Crio’s Racing: Caulfield Guineas Day

You’re almost guaranteed at least one memorable race if you get to the Heath this week. It is not always the Guineas, but with the Toorak and the Stakes amongst the strong support card, inevitably a result finds its way in to your memory bank for dotage reminiscences.
The Guineas itself – tagged the “Stallion maker” – has occasionally waned in quality but the best editions are blue chip. Last year’s All Too Hard/Pierro stoush is up there with the classic Redoute’s Choice/Testa Rossa epic of 1999 (with Commands finishing 3rd that day!).
As is now the custom, MRC have elected to place the feature as last of ten …15 minutes before TV News. It is an interesting race. Is Long John (4) the right fav? Prince Harada (7) is the boom and must overcome a tricky gate, but Vasil’s been convinced about this Colt since he was broken in. El Roca should set a genuine bat and the “Big Bang” will storm home but I am sticking with The Prince.
The injury to It’s a Dundeel is a setback for him, for the Spring and, more immediately, to the Club’s WFA middle distance feature (Caulfield Stakes, now MR6, 2000m, G1) which promised to be the “main event”. Now, in a depleted field, Atlantic Jewel has scared off most opponents and will be long odds on to lead in a trifecta which will also comprise Super Cool and Foreteller.
The better races are staggered over many hours and one of the most interesting is the Blue Sapphire (MR3, 3yo, set weights, 1200m) which is unfortunately not a Quaddy leg – they love big lottery fields whereas I reckon this is a ripper betting race with the top 7 all having claims. At the moment I’m sticking with Villa Verde (7)….big day in store for “MrOdd”.
The Toorak Handicap (MR9, 1600m, G1) doesn’t look as strong as in many years but, like all top Handicaps, it throws up many conundrums. Solzhenitsyn (2) looks to be hitting his straps and Nash has a point to prove.
One observation from the entries appears to be the lack of real good sprinters on show…The Schillaci (MR4, WFA, 1000m, G2) is not worth its rating and the Sprint Final (MR5, 1200m) is wide open but not eye catching.
The Quaddy starts with the Weekend Hussler (MR7, 1400m) in which Paul Beshara, of Happy Trails infamy, has produced Richie’s Vibe – bookies are wary this time. They put it up shortish yet punters stepped in (13/4 in to 9/4)! Leave me out. If it keeps raining I’ll have the toppy at 20/1 thanks.
The Herbert Power is the other leg not yet mentioned (MR8, 2400m, G2, Quality). I reckon this used to be the last race on the Wednesday and it generated an automatic owner’s pass to the Caulfield Cup – the horse, alas, was usually too knackered to have any hope! It’s nowadays a genuine opportunity for ambitious stayers – in 2009 Alcopop defeated Shocking) – and has attracted runners who are looking to be in contention for serious prizes. Oasis Bloom fits the bill – he must show something here (or Budge’s speculators are in tatters!).
Get out to Caulfield if you can. Great horses and usually a crowd that really appreciates the racing – before the schmuck moves in next week.
Elsewhere there’s the Manangatang Cup in the Mallee on Saturday and, of course, the Thousand Guineas (Guelph benefit) back at Caulfield on Wednesday; as well as a myriad of other racing highlights. I’m not working Friday night – saving my energy for Sunday’s terrific Cranny Cup – so will hope to get a Winning Post sometime Friday afternoon and engage in some dissection and banter.
Thanks to all contributors – the site had a spam invasion last week which meant comments were lost. But past losses are never likely to discourage true punters! Weigh in again.
And, if you are having a bet…….Good luck!


  1. Crio, I reckon the Coongy Handicap over a mile and a quarter was the Wednesday race that got you the late entry for the aforementioned knackered animal. The Herbert Power was always a mile and a half handicap the Saturday before the Caulfield Cup.
    20 years ago the Guineas day was always regarded as the crème de la crème of Group 1 competition. It had the breadth of races across age groups and distances that Cup days and Cox Plate day lack. I can remember Luskin Star in ’77 and Manikato in ’78 both braining them in the Guineas, with me thinking they were too brilliant to run a strong mile.
    Turnbull day and Derby day seem to be the premier second tier days now.
    Lucky last week’s tips got lost in cyberspace. I can only remember every second comment recommending Lidari in the Epsom (though Crio did find Happy Trails at the overs).
    Best of luck to all on the weekend.

  2. As usual, I reckon you are right about the Coongy….
    There are lessons here to be learned for having no time, no formguide and no prep for an article….
    1) you will make errors
    2) it doesn’t matter as this is a forum for further discussion.

    ..and what about Manikato v Karaman!!
    Thanks Peter, I’m looking fwd to the meeting and, especially, to studying and discussing the form.
    btw – Cranbourne is a cracking meeting Sunday.

  3. Crio,

    Great effort again I remember backing just a dancer to win the Herbert Power in the last on guineas day some years ago a week before the cup and your last chance to qualify I recall.

    I think a few at odds which are worth putting in on Saturday are The Huntress early then Verdant, Speediness, Charlie Boy late in the day. Shamal Wind may be the one who is short I would like to be on.

    Happy Punting.

  4. Great write up again Crio but you face some serious competition from DD after his write up of the Gunbower meet last week posted on Sunday ( a most entertaining piece DD)
    Good to see you on the forum Peter_B ( there are some things us “Grey -hairs” remember well
    News from the beach was good on Wednesday with two good winners at Balak (alas todays is thin on the ground)
    Budreigez will need luck and may need another run to top him off in Melbourne while Olearys Russian Rocker has strated to develop a pulling habit and if he can settle will be a good e/w in Adelaide
    As usual bowls has got in the way so it will be catching up with videos of the races later in the weekend (maybe it wont next year?)

  5. cowshedend says

    For supposedly not much research, fair wrap up Crio.
    Been an interesting week in racing with two of racings moral compasses joining forces in Waterhouse and Oliver on Fiorente, at Nash’s expense(still makes me wretch to think Oliver is back riding), but in racing your wallet has no morals,so you can’t put a line through everything he’s on.
    Also great to see they tipped Haylist out for good, a champ in his own rite best remembered for all but his last prep.
    I love the different scenarios the gates for Long John and Dissedent tosses up, Love Long John but reckon he will get the big shuffle back from 1 and not get a run,Dissedent must go forward and hopefully not get caught 3 deep, if he gets in, surely the George Main form is strong enough to win a reasonably weak guineas.
    Kuroshio looks a moral in the 4th.
    Villa Verde was slaughtered last start, after being 4 deep from the gate still managed to hit the lead 250 out before being run down.
    Can’t believe i’m saying this out loud but like a thing in the 5th (an 8yo mare who’s won 6 from 51)Sensational Report at $61,EZ horse Formidable is going around $10 in the same race, and Sensational Report was a much better run than it last start.

  6. Skip of Skipton says

    Peter B is correct. The Coongy used to be raced on Thousand Guineas day and was a last minute qualifier for the Caulfield Cup. Now it is the David Jones Cup (or some such) and raced on Cup day as a consolation. The Herbert Power is and was the race it is on Guneas Day, despite being re-branded the Quick-Eze for a few years there.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    Rogan Josh would be the last horse to do the Herbert Power-Melbourne Cup double (with a good McKinnon run in between). Alcopop in ’09, when favourite or close to, was attempting the double with no run in between.

  8. Thanks Skip…one goat!!
    Liking a few tmrw. Villa Verde all up Mouro

  9. Overlooked a G1 day in Sydney….interesting clash of Spring Champion Stakes on Caulfield Guineas day.
    Not a vintage edition but a good meeting nonetheless

  10. Skip of Skipton says

    Not a goat at all, crio. It would be easy to confuse.

    The Caulfield Stakes seems to suffer from the Turnbull being Group 1 now. Green Moon is out tomorrow, so it is a five horse event. Maybe if Spacecraft keeps AJ honest we might see what Massiyn is made of. There’s also the good beasts Foreteller and Super Cool. Fark knows.

    I remember the ’93 edition when Naturalism split through the middle of The Phantom and his young brother The Phantom Chance. That was classic racing.

  11. The incomparable Elvis has contacted me about a runner in Sydney….
    SR2 No5 Kernahan – by Charge Forward out of Carlton Spirit (itself a half sister to Carlton Ace)! Colours would suffice for a Glenelg alternate strip.

  12. For a Caulfield Guineas card a bit disappointing for mine. We have been spoilt in recent years with Black Caviar, Pierro, All Too Hard so we now look to AJ to take up the banner and a very interesting even field in the Guineas.

    Like where Ripsnorter is coming from with his selections. The Huntress can help build an early bank.

    I know Crio is a big wrap for R3 but I can’t get enthused. Interesting but a look on. Really think Miracles of Life is in the wrong race. If she runs in the 1000m Schillaci she could just run and go. Would win that with the minimum weight. Seems like she needs to be held up to get the 1200m and barrier/jock combination a worry.

    R4 I like Broken each way. His form in this type of race is great and he will sit off the pace and close hard. Unpretentious the danger.

    Willing to risk Shamal Wind at the weights in R5 but can’t be so authoritive on who will win. Either Koonoomoo or Flash Of Doubt each way.

    Do like Speediness in the Toorak. Only dangers are Mouro or Solzhenitsyn. Note Yosei without M Payne- could it for once not be noted as “had no luck”?

    In the Guineas, I quite like Charlie Boy. Drawn well and gets weight advantage on a few of these. Will be in the firing line for a long while. Long John looks a “bombproof” type but barrier 1 worries me a bit. Still think Dissident is a huge chance – barrier will suit him. If he gets a decent cart into the race I suspect he will prove too good.

  13. Can someone explain to me why Simenon is $5.50? Is this 4400m or 2400m? If it wins it will save me a fortune cos I won’t bet on another staying race for the spring!

  14. Budge,

    Transporter in the Toorak. To supplement a “Gut Feel”, ran 2nd to Solzerthing at equal 59kgs. beaten a long neck after a half length third to Lights Of Heaven and Foreteller in the Hollindale in May. Will race on the pace. Has won over 1800m and is a great each way bet.

    I also like You’re So Good in the 5th.

    The Guineas gets harder the more you look at it. I will probably plonk for El Roca or Dissident who has drawn wide, has a clown on board, but can win at better odds than he should be because of those two imposts.

  15. It is not a vintage Guineas card but this day has a good habit of producing something memorable.
    Agree on the Toorak tri + maybe December Draw as the bolter

  16. cowshedend says

    Budge not only is Simenon a ridiculous price,Mullins was on UZ Monday morning about 5.45 and said he’s only in it for a gallop before the cup, as it was an easier option than going to C/cup the following week

  17. I have a fist full of dollars after a 3 week lay off and itching for a bet.

    I’ll be on Pago Rock in the Schillachi with the freshen-up, Kuroshio may have trouble finding the front and there is a real lack of class so I think he can run over them.
    Going for some value in the features, Lord of Brazil on the Toorak, would have liked December Draw if it got any sort of draw and like Weinholt in the guineas and will look at trifectas with Long John-I think he can hold up a position and if he does he will probably win.
    Gotta agree with the Budge re Herbert Power and Simenon and think Tanby is the go, form not the best at Caulfield but is a very good mile and half horse and the field lacks any quality below the top 3.
    Lay of the day must be Richies Vibe unless they’ve transplanted a V8 engine in it, didn’t see its last run but previous form is only against ordinary cattle and I can see Bello over running them at the end if the pace is on.

  18. Welcome back Hollywood.
    The SA trots juice has been influential in your absence….

  19. David Downer says

    Will join in the chorus on Dissident. So much ability. Golden Rose run wide the entire trip was massive and honest agains the older horses in the George Main. The barrier here is the worry, but I’d probably prefer to be out there than hemmed in barrier 1 like Long John. Eclair Big Bang seems a bit of a forgotten horse, he is one drawn to get a cushy run and has the gate-speed to make the most of it. The Kiwi El Roca still a bit of an unknown, won’t go for home from the 400 this time. Prince Harada just has that feel for a Guineas horse too

    Having potted Long John for the inside draw, conversely I don’t mind Linton in the Toorak to sneak along the fence and pinch it as he did the Stradbroke.

    Our favoured girl Oasis Bloom in the H.Power. Is today the day? And come Saturday Sea Moon would have had 29% of his career starts in Melbourne! All within the last month. Unclear if the Australian frequency of running will be a help or hindrance compared to his UK career with everything spaced at least a month. Simenon got me out of trouble in the get-out on Black Caviar day at Royal Ascot over the 4350m!

    The Caulfield Stakes is always the most Sydney-like of Victorian WFA races. Small field, dawdling pace, generally just one or two chances.

    Not sure if I’m heading out tomorrow, but will be the first Guineas day this century I would have missed!

    Happy punting…

  20. Oasis Bloom must show something tomorrow and get on Star Rolling in the Cranbourne Cup after his arrogant win in SA last start. I see Morgan has ditched plans for the CC to aim him for the Mackinnon at WFA !! Must be a moral Sunday.

  21. If Star Rolling handles the quirky Cranny course it wins.
    I am there for those who want top fluc!

  22. Skip of Skipton says

    Great story Linton, I reckon.
    Kav said he was gonna keep December Draw to mile races.
    Don’t look at a form guide, it might put you off Budregiuez!

    Always a great betting and trifecta race, the Toorak Handicap.

  23. Budge,

    Bloke from Wellington (SA) rang last week and told me”To keep on backing Star Rolling” Hope I’ve got a quid come Sunday..

  24. December Draw has a horror gate.

  25. Elvis, don’t back Luckygray or Yosei and you will have a quid for Sunday

  26. Jock,

    Thanks for the advice mate. I wouldn’t back Yosei with yours, but that still leaves 638 that I can.

  27. Peter Fuller says

    Kernahan would be over the line with the No. 4 saddlecloth, not so sure as No. 5.

  28. Blackie.
    Eclair Big Bang.
    Can Miracles of Life return to the success of days gone?

  29. I should mention that Oct 12 is the 11th anniversary of You’re Joking’s win in the Horsham Cup. Classic stalking ride from H. McKechnie.

    I think D.I. Dodson is going for some miraculous result in this year’s Horsham Cup next week.

  30. Melb Quaddy sorted…6,1,10,7
    On my way now down Dandy Rd. Good luck to all.

  31. Cowshedend says

    Great win Long John, Dissident slapped around like a pinball on the turn.
    Huge run Simenon
    The German horse in Sydney Salon Soldier was a blinder

  32. Cast!

    Liked the prospect of Solzhenitsyn/Dissident but I guess it had to be a troubled tale!

    I’ll fight back at Cranny tmrw.

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