Crio’s Racing: Christmas ‘Stocking Fillers”

A long, long time ago, our family sat around the kitchen table on Christmas Eve. 5DN (Adelaide’s racing station) was doubtless droning in the background. Mum and Dad were quietly and totally tuckered and my siblings and I restless, when Mum suddenly soliloquized; “Of all nights, how could people even consider running, let alone going to, a dog meeting!? Surely it’s not too much to give up?”. A religious lot, we all probably just nodded accordance as the phone rang. Untimely indeed. Our mate Slug was inquiring if Budge and I wanted to/were allowed to come to Angle Park dishlickers! We scratched – Slug, as it happens, went along and got busted for underage betting. “Happy Christmas”, he purports to have said sarcastically to the arresting officer.

I didn’t quite understand the Xmas Eve boycott, as from Boxing Day onwards our household was geared for racing. Always gallops on Boxing, Proclamation and New Year’s Day plus intermediate Saturdays as well as the regular Gawler and Globe Derby trots supplemented by good little holiday earners at Victor Harbor and Strathalbyn. But despite shops being closed and the world in the doldrums until Midnight Mass/ Santa, gambling seemed to be required to stay under wraps until formalities were completed.

Although we now live in a totally different society, more secular and with gambling embedded, I suspect “Mum’s edict” to rule for many again this week as only a hardy or desperate few head out to Sandown.

We’ll be out there looking to spread Xmas cheer – at a price! – but expecting little patronage. For those with the time and opportunity, here’s a quick Quaddie rundown.

SANDOWN 24/12- If you are collapsed in front of a telly, R4 is, in fact, not too bad with a few horses to keep an eye on for the blackbook. Quaddy starts R5 with a 1000m scamper and I’m suggesting value here…include 2,3,4,8. R6 looks the field leg. Certainly 3,9,10,12. Close with 1,2,4 and then 3 and 5.


By our late teenage years, the betting blockade broke mid afternoon of the 25th. Dad would go to his office after lunch and some mates would come over to talk garbage and have some beers. Dramatically, Dad would emerge some time later to declare his specials and field an avalanche of suggestions from our keen punting buddies.

Nowadays Boxing Day is not just a big day for racehorse punters but, of course, cricket and sailing will be flogging their odds as well to entice those in armchairs or deckchairs.

My first racing alert for Caulfield’s traditional Boxing Day card came via an unprintable message from Elvis Thursday morning fuming at the moving of the Lord Stakes from its customary Caulfield post to the next day’s Mornington meeting – a big day down there as holidaymakers get on course. Rightly Elvis was incensed that Lord, one of the greatest performers to grace the Heath, should be traded in an MRC reshuffle. Shame, shame, shame.

It’s not a bad meeting at Caulfield and I will probably make it out there, especially if rain curtails play at the MCG – just walk over the road to Richmond Station and jump on a Pakenham/Dandy/Cranny service.

Boxing Day is one of the busiest of the year on RVL’s calendar so, no matter where you are, there is an option of getting to the races…Penshurst, Kerang, Drouin, Nhill, Wodonga, Geelong…and Tuesday has gallops at Mornington, Warrnambool and Mansfield.

Maybe we should have made up punting vouchers as “stocking fillers”!? Hopefully many of you can get to a race meeting and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere that SkyChannell just can’t create.

Good luck!


  1. No doubt that some of our best form analysis was done on Christmas Day afternoon. Boxing Day meetings in Mebourne and Adelaide were reasonably strong back then.

  2. I’m incensed.

    Mooball’s Lord Stakes at Caulfield (where Lord made his name) was one of my punting highlights.

    I can highly recommend Penshurst.

  3. Penshurst a picture perfect course with Alan Peterson Andrew Kermond and “Nifty” Wilson dominating in the 90s

  4. Crio,

    Xmas cheers mate, good story about the irresistlble Slug.

    I am still ropable about Lord. He IS Caulfield and they have moved his race to Mornington. What was the thinking? Surely there is a “Benbara” horse they could name a race after. Lord Street is next to the Heath for crissakes.

    I have emailed them every day querying the stupidity of the decision and explained that I will do so regularly until such time as some MRC Extraterrestial can explain to me the rationale.

    Dad would be livid, and my exasperation is in no small way due to my respect for him and his love of the “gooduns”

  5. Peter Flynn,

    Appreciate you’re sentiments regarding the Lord Stakes. Lord wouldn’t have gone to Mornington even on Xmas holidays with the folks. I can’t believe it.

    Post congrats for backing Mooball. I can’t remember backing a “Lord Stakes” winner, but that’s not the point. Lord has got as much to do with Mornington as Australian television does with entertainment. And he has got EVERYTHING to do with Caulfield.

    Anyone out there who has any experience in generating petitions? I need to make an effort to right an enormous wrong.

  6. Elvis,
    You are rightly angry and at “tipping point”. The administrators have no idea, probably intending to create a Jumping Castle 0-58 as a replacement for the Lord Stakes. Can’t they see how important our “points of difference” are? Why not just bet on Trackside or online Poker?
    Incredibly, the RVL website has an article this week headed “Lord of Caulfield has lasting legacy”.
    Go figure!
    I’m not much good with petitions or getting my own way at all actually…Tom rarely lets me near the remote.
    Peter Finch had the idea (I’m not going to take this anymore) but even he only got his Oscar reward posthumously.
    Maybe I should fetch those topless protesters from the Belarus forest….
    Seriously Elvis, keep at it. I’m with you mate.

  7. Crio,

    You’re right about the RVL website article “Lasting legacy” Couldn’t be further from the truth. “Death of a local Icon” would have been more appropriate.

    I want to unleash an Australian racing Jihad. I am in Tianenmen Square mode. It just seems so pointless. What will it be replaced with? The Black Caviar Stayers Classic probably.

    Enough. It’s 5:15 and I’m on Chivas Regal. God I love Christmas. And I love the “Lord”.

  8. Crio,

    Can you imagine a bloke hanging from a bridge, chaining himself to a tree/bulldozer, suited up with gelignite, stitching his lips, My demands are” I want the Lord Stakes moved back to Caulfield” What great press. No religion, no land, no eons of persecution, no wrongful imprisonment, no eco disaster. Just a good worthwhile cause.

    On to it.

  9. Peter Flynn says


    21 wins at Caulfield.

    No JJ Liston Stakes. Lord Stakes at Mornington.

    I’m chained up to a bulldozer.

  10. Anger in a teacup boys…what can we do about such schmuck? Clearly boycotts are ineffective – collapsing crowd numbers seem to have no impact on the atmos in the Committee Bar.

  11. Crio and Peter Flynn,

    You blokes must know someone who can generate an email petition. Crio, the guy that does those twenty third century form guides.

    This is as wrong as Meatloaf at the GF. I propose a SOLS campaign. Save Our Lord Stakes.

    I am prepared to generate from here, I just need a starting point.

    I have emailed Sport 927, but that was probably a waste of time. Just needed to alert someone who might air our concerns.

    21 wins at Caulfield and they move his deserved race to Mornington. Am I missing something?

  12. Elvis,
    I am at Sandown tmrw with nowt else to do…will investigate.

  13. Crio and peter Flynn

    1958 MRC JJ Liston Stakes
    1958 MRC Underwood Stakes
    1958 MRC Victoria Handicap
    1958 VATC Caulfield Stakes
    1958 VATC Memsie Stakes
    1959 AJC All-Aged Stakes
    1959 MRC CF Orr Stakes
    1959 VATC Caulfield Stakes
    1959 VATC Futurity Stakes
    1959 VATC Memsie Stakes
    1959 VATC St George Stakes
    1960 MRC CF Orr Stakes
    1960 MRC Underwood Stakes
    1960 VATC Caulfield Stakes
    1960 VATC Memsie Stakes
    1960 VATC St George Stakes
    1961 VATC Memsie Stakes
    1961 VRC Craiglee Stakes
    1961 VRC Queen’s Plate
    1962 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Autumn)
    1962 VRC Queen’s Plate
    1963 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Autumn)

    See any Ansett or Hareeba races in that lot?

    Arse Clowns.

  14. Crio,

    Thanks mate, let me know if someone can help with setting up a petition.

    Just the lazy 4 Memsie’s, 2 Underwood’s. 2 Craiglee’s, 2 Orr’s, 2 Caulfield’s (Yalumba’s) 2 St Georges’ and a Futurity. The horse had the audacity to win Group races at Randwick and Flemington also.

    Yeah, Mornington, thats where we can celebrate his place in history and experience his “Lasting Legacy”

  15. Peter Flynn says


    Hope Grant doesn’t mess with you majorly Elvis.


  16. Elvis,
    Just tuned in and my intuition tells me you are not happy!
    Try this link to start a petition:

    Try Colin Little (Lord Lodge) and other Caulfield trainers – surely they are similarly outraged!!

  17. The “Prefer Others” for all Moody runners has been cautiously lifted. Not back to their steamrolling best, but his horses today confirmed that they are now running at least to form.
    Also, despite it being a very modest card, be sure to whack Colin Little’s Soft Sand in the blackbook…… 3 yr old filly going places – maybe Adelaide in early autumn.

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