Horseracing: Barmy Oakbank and a wet Rosehill offer plenty

Turning my racing calendar to April has clarified the scheduling confusion caused by an “early Easter”. Monday, it seems, has been conceded to glorified midweekers at Moonee Valley and Canterbury and the AJC will get the subsequent three Saturdays for Randwick’s Autumn features.

Easter Saturday is a racing bonanza, from the quirky Oakbank via some really interesting races at Caulfield and starring a bumper Slipper card at Rosehill.

Five Group One races are amongst the challenges facing Sydney punters and the likelihood of a bog track (though some drying conditions seem possible for Friday) should send warning signals to anyone too buoyed by the freedoms of a long weekend.

My tipster’s tome sounds like a Dad-to-daughter – be modest, cautious and suspicious of unproven form. If in doubt, stay out…or only dabble for interest!

But there are so many good horses going around that it will make for compulsive viewing. I have only glanced at the fields and, since I’m headed to Oakbank, I’ll just look for some value and wet form.

Rogano grabbed my attention in the first. Snowden trains the likely fav and is not quite firing, whereas Paul Messara’s charges are peaking.

The Vinery (R3) is incredibly not a Quaddy leg. It’s a fascinating race. Faint Perfume, Run For Naara and Set for Fame are proven stars. The next five in racebook order are not far behind. And Gai’s Once Were Wild (No 9), bred to swim and on five consecutive wins, looks likely to get a soft lead and be tough to run down.

Typhoon Tracy would have a mortgage on the Queen of the Turf (R4) if the track was firm, but Neroli loves the wet (but not winning it seems!). Response may be the blow-out.

The wet track gives Speed Gifted a big advantage in the over-rated “BMW”, but Theseo will get it easy in front. They’ll both be “unders”. Avoid or spec.

The George Ryder is a beauty. Pace is critical and backmarkers might be out of this. I’m tempted to try the Sniper.

Use your own dart for the Slipper.

Don’t like the Tulloch but Descardo must be in all Quaddies.

Typhoon Zed carries a mountain in the last. I prefer Welcom Gold to lead all the way.

If track conditions up north remain problematic, “real” punters might concentrate on the surprisingly good Caulfield meeting on a good track.

Favourites look hard to beat and big fields usually ensure an honest pace. Definitely Ready steps out again in R4 and, although it is a big step up in class again, he should win if he finds the rail .

The best value of the meeting is Light Vision E/W at really good odds in R7.

And the best tip for the weekend, of course, is to TAKE IT EASY ON THE ROADS.


  1. mark freeman says

    Crio don’t forget to send us the hot mail from the Oakbank ring. As previously discussed, a favourite hasn’t won at the fabled circuit since 1867.

    Don’t forget to let us know how it all unfolded out there. Bit of an as yet unfulfilled dream to spend the weekend inside the circuit. Just hope they can keep jumping.

    Spectacular up at Rosehill tomorrow, and yes, does feel weird having Golden Slipper on Easter Saturday. I think they revamped after the success of the post-EI carnival in 08, and so the Slipper is always going to be first Saturday in April.

    You can’t eat value, but I’ve got some tasty bits none the same. Had three long-range Slipper/BMW bets – Military Rose e/w at $12, Littorio e/w at $26, and a fiver on that double to win $1800 odd. I read during the week that Blackiston was keen for wet which was encouraging. He’s won his only slow track start, but has a third only from two goes on heavy. Little Rosie (was on her in Magic Millions so she’s now mentioned affectionately) has a slow track win amongst the picket fence. But I never much the like the Slipper as a betting race.

    I’ll also be on Neroli and Speed Gifted if it stays in heavy8-slow7 range.

    Couple of old faves that had huge runs first up – Diamonds at Dusk and yes, Sid.

    If Def.Ready cops a stitch with 50 to do, Diamonds loves the distance and Caulfield so could be a chance, but he looked strong last start so an exacta is the go.

    Wasn’t going to touch Sid in the autumn, but he ran a ripper in the Blamey and is 2 from 3 at yer mile and a quarter. Miss Maren should be too classy so again, exacta for me and will do the same for Light Fantastic and Amberino in the Victoria Hcp.

    And get on Ciaron Maher over the sticks at Oakbank Crio. And if it all turns to scheiss get on Tolka Polka (the second emergency) in the last at the Valley on Monday arvo.

    Good punting.

  2. johnharms says

    Said with such confidence MAPF.

  3. Peter Flynn says

    Well-founded confidence re Littorio.


  4. Mark Freeman says

    It all looked so “Rosy” there for a while – had the big double going after Littorio’s win and took my eye off the Oakbank ball – and so didn’t back either of Ciaron Maher’s jumps winners, and nothing even on his jumps quinella.

    The of course Rosy got rolled. Nice each way collect on Litrorio but can’t help but be disappointed after being in the box seat for a big collect.

    Both Diamonds and Sid performed well, but both not quite up to the class of the resective winners.

    Crio I’m looking forward to hearing your account of this year’s carnival over there.

  5. Freeza, just read your missive. My Tommy is a great Littorio fan also so I’m getting a fair dose of “told ya so!”. Top judge with the Maher double…different vibe today as we are not on the Flat. Hope you cashed in.See you at Vic Pk next week?

Leave a Comment