Crio’s Racing: Ten Thousand Time

Brisbane’s city tracks, Doomben and Eagle Farm, are literally across the road (Nudgee Road) from each other – thus sharing the same soil, rainfall, even some facilities. Trainers and punters rarely even bother to query which course is fixtured – other than a slight difference in length of the home straight, they are virtually interchangeable. This is what makes the racing record of Chief De Beers (after which BR3 is named this Saturday) all the more incredible….the local champ won an astounding 20 races at Doomben and was winless otherwise. Now that’s a track specialist!

The main focus there for punters this week will be the quaintly titled Doomben 10,000, a time honoured prize which invariably helps frame markets for Eagle Farm’s greatest Handicap, the Stradbroke, which follows in a fortnight. It’s the usual suspects – Buffering and Rebel Dane at the top of the markets with Knoydart and the “Booms” amongst the challengers. The winner will join a stellar honour roll including, of course, “The Chief” as well as other crowd favourites such as Takeover Target, Apache Cat, Falvelon and, under its old conditions, Manikato with 58kgs as a 3yo in 1979 and the legendary Bernborough carrying 65.5kgs in 1946! Good horse’s race, as they say!

The support card is also outstanding but, given I’m a bit out of the loop at the moment, I’ll leave it to others to recommend a staking plan.

Doomben, along with anywhere that racing is loved around the country, will have a pall of sadness hanging over it this week after the sudden death this (Thursday) morning of Guy Walter, the training maestro who just last Saturday received the trophy when Streama won the Doomben Cup. He was “the trainer’s trainer” – a masterful horseman who was at the peak of his powers and respected in the profession not just as a giant of his trade but also as a gentleman. Racing has again lost one of its finest.

This overshadows other turf news of the week, including the farcical situation at Sandown on Wednesday. Why are tracks no longer durable? Racing Victoria needs to find a very large mirror!

As racing lurches from crisis to crisis, the dishlickers are showing them that there is a way – the greyhounds are experiencing a surge of interest, reflected in wagering, ownership and attendance. Tonight’s another big meeting at their Sandown track – lots of activities widely promoted and free admission!

I’m again “off track” this Saturday but hoping to hear from anyone with tips for the races or reflections on winners and personalities that make the game what it is (or should be!).

Good luck!



  1. The Doomben 10,000 seems to be one of the few traditional names left in racing. I think it stems from the time when 10,000 quid was a huge prize. Doomben was always the speedsters track, while the extra 50 metres and wider spaces of Eagle Farm and the Stradbroke suited the classier types like a miler kept fresh.
    When I lived in Canberra in the 80’s/90’s and followed the nags, a couple of mates had handy horses with Guy Walter. He was great at taking them through the grades and placing them to advantage. Could have G1 horses but also looked after them at the provincials on a Tuesday. Genuinely nice bloke who didn’t have tickets on himself. Only the good…………

  2. At one stage, presumably when the prize money reached $100,000, the race was named the Doomben 100,000. As money increased they reverted to the original.
    As for Guy Walter, racing can ill afford to lose a person of his quality. His horsemanship was unsurpassed and he became an exceptional trainer taken at the top of his game. His personality was of a time gone by. So many participants In racing ( and other sports) are hellbent on self promotion these days. They use the press to pump themselves up to attract more clients and money. Guy was content to let his results speak for themselves. His humility and respect for all sets an example for others that I don’t really expect will be followed. The expressions “a true gentleman” and “an ornament to the sport” could have been invented for Guy Walter.
    A massive loss to racing. RIP the great Guy Walter.

  3. Too true Budge. Good words for a good man.
    How wonderful that men of the calibre of Guy and Higgs can reach the very heights of racing…and how utterly despairing to lose them both so soon.
    As much as Tie The Knot dominated Sydney blacktype, I reckon the last 2 seasons have been the most amazing as Guy’s horses – especially mares – have impressed in the big ‘uns right along the eastern seaboard.
    Guy Walter will be mourned and his legacy as a giant of racing must be memorialised.

  4. cowshedend says

    Budge ,Crio wonderful tribute to a ripping bloke, Defier still one of the best and toughest horses i can remember…Vale Guy Walter

  5. cowshedend says

    In 1980 had one of my greatest ever days at track at HQ, was down at the Elms when heard Hit It Benny won the (Rothmans) Doomben 10000, stuffing wads of cashinto mine and mates pockets…..The cash has gone and so is the Elms!

  6. I notice Riziz has come across from Adelaide to run in the Straight Six. Let’s hope the 60kg’s is not too much of a burden for this smart sprinter.


  7. Not a bad winter’s card at Flemington – the old Duke of Norfolk always signals we are officially off-season. Thanks God for the Winter Championship and Banjo series as they promise good prizemoney and thus competitive fields.
    The Straight Six is very wide – note that Leon Macdonald has also brought Essay Raider over – how does it line up with Riziz? They’ll both be in the market.
    Raining here today after extended dry spell. Track rating should be Greasy!

  8. On the Straight 6, Riziz is only a pony and not well handicapped if you look at Ready to Rip and Essay Raider from the Goodwood, but the latter is now on the rail and you cannot seem to win from there. I keep coming back to General Peekay who will be fine with the extra 100 metres.
    Ominous was super impressive in Adelaide and I expect the D Dunn will be able to keep it settled to get the 2 miles so should be very hard to beat in the Ramsden.

    Guy Walter, that was a shock after seeing him being interviewed just a few days prior. Didn’t he have a great record as a trainer, I was always impressed by how calm he seemed to be which is a bit unusual for a trainer. Reading some of the press I was also thinking how Tie the Knot was a bit under rated by many ( including me) 13 group 1’s is a lot of them.

  9. Keep some cash for Strath on Sunday with R1-7 R5-6 and R6-5 all very good chances (thats if you have any left)

  10. Thanks Oges.
    I haven’t had a bet for a while ( i haven’t found a winner in a long while!).
    Sunday could be the day – I notice it is also the “bucket listed” Casterton meeting, where they jump those wonderful live hedges.

  11. Crio,

    I’ve never really been much of a jumping fan but I agree the hedges make a lot of difference.
    They have them now at Oakbank and I feel it is a bit more forgiving and the spectacle of them skimming through the hedge is great, no hard panel at the front of the jump, i reckon it’s the way to go if they want to keep jumping as a going concern.
    Parks track at Morphettville tomorrow and maybe a bit of a roughie in race 5, St Fraser( blinkers on so Roger gives it a point) as most of the chances get back ans St Fraser will take a forward spot in a poor race, currently 40’s so have a dollar ew. Name the Day ran a good trial a week and a bit ago but will probably get too far back and it’s a bit short, Potiche also like so get back which is why I give the roughie a chance

    I like Knoydart in the 10,000. 2 thirds behind Lankan Rupee is the best form in the country and I’m not convinced that Buffering is going that well but plenty looking to get forward so Knoydart for the last crack at them

  12. Thanks Jock.
    Knoydart’s form down here wins this.
    btw, track might be a road here tmrw

  13. Just read that Wes Lofts died on Thursday, aged 71.

    One of the few things from early on that I remember vividly is the old man taking me to every Carlton game ( except Geelong….too bloody far) from about 5 to 11 years of age, pre moving to Adelaide. The golden Carlton years when Percy Jones, Jessa, John Goold, Brent Crosswell , Sergio Silvagni, big Nick and Wes Lofts were all playing and we actually won premierships.

    Sad day, seems that we are losing a lot of old campaigners from many sports at the moment.

  14. very true Jock.
    The reality, of course, is that many of our boyhood heroes are 20 yrs older than us and hence pretty old

  15. I’m hoping to get more than 20 years.
    Maybe I need to make some lifestyle choices!

Leave a Comment