Crio’s Racing: John H. Dato Day

Whilst I stop short of insisting anyone has a bet, this week or in the future, it’s fair to say that if you intend to get involved with Spring features then, at the very least, carefully watch the replays from this Saturday’s meetings at Rosehill and Moonee Valley.

The season’s first Group One, the million dollar Golden Rose (SR5, 3yo, 1400m.) has only six runners but plenty of interest. Smart Missile’s win in the “Run to” was remarkable – so, do we just conclude that he’s “one out of the box”? Or factor in a weight disadvantage, danger of a dawdling pace, cramped odds…??? Helmet has blinkers on and is very, very good. Foxwedge will be prominent. Manawanui looks top drawer. A fascinating race. Don’t miss it (3.20 EST). Let’s hope this batch renew rivalries down here afterwards.

Although there are other Group races on the card, I reckon Moonee Valley’s fields hold greater depth and interest than their clockwise counterpart’s.  Unfortunately we creep back to nine – en route inevitably to 10 – races, which is a pet gripe of mine over the Carnival. Nevertheless, I expect punters to be active from the outset (midday kick-off), with a fillies race of enormous possibilities setting the tone for a big punting day (MR1, 3yo fillies, 1200m). As is customary, Moody, Kav and Snowden provide key chances (4,6,10,12), but expect money for several others. Topweight Bliss Street arrives from the West with big wraps, whilst Anthony Freedman seems to have the Markdel operation back on keel and teams up with Craig Williams and the unbeaten Florets (7). There are others worth a look and it might be a WATCH race….if pressed, I’d try course winner Emerald Downs (5). Great opener.

Do You Think (MR2, No1) will need to win the second after a baffling 1st up performance at Caulfield. He looks an AAMI Vase horse.

I might skip the next couple and resume punting hostilities in R5 (1600m), searching for some value – my old Achilles heel! – and going with first upper Larry’s Never Late (2). I’ll even chuck 100/1 pop Olympic Win (12) in to exotics.

The Quaddy begins with the sprinters in the Gr3 McEwen Stakes (MR6, 1000m). Moody’s Kulgrinda (8) crushed them here last time and is on an ambitious programme. She’ll be very short and I’m not convinced that his horses are at their peak – another shortie went over on Wednesday. Look on. Crystal Lily is the obvious danger. As co-scrutineer Tom remarked tonight, she was the 3rd best sprinter in Australia in the Autumn, behind a couple of good ‘uns in Black Caviar and Haylist! That should be enough to be competitive here. Early money suggests that Atomic Force (2)might continue the sparkling form shown at Caulfield and, although better 2nd up, I reckon Shrapnel (6) is ready to match it at the top level this prep. A very interesting race and maybe some Quaddy value. I’ll lay the fav if under 6/4.

The marquee race of the day is the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (MR7, Gr2, 1600m) – known for years as the J.H.Feehan Stakes (at Feehan’s paddock) and perhaps reflective of our gambling’s move from its Irish heritage to an Asian focus. Whobegotyou (1) returns for a “threepeat” and, rightly, will be short odds. He’s the logical winner, but Lights of Heaven’s flop last week calls in to question the form around his Liston Stakes victory. This is a good race, especially from a Cups perspective. Linton (3) will have a strong campaign. Red Colossus(5) was very competitive at WFA at Caulfield but will be better on a big track. Alcopop (4) defied the racing bias for a blistering win at Morphettville and he has track and WFA form. Rekindled Interest (9) looked to be unharried last start and will use this as a Cox Plate trial. In summary, hard to go against Whobe but no good thing.

The mares again provide a quality contest in the Stocks Stakes (MR8, Gr2, 1600m). King’s Rose (9) will be trialling the circuit for later riches and, though deserving favouritism, this will be a really good test of her calibre. Plenty of others to throw in…Lady Lynette (1) loves the track and is in good order. Avienus (2) has been specked early. Pinker Pinker (7) was convincing at Flemington. Even bottom weight Shylight (14) deserves inclusion in multis. I’ll box 9,14,1.

A tough Open Sprint closes the card. Response (1) runs here with 60.5kgs after being dealt 65kgs when nominating for the mares’ equivalent! This is a top horse but won’t want to be knocked around. Similarly Woorim (2) has a big impost and might get back. Will only want to make the one run. Blackie (5), fresh, and Miss Gai Flyer (7), on the pace, will have support. Stanzout(4), 9 yrs old, was an eye catcher last start. We’re hoping for the King (9) but a place might be a realistic aspiration. 5,10,1,9

It’s a good day’s racing this Saturday with even better to follow. If you can get to the Valley, there’s plenty of shelter from the cold and you’ll get to see some really good racing. Come up and say g’day – I’ll be swinging the bag on the rails…or, at least, offer some “mail” for Almanackers here on the site.

Good luck!


  1. After last week’s debacle, I won;t even try to tip the card.

    Race 5 – Pretty keen on FANJURA. Ran 3rd first up last time to Whobe and Dao Dao. That would be good enough for this. Quinellsa qith 1st up specialist Larry.

    Race 6- FIRST COMMAND should get a good run behind the pace and excels fresh. Like him at the odds. Agree that Kulgrinda is unders (and, for mine, the lay of the day) but I guess Moody/Nolen have a fair record lately.

    Race 7- Also keen to lay Whobegotyou but it gets harder when you try to selct one to beat him with any confidence. Maybe ALCOPOP who also goes well here.

    Race 8- LADY LYNETTE has had 2 excellent runs this time in and we’ve been waiting for her to get to the Valley. Each way forever here is the bet of the day. Don’t disregard SOUTHERN SPEED with blinkers on first time for the multiples.

  2. Crio and Budge,

    I am going to back Atlantic Jewel in the first. Got an idea she might be a decent filly

    Zabeelionaire e/w in the second. Well bred, will relish the 1500 and winkers first time.

    The sprint is really hard. I was going to have a Quad leaving out only First Command, Zedi Knight and Satin Shoes. Will rethink following Budges comments. I like Buffering.

    I have backed Linton in the Cup. He won the Group 2 Alistair Clarke here at his third start after a luckless debut run at Flem and a 7 length win at C’bourne. His campaigns since have been peppered, but I think this is a galloper still relatively unntapped. Will run in the first two.

    I wholly agree with Budge. Lady Lynette e/w forever. She is one of those great, consistent, GENUINE mares. I also agree that Southern Speed should be trerated with caution. A poofteenth of forgiveness and a gear change makes $18 look vey generous.

    The last and I can’t come at Response. Woorim has big wraps. The trainer, who goes alright up north, said on radio yesterday that he has the biggest finish of any horse he has ever had. I like it and Spirited Eagle, who has a touch of class and great first up form.

    Having said that. GO KC.

    May the luck be with you.

  3. great tipping. You must have won?

Leave a Comment