Crio’s racing: Super Saturday at Randwick

What a big week in racing!!! -not only do we confront a bumper Turnbull Stakes Day at Flemington but it is Super Saturday at Randwick, with 4 Group One races headlining their black type card.
My usual gripe about Sydney racing remains despite the riches and prestige on offer – there are too many small fields encouraging dawdling pace and few chances.
The Roman Consul Stakes (SR3, 1200m, G2, 3yo), for example, is already (Thursday morning) down to six runners, none of which, it is noteworthy, come from the Waterhouse, Waller or Snowden yards! Ichihara (5), is odds on.
The Spring Champion Stakes (SR5, 2000m, G1, 3yo) has 7 starters but many less chances. Put your $10 on Proisir (1) and you might get a pie from the profits. Gai, not uncharacteristically, has hyped this Colt so I look forward to seeing it perform. It’s a Dundeel (2) is a pretty good measuring stick. But it is a disappointing Group One.

The Flight Stakes (SR6, 1600m,G1, 3yo fillies)is marginally better, promising 9 runners and no “shortie”, but there are 3×100/1 pops to immediately discard. It looks a race in three; undefeated Urban Groove stepping up and out again, Bart’s promising Norzita which seemingly finds one better each outing, and Clarry Conners’ ultra reliable Dear Demi. I’ve fallen for the hype and selected Gai’s “groover” (6).

The great Randwick mile (Epsom Handicap, SR7, 1600m,G1) has seen some stirring stars over the years – this doesn’t look to be a vintage edition. The quandary for punters is in assessing “Flat” Al’s flop last week – is he peaking for the Epsom or does he fall just short of this class, especially at the favoured quote? As a coward, I am forgiving but not backing! Shoot Out carries the Number 1 saddlecloth and has 58kgs, which is not bad off a 52 minimum. I reckon he is the one to beat. Tagus (12) will sit up on the pace and might carry my spec at 50/1.

The aspirational stayers step out in the Metrop (SR8, 2400m, G1) under the same weight scale as the Epsom. Lamasery (3) looked really impressive last start and must overcome a tricky gate and the promising Glencadam Gold (6) to win. Victorian visitor Buxted (12) could be the E/W value.
Rain Affair (1) seeks redemption in the Premiere Stakes (SR9, G2, 1200m, WFA), arguably the best race on the card. 5/4 looks unders. I prefer Streama (5) second-up or the perennially unlucky Satin Shoes (7).

At Flemington, punters will be battling to pick the eyes out of large fields with hopefully the residual “honest” pace and thus plenty of chances. Bookies are licking their chops.
Some Derby dreamers present for the Listed 1800m Handicap (MR2, 3yo, SWP) with tough draws and possibly a dawdling pace causing havoc with speed maps. What is noticeable on first glance is the “Blinkers first time” flag flown next to the mounts of those great rivals, Luke Nolen (11) and Froggy Newitt (16). I also like the posting of M.Rodd for Mick Kent’s inexperienced Priority Road (7). Kent’s other runner, the unbeaten Philippi (4), will be leading the markets with Snowden’s Tathra (2) and the Caulfield winner Hvasstan(3). Watch betting!

None of us who flinch at contemporary race names could have any qualms about the “Cups qualifier”, a 2520m Handicap at HQ, being dubbed “The Bart Cummings” – though just “The Bart” would’ve sufficed (MR4, Listed). It has attracted a large and competitive field but the logical selection is Exceptionally (8) which just looks cherry ripe for this. Tanby (6) and maybe I’m Jake (12) are amongst the dangers over a distance at which wide gates can prove disastrous.
Spring in Melbourne invariably features a host of terrific Mares races and the Blazer Stakes (MR5, G2, 1410m) is part of the series. I’m off Mosheen (1). Soft Sand (10) was battered last start and should be the one to beat. This barrier, though, tends to favour leaders so the better bet is probably Twilighting (15) E/W forever at the 20s.

The time-honoured Edward Manifold stakes (MR6, G2, 1610m, 3yo fillies) kicks off the Quaddy and it is time for Commanding Jewel (5)to live up to her hype. This must be the day. Watch Showmya Miss (12) with an eye to the thousand Guineas and note the early nibbling at unheralded Proper Madam (6).

The Turnbull (MR7, G1, 2000m, SWP) is always a good race, a critical formline and invariably it is won by a track expert. I’m back on Southern Speed (8) here, with some reservations on her draw. Green Moon (11) must go in to the multis and maybe 5 or 9 for the drum.

The Gilgai (MR8, G2, 1200m, SWP) – registered as the Baguette Stakes – asks punters to question how highly they rate Bel Sprinter (4). Most will be convinced enough to put him on top and suggest he can capture this before heading to the Manikato. He’s my pick. I rate MidSummer Music (6) as the main danger and look for King’s Rose (7) to finish off and run in to a place.

The last race is one of those tortuous affairs in which you have backed several of them recently and witnessed their misfortune. Amah Rock (9), for example, has arguably been “something beat” in the last two outings. I’ll wait for another day. Menados (13) cost me at Caulfield so I’ll send my good money after the bad here, including 11,3 and 9 in my exotics and leaving out pre-post elect Fawkner (5).

It’s going to be a very, very big day – not helped, of course, by the VRC dragging it out to a 5.40pm finish! At $30 for nothing in admission it is time to either get the season pass for a couple of hundred or scratch Flemington from your diary. I don’t have a choice (and don’t pay!) so will be there on the Rails.

Friday night’s Valley meeting looks to be very “restricted”, so I might give that a miss – in fact, Benalla’s Cup Day on Sunday beats it by some lengths.
What pundits of both the ATC and VRC meetings share is the prospect of very hard tracks and, for form analysts, the need to take any collateral from that in to account when they next back up.
It might be GF week at Randwick but the singers are just lubricating their tonsils down here. Cup Day is exactly a month from Saturday – let the countdown begin.
Good luck!


  1. Got to agree with you on Exceptionally Crio. Has been a good money spinner at good each way odds lately and this race will give a good indication for the future.
    The Benalla meeting must be a goer as Yendall has a “full book” of rides.
    Incidentally racing is alive and well in Qld as there are 11 meetings throughout the state on Saturday

  2. True, Southern Speed is drawn wide but all 4 runs in this prep have been impressive, with the fact G Boss is on board, are posiitives for her.

    Dean Yendall, one of a number of good horseman from Jerilderie. Early fave for the Benalla Cup ?


  3. Glen I should be a loyal “Croweater” and follow Southern Speed but Yendall has been kind to me over time -now you have alerted me to why he is at Benalla Sunday

  4. John Harms says

    Murtoa Cup Day too.

  5. Exceptionally does look the obvious but I will struggle to back at the shortish quote. Runs some awesome races but doesn’t win enough for me to tumble in at the $3.50 or thereabouts.

    Another who doesn’t win often but I keep falling into is Yosei. Usually ridden by M Payne, she is being ridden by G Schofield in the Epsom. He also rode her last start in totally unsuitable WFA race (beaten 5 lengths by Shoot Out). Meets him 3.5 kgs better under the handicap conditions and, at the odds of around $16, I’m prepared to come in again.

    Special mention on the retirement of Efficient. A really great horse who, but for soundness issues plaguing his career, would have proven himself a superstar stayer for many years. His wins in the Derby and Melb Cup were absolutely awesome. He deserves the 5 star retirement he will get.

  6. Yes Dean Yendall is a good hoop. Not much catching the eye for the Cup, but Brian Cox has Berringama running in the last. 18 months ago he looked damn fine, but has struggled since. Injuries, i’m not sure, what’s happened, but i’ll take him in the last. In the same race Mick Hartney from Berrigan has Regular Aussie. 6 furlongs might be too short for him, but i’m off to Berrigan for their Cup meet on Derby Day, first Saturday in November. Regular Aussie won the cup in 2011. It’s a pity Berrigan no longer has TAB status, it meant a lot to the smaller towns.


  7. Budge,
    We are all expecting you to declare Sistine Angel again

  8. A few early thoughts while having lunch at my desk.

    Maluckyday at 50% would carry this field if he’s not a run short. This is probably the only race that has really suited him since the 2nd to Americaiin 2 years ago and I don’t think 59Kg is any problem.

    I also think Celebrity Girl will be an improver with a good draw, hope they go forward. I don’t know where Soft Sand will end up from the inside and I’m not ready to get on Mosheen yet.

    If all this fails, I can always get my crayons out and write up an application for Port Adelaide coach to bring in a few quid. Anyone know a parole officer who will give me a reference!

  9. Skip of Skipton says

    Spot on Budge. Efficient could have won any race you set him for from 8f up. An all-time champion of the turf if not for constant injury troubles.

    Here’s his ’07 Cup win. Listen at around 2:37 for Greg Miles’ ‘Bill Collins 1982 Cox Plate’ moment.

  10. Crio,

    Ran a short priced favourite, but could you back anything other than “Warhorse” who won the Bonecrusher Stks in NZ last weekend.

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    What is the goal for Mosheen this spring? I don’t get the plan of attack: 1200m, 1200m and now a 1400m mares race? Sacked and into the too-hard basket if she can’t win this.

    Green Moon and Sneak a Peak in the Turnbull. I’m still interested in Winchester as a watch. Good race on paper.

  12. Skip of Skipton’

    Mosheen no sheen.

    You’re right, the Turnbull (No Peer Stakes) is a good race. I reckon it might be wise to find not a 2000m horse, but a mile and a half horse on the way up. There are a few who fit this bill, but I will be trying Seville, who Nick Williams (who could easily play Carl in Underbelly) was pretty bullish about on Sky the other night, Zabeelionaire and Zurella. Seville has only won the one race, but he’s gone around in some pretty flash Group 1’s ans 2’s and really put in over the final bit behind Folding Gear last start. Flemington should suit.

  13. Skip of Skipton says

    Good get re Nick and Carl, Elvis. They might be from the same stock a few generations removed?

    Seville is likely pacesetter for the Moon (and others). An astute mate reckons December Draw and Voila Ici will get soft runs up front and be hard to toss.

    I bombed with Zurella last start, but that means nothing. Zabeelionaire I had in the Derby last spring. He’d be a Melbourne Cup tracker after his win in Adelaide and I wouldn’t touch him before then.

  14. Budge,

    Commiserations on the retirement of Efficient and of your plan to fall into Yosei again.

    Yet another impressive Fastnet Rock winner of the first at the Valley. He’s unreal.

  15. Skip of Skipton says

    Yosei did run third in the Doncaster, Elvis. Although that was a big field with pace.
    She’s a cheeky little bugger. Likes to rail. Heart as big as herself.

    He’d want to be ‘unreal’ with the quality of mares he’s had. Latest Danehill ‘trendy stallion du jour’ ultimately poisoning our stock.

  16. Dom Beirne’s push and more generous odds have me putting Fat al on top in the Epsom.
    also, remember to watch Dare To Dream in the craven Plate to see if the smoke = fire.

  17. Yeah, can’t have Zabeelionairre at the weights…looks a top Duke of Norfolk type!
    Does anyone else give Buxted a hope in the Metrop?

  18. Skip of Skipton,

    Great point of view. Didn’t know you were as passionate about pedigrees as you obviously are. A lot of “experts” share your view., though they usually don’t use the term poisoning. You are probably right, it’s easy for a farm to sell a son of Danehill, but are we, as in the world, still under the influence of his grandsire Northern Dancer?

    Seems it is not about breeding to the most successful sire line ever any more, but incorporating an “outcross”

    On paper, Street Cry is an example of this, but his grand dam is a half sister to ND. Maybe we point the finger at Almahmoud, the mother of ND’s dam Natalma. She also features closely in More Than Ready’s sire line as Halo’s grand dam.

    Star Kingdom and Bold Ruler were everywhere some decades ago, and you struggle to find them in the first 5 generations any more. Will Danehill and Northern Dancer suffer the same demise. Who knows. All I know is that in breeding there is one rule. There are no rules.

  19. They are spruiking that Proisir big time in Sydney. I see he is by Choisir – has he sired any stayers?

    I am keen on Zabeelionaire at the good odds. Think he might be a bit better than generally thought.

    Agree with Jock re Maluckyday but like to see him actually win one though this is his big chance.

    Soft Sand from barrier one will need a special ride from C Williams. So long as he doesn’t get too cute, I think he’s on the best horse (and best weighted) in the race.

    Not going to declare Sistine Angel this week (which probably makes it a special). Assume its being set for Myer Classic, which is also Mosheen’s goal race.

  20. Budge,

    On viewing his stakes winners on the Stud Book site, Choisir has thrown no notable stakes winners over ground, save Barsolino who won the Indian Kingfisher Derby.

    At the risk of sounding like a clown though, his 5th dam is Sunbride who threw Straight Draw (Cup, Syd Cup, Metrop,) General Command (Syd Cup, Metrop) and Illumquh (Caulfield Cup)

    Personally, I reckon he’s a risk.

  21. Thanks Elvis. Based on that he’s definitely a risk at the $1.50 quoted irrespective of his staying background 5 generations removed!

  22. Skip of Skipton says

    You are a total clown, Elvis, but I love it!

    Myer Classic for Mosheen, eh? I’m not interested now. I thought she was better than that. Typical Fastnet Rock/Danehill line.

    More ‘Hail To Reason’ line stallions and some Tiznows.

  23. Budge,

    I reckon Betfair was created in direct response to Dame Edna Waterhouse’s continual spruiking. Her old man was good, but she borders on ridiculous.

    I’ll be having a good look at the pedigrees of other runners, confident I can find one to beat it. Randwick 2000m. That’s a pretty tough trip.

  24. Skip of Skipton says

    What and where is the Indian Kingfisher Derby?

  25. I can help with that one.
    It’s in India but Kingfisher is a brand of beer.

  26. Skip of Skipton,

    The Kingfisher Derby. India I guess. Probably do a lap of the Telstra Help Desk offices.

    Tiznow. That’s left field. In Reality, has been great in the States, but we haven’t seen many in this part of the world.

  27. Skip of Skipton says

    It’s OK, I just googled it and wish I didn’t.

  28. Skip of Skipton says

    ‘In Reality’, that’s right Elvis. Tiznow and his progeny are about the only prominent line of the Godolphin Barb. They come down through Man o’ War. They are doing well in the USA at the moment.

  29. What is the Commanding Jewel verdict boys?

  30. Budge,

    Honorius is the one to roll the spruik. Black Bart’s got one in also and he could get Black Top to run 10f at Randwick.

    See the Trescowthicks have a young horse called “Mr Jazz” He’s out of a mare called Let’s Remember. Well named. Wasn’t a bad galloper the original and ran 3rd in a Cup from memory.


    R3 – VILLA SPLENDIDO (Shortish, but G Ryan a big wrap for her)
    R4 – MALUCKYDAY (Agree with Jock, good thing)
    R5 – PRETTY PINS (Goes alright, big odds)
    R8 – KING’S ROSE (Class mare finishes over the top of them)

    Watching M Valley tonight. David Gately and his stupid speed maps. Blokes an idiot.

  31. Commanding Jewel has always been under the odds due to her pedigree but would want to win this race as its pretty weak.

  32. Elvis,
    Because you agree with me on Maluckyday I’ll throw out my roughie of the day.

    Real Stolle (too many gear changes to mention + M Rodd + inside barrier) but a good run two starts ago and has drawn the outside in its last two runs. This is not strong outside of about 3 runners and I don’t rate the SA form too highly. I think they have to go forward on Commanding Jewel and it may be a bit exposed at Flemington.

  33. Skip of Skipton says

    It only got pipped last start. It will deliver tomorrow. HQ, weather OK etc. No excuses, get on.

  34. Jock,

    Real Stolle. That’s rough on steroids, but, I always considered you a good judge. I will have something each way.

    Now you have opened that door I have two also. Right To Roam in the second. Handicapped by the hoop, but has had very ordinary runs in transit last two, and in Race 6, Zydeco. Zabeel filly who deserved to be a good thing beaten last start at her 2nd start in a race over 1600. Wide gate. Both will need luck, but so do all the favourites.

    i love these big fields at Flemington. Always open to a result.

  35. Jock,
    I actually thought Real Stolle’s stablemate, Affable, was a chance here. Already a winner over the Flemington mile and meets Members Joy 3.5 kgs better than last time. Is barrier one really an asset for Real Stolle- usually settles back.

    Elvis – the whole emphasis on (totally unreliable) speed maps has got ridiculous!

  36. Skip of Skipton says

    Fear not about Proisir and his 2000m capabilities. Here’s the Indian Kingfisher Derby!

  37. Boys,
    As it is late and no one is listening, make sure you watch Fef’s horse MR2 No8…he’s a bloody giant and I hope he doesn’t knock up on the road, but he’ll probably get across from his wide gate and give a sight. Derby bound.

  38. Couldn’t get in on your link but did on this one:

    Some pretty ordinary rides there and note that race was 2000m- not usual Derby distance of mile and a half. I see that Borsalino also won the Vijay Textiles Deccan Derby –Grade 1 on Tuesday at Hyderabad (wet track again and also looked to be 2000m). Those boys don’t ride too short in the stirrups thats for sure

  39. Elvis, I notice you have scared Seville off – scratched.

    Blazer stakes alert – G. Boss replaces A.McCabe from Shopaholic’s “forgive” run last start. MR5 No4 has a good gate and will race handy.

  40. Skip of Skipton says

    Cheers crio. I have a tip already for him. Sssshh! Will be interesting to compare the odds of Costa Nova vs. Moody’s horse the no. 11. who have almost the same form from the last two runs. Value is the word

  41. I love King’s Rose…backed it more often than I’ve cleaned my work shoes – but it has never won 1200m or HQ….as you said, look for it closing. 3rd.

  42. Interesting that L Nolen goes to King’s Rose instead of Mid Summer Music who has won 3 from 5 first up. Would think King’s Rose is another aimed at the Myer Classic? How about Galah fresh with G Boss on board?

  43. Galah needs mile and/or pace.
    Surprised they let Nolen near the Rose. 4+6Q

  44. Had to go out last night so shut down early. Sorry I missed the discussion with Budge and Elvis in full flight and Skip and Jock adding to it with you Crio.
    Thought provoking and have looked at my picks again- time will tell
    You guys will ahve writers cramp and be half asleep this am.

  45. For “interstaters”, still no rain here in Melbourne – though bloody cold at square leg this morning! – so track will be very hard.
    The only scratching to impact on my thoughts has been No 3 out of the last; but it remains a nightmare race!
    Very few bets for me today.
    Good luck.

  46. Derby fans…
    The 2000m at Bangalore is renowned as suiting milers – I am not kidding. Here was a preview
    note that Galilee is a past winner and Pronto Pronto nom for this yr!
    Watching the replay, Shane Dye looked unlucky on Veandercross.

  47. David Downer says

    Late to the game here lads (late night at MV has “slowed” preparations somewhat) ..though a bit in the kick and managed the quad so a nice start to the weekend..

    Echo Crio’s sentiments, not many bets today, but….

    R2 – Sticking with the Caulfield formline and will tack on to HVASSTAN again. Strong bullocking type who might appreciate Flemington more than most. At odds is the filly BALUCH (Oaks tip) who will be steaming down the outside late – will also like the bigger tack.

    R4 – Exceptionally seems to be the top pick all over the place, will be far too short for my liking now. Could it back to the winners circle for MALUCKYDAY today? Eats Flemington right up, I’ll head in his direction pending value.

    R7 – Ripping race. Reckon it might be DECEMBER DRAW’s turn today. Voila Ici will give plenty of cheek up front too – really toughed it out last time. Old mate Rekindled Interest with the blinkers on again. Do I give him another chance? Maybe some value there. Green Moon obviously the other. Can’t back them all. Cracking affair!

    R8 – BEL SPRINTER just too good I’d think. But if Almanac favourite Temple of Boom’s brother Spirit of Boom relishes Headquarters as much as the former, he’ll be in with a show.

    R9 – Bloody AMAH ROCK again. Had zero luck at Caulfield. Not sure about quick back-up, but didn’t exert much last time. Will wait for a price.

  48. Come on DD, get those splinters out of your backside and come in to the betting ring.
    I’m heading on course now – in driving rain!

  49. All,

    A horse just won at Morphettville that has gnawed at my irk. The galloper in question is ” Excites Zelady” The imbeciles that named this thoroughbred by (true) Excites out of Zelady should be subject to public humiliation. Aside from the obvious, it ends in “lady”, and it’s a gelding.

    As should the imaginative, creative, thoughtful owners be congratulated and publicly applauded, so too should these buffoons be banned from ever owning a racehorse again.

    I would like to initiate a web site called the “Naming Squad” to encourage and congratulate creative thought in racehorse naming, whilst at the same time, exposing and humiliating the window lickers that have forfeited the right to participate in the Sport Of Kings.

    The first monthly winner of the “Most Thoughtlessly Named Horse” Award will go to the owners of Excites Zelady. The prize; a Keno ticket and a night at the pokies with 2 complimentary lemon lime and sodas.

  50. John Harms says

    I might have a nibble on Member’s Joy. Easing in slowly.

  51. Skip of Skipton says

    Sterling job with the Seville tip, Elvis. 3/4 of the First Four and 2/3 of the Trifecta pays naught I can tell you.

  52. The Myer Classic.
    Red Tracer, Mosheen…every mare that runs well is heading there. It really has become a Spring target/highlight.

  53. Skip of Skipton says

    The Myer Classic is a nice race for all the mares who can’t really cut it in the fair dinkum stuff. I’d be throwing Mosheen into the deep end; Cox Plate, McKinnon, Emirates Stakes etc. that type of thing.

  54. Skip – she won OK but had a gun ride in a mares only race. Trainer knows he can’t get her fit for further than a mile after her setback so the Myer Classic is obvious target.

  55. Skip of Skipton says

    Budge – Fair enough. I Was hoping to see her have a big go this spring.

  56. Budge will soon post some thoughts from the weekend’s races….perhaps we can also discuss the big event tonight – the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe (on TVN)

  57. What time is that on?

  58. If I read TVN correctly, coverage is from 10pm tonight

  59. Just checked Betfair. $1.5m matched to date on the race which is on at 1:25am our time. Camelot favourite at $5.20 from the Japanese Orfevre at $6.

  60. John Harms says

    Budge’s piece is up.

    Well done on Proisir. Followed the mail.

    Had Member’s Joy won we’d be set up until Christmas.

    Texan Warney helped balance what was starting to turn into a crook day.

  61. I don’t mind Sea Moon in the Arc at around $11

  62. David Downer says

    Day 1 of DST doesn’t make it easy staying up for!

    Frankie on to Camelot has been one of the bigger stories in the lead up. “Son of” O’Brien takes St Nicholas Abbey.

    Some Aussie interest in the race after the Arc with Starspangledbanner. “Son of” to ride. About a 7-1 pop.

    Track going appears about a H10 in our terms.

  63. David Downer says

    Saturday was a little “crook” for me. From MV to Flemington, 24 hours is a long time in racing! Should have tacked on to Lloyd and Gai.

    The punt doth giveth, and the punt doth taketh away.

    Would like to see Sea Moon run well tonight with the Dunaden/Red Cadaeux Ascot form around him. But watching the coverage, his trainer (Michael Stoute) almost dismissed him with his outside draw.

  64. Skip of Skipton says

    The Arc is a bit of a wank, I reckon. End of season consolation for those who are still bothering. Lots of no-names on the honour-roll and lots of big names who failed.
    A great race nonetheless, if that makes sense. Vive le Arc!

  65. Skip, can’t really follow your logic there. If you said The Melbourne Cup is a wank, I could buy that but not the Arc – its still the real deal.

  66. Wasn’t a good weekend for rural Victorian Cup races, with both Benalla and Gunbower abandoned.


  67. Benalla is jinxed!

  68. Dont worry there is always Manangatang Saturday ?

  69. Benalla’s been a mess for almost 2 years now. Holes in the track, too much water on the track, the problems continue unabated.
    One can always cross the border for the Lockhart picnics on Friday.
    Glen !

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