There’s a real buzz around racing at the moment, with Black Caviar proving that genuine Champions are the best marketing tool for the industry. A lacklustre atmosphere in the crowd at Docklands last Saturday, for a personal example, was transformed at the ground’s TAB venues in to which people crammed to watch, cheer and applaud as she reeled in the heroic Haylist. Few of us had bothered to bet, but there was a refreshing thrill of seeing a really good sporting event – a marked contrast to the drab Dogs v Suns drudgery to which we all then returned.

Sydney racegoers are again in for a treat this Saturday when their very own More Joyous steps out as topweight and short-priced favourite for the time-honoured Doncaster Handicap. Notwithstanding Gai’s excessive hyperbole, it is impossible to ignore her personal record in this race (aiming to equal her Dad, T.J.Smith, with 7 wins) and the feats of her outstanding mare. Unbeaten now north of the Murray for over two years, she silenced any doubters in Melbourne with the gripping defeat of Whobegotyou with a similar impost in one of our best miles, the Toorak Handicap. Weights have been raised for Saturday due to Rangirangdoo’s scratching, but she’s well and truly earned the 57kgs and looks clearly the one to beat. Nevertheless, as is the case in feature handicaps, there are those who can spoil the party. Aloha, for example, looks fantastic value at $10, carrying only 51.5kgs, the majority of which is the bodyweight of Gr1 genius Glenn Boss. It’s a fascinating race which will have the Members’ Stand heaving again and hopefully more of the general public also turning up to boost the attendance.

Contrasting Group One races are scheduled either side of the Doncaster – The AJC Oaks (3 yr old fillies, 2400m, R6) and The Galaxy (Open Sprinters, 1100m, R8).

Oaks fav, Shamrocker, is aiming for an extraordinary treble, looking to add to her Australian Guineas and AJC Derby blankets. Her VRC Oaks conqueror, Brazilian Pulse, must rate the biggest danger, but many will point to Murjulisa Lass’ last start conquest as a strong pointer. I’d risk her from the carpark gate. Another expected improver is Fibrillation (out of Sudden Beat!). But Bossy looks to be on the winner again (No1).

The Galaxy is the best betting race of the day as so many of these love the Randwick scamper. I’m ignoring historic quirks and putting some value in to my exotics. Keen Commander (4) is old but thrives here and is “overs” at 20/1. Shrapnel (11) was backed as if there was no settling at Morphettville on Adelaide Cup Day and saluted with a leg in the air. Kav might have a ripper here. And Thankgoryou’rehere (13) flies fresh. Probably a field Quaddy leg but a fantastic betting race.

Try to fit these 3 races in to your Saturday schedule. Punt-wise, stay tuned to further comments. Budge is on fire, having declared Hurtle Myrtle at big odds last week. Hope others got on!

I’ll be at Flemington, swinging the Turfbet bag on what will be a quiet day, saved for us by phone clients punting interstate. There are some interesting local races but, quite understandably, they won’t be the punters’ focus.  The second last (R7, 1600m) will be interesting and I’ll await Elvis’ interest for the toppy, Tactic. Three starts back it beat Profound Beauty at equal weights and Hayes’ imports go super well fresh on big tracks. He’s got Archer’s weight (60 kg) and thus is giving a really good handicapper such as Flat Chat 8 ½ kg after Noonan’s claim. Worth a look though, as Tactic will very likely then get tipped out for a Spring campaign.

It’s a wonder that we’ll still have so many good hoops riding at HQ given the Randwick riches on offer and also the very good meeting at Morphettville this Saturday. Craig Newitt, for example, is after the Crow money with some plum rides in the features. The Port Guineas (AR5) is a second rate raffle, but the McKay Stakes (AR6, 1100m) is a terrific race. Froggy’s on Conservatorium (7) but it’s a really competitive event with chances including quality sprinters like Catapulted (1), Pinwheel (2) and local improver Streetcar Magic (6).

The Queen of The South Stakes (AR7, 1600m) is also a quality field. Try Lady Lynette (1), Majestic Music (2) and Nakaaya (4) but be prepared for a blowout.

With hardly any AFL footy this Saturday, it looks a perfect opportunity to find a PUBTAB about 2.30 and enjoy a memorable afternoon’s sport.

Good luck.


  1. Crio,

    Budge might agree with me in my selection of Buccellati in the JRA Plate. Over the odds at $31.

    I have always liked Kiwi horses at the Sydney Autumn carnival, and more so at Brisbanes winter events. With this I will be backing Dating (is that tautology?)I backed Mirjulisa Lass last week because she is out of a Dolphin Street mare and I’ve got one. Horrible barrier aside, I will probably butter up again as she did win extremely well and it might not have been a fluke.

    This said, Shamrocker looks extremely hard to beat.

    Before acceptances were released, I thought More Joyous might be a risk in a capacity Group 1 mile, looking for more of a 10 furlong horse, but I cannot find anything to beat her If the heavens open up, Sacred Choice gets closer to her, but outside that, I am at a bit of a loss.

    Keen Commander also for me in the Galaxy, along with King Pulse.

    Get out on Bacchanal Woman in the last. Good trainer that Joe Pride and she generally puts in. Also Mr Clangtastic and shifty Rogerson’s Arlington. Big odds all of them I’m thinking.

    I have backed Next in the Port Guineas raffle and for anyone with a dinar left late in the day, get on Mio Fratello in the last at Ascot. Won like Mirjulisa Lass last start.

    Great luck to you too.

    Note: Did you see my “Well named” entry. By Foreplay, the horse is called “Are You Awake” Not bad.

  2. I’m assuming an OK track in sydney and genuine top-Dead here

  3. On the well-named theme, Race 1 at Flemington WHITLAM (Elusive Quality – Weaver of Words).

    I’m keen on Majestic Music at Morphettville (Race 7). Certainty beaten at the Valley last start and meets similar field at her home track. She’s become a bit if a non-winner but thinks she’s well placed here.

    At Randwick, I find it hard to work out how Shamrocker will beat Brazilian Pulse (so far nil for 3 against her) but don’t discount the Moody magic with Do Ra Mi who was magnificent 2 starts ago at Flemington. No other chances.

    More Joyous probably wins the Doncaster. She’s certainly by far the best horse in the race and 57 won’t bother her too much (assuming track not too bad). Wall Street looks ridiculous odds at around $50 for a genuine Gr1 miler. Can’t really warm to Aloha (other than the G. Boss factor, her best form is in mares races) but will have something on Palacio de Crystal if track is good. She will get back last and fly home (just how a Doncater should be won!).

    Agree with Elvis that King Pulse is a sneaky chance in the Galaxy. Really tough race and you could make a case for most of these. Sister Madly definitely in the mix – what’s she worth if she wins, a Gr1 winning Redoute’s Choice half-sister to Silent Witness!

  4. Notable IAS shorteners:

    Randwick R6 (Oaks)
    ROSE OF PEACE $34 to $19

    Randwick R8
    SHRAPNEL $13 to $7.50 Kavanagh!!

  5. Shrapnel was the one they savaged at Morphettville – bookies gun shy!

    Maybe we are Super Impose blinkered about storming doncaster wins.
    Leaders do well…not just Sunline (x2), but remember Soho Square and Assertive Lass?

  6. Budge,

    The trainer of Rose Of Peace gave it quite achance on the radio the other morning. That is a fair shortening isn’t it? $34 to $19.

    Horse naming. SET AND FORGET. By Reset from Amnesia. Pretty good. pretty, pretty good. (ode to Larry David)

  7. What about Set and Forget?

  8. Reckon I’ll take a Galaxt tri…4,11,13 and another

  9. Budge,

    My error. Set And Forget is by More Than Ready. More better, as the locals up here say.

  10. You’ll be oded out soon Elvis.

  11. Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Ticketmaster regretfully wish to inform you that, due to personal reasons, tonight’s performance of “Denise Scott Regrets” at the Banquet Room, Victoria Hotel, has been cancelled.

    Got the above from Ticketek – I thought she was supposed to be a comedian but turns out she’s a clairvoyant!

  12. Budge,
    as Slug would have put ith have you been “unindated” with congratulations on your own foresight last week?
    What’s the tea leaves for Herculian Prince tomorrow?

  13. Crio & Budge,

    Heidilcious in the last at Flemington. Zabeel filly who ran 3rd at her first start over 1200m to Booklet (did it win a stakes race in Adelaide last start) before a strong win over 1600m at her second start in November. 1400 first up at Flemington. Pretty good………..

  14. Sounds like a porn movie Elvis!

    Crio, Herculean Prince was 4 wide with no cover throughout last week. Liked it in that race due to excellent 2nd up form. Not so sure on the quick back up 3rd run in but it is a weak field and he is reasonable odds so will follow up again.

  15. If unindated is the opposite of inundated then you are on the money Crio.

    Randwick downgraded from DEad4 to HEAVY8 and possibly worse.
    Back to the form!

  17. Oaks wet track improvers will include Brazilian Pulse and Pinker Pinker and look for a rally towards traditional Kiwi mudlark Datind…E/W forever.

    Triple Elegance starting to appeal in the Doncaster.

    Keen Commander stays on notice for the Galaxy.

  18. SACRED CHOICE in from $21 to $9 in the Doncaster. Remember she trashed Typhoon Tracey in the Myer Classic on a bog in the Spring.

    There’s been plenty of interest in the Galaxy. KEEN COMMANDER $21 to $13 and NEWS ALERT $26 to $13.

  19. Yeah. Sacred Choice. Genuine Gr1 mile bog-track winner with a fair weight. Good credentials.

    Just realised that I seem to have married More Joyous’ Caulfield victories in my memory. Yes, she did win our mile, the Toorak, with 58. And then, in February, she returned and beat Whobe in the Futurity, back to 1400m.

  21. Did I mention SACRED CHOICE ?

  22. Can’t believe how well it paid…and won with aleg inthe air.

    I, like Elvis, backed the porn film to get out!!!..bob of the head job, but lost.

  23. What is the post-mortem on More Joyous?

  24. Sad news in the papers today of the death of ths mighty Hot Danish, an immensely popular, durable and outstanding race mare. Bought for $32,000, she finished with 16,7,2 from 31 starts, prizemoney above $2.3m and a place in the heart of racegoers, especially in Sydney.

  25. Interesting to hear John Singleton say More Joyous looked terrible in the mounting yard. Can’t see the ever-smiling Gai (she’s never been better!) appreciating his senitments.
    She did race like she was over the top, or just can’t handle the bog. Either way she’ll go out for a spell and come back for the Spring. Presume Myer Classic on the agenda but will be interesting to see what else is targeted.

    Hot Danish was indeed a great mare. Such a pity that we won’t see any of her progeny go around in the future.

  26. More Joyous was, of course, a total flop at her only previous go on a real heavy – Phelan Ready’s slipper.

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