Crio’s Racing: Lightning Stakes 2012

It seems like Spring. Not only because we’ve had a heat wave and a flood in the last hour, but also because that further creases my brow regarding Saturday’s track conditions for the fantastic meeting at Headquarters – and I’m even contemplating grabbing a Winning Post to whet my appetite.

Yep. Racing is getting great media space in this window before footy and, thanks to Black Caviar, it is predominantly positive. Her appearance down the famous straight this week is a pleasant surprise and will give further impetus and focus to an already ripper card….whereas last week she was the cake, here she is gourmet icing.

The direct path from the Orr to the Futurity seemed logical and I thought it was a bit tongue-in-cheek when P.G.Moody’d quipped that she’d need a strong gallop in between anyway. So – and obviously to the delight of the VRC and publicists, but not to those owners charting a wider course – the “hitout” is formally the $750,000 Gr1 time-honoured Lightning Stakes. Now, I can understand some form followers getting miffed at her recent races but, unlike say “The Man” Mundine, she’s not been the one dodging top shelf opponents. Other owners have simply, in a backhanded compliment, looked elsewhere. Those doomed or blessed to race against her haven’t countenanced “blowing up” their horse in the fruitless task of taking her on, so she’s had straightforward victory parades. Last week did not “prove” she had run a strong 1400m, but it reinforced the suspicion that she just might be up for anything. And that notion will be put to the test in the Lightning, a genuine Gr1 featuring the return of brave Haylist, as well as quality Group sprinters Foxwedge, Buffering and Lone Rock. Acknowledgement of the increased degree of difficulty is the fact that bookies are spruiking $1.10 …even $1.12! The public interest is further heightened by the return of the giant Haylist – the only horse who would be applauded back to scale should the “unimaginable” occur. Like all fans, I hope John McNair’s colossus returns as good as he was before his terrible illness and that he can again take his place as the greatest challenger. MR6. 4.10pm. At Flemington if you can…otherwise live on TVN and Ch7.

If you are a committed Quaddy player, you’ll need to decide on your attack.

Logically it is BC standout for this second leg.

It’s becoming a skinny div as rationality also decrees taking glory-bound Helmet alone as the opener  (MR5, C.S.Hayes Stakes,No 1,1410m,Gr3). I’m not keen on the bright red odds but wouldn’t bet against him in what seems a perfect starter for his International campaign. No bet.

So if you are somehow predisposed to a Quaddy, it essentially becomes a running double – and a very difficult one.

I’ll duck my head and go 10,5,13,15 in the penultimate and then look for a result in the last, the Heron Bridge Handicap, 1200m of course for the 1977 Newmarket winner – ( look at this for its “novelty” )

including 9,10,12,15 for some value. To be honest, I’d rather wait for R8 and box some exotics and skip a Quaddy!

There’s a great buzz around racing at the moment and, with fine weather, news coverage and ample catering, we can expect plenty of newcomers and “lapsed” racegoers to head out to the banks of the Maribyrnong on Saturday.

Get there early if you can. Even the first, the Talindert (Listed, 2 yo, 1100m) has significance for the Carnival and, as a bonus, includes Black Caviar’s half-brother, All Too Hard (MR1, No6) making his debut. Peter Snowden’s  Forget(7) is seen as the main rival but I’m willing to give Lil Red Corvette some consideration at buoyed odds after an “excuse laden” run last outing.

The other pre-Quaddy race of note is The Vanity (MR4, 1410m, Gr3, fillies) in which Oaks heroine Mosheen will present a short quote second-up to dominate a pretty decent field. Watch for beautifully named The Good Wife (by Redoute’s Choice out of My Madonna), related to much loved Divine Madonna, to work home and then be in contention for a good race very soon.


It’s a shame the VRC can’t match MRC’s wisdom from last week and make this a freebie (and also cut drink prices, open food outlets, build a covered betting ring……!) but, at the very least, there’s a chance this week for those daunted by the Spring throngs to see one of the world’s great racecourses hosting a genuinely top class meeting.

I’m excited. No MV for me tomorrow night. Time to study the form. Any tips?




  1. It would be a brave person to risk Black Caviar coming back in distance..What do others think?

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    Normally I don’t think the ‘coming back in distance’ theory has much weight with sprinting, but coming back from 7 to 5 furlongs to face a fit, fresh and fired up Hay List does have some concern. That’s why a buck ten is on offer. Hay List will be in my quaddie.

    I see the half-brother was purchased by Tinkler for a $1.025 million. It’s by one of his stallions, Casino Prince. He would really have the fingers crossed for this one I reckon.

  3. I think Helmet is a huge risk. They are planning on going to Dubai with him so he will be a long way from being wound up for a first-up tilt. Haven’t quite worked out who beats him yet- but I’m on the case!

    As for the great mare, I can’t see any reason for anything other than business as usual. Think the quick back-up is more a danger than coming back in distance but she should, as always, be too good.

  4. As Skip says, coming back from 1400 to 1000 is usually a risk. It is problematic in this case though because She is no ordinary steed, and the Orr was not a truly run 1400 (more of a track gallop for 800m and finished with a strong 600m) and it may have just sharpened her up for the Straight 6.

    It is always enticing though when a horse of Haylist’s quality is at $8.

  5. Sorry Skip, I said you said something you did not.

  6. Maybe this race is more a risk for the Futurity…Moody wouldn’t run her if not a good thing.
    Also – Sydney. Any thoughts?
    Finally – Sunday. Hamilton. R2. No1.

  7. Skip of Skipton says


    No problem. I concur with your analysis otherwise. The Orr was a boat race etc. (no pun intended)
    I just feel (in my waters, ooooh) she might have to hit top gear tomorrow.

  8. She’s backable at $1.16 on Betfair now. $10.50 Haylist.

  9. David Downer says

    Sorry I missed you at the Heath, Crio – despite being on course I didn’t actually have a bet (you read that correctly!) …but Norsqui looked after me in the Mornington Cup mid-week. Cha-ching.

    It is a great buzz at the moment on track, supporting BC almost like cheering on the nation – wagering not an option for most of us small-fry punting folk.

    Seeya tomorrow, I’m likely to head out.

  10. We’re middle of the rails. See you there.
    At $1.16 there’ll be interest from punters for BC.
    Lots of “shorties” here and Sydney and a great day assured.
    I might try Corvette in the first…reckon it was “off” last time?
    Then just enjoy and try a get out trifecta!
    Happy to contemplate any other strategies.

  11. Peter Flynn says

    Black Caviar wants Frankel.

    Eight Grand Boys would crap on both.

  12. I heard BC described yesterday in an hourly newsreport on SEN as ‘the almost unbeaten mare”

    Crystal ball stuff, or stuff up?


  13. hmmm..SEN news – arguably less reliable than my tips!
    I’m looking forward to getting on course and sensing which, if any, of the “shorties” are going to be taken on.
    Last week there was a day long sesnse of unease over Karuta Queen, who ultimately missed the start and was immediately out ot action.
    Beautiful day. Should be fun.

  14. David Downer says

    Flynnie, is the UAE Derby still EGB’s intended target next year?

    Interesting tid-bit on Heron Bridge there also. Close friends of our family (sandgropers) owned it. Every Christmas morning when talk turns to horseracing, HB is without fail still mentioned. I think former Eagle/Saint M.Gardiner’s old man might have had an interest in it also.

    Not a great betting day today, but the trade-off are the magnificent beasts in action.

  15. Punters now happy to step in at $1.15

  16. DD- Did you have some of the Hamilton winner, Decked Out. Remember to watch Rhandara’s trial tomorrow.

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