Crio’s Racing: The Sandown Saturday After, 2011

Hmmm….the Saturday after “Final Day”. Tough to convince anyone that there’s still races on, let alone Sandown’s “Classic” meeting, strewn with highly competitive Group and Listed races.

It’s a particularly hard sell to punters who copped a pounding last week and there will be little solace that the bookies who roll down Dandy Rd in their shiny new motors and suits find this a tough meeting to win at! Interest returns to those who like racing, rather than the populist hordes whose support in the last few weeks fund the Industry for the next 11 months.

The main race has had a few incarnations and struggles to entrench itself, presenting as a post-script or consolation to the main Spring attractions. These days it is the Zipping Classic (MR6, Gr2, 2400m, WFA, $350,000). Zipping had a remarkable racing record ($4.5m earnings!) and you’d love to have one like him in the back yard, but, to me, he often seemed to be a barometer for the quality of the opposition. He seemed to function a bit like those WR lines broadcasters simulate over swimming events. Very good horses beat him whilst questions were often raised over those behind him – look, most famously, at his remarkable 2010 Cox Plate 2nd. SYT 1st (outstanding). Whobe 3rd (query the mile and a quarter).

The field has dropped away to 5. Americaine looks a weighted certainty if he has not gone “over the top”.

Other races have more depth.

Here goes…

R1- 2yo Listed. Love those who have raced. Hence box 1,3,8

R2- 3yo Fillies. Listed 1400m. Good form. Box top 3.

R3- Sandown Cup 3200m.Olympic Win if you absolutely must.

R4- Listed WFA Kevin Heffernan. Very ordinary. Look for value. Toppy or Huxxsen.

R5- 1500m. Gr3. Budge has declared Sistine Angel his “bet of the Spring”. He’s had a few. Risk $2.40 and maybe old Jungle Ruler is the go if it is a bog.

R6- fav

R7- Gr2 Guineas. Excellent field. Galah looks top notch. Putting Amah Rock away for Autumn. 1 from 12

R8- Gr3 Eclipse 1800m. Tough race. Maybe 9 at good odds or 4 E/W

R9- If you are losing you are in strife here. Poor punting race. 3 to win. 6 to get out!

Don’t go lamenting “The Carnival is Over”. The quality dips but there’s a feast of great days (and nights…MV again tonight) to enjoy. Put CRV or RVL on to your favourites and pledge to get away some time to a picnic or country meeting. There are two rippers, for example, this weekend. Dunkeld hold their Cup Day tomorrow on arguably the state’s most picturesque course, nestled down Cemetery Lane at the foot of the Grampians. Google a view. The famous Royal Mail Hotel will be jumping all weekend. The other great day out is Sunday’s Donald Cup, about 3 hrs north-west of town.

Good luck!




  1. Skip of Skipton says

    Good assessment of Zipping. He also came third in the ’09 W.S. Cox Plate. He illustrates the lack of depth in our WFA middle distance racing in recent times. It has to be at its nadir at the moment.

    Sandown Cup/Classic/Zipping day is one of my favourites, and has been since ’91 when I had $50 the win on Big Colony 25/1 and the running doubles either side. Missed a $4K Quadx by not having the fave in the first leg.

    Only 5 contesting the Zipping is a poor result. Where’s Efficient? or Bauer?

  2. I can vouch for the comments about Dunkeld. Sure the “Princes and Princesses” are there but its unique and if the weather holds its well worth the visit.

  3. Skip, they’ve somehow revived the 2 mile Cup which had itself morphed in to the “Classic”.
    Be wary of any runners who raced on the road last Saturday.
    Surprised Zipping isn’t running….as for Bauer, this may have been a case of backing the Clerk of the Course! He would have knocked up last week on his 9 yr old legs. Settling for nuzzling his strapper.
    This meeting was my undoing at the end of the 1982 Carnival.

  4. David,
    I’ve been to the track but not on race day. Always meant to. Donald is also meant to be nice. I stopped in and had a sqizz at Towong during the week. That’s a little beauty. Love the stand.

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    The old Sandown Cup that morphed into the Classic was a 2400m handicap. This 2 mile event is something entirely new.

    Lovely place Dunkeld, just down the road from here. The Jamon Iberico available in the bistro of the Royal Mail for $45 may well be the most expensive ham sandwich in the southern hemisphere. There are $20 Parmas (free range too!) in the public bar, but sadly no lambs fry and bacon.

  6. Skip, Moody’s in the first has been absolutely declared at Dunkeld. Probably $1.20, but you never know…sometimes they put up 6/4 on assuming they are no good if they go there.

  7. The Eclipse is getting tougher when scrutinised. Majestic Music is blinkers first time and Froggy Newitt.

  8. Skip of Skipton says

    Obviously those in the know rate her chances highly in that company. Still if she’s making her debut in a maiden at Dunkeld it’s fair to assume she’s no Black Caviar(despite being by Bel Esprit!).

    Here’s a tip for tomorrow and something to keep an eye on. There’s a debutant in the 2yo race at Sandown called Coins. It’s a Darley/Snowden runner. It’s by the Darley stallion Hard Spun. Hard Spun is presently running a close second on the American first-season sires list, and a creditable 7th on the overall Two-year old sires list. Now you’d have to fancy that a few of his Aussie crop will be handy. Might pay to spec all of his first starters you see over the coming months. I do note however that McEvoy is riding their other entrant tomorrow though.

  9. Skip of Skipton says

    The Eclipse used to be a 2000m event and the feature race at the Caulfield meeting the week after the Sandown Cup meet. Now it’s a 1800m race on the Sandown card? Oh well, I like Ginga Dude in what is a very even looking field and tough race to assess. I think his best is a rung above the rest of them.

  10. Factor in prizemoney, VOBIS etc and Dunkeld is easier than going to SA. Balloted out of MV. Soft kill is the theory.

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    I see. Looking at its silks are it’s owners the people who had Alinghi and a few other handy types?

    I notice their are 7 lady jockeys in the Cup. Some kind of record or what?

  12. Skip of Skipton says

    crio, do tell me some details of your 1982 Sandown ‘undoing’. My racing-mad nephew Bazza got his first quaddie in ’82. He was 8 years old and a big Rancher fan.

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