Crio’s Racing: Summer comes with the Cricket

The Brisbane Test formalises summer’s arrival and, with it, Racing’s requirement to relinquish theatre-goers’ interest. But, much like modern cricket schedules, racing grinds on away from the spotlight.

Serious punters might be battling for cash to send around – all businesses are tight and, for punters, results have been dire of late. Last Friday night’s Quaddy paid on 4 bolters and, though shorties saluted on Saturday at Sandown, the awful weather meant small field and pools were the norm.

Raceclubs accept the nuances of the “silly season” and relentlessly promote their meetings as Family Xmas or Party days – Santa is seen more than Olly. Last Friday night whilst we stood around in a barren betting ring, MVRC officials told us that the Committee Room and Restaurants were doing bumper business. So we need to accept that the punt struggles to compete with office parties and kids’ presents for the shrinking dollar. But for those with the time and “readies” there’s plenty to have a crack at.

Metrop racing this weekend is at The Valley on Friday night and out at The Heath on Saturday. If the family is starting to bicker for “quality time”, maybe you can try one of the themed Xmas meetings in the country – this Saturday there are at least three rippers within a couple of hours of Melbourne, with Balnarring, Avoca and Stony Creek all fantastic family venues. Wherever you end up, there’s always the opportunity for a flutter on the main races at Caulfield and perhaps a glimpse at the get-out final Gr1 for 2011 over in Perth (R7, 1800m).

The midweek deluge could play havoc with track conditions, though Caulfield has improved to be a good drying track these days. Nevertheless, as usual, it pays to look for any patterns emerging over the day (Wednesday rating Slow 6 and rail to be +10m).

I’ll be swinging the bag on Friday night but taking Saturday off to watch some local cricket – and listen to the Quaddy legs. I’ll need some help here but my likely ticket at the moment includes…

1ST LEG (R5 1200m) Nolen is away (Japan then HK on Jockeys’ Series) so it is hard to get a lead on Moody’s. Always include Froggy Newitt’s mounts as he is on fire and M.Rodd is another gun who is still in town. So that is 1 and 10. Smerdon’s Nodrems (8) might be one on the up at odds.

2ND LEG (R6 1100m) Big field and might be lots of pressure here. Certainly 1,6,8.

3RD LEG (R7 1200m) F

4TH LEG (R8 1400m) going wide for a good div…5,6,8,14

Ascot’s feature, the Kingston Town, looks a tough get out. Luckygray was very lucky to get the protest last week and might be unders. W.Pike is always a good lead (6) but there are plenty of chances. If Avienus wins there will be a nodding chorus of “Well, she did run in the Cox Plate!”, but I reckon she has had enough. Similarly, Playing God raced in the top races here but might not be at his peak. Go for big value to get a win or take some exotics. Put in Tranquillity (13) and maybe even Spacecraft (7)at big odds, and then build young gun King Saul (14) in to all your tris. 14,6,13,7.

Good luck!


  1. scratchings have dented some races today + rail out 10.
    From The Valley last night the clear message was to avoid Moody’s horses.

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