Crio’s Racing: Saturday 30 July


It’s time to face the impending (racing) New Year with some upbeat reflections after (my) last week’s death notice for our Industry!

There are always great stories in this game, whether they involve man or beast.  Or, in this case, woman. Perhaps rather than lamenting the morgue at Sandown the other Wednesday, I should have highlighted the excitement and significance of the day for Talia Rodder. The wife of well known journo Josh, – now back from WA and with the MRC – Talia looks a very accomplished hoop and, benefiting from a pick up replacement ride for Ash Thompson, she got her first metrop win in Melbourne on Il Sogno and then followed up with a double at Launceston on Sunday. It is unlikely that travelling will flummox her….here’s part of the extraordinary Talia Rodder story from an article a couple of years ago.

(cut and paste if the hyperlink fails – it is a fantastic tale).

It would be remiss to reach racing’s New Year’s Eve without marveling at the fantastic champs we’ve been fortunate enough to watch this season.  So You Think. Black Caviar…imagine Gai’s wonderful More Joyous not being in contention for “Horse of the Year” honours?… arguably the “best third best” horse of any season! We even had an outstanding juvenile in Sepoy. A vintage crop for sure. The winner, even the criteria, is a matter of personal preference. My choice is marginally with Moody’s mare, mostly because I reckon our sprinters are top quality – poor Hay List is a champion bridesmaid. There are those who want to see her flourish Internationally. When So You Think wins the Arc they’ll rightly note what a marvel he was. But “Bart’s horse” – incidentally, NZ bred, Malaysian owned, now Irish trained! – lapped moderate opposition here under what I call the Zipping barometer. Lloyd Williams’ old warrior seems to me to be more an Adelaide Cups horse than a Cox Plate contender, but his brave feats highlight the shallow WFA fields. A good O/S horse did SYT in the Cup, but there were “circumstances”. She’s got no asterisks yet. So I’m going : 1- The Mare.  2- The middle distance Stayer. 3- Gai’s.

Nothing of that ilk goes around at Caulfield this week but, very slowly, the quality cranks up over the next month.

Thanks to Elvis, we also have some sensational observations pertinent to runners this week.


–          Race 7 No 13 at Morphettville on Saturday 30 July is trained by ROY ROGERS and ridden by DALE EVANS. For anyone of my era, the famous TV cowboy Roy Rogers, was famously married to a woman called none other than Dale Evans. I’m beside myself.

–          At Caulfield, a 2 yr old by Foreplay from Schoolies is “Stroke of Genius”!

It’s as good a system as any!!…and we’ve tried plenty this season.

However, there’s still this meeting to recalibrate the 2010/11 ledger, so we’ll have a crack at the Quaddy.

I’ll go 1,2,3,7,8 in a wide first leg. 14 is worthy, but the gate is awful. Have something E/W on the 8.

For R6, go sentimental with the Moody/Nolen juggernaut and (the non-omen name) Mid-Summer Music. Either go plonk or it gets murky – 2,3,4,6 in exotics.

If the budget requires a skinny 3rd leg, be sure to tick 1 and 8.

In the last (R8, 1400m), commenting on Mr Make Believe has become a broken record. Another new challenge, again no odds, another likely win! It would probably be apt for Moody – on this occasion with boom apprentice Daniel Stackhouse – to claim the last metro race in Melbourne and cap his extraordinary dominance with an unprecedented winning margin in the Melbourne Trainers’ Title. For knacker Craig Down, though, we’ll be cheering on Mr Griswold (16) to bounce back.

I’ll be swinging the Turfbet bag on the fence at The Heath and up for an end of season cleanser afterwards and a sling if you snag the multi!

As much as it hurts not to be a part of it this year, I must promote this weekend’s Darwin Cup Carnival with the grand finale on Monday August 1. Start the new season by backing Mr. Ruffian to give trainer Sheila Arnold a big bonus. This meeting, as I’ve bored anyone who’d listen, is a ripper for many reasons. Not only is the weather fantastic, but you get lots of genuine racing people to the “Top End”. Too often the big days are topped up with flooze…here you get keen punters, warm weather, cold CUB and, as an aside, pound for pound the prettiest “fillies” of any meet.

Hmmm…better go and search Webjet!

Good Luck and Happy New Year.



  1. John Butler says

    Crio, whilst I claim (absolutely) no expertise on racing, I think you made a reasonable point last week.

    From researching footy 100 years ago, it’s hard not to come across plenty of evidence that racing was a major competitor for the attention (and attendance) of the public.

    That does seem very much confined to certain ‘event’ days now.

  2. lee donovan says

    I agree with you about the Darwin cup carnival. Definitely worth being there. I was lucky enough to live in Darwin in the early eighties and one of the best days I’ve had at a race meeting was the Darwin cup of 1982 perched at the bar with Mick Robins trainer of that wonderful stayer Rain Lover. I can’t remember whether I won or lost but I ‘ll never forget his racing stories of that day.

  3. What a rollercoaster ride Mick’s had! a Broken hill boy, cards fell for him and he ended uip with Rain Lover (long story) and then had some hard times. These days I think he is Tony Noonan’s foreman so it is good to see he has bounced back.

    Darwin’s amazing. We had beers with Joe Janiak and with Shane Scriven. With Michael Long. With millionaires and “scallywags”. Bloody great.

  4. crio,

    Rain Lover; in the press for the wrong reasons lately with the story unfolding that Les Samba was his strapper. Samba’s horses raced int he the yellow and white silks in a variation of Rain Lovers’.

    Lokking for winners. I’ll be back.

    Go Roos.

  5. Yeah…i was going to mention the Samba connection – didn’t his 2 yr olds used to fly when backed? There’s the Bluey Heagney angle to Robbins also if I recall correctly.

  6. Yes I’m pretty sure Mick Robins only got Rain Lover off Bluey Heagney as he went off to the US with Tobin Bronze.

  7. crio,

    I think Graham Heagney mightv have taken over training the horse at some point, or am I on a Tobin Bronze neuro.

    To The Heath.

    Race 1 and though up against the well named “Stroke of Genius” Starkiato is bred to be a very good galloper, being by Starcraft from a Flying Spur grand daughter of the great Pebbles. Each Way at about $20.

    You know I’m a Morgan groupie, but the usual suspects and the good but hardly startling mares lends me to think that his Dusty Star can go alright. I spoke to Peter after the horse went for a break and he was faiirly enthusiastic that the horse would come back and make a bit of a name for himself. He iwill be one day off beng a 4yo so gets in pretty well.

    The last .The Perth horse Sir Halliwell, first emerg is a huge watch He has form around Famous Roman and other good WA horses and with 2 runs under the belt with Mick Price can go very close. C Newitt also thank you very much..

  8. Breeding Elvis???
    I always liked the old “and Johnny Weismuller’s sister drowned”.

  9. PeterB

    True, and legend has it she did, but it was a Heavy 10.

  10. Saw Pebbles one day at Newmarket with Bongo. Great horse.

    I thought Heagney copped a positive and a suspension as Barty did also…

  11. Crio,

    Thanks for your eye witness testimony. She was a great horse. She won almost 2 million pounds in the eighties winning everything in the UK plus the Breeders Cup Turf in the US.

    I concede that pedigree isn’t everything, but as opposed to other aspects of a horses prospects, it is easily accessible to judgement.

  12. Elvis,
    I reckon it was the day, certainly the meeting, where Chief Singer won the July Cup (beating Committed, Habibte, Never So Bold…a crack field)…Tommy knows what I mean when I still defer to “Pebbles colours”

  13. crio

    Were they the maroon, white sleeves?

  14. you are the man Elvis!
    What about some winners?
    Brideoak’s stable is flying at the mo. You love “wheels within wheels”. Did you know his son works for Moody?

  15. Crio,

    I have found a special. Turnstiles in the 7th at Rosehill. 2 from 3 first up and her 2 starts before a break were in the G1 Coolmore ($15) and a Group 2 behind Hurtle Myrtle. A long way behind I admit, but I think she has a degree of class about her.

    Good luck.

  16. That’s more like it mate. This is the time of day to be bullish.

    A fav old definition is that a pessimist is “an optimist leaving the racecourse”!
    I’m E/W MR5 No8 if I can rally some readies…took a hammering on the Carnage last week
    Begin the rebuild today after a setback with Cal Valley declared at Ballarat Thurs and failing to salute. Start my working day putting in to Turfbet’s bag to settle my ledger!

  17. What about Mr Griswold’s triumph in the last….and backed for a fortune!!!

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