Crio’s Racing: Three Group Ones at Caulfield

Three Group Ones headline a fantastic day at Caulfield this Saturday.
Each of them presents a fascinating favourite.
The biggest story surrounds the Blue Diamond (MR7, G1, 1200m, 2yo) in which South Australia’s Cinderella, Miracles of Life (10), will be pitted against the “big guns”, especially the Darley operation’s crack juveniles Guelph (8) and Metastasio (9). It is apprentice Lauren Stojakovic versus Kerrin McEvoy and G.Boss. It is, in fact, a marketer’s dream. Dan Clarken’s extraordinary filly has drawn the pole. As soon as I saw that I figured she was in strife, especially with the inexperienced hoop. But I am not so sure. It at least limits her choices. “Miracles” does not “ping” but jumps safely. She’ll scurry and take a spot. More critically, however, will be whether she can “do it at both ends” over the untried 1200m and after 4 weeks off. I hope so. Thus far she has looked bombproof. Guelph’s draw (13) looked tricky initially but I expect him to get a nice cart across from his stablemate which has drawn immediately inside him. They might go like the clappers here… I’ll be having a piece of the 66/1 Fast ‘n’ Rocking (7).
All Too Hard presents an altogether different attraction at long odds on in the Futurity Stakes – a good horse’s race rightfully back “over 7”. He is an aristocrat and looks to be the middle distance champ for which we have yearned since So You Think went abroad. I hope he donkey licks ‘em and continues to race despite the temptation to cuddle his stud value – possibly the most expensive in Australian racing’s history.
WA has sent a succession of sprint stars over to Melbourne down the years – and with considerable success – but none have had the impressive picket fence 11 from 11 record boasted by Oakleigh Plate (MR8, G1, 1100m, H’cap) fav Barakey (3). Hats off to trainer Jim Taylor (the first to prepare Haylist) for coming over and tackling the big handicaps, but it is a tough ask. Sandgroper Jason Brown pilots the boom sprinter as they both negotiate the tricky circuit for the first time. Again, I hope he wins but I won’t be rushing in for the 2/1 despite the 2013 edition looking to be less than vintage. Like most handicaps, it will pay to factor in all of the variables – we’ll have some specs on site by jump time I’m sure!
Whilst the glamour Group Ones are rightly most examined, the “support” card is terrific also.
The first is a really interesting “next tier” 3yo race and I confess to being a Pronto Pronto (1) fan (though unsure if I will try him this week).
No such uncertainty in MR3 (Angus Armanasco Stakes, 1400m, G2, 3yo fillies) where I reckon Member’s Joy (1) is, on early scrutiny, my bet of the day.
The Autumn Classic (MR4, G2, 1800m, 3yo) brings together some smart types and the top 2 look the measuring sticks, but tempo will be important here and I reckon they’ll back a few to beat them – maybe 3 or 5.
The old St George Stakes (MR5, G2, 1800m) has seen better installments but I’m reckoning that Mawingo (3) might be the perfect banker to set up a Quaddy fund.
The trio of Group One races then challenges punters before the Q-divvy decider, the Mannerism (MR9, G3, 1400m, Mares). Wow. This is incredibly tough. Consider Family Crest (4) E/W in a really good closer.
This will be a great day at the Heath. So many good horses and so many wonderful stories certain to emerge. Get there if you can.
I’ll be at the good Valley meeting on Friday night, then bagging on the Rails Saturday arvo and otherwise tuned to this site for any morsels to help survive the massive month ahead.


  1. I’m also worried about the barrier 1 for Miracles Of Life – but I’m a believer. If she can jump reasonably she could get a cushy run and then its just a metter of getting a run sometime in the straight. They do tend to fan out in this type of race so she will need to be patient but if she gets a run she wins.

  2. what are the right odds?

  3. Definitely a great days racing Crio.Not a huge fan of 2yo racing but this one looks a beauty(oh for the days when Cliff Fahler had about 5 in the diamond!).
    The run of Thermal Current last start was a blinder had to let down twice in the last furlong after being frustrated for a run and still finished the race off better than anything else.

  4. After getting slaughtered on KI in the heat (at least dehydration was kept at bay ) I attack the Saturday program with trepidation but Im with you Budge on Miracles of Life,

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    Thermal Current is scratched with a torn hammy. Bummer. Back to the form guide.

  6. Oges and Budge,
    I have no issue at all with tipping the Miracle, but I am still interested in what you reckon are her right odds?

  7. Gottcha . Based on her wins and margin I would have her shorter if I was a bookie at just less than 3-1 but I suppose they will take her on because of the jockey and the extra distance,but you are talking to an often poor judge

  8. Put it this way, whatever odds they put up I’d rather be on Miracles Of Life than Barakey at the same odds. Suspect right odds for MOL are around $3.50 but think she will start longer.

  9. Crio,

    It’s National Sauvignon Blanc Day, or as I like to call it, Thursday.

    Once a great race, this years edition of The Futurity is as disappointing a field as I have ever seen. Always used to be a host of chances, but not 2013. Niwot, Mourayan, Lights Of Yesteryear and Koonoomoomoomoo.

    Upside is that it’s a 3 legged Quaddie.

  10. Budge – hope you are right. Laid Miracles at $2.96 and intend to back her at much better.
    Barakey has a tough task but not a crack field.
    Elvis- All Too Hard might be a pretty good horse. $1.55 I’d reckon.

  11. I’ll be having two bets on Saturday.
    The obvious one is I bet I have more than one bet, the other is a Caulfield Quaddie.
    Race 6: All Too Easy (in a sub standard Futurity)
    Race 7: Field (All Too Hard, though I don’t mind Kona Breeze)
    Race 8: Yes Budge
    Race 9: Field (see Race 6 #10, though I don’t mind Never Forget)

  12. Get a bank with Member’s Joy (R3?)… cherry ripe for this (as they say).

  13. I see Elvis and Budge are slowly warming up on the merits of WA sprinters. Maybe a bit more Sav Blanc as the night goes on will liven things up.

    I think that MOL will get to EW odds. The race is really open especially with Guelph drawn out. Punters and bookies will risk the jockey from the inside. I thought Godiva Rock could at least find a place if it can stay around midfield. It’s really interesting that Mick Kent is running her as this isn’t his go normally so he must have a really good opinion.

    I’m also leaning for a roughie in the Oakleigh plate and think that Rescue Mission is a good chance if ridden off the speed.

    I’m keeping an eye on Sydney this week as well because I’m a better punter on a wet track. Interesting one in the 7th there, Hood. It’s a nob in the wet and has won 3 of 5 first up. Currently $11 but the likelihood of scratching will probably make it shorter.

  14. I’m actually reckoning on a flood for Miracles on Saturday – I’ll be laying off when I get home from Money Valley tmrw night.

    Jock- Elvis has always been a fan of WA sprinters – Herron Bridge and beyond!

  15. Jock,

    Good call Hood. I’m a bit of a fan of Sydney racing lately, they are starting to assemble some decent sized fields.
    The Apollo is a very good race and shames the Futurity into disregard. I might take Shoot Out, good wet first upper in that and tie it into Quads/Trebles with a heavy flavour of Hood.

    The last time a MOL won was at the end of the second season of Boardwalk Empire. Can’t see it happening again so soon.

    I’d like something bred to run a strong 1400 to win the Blue Diamond. With this in mind, I will be having something e/w Kona Breeze. Out of Red Ransom mare, out of a Mr Prospector mare who is by Northern Dancer from the great Dahlia. Might be all shite, but I need something to hang my hat on.

  16. Barakey is as good as any WA sprinter that’s travelled east, including Placid Ark, Paklani, Heron Bridge, Hay List. Crio does make a good point, Caulfield can be a difficult track for some good horses to get around. Kingston Town comes to mind. If this is an Oakleigh field that is down abit, it should make Barakey a moral.
    One story going around about 16 months ago was that Barakey was not entered for the Winterbottom (WFA, M$0.5, 1200m) when Black Caviar had been invited by the WATC) because the connections were concerned he’d beat her. He was about 5 for 5 then, if I recall.

  17. On your ratings he is past the post. Hope he lives up to your spruik because it will really spice up the Newmarket.

  18. I must admit that some closer examination of the Oakleigh Plate shows it to be really lacking any depth. If Barakey is half as good as the raps, he probably wins. The top 2 are the only others with any claims to being genuine Gr1 class and are weighted accordingly.

    Jock – Elvis has been on the WA band-waggon since the gold rush. Asian Beau, Belele (!!), Pure Steel, Village Kid……

  19. Aquanita?

  20. Skip of Skipton says

    Singing the Blues won an Oakleigh Plate. Heroicity? Starstruck?

  21. Don’t start Skip – Elvis will never stop!
    Dare I say Northerly?

  22. I need to drag you boys back to the present.

    It would be great if Miracles of Life, All Too Hard and Barakey all saluted tomorrow.
    A gun juvenile, a 3yo WFA middle distance star and a new Sprint King!

    A couple of unfashionable hoops too. Good for the game.

  23. Skip of Skipton says

    Green Moon had one start last Autumn, a win in the Blamey. Beware.

  24. Goes best at Flemington I reckon but happy to entertain dangers to ATH when he is around $1.50

  25. Skip of Skipton says

    Has gone well anywhere he’s raced, Budge. He did run second in the Caulfield Cup to Southern Speed. $8 fixed at the moment. Early tote price (SFA in the pool) is $4.

    MOL is currently evens on the tote. Slightly larger pool.

  26. And if you please Crio no cracks about how many winners Yendall has ridden today when I was at a bowls tournament and havent had a bet
    Interesting discussion so far on tomorrow – Elvis at Goolwa its always Wine week living between 2 wine regions

  27. There has been 5/4 on about All Too Hard. Overs?

    I will ask bookies at the Valley to quote the 3 favs tmrw. Midnight update!

  28. Skip of Skipton says

    If Green Moon is fit and firing (which you would suspect he is), then 5/4 against is about right.

  29. Budge,

    Michael’s tale of scratching Barakey in fear of rolling Black Caviar is a ripper. I didn’t start it, believe me. I will say though, that Jimmy Taylor has resisted taking the horse East for some time now. Not till he was ready. He has a sustained, fast cruising speed, and I don’t reckon they’ll get near him tomorrow.

    PS. Village Kid, Pure Steel! Not saying I haven’t spoken highly of them, but I was never really into the coffin heads.

  30. Skip of Skipton says

    High cruising speed is what you want at Caulfield. It has always been a leaders track. That’s why I can’t enthuse about Ortensia and Woorim.

    I thought they scratched Black Caviar because her connections were afraid of Barakey? You tell a better story anyway, Elvis.

  31. Skip of Skipton,

    Thanks mate. I find it curious that after 11 starts for 11 wins, the trainer has opted to run him in blinkers for the first time. In an Oakleigh Plate.

    Has some thought and prior training track experience gone into this or what?

    My wallet screams “Certainty” as my bank account wimpers “Not again”

  32. Elvis,
    If you want to make some $$$, lay It Is Written in the last at MV.
    I have going 12X in the quaddie

  33. Jock,

    Well done mate. Just the lazy 12 times. Jury is in. Your a genius. But I knew that.

  34. Elvis,

    Yipee, only cost $24 and very lucky to get the run

    Never Forget to follow up the next week on your tips, that was a pretty good run the other week and i think it will be hard to beat as they seem to be able to come from the back later in the day.
    Let me hand out an early one for Sunday…New York currently $16 for the Kilmore cup

  35. Jock,

    Yeah, Never Forget was an omen tip for Dad, but it was a very good first up run I thought. I will be book ending Alltooeasyinacrapfuturity and her with a smorgasbord in the middle. (And another one with Shhhhh Budge might hear, Barakey one out)

    Good luck again tomorrow.

  36. Jock,
    With you on New York at Kilmore. Looks ideal for him. The quaddy tonight was the 4 favs so don’t think you’ll be retiring on that!

    Even though all the form guides show Barakey as 1st time blinkers that is incorrect. Its because of WA being backward and not using RISA for their gear changes. Look at any picture of Barakey’s races and you will see that he has always worn blinkers.
    Unfortunately, even if he wins- which i now expect he will- there will be question marks on the quality of the field but you can only beat what they put up against you!

    Don’t think you can entirely write off the backmarkers in the Oakleigh Plate. Don’t you remember Woorim coming from last at the 300 to get up?

  37. Bookies are very unsure of the main favs.

    I’m reckoning for a flood of money for Miracles of Life.
    All Too Hard should be $1.70 but might be $1.90

    I’m a New York fan if they can swoop at Kilmore.

  38. Budge,

    Thanks. I didn’t know that about the Barakey/Blinkers thing. Still, placings stand.

  39. Skip of Skipton says

    Can’t see the race panning out like last year, Budge. Better cattle at the top end like Barakey and Shamal Wind. They won’t be giving the backmarkers a shot like last year.

  40. You can just about get $4 Barakey on Betfair.

    I still rate Member’s Joy as the best of the day.

  41. Budge,

    To quote “There will be question marks on the quality of the field but you can only beat what they put up against you!

    See: Black Caviar.

  42. She also gets to choose to avoid “barrier rogues” at Moonee Valley!

  43. Skip of Skipton says

    Mawingo is close to best bet; if he can overcome another of WA’s finest in Mr.Moet.
    Maybe a quinella of those two is the go.

    I can’t leave without mentioning Old Comrade (contemporary and conquerer of Northerly) and Beaux Art.

  44. Mawingo will be 6/4. A no bet race for me.
    Good luck.

  45. David Downer says

    Morning punners,

    Ripper day at the Heath. Forgive the Whateley-ism, but plenty of “narrative” floating about.

    Miracles is a great story as the above comments all suggest. Terrific result if she gets up. Away from her, my best Diamond roughie might be The Bowler at around $21. Gassed himself early on debut in the Prelude, but stuck on well just being nutted by Kuroshio who’d be in the market today. A cunning Newitt on board might be the one who keeps Miracles locked away for a run!

    Cracking “renewal” (sorry) of the Oakleigh Plate. Good pick-up from Budge re Barakey and blinkers not-so-first time. Ortensia is one of my faves after her prolonged international campaign, though up against it today – and the almanac always has a soft spot for a Boom! “Spirit of” version engaged today.

    Other piece of value I’ll keep on eye on is Meliora ($9) in R3 to upset Members Joy. She’ll have an easier job of dictating terms up front today, in a smaller field with no other noted on-pacers. Breather down the back, kick away on the turn. She’s be sticking on ok. Very simple on paper, isn’t it…

    And an easy All Too Hard win today might just book that Royal Ascot ticket.

    Good luck…

  46. If it is that easy, unravel the last. Seems to be a push for Vibrant Rouge. D.Thornton is impressive.

  47. Spirit Song is the class horse in the last and wouldn’t have been out of place in the Futurity. Still gets in the mares race 4 kgs from the limit.

  48. I know Green Moon goes well fresh but he’s never won at less than 1600m. Lights Of Heaven might be the one at odds in that race.

  49. Haven’t we missed the obvious in the Futurity. Surely if All too Hard gets beaten, it will be because King Mufasa gets a soft run in front, I think Lights of Heaven is better with the edge off the track.

    A few good races in Adelaide today, Redevla Stakes has brought together a really good 3yo field and the top weight Daytona Grey is a chance a very good odds- currently around 16’s. The other interesting race is the 4th. Za Moulin Rouge looked really good first start but unsure of the opposition. It may be very good and if he keeps going after today you might see it for the Sires at Flemington

  50. Skip of Skipton says

    Yes, I just noticed the Futurity is back to 7f. Bloody hell. As Jock points out above, King Mufhasa now.

  51. Does King Mufhasa get an easy lead? Though Glass Harmonium might pressure it for the lead and Lights Of Heaven get a sit behind them????

  52. $2.02 All Too Hard on Betfair. Smells wrong?

  53. Skip of Skipton says

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him race his half-sister over 7f. $1.60 for the guineas. That won’t last too long.

  54. Skip, they could set him for anything left handed. Newmarket or Derby! A star. King Mufhasa is way past it. He was a $1.60 pop and delivered.

  55. Though King Mafhasa ran OK. Will get his own way in front one day and win. Glass Harmonium stuffed his plans.
    7f – Black Caviar v All Too Hard. Caviar by 3.
    He’s pretty good but not in the same league (at least, not yet)

  56. Skip of Skipton says

    King Mufhasa, Glass Harmonium, Green Moon all went well I thought, but not in the same class as ATH over the short trip. He’s top shelf. Good run Mr. Moet (another WA champ) in the shitfully slow run St. George.

  57. Skip of Skipton says

    I had a fair double going (by my standards) Miracles of Life into Barakey. Not happy Jan when they scratched him behind the gates. Had Shamal Wind subbing, and she should have been scratched before him.

    Bruce and Simon Marshall etc on the TV were saying the connections of Barakey were giving it to the vet. A long way to come for that to happen.

  58. Bush lawyer Boss seemed emphatic for Shamal to run – which had no hope after its drama…… and it cost Barakey the run/win/your double

  59. Skip of Skipton says

    That’s right crio. I’m dirty. All Barakey did was rear up and bump his blinkers around a bit, and they needed re adjusting. That was while Shamal Wind (who actually went right off in gate 1, and was sitting down at one stage) was out the back being vetted.
    Total joke.

  60. Wonder what that means for Barakey’s prep?
    Winner was pretty good on an on pace track in a race mares can win.
    Good day for racing other than the Oakleigh Plate

  61. The little filly ran right up to her form in the Diamond and a 10/10 ride. Great story for racing. I guess she goes to the Slipper now?

  62. Skip of Skipton says

    Who knows? He’s here for the Newmarket. Plan B prep from here I guess. Still 11 from 11 LOL.

    Good luck to Mrs.Onassis and the rest who earned a cheque. Gerald Ryan was stoked when they interviewed him. Says she keeps getting better, and thankful the owners (G.Harvey?) didn’t ship her off to stud like they had intentioned. Grand-daughter of Lady Jakeo.

  63. Skip of Skipton says

    Top ride from Ms. Stojakovic. I was a bit worried about gate 1, but it panned out perfectly. 3 back the fence is a pretty good slot usually.

    Forget about the Crows, Miracles of Life is the Pride of South Australia!

    Not entered for the Slipper, will need to pay the late entry fee. No Diamond horses (except Guelph) were in the top 8 betting order before today. I’d say that will change.

  64. Hoop only had to hold her nerve. More importantly, Miracles had to hold her condition. My repeated question was; “What’s her right price?”
    Happy with $3.20

  65. Skip of Skipton says

    I should have put crio’s roughie tip in my trifecta. It paid 900 odd. I had MOL one out, with Godiva Rock, Guelph, and bloody Crack a Roadie who settled last and stayed there.

  66. Skip of Skipton says

    After what she did in the Preview, $3.20 was big overs. There is always the unknown, or some X factor smoky that could be lurking, but really she should have been evens or touching the red. I thought Thermal Current being scratched would have tightened her in, but it didn’t seem to.

  67. I think the 4 weeks and up to 1200m was probably the query. Wonderful filly.

  68. David Downer says

    Cue self-congratulatory rubbish…

    “Other piece of value I’ll keep on eye on is Meliora ($9) in R3 to upset Members Joy. She’ll have an easier job of dictating terms up front today, in a smaller field with no other noted on-pacers. Breather down the back, kick away on the turn. She’s be sticking on ok. Very simple on paper, isn’t it…”

    Yes, yes it is!

    And then The Bowler squared me up after that, but rapt to see the Miracles miracle. I cheered her home. As I’ve plastered over Twitter today, MOL even posed for me post-race in the mounting yard …a “straight to the pool room” snap that one.

    Wonderful story. One for the battlers indeed – great we can still have these tales in a Group 1 racing world, especially the juveniles, that’s usually dominated by the sheikhs, the bluebloods and the big stables.

  69. Skip of Skipton says

    You’re pretty close I suspect. With two-year-old racing there is never much certainty. Things can change fast. And punters minds faster.

    I was a Thermal Current fan. Once he was out, It had to be Miracles of Life.

  70. Great win by the “battlers” with Miracles of Life
    Did any of you see the brilliant jokes doing the rounds in the UK about the “horse meat scandal” in the Weekend Oz Sports section yesterday
    Or maybe its my warped sense of humour

  71. Crio ,I have to admit to being the worst kind of cynic, very little tolerance for jingoistic rubbish, but watching TVN sat, reminded me why racing is such an incredible sport. The unashabashed emotion of Stojakovic’s dad and the shrinking pride of her mother were a delight to behold,raw without the commercial network voiceover and accompanying dramatic music.
    Unrehearsed moments in racing make it unique, and Autumn unlike Spring does not have LaVazza tent pre pubescent Home and Away stars tipping horses they can’t pronounce, or breakfast TV hosts who think a maiden plate is a piece of unused crockery.

  72. Yeah, I saw Racing Review. Terrific stuff. No patronising Caviar owners either. I went out the front to watch the Diamond – the crowd went nuts when they fanned on the turn.
    The only blot on a fantastic day was the farce preceding the Oakleigh Plate. If Barakey had run and won it would have been an extraordinary day.

Leave a Comment