Crio’s Racing: Looking for gold

Wherever man has gone in search of riches, racing has soon followed. This is unsurprising in Australia where the horse was integral to the opening up of frontiers – and, of course, the very nature of pioneers is to be risk-takers, gamblers if you like.

Here in Victoria a renegade settlement quickly became a worldwide phenomenon when the goldrush brought unprecedented riches and a rabble of sundry folk and industries to this obscure corner of the globe. Ballarat, formerly unknown, was the “hot spot”. For Victorian punters this week, Dowling Forest is again the hub of hunting for a quick return as they host the “stand alone” meeting, a worthwhile attempt by RVL to counter the anti-climax that shrouds the local scene at the end of November.

The novelty promo is the “Clockwise Classic” (MR6, 1000m, 2yo, SW – for Magic Millions qualified only) and the prestige race is the Ballarat Cup (MR8, 2200m, H’cp, Listed). With a million dollars of prizemoney to be won, here’s a day not to be overlooked by punters.

I’ll offer early quaddy queries:-

MR7- (1200m, H’cp) Going for some value here with Ventic (6) E/W @20/1.

MR8- (Cup) Spinderbella looks the one for Smerdon, a great name in Ballarat racing history. A sentimental fav with a serious chance is Mujadale, ridden by Kevin Forrester who has been around as long as most of us. Box them.

MR9- (1600m, H’cp) Backstedt (2) is the measuring stick.

MR10- (1600m, BM70) Awful race. Maybe the 3.


The main focus for Australia’s racing folk will be over the Nullabor to the most isolated city in the world, Perth. Whilst WA’s maverick millionaires seem most likely to build wealth on mining, property and “speculation”, the state also has a rich, “colourful” history of “horse business”.

The development of Railways was integral to the opening up of the vast land and ultimately its incredible riches so it is quite appropriate that one of the annual highlights of the local calendar should be the Railway Stakes.

This year’s edition (PR8, 1600m, Quality, G1, $1m) is chock full of interest. The Cleaner (1) provides the pace, the interest, the romance and, very possibly, the winner. His resilience at Flemington was remarkable – truly an iron horse. This is a race of terrific depth. The value might be Mr Moet.

The other race of great interest to punters east of Ascot is the Winterbottom (PR7, 1200m, WFA, G1). On recent form, Angelic Light (D.Oliver) deserves a G1 prize. Moment Of Change (1) is always competitive in this sort of race.



The merry-go-round keeps on turning. We also have Moonee Valley races tonight (Friday – in a tough marketplace with cricket at the MCG, soccer at Etihad and the rich Melbourne Cup for the dishlickers out at Sandown!) as well as the popular tri-codes event at Cranbourne tomorrow night. For interstaters, Strath has its big Vigneron’s Day on Sunday which is a great outing if the weather’s mild.

I’ll be at the Wayne Elliott stand on the Rails at Ballarat tomorrow looking for tips from anyone heading up the Western Highway.

Off now with my form guide to the ‘G for a couple of hours. Any tips welcomed.

Good luck!


  1. I’m looking forward to seeing how Sweet Emily runs tonight. i msised her last start , when she won at the Valley, none the less i’ll be putting some hard earned $$ on her.

    The Sweeney stable has been on a good run lately. As well as Sweet Emily winning, there’s been a few of their horses saluting recently on the bush tracks. Cee Cee ‘n’ Dry, Final Jest and Lachlan Lily have all won recent races, i’m hoping Sweet Emily can do the same tonight.


  2. Crio, gotta admire the Miners Rest lot for having a dip, but a 200k 2yo race running Sydney way….please! wonder why we don’t produce stayers.
    Good luck to the hoops riding juveniles down hill (and a bloody steep one at that) for the last furlong and a half, and a fave going around at even money.. leave me outa that!

  3. We will see how good Tildy Lad is tomorrow at Ballarat having had a good record in Adelaide. I’ve come close with Waltzing to Win so will follow e/w in the Cup
    Dennis OLeary a regular beach worker has Outlandish Lad engaged but it’s a big ask for a 9 yr old
    I may have a dip at the SA horses in the West but will leave Adelaide alone as its a tricky program though Jock may have other ideas
    I can’t make it to Strath for their big day Sunday but weather fine track good will see a bumper crowd

  4. Elvis,

    Please tell us you followed up on Cadillac Mountain at Werribee.

    First impressions at Ballarrat, see race 5 I backed Durendal last start and it was going very well until getting pole-axed(Lord Aspen’s Flem race) so I’ll be on board currently 11/1.
    Tildy’s Lad’s race is interesting and it’s a great chance. If looking for a roughy in it, Kosciuszko’s Side won like a star first up last time in and Jim Smith has taken it over so must be going OK..currently about 40/1

    Hoping Hostable gets a run in the last in Adelaide. Trailed like a champ (again for no prisemoney) and may be a place chance.

  5. Kickstart tomorrow with Meet George Jetson in the first at Doomben.

  6. Barrier 14 will make it tough for George Jetson on debut especially with a well drawn in form fave. I’m a bit keen on Mr Jazz in the first at Ballarat tomorrow. Drawn well, S King on board. Big overs at around $30.

  7. Trainer obviously agreed with me. As is customary with Crio tips, Meet George Jetson is now scratched.

  8. George Scratched

  9. Moonee Valley race 7: Lilly Dazzler part-owned by W.K. Trewick, winner of the 1950 Stawell Gift. Worth an Almanac dollar.

  10. Another collect.
    Any Perth thoughts?

    btw, at Melton tonight there’s a Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship and a Markovina FFA.
    Flynny and I ended up chatting Interdoms and European trots at some stage last night!

  11. with a muncher @ 6/4, the Pat Carey push for the last winner at MV was E/W to nothing. No bet, of course, for me – which is not a bad policy when my earnings are low and the race is 3000m for hackers!
    Harmsy, any Trewick connection has to earn the “Watch betting” accompaniment?
    also, is “almanac dollar” a sporting innovation to challenge bitcoin?

  12. Was at that interdom final and Markovina had to survive a protest when the great B Gath whacked Hermosa Star over the beak twice with the persuader.
    And big Gordon Rothacker was notorious for over racing his horses, a mate of mine used to reckon they only slept in the float.

  13. I am brain-dead but Jock has helped me out and now I can make further comments

  14. Interesting meeting in Adelaide on the inside track with the rail out 5 metres so front runners will have an advantage in races les than 1600.
    Best at odds for the day is My Ex Mate in the 5th who should be ready to do something over 1950 metres
    Esprit De Bullet will go well in the 7th, hopefully blinkers on will help him get away at the start and even though he is a backmarker the pace in the race is very strong so a good chance.

    Happy to be of assistance dodge, thanks for the beer.

  15. I was very impressed by Sweet Emily and her second consecutive win at ther Valley. I’m trying to recall the last time a hores from Jerilderie saluted in town. I’m pretty sure her stable mate Final Jest remains a maiden on metropoiitan tracks despite its sparkling form in the bush.

    Can anyone remind me of a Jerilderie galloper who has won in town in recent memory ?


  16. W Pike – genius!

  17. K.Forrester!

  18. Kevin Forrester; great ride !


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