Crio’s Racing: Tale of Two Cities

No excuses. Footy’s finished. Cricket decks are never ready for Round 1.
Set that trilby slightly off-centre. Speak from the side of your mouth. Nod conspiratorially and don’t fully divulge your “sources”.
If you aspire to becoming a racing expert this Spring, the train leaves this Saturday. Get on board!
There’s exactly a month to run the ruse from 5 October until the first Tuesday in November.
And what a trip it is likely to be, starting with the bonanza Epsom/Turnbull meetings in Sydney and Melbourne with all 19 contests blacktype.
The “signature” race at each track has distinct qualities and challenges for horses, trainers and punters.
The great Randwick Mile (Epsom, SR7, G1) is a time-honoured Handicap which, although form is far more exposed and the weight range more compressed than “back in the day”, means a host of variables for analysts to consider.
Guy Walter seems to hold the key, having “got” the Handicapper with Streama (5) and also attracted the odds makers with Toydini (6). His stable is firing. I’m hoping for (4) Rekindled Interest (admittedly a Valley horse) to showcase Jim Conlen’s genius second up.
There’s not enough time to dissect all races, but here are other highlights from Randwick that I’ll be monitoring…
As usual we’ll be on HayList (1) watch (SR8, 1200m, G2, WFA) and aware that this could be his finale – the trademark fight was missing in the last furlong last outing. Arinosa (13) is Australia’s most improved sprinter – though rumblings of a “positive” cause concern – and a repeat of that form means a win here.
Earlier in the day Guelph (1) steps up to the ideal Mile (SR4, 3yo fillies, G1) and it is safe to assume Arabian Gold (3) won’t again be backed in to favouritism to beat her. In a disappointingly shallow field, half are at cricket score odds.
In the Roman Consul (SR5, 1200m, 3yo, G2, set weights) bookies will be wary of Barbed (3), backed off the map to win in an old fashioned/very un-Darley plonk last go. Zoustar (1) rightly holds sway pre-post.
I’m very keen to watch the Dulcify Quality (SR6, 1600m, 3yo, Listed), especially Saintly Lad (9). Resplendent in the Green And Gold Diagonal Stripes, White Cap (what memories!), this colt ran a typically low key third on debut at Canterbury which had “Bart” Derby stamped all over it. Surprisingly he did not reappear for some time and then, on paper, flopped dramatically being unplaced at Newcastle (1/2 to evens). Watch the replay. And pay attention this week. He may be an Autumn star.
If all else fails, saddle up on Price Cheri (7) in the oft-maligned Metrop (SR9, 2400m, G1, H’cp). Wins.
Flemington’s epic 10 race programme (don’t start me!) features a terrific edition of the WFA mile and a quarter Turnbull – a signpost for so much of the next month’s deliberations. There are many permutations – Puissance De Lune (7) looked a “lock” a month ago and has not really done much wrong but I’m not keen on Barrier 1 and 5/2. Fiorente(6) is 5/1. Happy Trails (3) 40/1. And I am warming to Keep Cool (4) 8/1. Ripper race.
For some reason (possibly lack of time/resources) I’m not huge on the rest of the day, especially from an “investment perspective”. Undoubtedly the performances will have repercussions, but I reckon it is a sit on your hands HQ fixture.
R1 sets the standard – the Maribyrnong Tial of untried 2yo. This is where we wheel out the “watch market” cliché….especially 9.
Sea Moon (10) has declared for the Bart Cummings (MR6, 2520m, Listed), clarifying the Cup as the target for this massively credentialed Lloyd Williams import. Shocking gate, unknown fitness…better than these. Getting the miles in to his legs for the 2 miler.
The Edward Manifold (MR7, 1610m, 3yo fillies, G2) is a proven Thousand Guineas directive. Politeness will be short. I am yet to be sold on her. We’ll see here. 3 E/W?
The Gilgai (MR9, 1200m, G2) showcases the sprinters – Cowshedend, tell us what you really think about these straight sixers?! Galah (2) loves it and is 20/1. Any hope?
Peron (9) seems to be the main fancy in the Melbourne Quaddy closer.
I’ve been cloistered without papers or internet all week so have not had time to access form – and a modest MV card to work tomorrow night kills any hope – so I’ll probably have very few bets but take a keen interest in replays from, and any tips for, the drama sure to unfold on Saturday and beyond.
Good luck!


  1. Sorry I missed the comments.
    It always looked to be a challenging card at my least fav course, HQ, today, and so it proved. Didn’t have the time to set up a strategy…thought Happy Trails was silly odds and wanted to lay Politeness. Randwick racing looked fantastic – want to watch the replays – with Arinosa again outstanding but, alas Prince Cheri a dud!

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    Had a few bob on Seville in the Metrop. Decent get out for a shit day.

    Happy Trails* and Paul Beshara are good for racing.

    “Don’t under-rate a horse just because its trainer sleeps in the float with it” is rule #321 in my book now.

    *Top horse, but unsure about the 10f.

  3. Skip, good get out.
    I have been a Happy Trails fan but always worry whenin strife with stewards…especially those trots families.
    Watching Randwick replays now. Sensational day there

  4. Crio,




  5. Skip of Skipton says

    Those types will always have an extra eye and scrutiny on them. Good for racing all the same.

    Epsom day used to co-incide with VFL/AFL grand final day. Now they have shifted it forward a week, or is there some other reason for it? To create a ‘Super Saturday’ with the Turnbull?

  6. Interesting to see Hurdygurdy Man swoop home to collect the Murtoa Cup. Can anyone tell me the last time a Group 3 winning horse, had saluted in the Murtoa Cup ?


  7. Peter Fuller says

    I would guess that the ATC want to exploit the Sydney long weekend and the fact that the NRL Grand Final is on the Sunday, giving racing maximum focus.
    In fact going further back I seem to recall that the Epsom was on this Saturday and the Metrop on the Monday, just as the Sydney Cup was on Easter Monday following the Doncaster on the Saturday in my younger days.
    Shocking day for me, although any of my seconds, Masked Marvel, Puissance de Lune or Spirit of Boom would have retrieved the situation.

  8. Some extraordinary wins in Sydney. GWS should hire C.Waller!!
    Arc from Longchamps tonight.

  9. cowshedend says

    Waller all class, Boban a gun. Nice get Seville Skip, on what was a very mixed day for the Macedon Lodge team. The protest was a hard call, if I’d backed Sea Moon would be filthy, but if had been on the 2nd thing and it was dismissed would be filthy as well.
    All credit to Happy Trails, but PDLune finished the race off without any of its usual ZIP, haven’t seen the sectionals for the last furlong, but it looked dour after having a very soft run in transit.

  10. Have to retire Hay List after that.

    Some fabulous racing at Randwick.
    Loved the run of SCREAM MACHINE in the Epsom – put him in your black book.

    How about Molto Bene. Was last and got a check 220m out but won eased up running away. Wouldn’t be out of place in the Myer Classic. Big track ideal, just needs pace on. If things suited she could win anything. Thought the stable mate, Just Discreet, was OK as well. never got a crack at them at all.

    Fantome Gris ran home hard in R7. There’s a race for her soon. The winner a good run posted wide throughout. Romantic Moon got knocked down and then eased up to the line. Ignore that run.

    Some top runs in the Turnbull. Jet Away was fabulous- just needed that hitout. Loved the way Hawkspur hit the line after running into trouble. Great CC trial. Super Cool OK as well. Had no luck.

    Lake Sententia has another win coming up soon on her run in the last.

    To see the last 400 for all races on Saturday at Randwick and Flemington enter this link to your browser

  11. C.Waller very positive re Caulfield Cup.
    HayList should be invited down here to lead them out for the Manikato or something else that does justice to his wonderful career. Must not race again.

  12. cowshedend says

    Well spotted Budge with Fantome Gris huge run.
    And so sad to see Haylist yesterday, put a fork in him he’s done

  13. David Downer says

    Before the invasion of PB’s Bolivian virgins, in my original comments I do recall selecting the quaddie at both Flemington and Gunbower. Ahem.

    It was a super day at the latter. Weather was perfect. Rick McIntosh in fine form. Something so simply Australian about a remote country cup meeting.

    Inches from wagering glory. The punting gods wept for me at Gunbower. Sea Moon protest upheld, Streama nosed out, PDL nailed on the line, Spirit of Boom looming yet fading on run at the post. Seville wins its second career race #givemeaspell

    The courtesy bus from Gunbower back to Echuca amidst a setting sun over the Murray tributaries did provide some solace. And the two Norwegian backpacker lasses doth also lifted spirits. They would have been the star attractions at the Torrumbarry pub I dare say,

  14. DD – “inches from wagering glory” is like being inches from resembling John Holmes.

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