Crio’s Racing: Scone Carnival

Akin to a national weather report, I’ll take a quick sweep around the country in the ongoing search for a winner – or at least a black booker or a hard luck story!
Most states have at least one race to commend, though NSW leads this bulletin with the Scone Carnival providing a change from the usual fare. They run their Cup on Friday – (R7, 1700m) try the tri of Fat Al (1), Mouro (7), Speediness (3) – but the better card is “Metropolitan” Saturday which has 5 Listed races worth $140k each as well as a (yet another) Guineas (SR7, 1400m, $500k). With the rich Hunter Valley region and its studs as their domicile, Scone Racing Club has no problems attracting good fields; many named after some wonderful stars of their past – Denise’s Joy (R4), Luskin Star (R5), Dark Jewel (R6) – and, interestingly, the present as Ortensia lines up in the Ortensia Stakes(R8)! The last one I remember succeeding in this novelty was Zipping out at Sandown but I prefer Sharnee Rose E/W at the 12/1 rather than Paul Messara’s much travelled mare in the NSW get out. My other value bet there is Soft Sand in R6. The 3yr olds get another shot at riches in the Guineas… Ashokan (2) @ 8/1 to beat the fav Missy Cummings (14).
As Winter approaches punters habitually look for the Brisbane formguide and this week they’ll find plenty of good ‘uns going around at Doomben. Most wagering will take place on the last two on the card. In the Doomben Cup (BR7, 2000m, G1) bookies have posted Lights of Heaven (9) and Foreteller (4) as equals but it doesn’t look simply a 2 horse race. I reckon that Secret Admirer (10) might be nearly due to break through. On a black type strewn day the last (BR8, BRC Sprint, 1350m, G3) is a ripper finale. Famous Seamus (2) is the best drawn of those in the betting.
The floats fled Morphettville quickly after Goodwood Day and this Saturday it is back to pretty humdrum fields and very poor city stakes (34k for most) in South Australia but, as with elsewhere around the country, there’s still one race worth some discussion. The Manihi Classic (AR8, 1000m, Listed) is named for a horse recessed in my earliest racing memories. Manihi was a brilliant (erratic?) sprinter whose crowning moment on the track was in the 1968 Newmarket after which he subsequently broke down. His legacy, however, is immortalized in the annals as the sire of the mighty Manikato.
Box 4,9,2 for desperates.
The WA metrop fixture is at Belmont where there is also a race worth watching – The Roma Cup (R6) has Playing God and Ranger as the main challengers to the hot pot Power Princess.
In the Territory the horses have packed up from the Alice Carnival and are making their way up the highway as the weather improves. This Saturday some will stop off in Katherine for their Cup (1300m, $20k) whilst others tackle the Tennant Creek Cup (1600m, 19k). Sense of Sun, trained by Sheila Arnold, looks a monty with only 59kgs at Katherine after an outstanding ½ length 3rd to Periduki on Alice Springs Cup Day.
Down here in Melbourne we’ll shiver through a standard Flemington off season meet, where the Winter’s Championship series is a godsend for owners, trainers and punters. This week’s edition is the first leg of the Quaddy (MR5, 1400m). I reckon this is the leg to set up a big dividend – consider roughies 11,2,12. If we survive that intro, I’ll be cheering for 5 and maybe 11 in the next leg (MR6, 3200m, the old Duke of Norfolk). From the same barrier position, but with a lap less to run, a reasonably good field tackle the Straight Six (MR7, 1200m). Lock in the 5 and maybe tick the 6 as a bolter. In the last (MR8, 1700m) include 7 and 9 and then make some savers if the situation allows. The weather has made a severe turn here so do some wet track form.
If it is dull here in Victoria it is fair to assume likewise down in Tassie. They don’t race on Saturday and Hobart is the venue for 9 races for very modest prizemoney, befitting the quality of acceptor, on Sunday afternoon – a brighter Sunday option would be to wait for the sunny Singapore gallops to come on to the screens and to cheer for Bel Sprinter in the rich Kris Flyer Sprint – another of Takeover Target’s memorable triumphs.
In summary, there’s racing at all points of the compass.
Like most weather reports, this early racing post is subject to many changes.
There’s actually a rainbow outside right now as the rain, sun and twilight compete….. but the pot of gold will more likely be found in the Winning Post which I am next going to attack. That’s where, hopefully, the good forecasts will emerge.
All comments, of course, are welcomed.
Good luck!


  1. Crio,

    Great, great intro. Honestly, I really appreciate the effort you go to. Scone to Alice to Tasmania, stallions to famed progeny. You’re all over it.

    I have perused Scone, but have concentrated on “The Farm” Good, capacity fields. At this early stage, I will look at anchoring Waterford in a Quaddie.(R5 No 7) 3yo filly ran a very good race against older, more seasoned geldings at her last start, and first in Australia, and at $13 looks a great bet.

  2. A well put together piece Crio (how you back up each week is beyond me- maybe dehydration is kept at bay so you have stamina to continue – swabs arent necessary) .
    Its been a week of rain here in “sunny SA” and after a quick perusal of form I will concentrate on Morphettville and David Jolly tomorrow. He has a good number of chances tomorrow.Not only is he an astute trainer who places his horses well and cares for their welfare but he is a most personable bloke and runs a good stable.
    Its the Mt Gambier Cup today (better weather than most years ) so will take an interest in the results
    Have you ever fielded there?

  3. Oges, we used to go down to the Mt Gambier Carnival each year and end up, from memory, at Jens’ Hotel. Always very wet and cold, it was in the first week of June and coincided on the Wednesday night with the Epsom Derby. It was always a great week – Jock probably has recollections of some of our times down there.

  4. Elvis,
    BR is racing at Doomben.

  5. cowshedend says

    Great work Crio,
    Ah the Duke of Norfolk, the only other 2 mile ‘classic’ at HQ, always been a glorified hurdlers flat. Reckon every caller for a generation used to give the throw away line ‘That was a nice cups preview’,when a Jim Houlahan jumper falls over the line in 3hrs 27min.
    Also, love Scone, lovely track and backdrop, although i reckon it would be colder than charity this time of year with all the open plan facilities and betting ring.

  6. Being aware Lights of Heaven ran second in this race last year, I just need to check the weather forecast. With her wet track form being superior to her dry track performances, one wonders if the state of the track is the key to her propsects.


  7. Ripsnorter says


    You must make too much money on the weekend to have time to put into that much form across Australia.
    I can’t see Power Princess losing the Roma Cup, great record and particularly at Belmont – weather could turn nasty and could be the only thing other than Playing God bringing his A game to the track spoiling her day.
    I like a couple of roughies late to put into your multiples late in the day when trying to balance the books in Xarrablaze ( Race 7 ) @ 13.00 and Milken Whiskey ( Race 8 ) @ 18.00 in Perth.
    Good Luck on the punt !

  8. I have not yet done any form at all. Might have a look tonight while watching the rain at Lord’s.
    All I do is put out some burley after a glance at acceptors… we need experts like you to tip us in to winners.
    Those roughies late in the day are tempting – I rarely have a bet at work (on course) but often stop for a pot on the way home – perfect timing for some WA punting.

  9. Ripsnorter says

    I wouldn’t be booking the Vue de Monde on my tips but if the Laurel still do that $5 Parma you might be ok – may even have enough for a cab to the Grand or the Cactus Club for afters !

  10. The parmy is a lot more than that and not great…. beer and footy are their niche.
    The Cactus Club??

  11. Ripsnorter says

    The Grand and the Cactus Club were a couple of staples from that area in the early to mid nineties – I knew the Grand had been turned into apartments but Cactus Club was on the corner of Puckle and Ascot Vale Road – not sure if a bar still exists there or not, I usually fall asleep before the premier League starts these days so I am a bit out of the scene ( and in Perth )

  12. Seems to be an International Guineas pandemic at the moment – I notice that Singapore have their G1 version today.

    More importantly are their G1s on Sunday.
    As previously mentioned, Bel Sprinter has to be very hard to beat in the sprint (R9, 1200m) but, as always, avoid Aussie totes and pools.
    More interesting is the G1 Cup (R10, 2000m).
    Mawingo hasn’t won for a long time so earns the cliche – take on trust!
    Red Cadeaux is an International warrior and must be the one to beat.

    I’m keen to pick a winner in Katherine and Singapore to show some versatility!

  13. Elvis- over to you.Help Crio with a winner in Katherine and Singapore. Im out

  14. Jock,
    I recall you tipping Legcut on ANZAC Day so you better butter up again at odds tomorrow. It was not a great run but did finish off OK. This week it drops in weight, takes a claim, has blinkers first time, steps up to 1200m and gets a wet track.

  15. I managed to stab Speediness in the Scone Cup today so cashed up for a weekend assault.
    Manihi – vaguely recall it racing and definitely remember its waywardness. I remember going to Morphettville 2YO trials when I was about 13 and seeing one run off the track on the turn but still hold on to win. I said to Dad “Is that by Manihi?” – sure enough it was. Luckily Manikato, and most of his progeny, were less erratic and he certainly infused his sheer speed into a few.
    As for racing in races named after yourself, I think you have forgotten the obvious – Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. I also reckon that the Sandown Classic wasn’t renamed after Zipping until after he’d retired. Still think its a ridiculous concept either way. Wait for retirement before handing out the accolades like that. By the way, whats Luskin Star got to do with Scone – he was from Newcastle if i remember correctly.

  16. Hunter Valley claims Luskin Star – it is just inland from Newcastle. Where did he stand?

  17. Welcome back Budge.Glad you got one up today

  18. Cut the Benny Hill stuff pls Oges!

  19. Crio,

    Mt Gambier cup day, takes me back. A couple of classics that I’ll never forget.
    1. The late Jim Easom’s 2 up game in what was the biggest motel room in the mount with all the beds stacked up in the corner. I remember walking in, not sure who with ( probably Crio and others) and you couldn’t see across the room for smoke but could clearly hear “head e’m up”. The motel manager appeared around 3 pm with a request to be quieter and Jim announced it to all with the addition of ” the people in the next room aren’t sporting people” or apparently drunken gamblers with insomnia so it seemed.
    2. Pat “mouse” Aitken putting up juicy odds on a jump and getting rushed by the punters and announcing” don’t worry, you’ll all get on, it’s getting paid you should worry about”. Can’t remember if that was the race when the jock jumped off at the first near the winning post or not.

    Conrats to the Budge on finding a winner, sadly I had to go to work.

    Tough day tomorrow but I’ll try Instinction at Scone, blinkers on and maybe not 4 wide, good chance at odds.
    In Melb, I’m having something on Balzeus in the Straight Six but I’m not following up on Legcut because I think it may need heavy and an inside draw is a problem.

    If anyone’s interested I’m in a first starter on Wednesday at Murray Bridge called Hostable. It will be in a 1000 maiden and will hopefully run in the first 4 but cannot recommend punting it. Also note that my record as an owner is a shocker. Haven’t really done any good since Elvis had his first appearance in Adelaide on Allez Bien day.

  20. Jock,
    I also remember the famous Jim Easom announcement about the neighbours not being sporting people. Also recall watching Shergar winning the Derby at the pub down Mount Gambier about 1981.

  21. Sorry Budge- poor choice of words (still how could you back Speediness?)
    Did you see Dominic Beirnes ratings of the 3- Yr olds this season in the Weekend Oz.Interesting
    Count me out of any Cup Meetings at Mt Gambier – the only time I went it poured I lost and was colder than Warrnambool (if thats possible)
    I was at Strath the day Jim Easom collapsed -his treatment or lack of it until the Ambulance arrived was appalling

  22. Not happy with the run of Lights Of Heaven. She got a nice trail, sitting fifth, just back of the pace, but in the final furlong and a bit seemed to get lost. I was concerned the track might have not been soft enough, but still put my hard earned on Lights Of Heaven. I s’pose that’s why they say it’s a mugs game.


  23. 15 mins until Bel Sprinter’s race if anyone is online/interested.

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