Crio’s Racing – fields and forecast point to the Gold Coast

Look at the forecast or the fields – by any criteria the Gold Coast is where you’d want to be this Saturday. Both categories have been sub-par for a couple of months up there but the sun is sure to shine on the Hollindale meeting which, though not one for the highlights reel, is the “clear top pick” of the Nation’s racing offerings this weekend.

We’re looking at 14 and rain here in Melbourne and a probable washout at Randwick, so shorts/t-shirt and Group races are appealing attractions north of the Tweed.

The Hollindale itself (R8, 1800m, WFA, G2) comprises “expensive conveyances” with “serious convictions” – cats if you want – many of which were once good and/or mooted to be; but few could boast optimism of another southern Spring Campaign. Some have become liabilities…Moriarty etc – and bets above $2 should be tax deductible!

Though not all of the “cattle” measures up to recent highlights, the card itself is balanced and the good hoops have gone up in search of their share of healthy prizemoney.

The meeting kicks off with a pair of Listed 3yo 1800m set weight divisions and, pleasingly, the 1st is named for south Queensland’s legendary grey, the mighty Gunsynd. Much as he deserves an open mile at Randwick (or maybe a series from 1200m to 2 miles with 9 stone!) it is important for local folk to be reminded of, and to commemorate, one of the real heroes of turf in the last 50 years.

The other race named for a past great is the 2yo classic (R6, 1200m, SW, G3) which memorialises Ken Russell, the “King of The Coast”, a star hoop who “owned” juvenile features at this track before his tragic death at Rosehill in 1993.

After the fillies’ race (2) there’s a 2200m Quality G3 (R3, Sir John Hawkwood, Index Linked, Epingle…) and a 1200m F+M Quality Sprint (R4), before the time-marked Prime Minister’s Cup (R5, 1400m, Quality, Listed) which not long ago held G2 rating as a 2400m event but is now rated closer to its calibre with its changed conditions/status. Remarkably, some outlets still market this as PM Cup Day – happily there are better offerings….notably the Victory Stakes (R7, 1200m, WFA, G2), comfortably the best field on offer for us this weekend. Plenty of chances and good quality. These might push deep in to the excellent Winter Carnival that follows. Locals will rally for Temple Of Boom and River Lad but I’m more inclined to fancy the two at the bottom, Ball Of Muscle and Srikandi.

Rounding out the diverse offerings is a Guineas (R9, 3yo, SW…unusually over 1200m) which offers punters a big field and some good prospects.

So though there’s far better to come once the horses head to Brissie, the Gold Coast programme is the obvious “go to” for punters.

ANZAC Day has always had heaps of meetings and compromised on quality. Hopefully the country options still get good crowds – Avoca’s always a standout here – but I’m reckoning the weather will play havoc with a lot of Eastern seaboard offerings.

I’ll be at Flemington, once upon a time a bumper day, which is staging the St Leger, once upon a time a prestigious race. It’ll be that sort of a day, rescued by any winners I am tipped in to.

Good luck!


  1. Zabeel is strongly represented via sire and dam lines of runners in the St Leger.

    I’m a big fan of Sheiswhatsheis, who goes around in R2 at GC on her way to the Oaks. Pedigree traces back to Kingston Rose/Rose of Kingston/Kingston Rule. Can take up a position, which is very valuable around the GC track.

    Hollindale Stakes – Precedence ran a slashing race in this last year on an unsuitable heavy track behind Streama. Barrier doesn’t help, but one for the multiples – currently around the $35 mark

    Think the outside will be the place to be down the straight at Flemington, so will be having something on Consorting. The Quarterback/Under The Louvre form looks good.

  2. Tricky racing tomorrow. Flemington rail out 9 metres but should not overly affect the racing pattern as most races are either stayers or down the straight and the one where you would expect leaders to dominate at 1400 has a likely leader ( Bullpit) drawn wide and probably will not get the distance. I may try Its One in the 3rd if the track remains OK.
    Adelaide also has some challengers with rain forecast and a likely slow track with not all races on the inner track but remembering that the inner track has consistently favoured front runners especially when wet. In race 4 Underestimation is quite short but has very patchy wet form and may get back, Casino Wizard on the other hand has good wet form and races forward with a top jockey on board so the $8 looks all right to me although he may need to be nursed over the last 50 metres. Race 5 and Mr Chard has great form in the wet, if he doesn’t get too far back will be hard to beat, Nite Rocker will lead and Swinging Arms and Light it Up are unknown at 1400.
    Race 7 is the Derby lead up and Prima has 2 recent placings to Mongolian Khan so that looks pretty useful ( Volkstock n Barrell ran 3rd in one of those) but as a NZ’r will probably have a quiet one waiting to Derby day remember Mongolian Khan and Gust of Wind leadups in Sydney? I’m happy to be on Turbo Street as it went too early last start and was a sitting shot for Jims Journey and should be on the improve. being by Encosta out of a Quest for Fame mare…a wet track shouldn’t hurt, this race is on the outside track so backmarkers are definitely in the race.
    Waiting on Oges to declare Canon Diablo in the last (also outer track) but if he doesn’t Miss Joolia likes the wet and is fantastic fresh.

    Qld, I like River Lad first up in 7th and Foreteller should be a big improver in the next. Both look much better suited at WFA than many of their rivals.

  3. Can’t declare anything Jock. In Canberra for Anzac Day with “old” Boss from Vietnam -a humble thoroughly decent man
    Had a day at track today here but much like a day at Strath except didn’t know too much

  4. Looks a bit of a roll of the dice tomorrow on some of these tracks, will Randwick be leaders again, and sometimes the Gold Coast track can favour leaders also. Might wait with Adel until the track condition becomes a little clearer.

    Did think October Date too good for these in the Derby lead-up even with some time off, he went far better than Magicool at he Valley and he franked that form. Agree that the NZ’er probably wont be knocked around and thought Maysoor a knockout chance at $71.

    There’s a heap of roughies in Sydney that will improve on the Heavy, Strike the Stars being one of them although it needs to (I took $61 after they bet 100s but see now its into 40s).

    On the Gold Coast I thought I’ve Got The Looks looked the winner with even luck. Alma’s Fury and Rocket to Glory knockouts at odds in Race 7 and Moriarty and I’m Imposing good value in Hollindale Stks, assuming I’m right in thinking that Silent Achiever, Foreteller and Leebaz not going well (although the latter getting a soft run in front), Arabian Gold back on firm won’t help, which leaves Pornichet still a hope from the shocking gate but they do get a good run from the 1800. Better Not Blue a rough chance in last at $16 if they can run on by then.

    Good luck all.

  5. If Silent Achiever still has 4 legs, she wins this. They wouldn’t run her if there was anything wrong with her.

  6. Jock, there’s still transport and accommodation for ,Bool if circumstances have changed

    Budge, Silent Achiever may be the best of the cats over the hill

  7. Higgo. I thought it was a tricky first furlong from 1800

  8. Crio, nothing changed, in fact clarified that the week is a no go, now looking at Darwin for a winter reprieve.
    FYI, Pissing down here at the moment, Dawn service at Brighton is in severe doubt for me if this continues but at least I’ll gain some wet track confidence

  9. Crio, you could be right. I only went off their track map on their website and that appears to have them coming from a chute and having 300m or so to settle. Happy to be corrected if I’m wrong.

  10. Crio

    Not sure if this is correct or not?

  11. Looks correct as I understand it…never been and never bet there

  12. TheJudge – great track read at HQ. Under the roses was the farcical fast lane. Hope you cashed in?

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