Crio’s Racing: ‘Time Honoured” Spring

Peter Lawrence is a former Committeeman with the Melbourne Racing Club. Fawning to him, former colleagues have shafted legendary sports identity (and remaining link to the Williamstown Racing Club) J.J. Liston, renaming from 2010 a time-honoured “Spring”-board for WFA stardom.

The horses, of course, know nothing of this blight and the owners and trainers still recognize the 1400m event (10 furlongs until 1967) as a great pipe opener; it’s a “good horse’s race” – check the honour roll….here’s one per recent decade – 1951 Chicquita; 1966 Tobin Bronze; 1978 So Called; 1981 Sovereign Red; 1994 Mahogany; 2006 Pompeii Ruler.

The drawcards for this year’s version (MR6) are crowd fav  Whobegotyou (a specialist at running second first-up) and boom Caulfield Cup aspirant Lights of Heaven. They dominate the early markets (evens and 6/4 respectively), with AJC Oaks winner Absolutely the only other under double figures. It looks a skinny 2nd leg for the Quaddy and is not a vintage edition.

The other legs have more depth and, before getting too cocky, I’d wait to see the earlier races and gauge the track. There was a heap of rain Wednesday (Mornington got abandoned mid-card) but good drying Thursday. The Heath tends to cope OK so we’ll push tentatively onwards, preferring leaders early in the day and perhaps others later.

The first leg is a ripper 1200m Handicap, with Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls the topweight. Unbeaten Bel Sprinter will be about 9/4 but there’s a host of chances. I’ve long been a Panipique fan and will be etching the 10 in to my multis. Bullbars and Swiss Rose are others I’ll consider in what is a really quality sprint.

Race 7 (Gr3 Cockram Stakes, for mares) is arguably the pick of an outstanding card. Mid Summer Music, Parables, Do Ra Mi and Rue Maple will be the main elects, but real interest will be in the replays as punters look ahead to the host of rich mares’ races that have become a spring highlight. Brazilian Pulse, Pinker Pinker, Lady Lynette (Cox Plate Day of course!), Southern Speed, I’m Discreet and Star of Giselle will all be potential blackbookers. Field leg.

The last (MR8, 1400m) lacks the quality but not the challenges for punters of its predecessor. Craig Williams has bounced back in great form and, in partnering the red-hot Brideoak stable, will be on the one to beat in Biancon Rose (9). Huge watch on Minnie Mah (12).

Earlier in the day the stars return as 3 yr olds in the Vain (R2, colts) and Quezette (R3, fillies) over 1100m. Most scrutiny will fall on Diamond/Slipper champ Sepoy as he attempts to overcome the hoodoo that seems to haunt gun juveniles. He’s a short quote and is set for an ambitious programme, including appointments with Black Caviar. The opposition here is very, very good – Golden Archer, African Pulse, Delago’s Lad, even the regal Grand Brittania first up again…but he’s trounced them all before. Let’s hope he is back.

Topweight Satin Shoes, a Slipper flop – she’d trained off – but cracking filly beforehand, is the key runner in R4. Robert Smerdon has presented Slipper runner-up Mosheen, which has had only two starts but is nominated for the Guineas and Cox Plate. She might need the run. Moody’s Metonym and the unbeaten Cute Emily, along with Paddy Payne’s Song Of The Belle and Snowden’s Glissade make this a critical watch for form analysts.

And that’s probably the main theme for this meeting. If you can, go along, get out the back to the wonderful stalls at Caulfield, look at the magnificent beasts (Freeza’s beloved Sid is in R2) and bring a spare pen for the black book. Should be a fantastic day.

For jumps fans, I must remind readers of the big double at Sandown on Sunday, with the Grand National Hurdle and The Crisp Steeple scheduled. They are great spectacles and it is a good family day out there.

Hope you can get to the track this weekend.

I’ll be swinging the bag both days so come up and offer some advice…or share your knowledge here!

Good luck!



  1. Great summary, Crio. Can’t argue with much in there.

    Note that Whobe has also run no fewer than SIX seconds (from 10 gos) at Caulfield and FIVE (from 7) at the trip. Should still be too good for these though.

  2. right, as usual, MOC, but no value at 10/9 on with bigger fish to fry?

  3. Crio,
    Agree with Panipique. Was unlucky first up in Oakleigh Plate then bolted in next start. That form would win this race. She’s best bet for the day.
    Also keen on Darci Be Good in Race 1 Sydney. I really think he could be one of the stars of the Spring. Bit concerned with lack of pace but 1400m first up should suit and he looks too good for these.
    Another one I like is Southern Speed in an extremely tough race. Think she is a beauty.
    Loved first run of Forever The Chill and any improvement would make her a strong chance in the 4th.
    Happy punting!

Leave a Comment