Derby Day Preview: It’s Christmas Day for Punters

Happy Derby Day to All,


All nine races are at group level on one the great race days in the world.  A reminder too on the Footy Almanac Cup Eve Lunch with a growing list of special guests.  Joining Greg Carpenter will be renowned trainer Robbie Griffiths (how will The Quarterback go?) and Racing Operations Manager from Racing Victoria Paul Bloodworth.


North Fitzroy Arms

296 Rae St, North Fitzroy
Cup Eve Nov 6, 12.30 for 1pm
Three courses.
Drinks at bar prices

[email protected] or reply to me


Pardon the interruption a couple of footy issues need to be dealt with.


Starting with Nathan Broad and his suspension.  First of all, why did it take so long to name him as the culprit – I know there was protection of the woman’s identity at issue.  I was aware of the culprit well before the announcement without trying to find out, my assumption is that anyone who really wanted to know and do damage will have had that opportunity.  I definitely do not need or want to know the young lady’s identity.  Then there is the suspension – whether or not the three weeks is sufficient is one discussion.  The less discussed point is what about the rest of the Richmond players and probably a few from other clubs who received the offending photograph and continued to share it or did not advise young Nathan of the stupidity of his ways.  Surely, they should also receive sanction of some description.  There was more than one offender on this night of shame.  This Blues supporter believes they all deserve at least one week – not sure that will be enough for my team to open their account.


Speaking of the Blues, there is the fixture.  Can’t argue with the criticism of giving Carlton four Friday Night games, until they play a more attractive brand of footy I don’t think they are worthy of that many prime-time slots.  Their record over the last few seasons playing in the prime slot has been nothing short of appalling with most games decided by quarter time.  Every club deserves a Friday Night fixture and some that didn’t get one should be pretty dirty.


What it did hide for the Blues was a pretty ordinary fixture overall.  Having to play an extra home game in the Loungeroom at the cost of one at the MCG – the President justified it by the financial benefits.  What a bunch of bollocks!  Carlton’s membership has stagnated at around the 50,000 mark – not terrible considering their on ground performances.  However, Richmond have driven their membership to over 70,000 with great marketing, good footy and because they can fit them all in.  The Blues can’t play all their home games at the G but the fans have consistently indicated it as their preferred venue so surely that should be of precedence to the club’s wishes and negotiations with HQ.  Then there is the travel – all clubs get their share and the non-Victorian teams have at least 10 trips.  The Blues are interstate for six games plus effectively another down at Geelong where tickets for visiting fans are extremely limited.  The club can spin this anyway it likes, for mine they have got their undeserved prime time and free to air coverage but have been rolled over in every other fixturing decision.


The Cox Plate weekend certainly had its share of drama, none more so that Friday Night’s Manikato Stakes with the scratching at the barrier of crowd favourite Chautauqua.  The crowd weren’t happy, but in reality, it saved their money.  He could not have won with his racing pattern given yet another on pace biased track dished up for both days.  The official line was that it was more tempo related than bias – how about call it like it is.  Blake Shinn did, said the inside had 2-3 lengths advantage and booted home four winners and nearly stole the Cox Plate from Winx.


The great mare won her 3rd Cox Plate and we wonder where to next for her – hopefully 2000m at Flemington on Saturday week!  Every other jurisdiction wants her to run Japan, France, Hong Kong, England – they might have stature but they don’t have the prizemoney.  Not sure it’s worth the risk especially considering the situation of Jameka who returned from overseas and may not race again.  Would love to see if she can stretch out to 2400m but there needs to be the right race – otherwise get on the Cox Plate number 4.


Ears were burning as some of last week’s selections went pretty poorly, starting on Friday Night where Vega Magic was afraid of the lights – one of the best excuses I’ve heard.  Hey Doc got to the front in the Manikato and game over!  From my picks In Her Time nearly got there and the other two were scratched.  In the Red Anchor Eptimum was never headed with only one of the selections running a place.  The Tesio was similar with Lubiton leading all the way and Oregon’s Day not having one again.  Big Duke was a big no in the cup where Who Shot Thebarman proved his consistency again.  On our knees after the first six.


The Fillies Classic was wide open and one of the picks Banish got up giving us leg one.  The track favoured the leaders but Burning Front and Religify tore each apart and set up the race for Lucky Hussler – Leg 2.  Winx surely a shoe in for leg 3 – a mighty scare from Humidor who was the quinella pick.  Looking a bit better in to the last.  Salsamor did not run as hoped, but the filly Aloisia looks a star and could probably win the derby if entered.  She was in the picks and a $268 quaddie nailed ($134 for those who took the suggested investment).  Plenty of others nailed it too but take them as they come and enjoy whatever spoils they bring.


Whilst the track at Moonee Valley was compromised the expected rain not falling did not help the track manager.  No such excuses this week for Flemington with good rainfall, the challenge there is that they need to keep the track up for four days.  It is not unusual for an inside bias on Derby Day so watch early and learn although I expect the weather will help them present a fair surface to all.



Flemington – Derby Day


What a tough card, the concern about small fields at Moonee Valley all sorted this week with a number of fields at full capacity.  The search is for value at Flemington – two weeks ago I indicated the average winning starting price of about $9 this spring.  At Flemington over the carnival that winning price is about $14 over the last few years.  If you can find a couple you are doing well.


Race 1 – The Carbine Club Stakes (G3, 1600m, 3yo SWP)


The opener is a beauty with plenty of quality taking it on, the scratching of Kaonic opening the event further and forcing a reappraisal.  Snitzepeg (1) is hard to fault winning his last two and has DKW comparing him to Mahuta a previous winner of this race – if he is right he will be hard to beat. Would love to know how the track will play – on pace would have me with him.  If they can run on then I like Octobello (11) who is well drawn and never got a crack at Caulfield.  Levendi (7) is well found in the market and continues to run well but not winning this could be the day.  Expecting improvement out of Almighty (12) second up.  Still might not have the winner in there.


Selections – 11-1-7-12


Race 2 – The Wakeful Stakes (G2, 2000m, 3yo Fillies SWP)


Teodora (10) was in the wrong part of the track in the Ethereal but ran home well, thinking she will be better at Flemington.  Plenty of challengers though Luvaluva (7) is coming back to me as the next pick only beaten by Kaonic last start is good form. Bring Me Roses (1) who won well here last start and must be considered while Lucky Louie (4) kept running into dead ends in the Ethereal.  It should be noted Hiyaam (5) and Rimraam (6) did both finish ahead of both Teodora (10) and Lucky Louie (4) in that race.


Selections -10-7-1-4


Race 3 – The Begonia Belle Stakes (G2, 1100m, 4yo+ Mares SWP)


Not the full field for the first of the races down the straight.  It is D-Day for Sheidel (1), has plenty of weight to carry but comes back running against mares at a lower grade, has won at the very top level – her best wins this as she did last year.  Nieta (5) was well fancied at Caulfield but did not seem to handle the track, should be better suited here.  Lyuba (6) beat her that day and has won here before.  Putting Lake Como (7) in for the last hole just ahead of Savanna Amour (2), the former loves Flemington and unbeaten first up the latter coming back from 1400m


Selections – 1-5-6-7


Race 4 – The Hotham Handicap (G3, 2500m, Quality HCP)


The last chance ticket into the big dance on Tuesday has all bar the toppie Equador (1) and Havanna Cooler (3) looking to climb into the field.  CJW brings Alward (9) down with good form all be it in pretty small fields, on the minimum and KMac on board will give him every chance.  Aloft (4) had some issues last run but good form prior and a winner at Flemington – could get Team Williams another entrant in the big one.  As could Kellstorm (10) be for DKW who ran well against the pattern in the Geelong Cup.  Eighth in a Caulfield Cup is good form for this so Harlem (2) goes in the mix.  Geelong Cup winner Vengeur Masque (6) has not won here but could.  A competitive race with a great big prize, but doubt the winner will affect the market like Oceanographer did last year!


Selections – 9-4-10-2


Race 5 – The Coolmore Stud Stakes (G1, 1200m, SW)


This one is chock ‘o block with 20 of them charging down the straight six.  Fields in the is race have often been small and loaded with quality – not sure we have quite the quality but it will be a ripper.  Catchy (17) has been freshened and back to her right distance and on the course she won the Danehill over is my top pick – will be happy if there is some advantage down the outside rail.  If there isn’t then the undefeated Viridine (1) will be right in this, first time up the straight might be a challenge but can’t knock winning form.  Merchant Navy (8) failed in Sydney but had great form in Melbourne prior to that and adding Limestone (20) into the mix; failed last start, has been freshened since and a winner down the straight.  Hopes don’t end there in a great renewal.


Selections – 17-1-8-20


Race 6 – The Myer Classic (G1, 1600m, Fillies and Mares WFA)

This one is overflowing!  A full field of 16 and 4 emergencies, a couple of those emergencies are pretty handy.  Gai will tell everyone within earshot that Global Glamour (2) will win and after her win at Caulfield it is hard to disagree, but this is a great field.  Last year I Am a Star (4) became the first filly to win this race, she is a chance again, however Shoals (16) might be able to repeat her effort this year with such a light weight and a great winning record.  Dixie Blossoms (8) and Daysee Doom (9) come down from Sydney where they have been running very well with Dixie Blossoms (8)with the better draw.  Silent Sedition (5) has won at the level but some question about the distance, if she can get the trip she can win.  Among the emergencies is Oregon’s Day (18) who finally draws a good barrier but is balloted out and Shillelagh (20) is running well but has a poor draw.


Selections – 16-2-8-5


Race 7 – VRC Derby (G1, 2500m, 3yo SW)


Cliff’s Edge coming out takes out a well fancied runner, the known leader and questionable form around his competitors.  It leaves a wide open race with value if we can find the winner.  Tangled (2) chased Cliff’s Edge on the hot leader’s track in the Norman reckon he might a good choice.  Ace High (1) won the Spring Champion Stakes is well drawn and might just be too good.  Dusty’s charge Main Stage (5) has won well on this stage but is drawn wide.  That may not be an issue with his racing style, but would not want any leader bias.  Astoria (3) meets Weather With You (2) 2kgs better for a 1 length margin in the Geelong Classic.  Not the finest renewal but a very interesting race.


Selections – 2-1-5-3-7


Race 8 – The Cantala Stakes (G1, 1600m, Quality HCP)


With handicaps being so compressed the looking for the lightweight longshot in the big handicaps is a bit tougher now and even tougher here with over half the field on the limit.  Egg Tart (6) will be better for her run in the Toorak, with the CJW polish should be ready to fire.  This though looks more like a Sydney field with Waller having six entries, his next best for mine is Tom Melbourne (5)in good form but not winning, however has G Boss back on him who has ridden him to victory at Flemington.  Sovereign Nation (10) keeps running well and would have loved Lucky Hussler (2) to draw better as he has hit form.  Shillelagh (9) assuming she does not get a run in the Myer has some chance as does the Toorak winner Tosen Stardom (1), in fact a few more can win as should be the case for a handicap.


Selections – 6-5-10-2


Race 9 – Linlithgow Stakes (G2, 1200m, HCP)


Beware the Cummings boys, AJ can land some knockouts on this day as Fontellina did in this race a few years ago.  He has Man From Uncle (15) entered here with a 50% strike rate and should be some chance.  Rich Charm (11) saluted last start and has two wins over this journey then filling the holes with the class on top with Keen Array (2) and Illustrious Lad (1) weight might tell but they are both winners here.


Selections – 15-11-2-1



Quaddie Time


Good luck!  Every leg is wide open, so we will try and stay alive but narrow down to a couple in the last.


Leg 1 – 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 16, 18

Leg 2 – 1, 2, 3, 5, 7

Leg 3 – 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10

Leg 4 – 11, 15


That’s plenty of combinations so we might put in an extra $10 to bump the percentages.  480 Combinations with a winning $40 investment will return 8.3% of what hopefully will be a nice dividend.


Cheers, Sal



  1. Well played Sal.

  2. Peter Fuller says

    A good day’s tipping, Sal, and a particularly healthy quaddie dividend; well done!
    I’ve advised John verbally that I will attend on Monday, but you can consider this as confirmation.

  3. Sal Ciardulli says

    A lovely day at the derby and a quaddie in there as well. Thanks John and Peter,

    Giddy Up for Tuesday!

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