Crio’s Racing: The No Darwin Blues

It is cold and wet tonight (Th 23/06) here in Melbourne. Miserable.

There will be a pitiful betting crowd at Flemington on Saturday…understandably – outside of the Committee Room there are many more comfortable places to watch the races this weekend.

Relatively few people bother to go to the main metrop meetings these days, with TVN and pubs giving such a good service, but there are still race days I’d love to be at…

Regrettably I have made the harsh economic decision not to go to the Darwin Cup this year. The Darwin Cup is on August 1 and, unless you have already booked a flight, it is an expensive and not always convenient place to visit. Cup Day, though, is fantastic. There are races at Fannie Bay this Saturday and then regularly up until the denouement. The Alice had their Cup in early May and the caravan has just pushed up the Stuart H’way since. Katherine was apparently good and I notice that Adelaide River raced today (Thursday) for their Cup.

What a way to see Australia, getting to the local races! I’m shivering and dreaming of touring the various towns and their big race days.

This Saturday, for example, take your pick of the East or West…

Up in Cape country, I love the sound of the Laura races (and dance and rodeo!!)…check this link

Or, on the West Coast, what about the odds of going to a Derby Cup?!

Guaranteed fun, good weather and great memories.

To get there anytime in the future – unless someone wants to bankroll a book (??) – I’ll need to back some winners and it is at City meetings that we find the best exposed form.

Eagle Farm hosts the final Group One of the season (BR7, 1400m, F&M, WFA) and it is a ripper. Snowden’s Beaded (1) has been backed for a heap to stamp her claim as Australia’s second best sprinting mare. She is very good but there is enough depth here to shy away from (even lay) the 5/4 presented. Varenna Miss looks top class and is the logical next pick, though she’s not yet beaten the toppy. It might be set up for Hurtle Myrtle to blouse them.

Back at Flemington there are capacity fields for our mid-winter fayre. Racing Victoria continues to offer plum prizemoney and some really good series for a horse’s prep…the Banjo Paterson for stayers. The Winter Champs for more versatile types and the All Victorian Sprint Series for the dashers.

The Flemington Quaddie invariably includes one at odds and I’m hoping it is in the first leg where Time Matters (8) appears great E/W value at 16/1. Doesn’t win out of turn but this looks a really good race for him. Include the 4.

The Provincial Plate (R6, 1620m) is very open and Finishing Card (5) will need to win to avoid the muncher label. I’d bracket 3, 5 and 7.

Be sure to watch R1 before finalizing your Quaddy as the wet track might mean a preference for those drawn wide down the straight track. Don’t leave 9 and 18 out of your third leg. Top two also must go in.

The last is a god awful race. Listen to morning markets for moves. I suspect 1, 2 and 6 will be the most prominent.

Good luck if you are having a try.  If the city meetings are getting too humdrum, look on line and get away to a country meeting, either in Victoria or, preferably, somewhere warm.


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