Crio’s Racing: Super Saturday

The VRC promotes this as Super Saturday, featuring the time-honoured Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup, but the strength of this weekend’s racing is the combined attractions of Flemington and the equally outstanding Chipping Norton card at Warwick Farm.

The Newmarket, for 140 years, has enticed connections to beat the Handicapper and the feature doubles bookies as well as the capacity field that seemed always to contest the famous Straight Six. The featherweights and “hefty imposts” are no more – with the more compressed weight scale – and doubles betting has lost its lustre, but, despite “only” 15 acceptors, The Newmarket Handicap (MR6, 1200m, G1) remains one of the Autumn’s most sought prizes. I tend to show less regard nowadays for any weight pull and just look for form, especially down the tricky track…no longer do they split, preferring to bunch down the crown of the track. This will be a great betting race. I’m a Samaready man.

The club will also be delighted to be able to promote the Australia Cup (MR7, 2000m, WFA, G1) as a meeting of the Cox Plate winner and the Cup King – and, it seems, both Shamus Award and Fiorente have returned in great order. A ripper race. Gai’s horse, though, looks awesome.

There’s good racing spread across the day.

The Listed 1100m Sprint (MR2) looks especially tough as many of these uncomfortably wore the “promising” tag last prep. Time for the good ‘uns to stand up. 2,7,9.

One of the oldest races on our calendar, the Sires’ Produce (MR3, 1400m, 2yo, G2) has, since 1862, raced under various conditions and status but is, nevertheless, a fixture in March and, with All Too Hard and Shamrocker as recent victors, it may be resurgent. 3 and 7.

The Kewney Stakes (MR5, 1400m, 3yo Fillies, G2) is one that I never seem to “get” – again these don’t look a strong bunch, but invariably a star emerges. Solicit will be short and looks the one. Marianne clearly best of the rest.

Another G2 of varied worth is the Blamey (MR8, 1600m, SW+P), seemingly an attractive option but often lacking depth. This looks a modest edition. Sertorius’ run at Caulfield was extraordinary but I’ll not back up here at a cramped quote.

There’s no reason to exhaust your focus on races like this because, as mentioned, there is also a cracking Sydney card to study.

Warwick Farm hosts a couple of exciting “match races” to help with the promotion.

The Chipping Norton (SR5, 1600m, WFA, G1) attracts quality missing from the Blamey, mostly due to its WFA and G1 status. It’s a Dundeel v Boban will be the point of most discussion here and, to be honest, you couldn’t back Boban again until he “shows up”. Murray Baker’s horse is a star – remember his daring win over Atlantic Jewel in the Underwood? – and this should be a nice kick start for him. Hawkspur adds depth to the field and Moriarty, though better in a Handicap over longer, served notice last week. This might be a tricky sit and sprint on a soft track but the toppy is the real “Deel”.

Another presumed “race in two” is the Surround Stakes (SR7, 1400m, 3yoFillies, SW, G2), again presenting the quandary of a 2013 champ, in this case Guelph, up against a bombproof opponent, with Sweet Idea her emphatic conqueror last start. Again the Snowden filly is (falsely I believe) fav. And, once again, it might not just be between these two as Chateau Lafaite leads a cluster of challengers which might be on the improve.

One of the very best races of the day, inexplicably not a Quaddy leg, is the Wiggle Stakes (SR4, 1400m, Mares, SW+P, G3). Catkins will obviously head the markets but Fire Up Fifi, She’s Clean, Miss Stellabelle, Sharnee Rose and others are all blacktype mares.

The other main challenge for Sydney punters will be in evaluating the effect on El Roca of last week’s controversial withdrawal ( Presumably he’s lost no condition from the “lost run” and wins here (SR6, Liverpool City Cup, 1300m, Quality, G3) against a good field including White Sage and Terravista.

Overall a fantastic day for racing fans this Saturday – and, of course, Adelaide Cup Day at Morphettville on Monday for those keen to play “around the grounds”.

As always, tips and observations welcomed.

Good luck!


  1. Love Saturday’s races both at Flemington and Sydney!

    Early observations/declarations:
    R2: Thermal Current is good enough to account for this field of mostly fillies.

    R3: Boomwaa may be en route to either Golden Slipper or Sydney to Hobart Yacht race as he hasn’t missed running in most of the big races to date. His run in the Blue Diamond was enormous and should get a softer run from barrier 2 here.

    R5: Like Suavito at the odds v Solicit.

    R6: Unpretentious has the right weight, barrier and jockey. E/W forever. Samaready may just blow them away but traffic might be an issue froim the alley.

    R7 Fiorente the obvious I guess. Interested to see Voleuse de Coeurs. Watch for any positive market moves on her.

    R9: Like Banco Mio each way. Has great record and not here for practice.

    Will get back to you on Sydney!

  2. Budge is back with vengeance. Tassie bound for a week so races take a back seat. Adelaide is too tough and I don’t like the field in the Adelaide Cup (Jock may have other ideas) but news from the beach is save something for the locals on Wednesday at Strath

  3. G’day Crio. Some good races in the bush this weekend. We”re off to Corowa for Sunday Cup meeting. Other races that are of interest include the two day Carnivall at Echuca, culminating in the Cup on Sunday, a good non-TAB meeting at Towong on Saturday, as well as the picnics at Alexandra. Happy Punting.


  4. Budge,
    What about the gear changes, didn’t you give them a point!

    I thought Flamberge was a great run in the Oakleigh Plate and will be hard to beat getting 6kgs off the top weight.

    Feeling a bit more engaged with the punt following a good day out at Morphettville last week with the lads, just need to to forget about some of the crazy punting theories that were being bandied about.

  5. Glen, plenty of meetings at picturesque venues….Hinnomunjie and Towong down here and Tumut in NSW.
    Had some great times at alexandra years ago – ending, of course, at The Mt Pleasant pub

  6. Crio, where is Hinnomunjie ? Is it in the Snowies?

    I’ve not been to the races in Tumut, having visited the town only once. Very picturesque town, with a marvellous old Catholic Church, with Latin writings prominent. One of,my grand uncles worked on the railways there; many moons ago, long before i was on the radar. I reckon the railway to Tumut closed 50+ years ago.

    Towong is a track i’d like to get to. I’m sure they used to have 3 meetings a year, including a TAB meeting, but now it’s only 2, neither being TAB.


  7. cowshedend says

    Great wrap Crio, what a great week to be a punter, great offerings here and in firework city.
    Budge, big push around for Unpretentious.
    Someone give me a bit of an urge Forteller, reckon if not for pilot error would have gota lot closer to Fiorente.
    Solicit just wins.
    very sad to hear the professor in a very bad way, an absolute gentleman and still the best hoop I’ve seen.

  8. Skip of Skipton says

    I stayed overnight in Tumut last September (Cats/Hawks prelim night actually). Big timber, paper, cardboard mill town. Very scenic.

    Drove the Snowy Mnts Hwy across Kosciusko National Park to Cooma the next day.
    Roadsigns warning you to look out for brumbies. We saw a couple of the big woolly buggers standing just in off the road.

    A spooky kind of drive really, but well worth it.

  9. Personally I think Solicit is a good lay. Should be looking for 1600m now.

    In Sydney, love It’s A Dundeel as a horse but prepared to risk here 1st up. Has run 4th at last 2 first up runs and has bigger fish to fry later. Not given up on Boban (3rd run in and up to a mile plus significant jockey change). Hawkspur, Moriarty, Monton all some chance.

    Also prepared to risk Catkins 2nd up. She’s almost unbeatable 1st up. Fifi’s 2nd up form is good.

    Think Guelph will get back to her usual winning form but each way chances to Arabian Gold and Gypsy Diamond and a watch market on the NZer Lucia Valentina (H Bowman on board).

    Memorial wins the 2YO.

    Happy punting!

  10. Sounds easy. See you out there?

  11. Here’s an honour roll of winners for one of Saturday’s races
    1988 VO ROGUE
    1989 VO ROGUE
    1994 DURBRIDGE
    1995 DURBRIDGE

    The Australian Cup? No, these all won the Blamey Stakes.
    Hasn’t it gone to shit since those glory days. Some of the household names to win since include Rosden, The Fuzz, Thackeray, Market Price, Tears Royal and Largo Lad admittedly interspersed with Apache Cat, Whobegotyou and Puissance de Lune (dh last year).

  12. Yep Crio. Bells will be attached.

  13. Skip of Skipton says

    Bit hard to keep the glory days of the Blamey going when it’s on the same card as the Australian Cup, and not a lead up race to it.

  14. Agree Skip. Not sure what it is now. Just a lead up to the Sydney big ones I guess. No idea why it would be programmed same day as Aust Cup.

    Mourayan getting to silly odds ($30) v Fiorente given 1st up run.

  15. part of the marketers pushing a “Super” day with no consideration for consequence

  16. Anyone use Sportingbet ?
    Web site has changed and must be the most un-intuitive site I can find. I’ve only had 2 pints ( maybe 3) but it took 10 mins to work out how to take a quaddie, I still don’t know how to bring up their form but at least can use racing & sports form using another tab on Chrome.
    Looks like I’m back to betfair but like to quaddie so maybe sportsbet.

  17. Skip of Skipton says

    Sea Moon first up in the Blamey is a big watch. Green Moon won the race first up two years back.

    $9 fixed Thermal Current is a good way to start proceedings. Some all-ups out of that look the go.

    Lankan Rupee has gone from strength to strength since they chopped his nuts off and looks the real thing.

    Mourayan is huge overs considering his run in the St.George, but Fiorente should be greatly improved.

  18. cowshedend says

    Newitt makes same blue in Aust cup as he did in the Orr and then says’surprised Fiorente out sprinted me at the top of the straight’ must have the memory spanof a goldfish.
    Boban great, Lankan Rupee spanked them, Sea Moon colder than charity.
    Solicit did a heap of work and still won.
    El Roca fantastic in Sydney after last weeks disappointment, butwinner was great after sitting 3 deep from the gate.
    Gai Waterhouse should come with a warning prior to an interview.. painful! Sounds like she is channeling Pixie-Anne Wheatley.
    Snowy Clarke should just wear an Oliver duffle coat, he makes me ill.

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