Crio’s Racing: One Season Closes and the New One Awaits

As pledged, the season’s final instalment will be upbeat. After all, racing remains a fascinating “sport” and an integral part of life for many of us. As a young teen I dreamed of getting across to Melbourne, imagining the ultimate Saturday morning dilemma of Flemington or the MCG. Now, spoiled for choice, I whinge at both options way too often.

Hence it will be a double header for me this Saturday – out to Caulfield for Bletchingly Stakes Day and then on the train to Richmond for the Hawks and Swannies.

The Bletchingly (MR5, 1200m, WFA, G3) is rightly instituted for a horse whose legacy remains today. A brilliant sprinter, winning 4 of 5 including at G1, Stanley Wootton’s grandson of Star Kingdom made his biggest imprint on the Stud Book – amongst his star studded offspring are the immortal Kingston Town and the mighty mare Emancipation. Posthumously, he became the country’s leading broodmare sire and, even today, we can draw a straight line from him to the great Redoute’s Choice. Some could well argue that his influence deserves perhaps even higher profile in spring but, though this is never a great race, it is generally sought by a good horse hoping to push for higher honours. The fav, Lord Of The Sky, fits that bill.This is one of several boxes he needs to tick en route to the big sprints and any setback would dent Robbie Laing’s ambitious plans. In a fairly small, but pretty good, G3 he should be too good and provide pre-season copy for pundits.

Early inklings for the remaining Quaddy legs are:-

MR6- 1 value. 5 chance. Whichever of stablemates 11 and 15 is backed must go in.

MR7- wow. Nightmare. Put in 1 and 13, touch your toes and close your eyes.

MR8- Waller utterly dominates runners. Maybe the 9 of his. Include 6.


I’m very much looking forward to the weekend.

With some (= a lot!) of luck, I might sneak an early minute on Friday and get to the Waterside for the Almanac lunch – note that Simon Marshall is amongst those regaling the crowd. Try to join us (deatails on the site or comment here).

Who knows, Sandown and a return to the ‘G may even figure on Sunday –

Grand National Steeple Day and another opportunity to watch a truly wonderful ‘chaser, Bashboy, ply his craft. He’s a throwback to stars who make serious ground at each jump.

In honour of that, plus my end of season oath to promote racing, sneak a look (or 2) at this magnificent collection of clips, including, at 3m 18s, the great Crisp in the 1973 Grand National classic at Aintree.


Another racing season closes. In years ahead we’ll evaluate the form and fun it provided. The calendar flips over and we start all over again. There’s no gala send-off, though the riders/trainers premierships are keenly contested and cherished but mostly foregone conclusions. Punters move on. I guess we remember the Cup winners backed and “good things beat” but, more akin to the EPL, we ultimately tally the accrued scores (in our wallet). It is nice to win the blockbusters but 3 points at home to Reading counts as much as a late penalty at Old Trafford. On the punt a win is a win is a win…hope you aren’t in the relegation zone!

Good luck!


  1. Bletchingly was an unsound flying machine trained by the wily Angus Armanasco. Memory says he held the Flemington 5F track record for a long time.
    One of the great racing stories is the role of the by then blind golf genius Norman Von Nida (he could analyse your swing problems from the sound of the club contact with the ball). Von Nida was a student of breeding and a great fan of Tesio and the Ribot line. He advised merchant banker David Hains to import some stoutly bred German mares to breed some strength into Australia’s speedy Star Kingdom sires. Ada Hunter threw the champion Kingston Town and Ursula Lauderdale threw Oaks winner Lowan Star as their first local progeny.
    Another Beethoven symphony of the blind.

  2. cowshedend says

    Crio, thank God you were talked down from the ledge, very upbeat this week.
    Spent a couple of hours last night doing form, this is the worst meeting i have seen for many a day.
    80k minimum and 150k for the Bletchingly produces fields like this! Thank goodness Lord Of The Sky is going around.
    Peter, I have spent hundreds of meetings with a blind German on course,and his affliction has never been condusive to good judgement.

  3. cowshedend says

    For What it’s worth, import Kindergaten Kid in the last rates very well, so expect a big improvement from 2nd up.
    Also Pharrell in th 3rd, first try at the 2400 only beaten 1.2 last start 2000, on upward ratings trend.
    Where are you when we need you Oges?

  4. On tour to get out of the cold heading to Qld eventually but stay tuned mate as I will throw you a couple at the Coffs Carnival straight from a Trainer

  5. Look fwd to that Oges.
    Your man, Vlad (The Impaler) Duric, is back and riding winners at the provincials.
    Take some time to enjoy the highlights reel of races on the attachment – a great reminder of the buzz we can get from top notch horses.
    Safe travels.

  6. A few weeks ago we reminisced on Welcome Advice’s InterDominion win. The probable leader in that race was the Victorian, Monara, trained and driven by the great Don Dove, who passed away last week. Monara, like many of Dove’s charges, had impeccable manners at the old standing start. He won a couple of HunterCcups and was probably Dove’s best horse. Don Dove was a legend of Trots here in Victoria. RIP

  7. further to that InterDom discussion, I just chatted with a bloke who assures me that, with Don Dove suspended, Monara skipped out for the only time ever in that final. Having to then work around the field to find the front cost him the big prize.

  8. Bit of an ordinary end to the season but hopefully a few winners.
    In Adel very poor card but Silver Seabring is a good hope in Race 7, forget Pt Augusta run as he didn’t lead and unsure if he handled the track, other wet track form is good and currently about 16/1. Buddy Bundy looks a good thing in the Lightning at set weights.
    I thought that Mokoro was in a winnable race in the 6th at Caulfield, I expect it’s better off around a turn and recent form looks preety good for this.
    I notice that Its Crunch Time is in the sprint in Sydney tomorrow, its a fair way to take one just for a run and not many in the field are in particularly good form so I will be watching closely at 20’s .

Leave a Comment