In between days

by Chris Riordan

This is truly the “in between” weekend. Proof is that, clearly, the best “city” meeting on Saturday is at Hawkesbury, where an excellent Guineas Day deserves its metrop status. In the feature, Torio’s Quest has been backed for a stack.

With Sydney’s Easter Cup races finally over, national focus will soon move to Adelaide (more on that next week pre-Goodwood Handicap) and, especially, Brisbane, where features such as the Doomben 10,000, Doomben Cup and The Stradbroke will ensure great racing for those who like to follow the good horses around the Carnivals.

But I’m certainly not dismissing interest in the races this week. The lack of quality on Saturday is easily countered by a unique and magnificent program of provincial Cups which capture the sports’ spirit.

“Real” racing fans will flock to The ‘Bool. At a time when racing is battling for its niche, and despite the naysayers, the 3 days at Warrnambool attract fantastic crowds and massive nominations. 2010 was my first taste of the highly acclaimed race week and I can’t wait to return…it is like racing was meant to be. Bumper crowds, keen on the horses and the punt, with no hassles nor sideshows.

Bookending the week are other iconic events that surely must be on some bucketlists for “dinkum” Aussie racelovers – the Alice Carnival concludes with their Cup on Monday and the highly rated Wagga races are on Thursday and Friday.

Before then, though, there’s a weekend of racing to analyse and attack!

My warning is to remember that there are so many better opps ahead. This is a rare poor sports Saturday. The major racing centres are in wind-down or up phase – and, frustratingly, the AFL afternoon offers little alternative joy! –so maybe it is best to take some little multis and look ahead to a fantastic week in the country and then some great Group racing next weekend. Other than Hawkesbury, I have little to recommend.  We’re going to the VFL at Coburg and taking a small Melbourne Quaddy – maybe 1,5,9/3/1,2,9/1,2,10.

It is also worth noting that So You Think looks likely to make his British debut at The Curragh on Monday.

I’m making this a weekend to take stock and prepare for the excitement of The ‘Bool and beyond. If you are having a try, good luck!


  1. Any of the usual suspects going to be at the ‘Bool this year (e.g. Hissing Sid)?

  2. No Hissing Sid – and no M A P Freeman! Will they bother holding the dishlickers on wednesday night?!
    Acceptances are extraordinary…10 on tuesday with the first at 1115.

    RE today (Saturday) – Friday’s Age had an incorrect VFL fixture so no game at Coburg. We went to Abers v Oak Pk instead. No bet.

  3. Forecast for the ‘Bool…Tues, Wed, Th = showers/rain. Lock it in!

  4. mark freeman says

    Yes Crio, already pining for the fjords I am. Wannon Park woofers is very high on the list of Bool laughs. By that stage on the Weds eve we’d have been flying and having quite a laugh. Gears would have resumed his annual heartless sledging of the poor lass (a fledgling local TV wannabe) presenting the awards.

    Nonetheless my U10 Sharks are training at 4.30 on Thurs and they need their coach; so be it.

    However Crio it makes it all the clearer that my racing goal is to own a share in a beast with some likely lads that wins a race at the carnival – preferably over the sticks or Wangoom or Cup. Short of that, a flea taxi that wins the Macy’s Bistro Classic at
    Wannon Park.

    Have fun Crio. And BTW – how about the entries! Millions of em.

  5. Freeza,
    It is going to be a marathon for us…have to be there at 1015 Tuesday and mail is for 10 races each day.
    I am staying at Pt Fairy but need to see the band (and outfits) at the Royal and prob the dishlickers.
    Coaches have learnt to delegate…
    Looks like Smerdon’s horses are flying again.
    I’ll speak to the Wildes about a horse for you.

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