Crio’s Racing: Wet Weekend

It is difficult to know where to focus this week if racing’s your thing.

The big wet in the top half of the Eastern seaboard is playing havoc with tracks and may begin to impact on preparations for Autumn hopefuls.

The best horses are nommed for trials and, with a rejigged program thanks to washouts this week, trainers will be anxiously watching the skies as Monday and Tuesday will be essential stepping stones on important campaigns for many key participants.

Don’t miss the replays from the trials if you are serious about winning over the Carnival. With gallopers of the calibre of First Seal (Heat 6 of 24 on Monday) and Shooting To Win (Heat 2 of 19 Tuesday) on display, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

A couple of drying days have allayed fears for Rosehill’s meeting on Saturday which features the Expressway (SR6, 1200m, WFA, G2), another one of those overgraded events which litter racing’s vista nowadays. Though shopped around Sydney’s metro courses over a chequered history, despite some misgivings, a good winner invariably emerges, few better than in 2014 when the mighty mare Appearance began her run of three big wins to ice her career and that of her ill-fated trainer, Guy Walter. The problem with this G2 is that it seems to be nobody’s ultimate mission and hence is an over-reward. That’s not to say they’re not a pretty smart bunch. Driefontein, with a fitness edge on hopefully an improving track, probably settles on pace and can hold off the closers.

The other “banner” race is the Canonbury Stakes (SR1, 2yo C+G, SW+P, 1100m, G3) right at the start of the day. With 5 of the 6 runners debutants, this is unlikely to generate turnover off course. The betting flucs, however, will hold great interest, as will the result’s impact on Slipper markets despite no Colt “doing the double” since Sebring. Gai, of course, is without peer when it comes to hyping, so her Breeders Plate winner, Vancouver, will be popular. The Snowden’s counter with an unraced full brother to Overreach and the miffed Hawkes’ (annoyed at the supposed snub from J.McDonald) have a half to last year’s winner (Mossfun) in Mawahibb. Sydney’s premiership hoop has thrown his lot in with the O’Shea camp and their youngsters have been brilliant early. In this race, Chamarel debuts for them.

The juvenile girls also emerge in the Widden (SR4). Once again the usual suspects lead betting with Gai’s filly Giulietta looking brilliant and O’Shea, Hawkes and G A Ryan saddling up promising types.

On an otherwise pretty humdrum day, a point to note is the naming of the final race of the day after the late Bob Rowles who passed away last week at 98. I’m often critical of ATC kowtowing to royalty and the elite – but here’s a man of humble status after whom the jockeys’ room in the new QE2 Stand at Randwick was named. Monday’s trials will start late to enable racing’s participants to attend the funeral of the much-loved Rowles who worked for nearly 70 yrs as jockeys’ room superintendent. “It is the first time I can remember trials starting that late in the day. It shows the respect Bob is held by the whole industry,” Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy said.

Down in Melbourne the city meeting lacks much punch. As luck would have it I’ve been seconded to Kyneton, one of my favourite spots, where their Provincial card has big fields for the large crowd expected. It’s only an hour from town. If you’d rather head east the Picnics are at Healesville, also easily accessed and always well supported.


It is still too early to pump up the main features, but, as I’ve indicated, you’ll need to pay attention if making a profit is part of your punting plans for the next couple of months.

If you still like the trots or want a sentimental kick, the Victoria Cup is on this Saturday night. Out at Melton it has become a bit of “out of sight, out of mind”, but this G1 is worth $400,000 and they run serious time.

I remember the Vic Cup as being one of the 2 biggest nights in the times when the Valley was still drawing crowds on Saturday nights – another of my 1982/83 reminiscences (Go Poppy!)

Keep the powder dry.

Good luck


  1. Thank god you’ve arrived Crio. I thought they must have called the races off so everyone could focus on the Asian Cup final and the tennis finals.
    I have been spreading a rumour that you had an accumulator going on Bradford City, Middlesborough and the Socceroos – and you were too nervous to write.

  2. cowshedend says

    Crio, how excruciatingly awful is that meeting at HQ tomorrow? You’ve pulled the right reign heading to stunning Kyneton.
    Very sad to see the end of TVN, immensely better than SKY, but the upside is that I don’t get to see that miserable sod Shane Templeton on the box anymore.

  3. Don’t hold back Cowshedend. The locals are well represented in the city tomorrow and while I toil on the greens I will have some e/w bets on them
    Two SA trainers are making he trip to Melbourne but the betting shows me they have the job ahead of them
    Good punting boys and enjoy the country

  4. I am giving Kumaon one more chance, I know the trainer has an opinion of this horse..

  5. Weather in Sydney is, as our grannies would have classified, “good for drying”. Track at Rosehill must get up to at least 6. (editor has taken licence again!)

  6. What about the first 2 tonight at MV.
    Backed Wez’s off the map in the first and it was a late scratching.
    Despite that, Chad steered home a Godolphin at amazing $8+
    As mentioned, their 2yo stock are flying.
    Franking the formline, their fav bolted in R2
    Bet against the blue in juvenile races at your peril

  7. Sistonic excellent in R3. Surprised hoop didn’t try to win by 3. Horses need to savage the line.

  8. Watching Randwick trials/cooking dinner – back to the couch as Newcatle trials replays began – Protectionist won the first and Lucia Valentina ran on well in the 2nd. The good races are not far away. Onemorezeeta looked ready in Trial 3.

  9. Does anybody know where Bill Vlahos is ?


  10. Mildura?
    Trots good there

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