Ground. Nearest pubtab to watch the Randwick running double??- The Harp?

  23. You could have dehydration setting in unless you get to the pub you know
    Jock had the right idea last Monday in the heat going to the Warradale

  24. Crio,

    Hay list must be a huge risk, will have to work a lot if he wants the lead, first up after a year and this is not it’s target. I’d be trying to lay it at 6/4 rather than back it.. I’ll have something on Spirit of Boom hopefully to run over the top at the end.
    Bendigo is very hard but Angola looks a spec in the 2nd.
    I thought Formidable looked a great chance in the 3rd…didn’t come up last prep but previous form is around Samaready. In the mile I’ll look for something to beat Wall Street, 2 interesting imports and Hayes one beat the Melb Cup runner up a few starts back but of those we know I keep coming back to Folding Gear and Over Quota ( who owes me big time). The Bendigo Guineas is also hard but Force Command’s form is so much better than all the rest and maybe we get very good odds due to the wide barrier. If Sysmo is near it’s best it will win the last..gelded, something that unkind people have suggested for me.

  25. Oges, please don’t credit Jock with the “idea” of going to the pub – “habit” would be a better definition!
    Jock, I have too much regard for Hay List to lay him but can’t back him today despite his quality. He is a huge animal, injury prone and first up in a year. His target is the t.J.Smith and then USA.

  26. It’s a Dundeel has again emphasised the depth and class of the 3yo colts. His last 100 metres last start was extraordinary but I did not expect him to be close enough over the Farm’s mile… maybe the Rosehill Guineas and certainly the Derby. Again the MV AAMI Vase form is standing up from Spring – and for once the VRC Derby looks good in review – Hvaastan, for example, was impressive in the G2 Alister Clark on Friday.

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