Crio’s Racing: The calm before the Carnival

The unfortunate reality is that the AFL GF juggernaut is all-consuming this week and even 3 days of top notch races cannot gain a sliver of airspace in Melbourne.

Good old Jeff Kennett did his best to attract attention (as he does) with another withering attack on the RVL Board, calling on the Government to dismiss them all and using a recent NZ suspension to again highlight the “wet leaf” slap given to Oliver and it’s implications for Integrity Officers.

“We’ve got corporate bookmakers running wild, we’ve got all sorts of problems with trainers and owners and yet here we have another case of justice correctly being administered as against a board of people at Racing Victoria who have conflicts of interest.

“They must be independent people. And when the right verdicts are handed down, people like Terry Bailey and his stewards can keep their heads high and do the job they’re employed to do. The handling of the Oliver case two years ago must have been desperately upsetting for those in integrity [services],” he told Patrick Bartley.

When the story lingered, RV Chairman Rob Roulsto retaliated rather sarcastically;

“We welcome Jeff’s new-found interest and passion for Victorian thoroughbred racing, however his comments depict a lack of understanding of our administrative and operating model”

This will all, of course, amount to nothing as the Board has doubtless already chosen their lapel roses and selected canapes for the carpark during Cup Week. The show must go on.

I’ll bow to the likelihood that 500 similar and irrelevant quandaries on Rioli will amount to little interest in the black type on offer at Moonee Valley on Friday night, Rosehill on Saturday and at Caulfield on Sunday. Nevertheless, for the record, here’s an outline of what is on offer.

The Valley meeting is desperately trying to become an integral part of GF week but, despite big prizemoney and the launch of Night Racing for 2013/14, it is a hard sell – it seems a long lunch is the preferred preparation which doesn’t allow for a big night at the gallops. With good weather it will, however, be a ripper night, recommended for anyone in town for the weekend. It needn’t be a late. I’d suggest getting there by R2 (7.15) and leaving after R7 (9.45). In that time you’ll take in a G1, 2xG2, 2xG3 and the 955m Heat! Here’s an overview:-

MR2- Stocks Stakes (1600m, Mares, WFA, G2) – Commanding Jewel will be short and is a star. Solicit and Dear Demi are Group class and will run the drums.

MR3- 955m Sprint – they fly in these. Fab Fevola is the bunny. Angel’s Beach will be short. Vatican loves the track. Solsay will be flashing home.

MR4- Moir Stakes (1200m, WFA, G1) – Sydney stuff here with just 5 runners, but genuinely G1. Lankan Rupee will go around in the red again and faces its conqueror, Angelic Light, as well as old Buffering, Rebel Dane and roughie Unpretentious. Never back odds on in a WFA small field.

MR5- Champagne Stakes ( 1200m, 3yoF, SW, G3) – At set weights I lean to Eloping. Top Dolly and Tahni Dancer are amongst the challengers. Beware Gollan’s Pienka.

MR6- JRA Cup (2040m, Quality, G3) – The Cleaner has become a drawcard. I suppose he wins again. I’d rather Signoff but I’m a notorious sceptic.

MR7- Stutt Stakes (1600m, 3yo, SW, G2) – Chivalry needs to bounce back. Caveka might be the one.

For Quaddy players, I reckon the last (MR8) will be a “result race”.

When Bruce gets boring or the match blows out, find a “Sky spot” and follow the races from Rosehill. It’s another of those Sydney meetings with big name, highly rated Group races all day but not necessarily a breadth of strong acceptors…for example, Catkins goes around at $1.50 in another G3 (SR7, 1400m, F+M, SWP, G3). Scissor Kick might also be in the red in the Stan Fox (SR5, 1500m, 3yo, SW, G2). Previously a 1400m Randwick race, here’s an example of the newly shuffled ATC fixture we’ll have to carefully monitor. The other G2 on a decorated card is the Shannon (SR6, 1500m, Quality, G2). This Handicap is overrated and the great Shannon deserves better. Rock Sturdy will be 2/1. I’m a bit of a Jetset Lad man.

Invitation Stakes Day just can’t find it’s niche so, with the packed itinerary in the weeks ahead, the MRC now run their G1 (MR7, 1400m, H’cp) on footy hangover day. Despite some good racing, it hasn’t really been a success. The early races are fittingly lacklustre, but the Quaddy Legs demand attention for those looking to quickly convert their attention to horseracing. In racebook order, there’s a Thousand Guineas Prelude, then a Caulfield Guineas Prelude, followed by the G1 Rupert Clarke and finally a really good Sprint (MR8, Testa Rossa Stakes, H’cap, Listed). Hopefully there’s time over the next few days to have a look at the form and find some rebates for Saturday’s footy excesses!

Next week it is Turnbull Stakes. The heavy artillery rolls in.

All tips and comments welcomed.

Good luck!


  1. Skip of Skipton says

    Quite funny up here in NSW (on holidays) crio. There was a headline in the Sunday tabloid sports pages ‘Us against the Mexicans’. Turns out it was about Terravista and his track-record and how he is going to reclaim the sprinters crown from the ‘Mexican’ Lankan Rupee etc. ???

    Then in the same lift-out a columnist craps on that if the Swans win the AFL(the best run footy team of any code, he adds) then NSW will hold the AFL, NRL, Super Rugby, A-League, Sheffield Shield and Melbourne Cup! titles and that the Mexicans will have nothing etc.

    They love all this nonsense up here. If it sells papers I suppose.

  2. Hey Skip, they love the same crap in every state! Has given me the shits for years no matter which state I was living in.

  3. for the record, Skip, what’s you rating of Terravista?
    Lankan Rupee needs to reassert some authority on Friday night.

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Budge, I’m not sure the Vic tabloid plays that tune much, if ever. Especially in regards to horse racing! I don’t recall any hype about Black Caviar beating Hay List as being one for the Vics over NSW etc., but that’s how they crap on up here.

  5. Skip, Budge is still mired in the Advertiser!

    Winners pls.

  6. Skip of Skipton says

    Anything stopping the clock in the 1:02 range over 1100m is moving.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    Tips? Can I read the form guides first?

  8. For what it’s worth boys, had a horse in a jumpout at Mornington last week, there was no way of identifying the opposition. One thing was dead set low flying and bolted in, after a lot of ringing around found out it was General Jackson, in the speedy squibs race Friday night.
    Pat Carey has taken over training duties from Mick Mair, and formerly Mick Price, has won over the 955 at the valley before..40/1

  9. Reckon Signoff will get things to suit tomorrow, liked the Cleaner last start in the very weak Feehan, but well and truly in Signoff’s corner, and like him in the Caulfield Cup as well.

  10. That’s races 3 and 4 sorted for MV!
    Heading on course?
    I am on the W Elliott computer in the Paddock

  11. I’m having something on Precedence in the JRA cup tonight.
    Good at the Valley, good second up and The Cleaner hasn’t won at 2000 metres in 4 goes at the trip.
    In the 5th, Silver Sands was really good when first up in Adelaide but not sure if she would measure up to Eloping although Tawteen may take it on and Eloping had a very solid workout first up.
    Also happy to be on Dear Demi at 3/1 rather than the fav at odds on.

  12. Eloping should be a certainty at the weights but not keen to go with her at odds on.
    Not sure about Dear Demi. Long time since she won and meets the fave worse at the weights for being beaten.
    I’m with you CSE on Signoff. He’s ready now.
    You going tonight?

  13. Hey Skip, does NSW hold the BBL title ?


  14. Rare sense and consensus so far…dry argument?!…except, Jock, I just reckon Commanding Jewel is nowadays better than Dear Demi

  15. I think Chivalry is a risk up against some other good 3YO’s in Almalad, Zululand and Zebulon. Barrier one will make it very tricky for G Boss. I thought Zululand was atrociously ridden last start by C Williams and might be the one at value odds with D Oliver on board.

  16. Been on tour in the Flinders so no time to study but Cowshedend I’ve found a couple of good bucket list races to attend
    Quorn followed a week later by Hawker (all in June)-real bush stuff

  17. General Jackson is a shortner!

  18. Good tip and good run by the General on a track that you couldn’t win on from behind.
    Good work Jock with Dear Demi.
    After thinking that Eloping would be odds on I managed to get $4.50 and then as they were about to jump I went again at $5.10. Thought it must have had a leg missing!

  19. Budge, Hope you unloaded on Eloping, amazing odds.
    Great meeting at Caulfield but hard to pick a winner.Bring Something in the second just because all the imports look like they may need some racing. A roughie in the 3rd, Chiquada, I’ve had something at 80’s,Red Fez should be hard to beat though. Shoreham was good first up and has finally drawn a barrier and should be in the right spot all the way.
    I’m prepared to risk Bring Me the Maid as I think he will have been easy on it since returning from Syd with the 1000 Guineas in mind and I’m keen on Picking Time. The next 2 are lotteries but the Rupert Clarke there should be a lot of speed so if they can run on Speediness should be a chance.
    Over at Gawler, Excites Zelady will go very well in the cup.

  20. Jock, Chiquanda $7.25 a drum ,great pluck.

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