Crio’s Racing: The last Saturday of Winter

Did the free-to-air stations show Frankel on their news feeds? I hope so. Having his first go at the mile and a quarter (2000m) some pundits thought him vulnerable and a few trainers thus dared to challenge for the Juddmonte International Stakes at York (overnight Wednesday EST). Fools them – although to be beaten by arguably the greatest ever is no shame. Their problem is getting into the official photo to hang in the pool room! Frankel annihilated a quality field and now has urgers pushing for a tilt at the Arc. Wherever he goes it will be worth watching.

Despite all of the naysayers, racing globally is booming at the moment and a huge Spring is certain for Victoria’s clubs. The meetings are more pre-season mode at the moment but there is still much to watch and discuss. “Corporates” are ensuring that any morsel of UK speculation reaches the papers with gasping leaks of Cup plunges…it is a trap for young players, although our very own DD appears to have a good handle on those to “watch”.

Few of this weekend’s runners will make it to the “majors”, but there are enough good ‘uns scattered around the nation to start the annual blackbooking.
At Moonee Valley, where I’ll be on the bag, the first fav, Commanding Jewel, will be a media focus on the basis of relation to the injured Atlantic Jewel and the fact that she might just be a black type filly. Her key opponent is the toppy, Mama’s Choice, already a Listed winner, which found the Diamond and Sires a bit hot last prep. She’s got young Sydney gun Chad Schofield up, who is starting a 3 mth spell with David Hayes at Euroa. Son of Glyn, young Chad is very good but, despite them getting a winner today (Thursday) at Werribee, it is fair to say that the Hayes Empire is tottering and punters stay well clear. MR1 No6.

The Quaddy starts with the McKenzie Stakes (MR5, Listed,1200m, 3yo C+G). An even bunch, you probably need to include 2,3,4,5. I’m dodging the politics but it is interesting to see Duric on Snowden’s fancied runner (2) with the abandoned M.Zahra picking up a good mount for John Thompson (3).

Old Rocking Force (MR6, No4) has never won first-up but he is a monty for your trifectas in the sprint. Prepost fav African Pulse is a good horse but has drawn the Tulla Freeway so is a risk. This could be the result race worthy of some deep study over a Friday night pot. Don’t totally eliminate Highly Toxic (5) at 40/1 and be sure to consider those drawn handily such as likely shortener Unanimously (3) and certainly One Last Dance (11), way overs at 12/1. Even Umgeton (15) at 33/1 has a show. I’ll be putting in 2,3,5,11,12,15!
The next has a few interesting acceptors that may have an eye on staying prizes on offer soon. Tanby (2011 Bendigo Cup before 2nd to Dunaden at Geelong), Shewan (G2Herbert Power), King Diamond , Sea Galleon (Listed Rosehill Xmas Cup) are amongst many well credentialled aspirants for bigger stakes. Topically, topweight Moyenne Corniche last won at the York meeting (Ebor Cup) that is this week held in the UK. One of his vanquished there was Mount Athos, a big spruik for this year’s Flemington crown. Hard nosed punters, though, just want a winner for this Saturday – 10 from 6.

The “get out” is a typically open affair. Bombalatomba looks like being favourite but he is a bad punting option, seemingly able to find a way to lose. Try 4, 11 and anything else you fancy!

Elsewhere, the G2 Warwick Stakes (SR6, 1400m, WFA) is Sydney’s feature. Warwick Farm trainers tend to dominate on their home track so keep that in mind if you are betting. The pattern has been to roll down the middle of the course to win there recently….all the stats tend to support Pinwheels’ (2)claims for Saturday, though Kerrin McEvoy can give punters palpitations on shorties. Throw in 12 + 13.

Morphettville’s main race is the Penny Edition (AR7, Listed, 1400m, WFA) – anyone else remember the old warhorse? – in which defending titleholder Alcopop confronts Caulfield Cup heroine Southern Speed (9/10f.) and Winter Championship stalwart Glaneuse.

I’m really looking forward to sitting down with a formguide on Friday and deciphering the form. We were right around the money on Caulfield’s Heavy10 last week – Elite Elle, Psychic Mick, Second Effort – so let’s hope enough Almanackers can offer their twopenny’s worth and help us find a winner. Any Qs or tips welcomed via this site or on track at the Lillis Kilmartin stand.

Good luck!


  1. Dips O'Donnell says

    Might see you at The Valley Crio. We’ll be up in the Valley View Room

  2. OK Dips.
    If I have read the draw correctly we are down the Windy Hill end of the Rails!
    Let’s hope we have a bank for a beer afterwards.

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    I don’t recall Penny Edition, but let’s hope Southern Speed and even old Alcopop can find some good form this spring to liven things up and give the Euros some competition. Is Efficient still in training? Maybe he can be like Ming Dynasty and surprise everyone by winning a second cup in his twilight.

  4. David Downer says

    Stayed up for Frankel on Wednesday night, but drifted off to land of nod 20 minutes before racetime. Woke up 45 minutes later, and hit the rewind button on the Foxtel box – had to watch the whole experience in reverse! In order, the Presentation, return to scale, tote dividends, replays of the last 200, then the race itself!

    But wowee. First horse in history to hit an official rating of at least 140 on two occasions. Seven lengths first try at 2000m versus quality, with plenty in the tank. Others were still on the bridle but he was already eons in front slaying them anyway.

    Mount Athos was a big win last Saturday night. I can now start to lay him for the Cup! I think I first mentioned him here in late April/May. Wasn’t even listed in TAB markets. The 200’s plus would have been nice – I joined Betfair far too late!

    Old mate Gatewood now about 65 on Betfair. Think he’s due for a run in France shortly to qualify for the Cup proper?

    Dissecting some MV form tonight. On-pacers (and rails) would seem to be the go. Certainly were this meet last year with rail in similar position.


  5. Skip,
    Penny Edition was a good horse – I’d never have tipped him to have a blacktype race at Morphettville named for him…but he is not the worst.

  6. Skip
    Surprised you don’t remember Penny Edition. Thought you were around our vintage! He won the Toorak in 81 (I had to look up which year). Beat Silver Bounty and My Axeman so a quality field. Was a real iron horse trained at Caulfield (like most of the good Sovereign Editions) but used to regularly get to SA and pillage their feature mile races.

    Race 1 quite like No 7 – Tyanna

  7. DD,
    You are the UK form man but we have missed the boat!
    If you fancy Mt Athos you must be interested in Moyenne Corniche, which has already had a prep?

  8. Dips,
    DD has us cautionary re track pattern, especially barrier bias. Tread warily early.

  9. David Downer says

    Moyenne Corniche. This time last year he was winning the Ebor at aforementioned festival. I certainly got sucked into his mate Saptapadi a few times. For reasons largely unknown to most – including me.

    Both now with J.Conlan – he’s not a big wrap for Saptapadi, but I haven’t heard his thoughts on M.Corniche as yet. From what I recall he was more your dour staying type. He is a 2 from 27 8yo after all. Racing Ahead podcasts may hold key to latest info.

    In comparison, Mount Athos is a 6 from 18 5yo with a turn of foot, in hot form, and seemingly on the up.

  10. Prefer others?

  11. David Downer says

    “Watch market”

  12. HaHa (good juvenile)
    None of these are punting prospects.
    R7 tmrw at MV is a better guide than York…and still questionable.
    As footy people know – one week at a time!

  13. David Downer says

    Reminder that Ortensia is running at York tonight in the Nunthorpe (12:40am) ..but she may come a cropper on the wet track

  14. David Downer says

    You beauty!

    Ortensia gets up to win it narrowly. Fantastic victory and reward for the Messara’s keeping the horse over there for so long.

    Worth staying up for!

  15. What a win. What a glorious campaign.
    Has she still not got a G1 in Australia? I think she’d basically retired when Messara got her.
    Ortensia deserves to be ranked with our finest International performers having come via Dubai in March to take on all comers…still one run left O/s I believe.

  16. Regarding today, I see African Pulse is scratched which ruins my value betting around it in R6. Still a good trifecta race.
    It will be interesting to see how today’s form plays out.
    The McKenzie Stakes is trumpeted as a Guineas pathway. In truth it rarely is.
    Likewise whatever wins the first will announce a Thousand Guineas programme.
    Look for inside gates and on pacers, especially early, at today’s MV meet.

    At the excellent Warwick Farm meeting, be wary of Waterhouse runners. Avoid them early and, if they continue to disappoint, lay them thereafter.

  17. David Downer says

    With plenty resuming and the likely rail/fence bias (but watch as the day unfolds), I might direct some interest towards those who’ll get the nice pockets up front…

    R5 – 5.Liberty Rock

    R7 – 6.Philda ticks all conceivable boxes but will probably start unders. The 11 Valedictorian might be the one at odds with the sit behind Philda on the fence. Lloyd’s Excluded will probably start fave, but is he now a “gunna?”

    R8 – Wary of patterns at this late stage, but if playing as we expect, work around 1.Morant and 11.Livigno.

    I also note PJ Flynn’s old mate Crabs is going around today


  18. Ortensia won a Gr1 in Perth I think (the Winterbottom?) before she went off overseas.

  19. Skip of Skipton says

    Ortensia won the Galaxy at Randwick (Group 1) and was then retired. She was subsequently stripped of that win due to a positive swab. The new owners (Arrowfield Stud) put her back into work under Mescara’s son, where she won the upgraded Winterbottom (Group 1) at Ascot in Perth, then they took her to Europe.
    She also won a race at HQ last spring if I remember correctly. Top filly!

  20. Once it got a run, I jumped on to Umgeton at the Valley! Knew this was the result race. The 3rd v 1st protest is a phyrric victory – doesn’t pay the 30/1 I secured…and Broken (owned by mates of mine) threw me out of the Quaddy!

  21. Oges,
    Big weekend?
    Duric winner yesterday and a D. Yendall treble (last @ 7/1) at Mildura today!

  22. Same with me Crio. Backed Umgeton each way and got tossed out of the Quaddy by Broken for good measure. At least saved me the drama of losing in the last leg!

  23. Don’t start me on the last race!

  24. Here’s one for Oges, cheerleader of the D.Yendall Appreciation Society (from RVL site)…
    “Amazingly, Yendall has now ridden the winners of the following Country Cups in regional Victoria, some on multiple occasions – Mildura, Kyneton, Swan Hill, Hamilton, Warracknabeal, Hanging Rock, Horsham, Donald, Colac, Koroit, Woodford, Quambatook, Casterton, Ballan, Coleraine, St Arnaud, Penshurst, Edenhope, Great Western, Balranald, Murtoa, Apsley, Burrumbeet and Marma Cups.”

  25. Have been on tour with the “Management Committee” and friends in Sydney
    Have just got to an Internet Cafe to read how much Ive lost on Sat and Sun but wonderful to see all the comments on Captain Crios Racing
    Heading home to the cold/wet tomorrow to “sunny SA?”

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