Crio’s Racing: GF Weekend 2011

Punters prepared to weave through a fixturing maze will be rewarded with a festival of G1 races. Footy, The Show and now wild weather have wrought havoc on this great racing weekend- but there’s a dazzling meeting to kick off Friday Nights at the Valley, Randwick’s classic Epsom Day follows and then HQ’s Turnbull “brunch” card Sunday…not enough?…So You Think, on most other occasions, would be a headline as he heads to Longchamps for the Arc on Sunday night our time to complete a remarkable weekend for spots and horse lovers. (

Acknowledging this site’s priorities, I’ll post some observations for race followers, be responsive to any tips or viewpoints and maybe encourage some perspectives early next week as we finally start to grab the back pages.

I’ve been really looking forward to the launch of Valley Nights as this meeting has grown in to a beauty. MVRC are really unlucky as the weather will trash the outing for so many – a pity as, except for those of us forced outside, there’s heaps of cover for punters and the track is rain resistant. The Manikato Stakes (MR6, G1, 1200m, 9.15pm) is seen as a match race between Sepoy and More Joyous, two outstanding racehorses. Can’t wait. I’m leaning towards Gai’s champion mare.

The massive Quaddie bonus starts with the JRA Cup (MR5, 2040m) and, quite rightly, the top two, Linton and Rekindled Interest, dominate the market. Cox Plate types, they’d want to quinella this.

The other Group race is the Bill Stutt (R7, 1200m) and Rick Hore-Lacy’s Chase The Rainbow (1),a late withdrawal last Saturday,  should win this if he expects to be a Guineas hope…though I am not convinced of this status. Whisper Downs (2), unloved in early betting, will be on speed and looks the primary threat.

Woorim is short in the last and, though he has class to sell on these, I reckon he is the lay of the night after jarring up on the Heath’s “road” last week. Options please?

Whenever Craig Willis clears his throat you’ll have time to focus on Randwick’s card Saturday…and even the ripper Mornington meet if you don’t care much for smug Cats and Malthouse epitaphs.

The time-honoured Epsom Handicap (SR7, Randwick Mile) is its usual mix of quality and handicappers. Sincero(1) has been great and deserves this, but watch for Gai’s King Lionheart (13) at big odds.

There are Group races all day at the return to Randwick and hopefully people find time amongst the Ch7 ads and hyperbole to enjoy the fare.

Turnbull Stakes Day (Sunday) is always a beauty but it is hard to preview this early. The track will have to absorb a deluge and many scratching are likely. The 10.30 start (+daylight saving!) will mean that interest and betting are crippled, but try to look at the quality races…the Edward Manifold (G2), the Gilgai (G2), the Blazer (G2), The Listed Bart Cummings and, of course, the feature in which December Draw (MR7, No13) is favoured to further imprint his dominance over this crop of Cup aspirants.

It’s an epic sporting weekend. Hopefully you are flexible enough to take in the breadth of battles to be enjoyed…with SYT icing the cake.

And then we can focus on The Heath and the riches to follow.

Good luck.





  1. David Downer says

    So under current EST time, Turnbull day actually kicks off at 9:30am?? With the armageddon conditions finally clearing on Sunday, by the time the track starts drying out, it’ll all be over!

    The “match race” tomorrow night will be a ripper. Hope I’m in a condition post-Clyde lunch to enjoy it.

    Woorim will be scratched tomorrow night and goes straight to the Toorak next week pending soft track. Ditto Rekindled Interest, At First Sight and Southern Speed who come out of the JRA Cup to run in the Turnbull.

    Looking forward to see how December Draw goes against the better quality horses in that race. D-Day for Shamrocker returning to Flemington.

    Very excited re So You Think in the Arc. Cadel’s done it in France already this year, SYT’s turn now!

    Form thoughts to trickle in over the weekend…

  2. David Downer says

    A.Bensley has now retracted his info that Woorim will be scratched tonight. He’s running

  3. I’m keen on Kulgrinda to topple the shorties in the Manikato. Never got a crack at all last start and before that Moody was speaking of her in Black Caviar tones. Sepoy won’t hold out Buffering for the lead and will then need luck and the great mare may not be as sharp 1st up these days so I’m plonking on an upset.
    Quite keen on Anabaa’s Legacy in race 2 also. Should be a great night’s racing.

  4. The Moody hump is on hold, but I get your drift. Sepoy has a bad gate and the mare, at short quote, is presumably heading to a mile and a quarter in a month. The problem is that if you knock the favs you get left with something like Rue Maple! Please! Watch and enjoy.
    Vasil’s not training winners out of turn bu Psychologist flies first up and here. MV2 no3

  5. You know, Budge, that I have long believed that trainers read this feed and then scratch – anabaa’s out of R2 tonight!
    The JRA Cup is mangled, as DD predicted. 1,2,3,5 out – Domesky prob odds on!

  6. Happy Zero to upstage the big two tonight, either that or he will be best of the rest.

  7. Awful conditions (outside!) but still some memorable moments from tonight’s MV card.
    Sepoy was exhilirating. didn’t see the mare but doubt that the “p[attern” suited her.
    In the Stutt stakes, Chase The Rainbow showed that, off an honest pace, he’ll be a contender in 3yo Classics.
    Mornington likely a washout Saturday, but Randwick still a good meeting.

  8. Sepoy was awesome! He is the real deal.

  9. RVL claims Slow6 for Turnbull Stakes Day…hmmm. Hope so.

  10. Despite the comforting presence of Budge, chalkdog and DD in today’s betting ring, we managed to lose again!
    Track was in good nick but definitely favoured on pacers.
    a reminder that the excellent Kranji card is tonight…Joe Moreira is the gun there, followed by the Longchamps meeting, including SYT’s Arc bid.

  11. David Downer says

    My Temple of Boom kitty (an Almanac favourite) struck some trouble in the Turnbull with Linton something amiss there, punctured a tyre a long way out.

    Strange atmosphere at Flemington with the early start/finish. It’s not often I’m home from Headquarters at 3:30pm! $30 admission a bit steep given the factors surrounding the day. In hindsight they should have taken Caulfield’s Underwood lead and thrown the gates open. Crowd was poor.

    And news highlights tonight concentrated on Brian McFadden’s appearance at Flemington rather than the horses. B.McFadden! Spare me. Shouldn’t be surprised by now I guess. The carnival coverage will be in safe hands on the commercial networks in the coming weeks (thankfully i’ll be attending).

    So You Think’s tilt at Arc glory is 1:15am tonite

  12. SYT $1.80 on scabtab and now in to 5.7 fav on exchanges.
    $30 admission?? disgrace.
    Show parking at Flem, btw, has been $15 per day!

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