Crio’s racing: the concrete tracks of Caulfield

A big WARNING stamp should overlay Melbourne formguides this week – alerting horses and punters to possible pitfalls as another heatwave hits the state. Tracks will be rock hard – managers are obviously contracted to declare Dead4 and then upgrade ASAP – which can impact on form and, sadly, lead to jarring of the gallopers.

So, be wary.

Trainers are in an awkward bind as their stars need to run in order to proceed to their targets, but searing heat and concrete tracks can quickly end a programme – indeed, a career.

The MRC have already decided to start early, beginning at 11am. There’s tremendous prizemoney and plenty of black type, including a Group One gong, to be won over the 9 races. Don’t be discouraged about attending – there’s excellent airconditioning and shade at Caulfield so patrons can still enjoy Orr Stakes Day.

Some of the fields are a little small but nevertheless interesting. Take, for example, the time honoured T.S.Carlyon Cup (MR2, 1600m, G2). Despite only 6 Acceptors, it looks a really good race as all of these eye off rewarding campaigns.

The Autumn Stakes (MR3, 1400m, G2, 3yo) sees the return of popular Derby hero Polanski – and won’t trainer Robbie Laing be anxious to see his star return safely after the disastrous run and injury to his gun sprinter, Lord of the Sky, last week?

The heats of the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m, 2yo, 1100m) are MR5, for fillies, and MR6, surprisingly a part of the Quaddy, for the boys. Both may have “odds on, look on” status – Earthquake (3) in a tricky girls’ division, and hyped Rubick (4) in the first leg…I guess it is a one out “guts or glory” if you are intending to play (which I won’t).

Named for the mighty Rubiton, the open G2 sprint (MR7, 1100m) is typical off the smallish fields tackling these sorts of races this season. I’m a huge Lion Of Belfort (6) fan, but won’t be joining in at the skinny quote.

The feature (MR8, C.F.Orr Stakes, 1400m, WFA) is a renowned “good horses’ race”…the honour roll makes you swoon. There’s talk of Moment Of Change and Shamus Award being each 2/1…no thanks. Keener on Eurozone E/W in a subpar edition.

I’ve always been an Arinosa fan, especially fresh, but I’ll avoid the mares as last race on a hot day (MR9, 1200m, G3, SW+P).

For the record (which is probably poor!), MR Quaddy 4/6,1/6/1,2

Can’t blame trainers who elect to go to Randwick where the forecast is for a pleasant 27 degrees for the very good Expressway Stakes (SR6, 1200m, G2) meeting. All eyes will be on Boban, the spring sensation, as he resumes en route to a QE goldmine at The Championships. This is a fantastic race for $200,000 G2 and has plenty of other stars – Speediness, Rain Affair, Appearance…

Meanwhile Tassie Racing continues a big Feb and the Hobart Cup (R8, 2400m, G3) is at Elwick on Sunday. I was keen on Epingle last week and now know why he was scratched – canny Michael Kent has it primed for the Cup, but will again find a firm track. Weiry runs First Bloom (not for me!) and there are plenty of E/W chances including Magnapal (9).


The meetings get better by the week from hereon. Watch the replays and plot accordingly.

Good luck!


  1. cowshedend says

    You hit the nail on the head Crio. Can’t believe they are leading the quaddy off with the 2yo colts, 18 noms with 7 victories between them.
    How fizzed up will they get in forecast 40? Shocked with the lack of interest in the Carlyon, seems 150k is not enough incentive any more.Surely Hawspur would have been better suited to the mile, I saw it and Forteller nominated for both but opted for the Orr.
    Shame about the day, I know Tommy Hughes is a huge rap for Top Dolly in the fillies, ran ripping sectionals at its only start at HQ when it sat in the gates and rattled home behind Oakleigh Girl

  2. The early morning walk on the beach has resulted in me wanting to have a little e/w on Adel R5 no 14. but apart from that there are no other tips
    Another hot one here but they are not starting early like Melbourne

  3. cowshedend says

    Clinton McDonalds horse in the 1st Beliveau, was some sort of run last start.Came from 10 lengths off the lead last at mornington, to just go down to the fave. Who was sitting behind the leader with a soft suck along.
    having it’s first start at it’s home track, looks really well placed.

  4. What about this “official tweet” as an example of the pathetic RVL understanding of gaining a new market – as distinct from free admission, reasonable food+drinks and 30 mins between races….

    Ditch the ties & jacket in favour of the chinos & boat shoes at Caulfield on Saturday

  5. cowshedend says

    Dinosaur’s..anything about gladstone bags and Trilby’s?

  6. Well said guys – do the powers that be ever get out walk around and talk to the average Joe Blow or don’t they care?
    Will have a little on your tip tomorrow as bowls are off and I can watch Cowshedend

  7. If you’re looking for something to do tonight, I can recommend getting out on the lawn at the Valley. Plenty of seating (deck chairs, beanbags, etc), only 30 minutes between races and Big Bash final on the big screen. A very pleasant way to spend a warm evening.

  8. cowshedend says

    Good on you Oges, genius! I’ve been colder than charity.
    Great ride by stubby Holder, gunned out of the wide gate and strong riding to get him home.
    2yo’s…never again!!!!! So endeth the lesson

  9. Cowshedend – looks like I have to take a bottle of good red up to the Stables again.

  10. oh no! have I missed a winner again?!
    Hopelessly out of form.
    One bet today…Eurozone @6.5
    DD backed the winner. Lucky L.Meech wasn’t the pilot

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