Crio’s Racing: Picnic in the Park

Pretty sure I’ve pulled the right rein getting a gig at the Woolamai picnics this Saturday. The forecast is beautiful and the alternative, Sandown, modest at best. Nationally there is a pulse at Rosehill but, as warned last week, if you want to watch the best horses, tune in to the trials.

Woolamai racecourse is, deceptively, not on Phillip Island but, rather, just off the main road – turn near the Kilcunda-Bass footy ground and find a lovely track nestled in the foothills. They’ll get a big crowd and I’ll get one of the recommended burgers. The Woolamai Cup (1708m, $4000, min 63kg) is the feature – though, to be honest, the surrounds and the “vibe” are the drawcards.

It’s the same theme to apply to the next edition of Valley Nights, with a balmy evening making a visit to the Moonee Ponds lawns on Friday very tempting. The main race (MR6, 1200m, Listed) is pretty good with Fast’n’Rocking back, Barbed very good fresh, It Is Written firing…as always, however, the nuances of the track make it silly to commit until a pattern emerges. Then it becomes really easy to eliminate the “can’t wins” and narrow the chances.

I’ll be cooling my heels again – one try last weekend was another frustrating second after Driefontein was hailed at the rise! Off the record, we should have had better banter as some big winners were apparently nabbed by regular correspondents…good luck to them.

One “highlight” I did note in the last instalment was for the Victoria Cup, the G1 at Melton for the pacers. Alas, it has been a shocker for the troubled code with the “big race” being a “lead, brake, sprint” debacle (barely even covered amidst other dishlicker and sulky Sky commitments) and then the dramatic series of raids and arrests, especially those concerning the Cramp family up in Mildura.

Sure, you can try the cycling fraternity’s spin of “it shows we are weeding out the cheats”, but the mud sticks. Regrettably this is the lead in to the time-honoured A G Hunter Cup night out at Melton…the standing start G1 for stayers accompanies G1 features for 3yo (Vic Derby) and “square gaiters” (Championship Final)


My best tip this week is, for Melbounians, get out and enjoy the weather and racing options and, for all form followers, trawl the trials – the research will reap rewards in the weeks to come.

Lord knows we need it – work opportunities are sparse here and “punting vouchers” are thus hard to come by.

Mail will be closely scrutinised!

Good luck.


  1. Sandown is indeed ordinary Saturday,so will be having my go for the weekend at the Valley on Friday, really like Fantasy Eight, was an absolute forgive when it got lost down the straight at HQ in it’s 2nd start last time in. It has come back well winning its trial at Cranbourne untouched.
    The Godolphin horse in the same race will go around very skinny, but i reckon Fantasy Eight is a group horse.
    Also at the Valley Friday we have a race named the ‘Bobby Skilton’, surely this will be the first time in equine history that the winner of the race will be less hirsute than the person the race is named for!
    Also one of Oges old tips got the chockies at Gawler wednesday ‘Fantasy Eight’, keep up the good work mate.

  2. The People's Elbow says

    Straight Jacket in the 7th at Moonee Valley tomorrow night.

  3. And Cowshedend I missed Ryan Balfs longshot last week in Melboune. When his late father took a horse to Melbourne you always took notice
    I will look at OLearys as other starters from here are thin on the ground in the city
    The forecast for the weekend is hot and hotter so keep well hydrated Captain at the picnics and hope the beer is cold at the Laurel boys

  4. Straight Jacket…any more info pls mate?

    Oges: Adelaide horses are coming over here – especially to Flemington in search of a roomy alternative to “Parks” – and winning for fun.
    Bloody River’s Lane – even with Olly up there was 250/1 on Betfair.

  5. I feel your pain with Driefontein.

    Get the weekend bank from Tudor at the Valley tonight, should have a very easy time in front.

  6. The People's Elbow says

    Me and a few mates… and HOTTTTTOON! own a ten per cent stake.

    Has been running really well since returning from a spell with a win and a half-a-nose-second.

    Likes to run from the front, and once there is hard to beat. Has drawn barrier 3, so should work in his favour.

  7. Group racing in Tassie tonight. Hoping the track dries out for I Love It to show her best.

  8. Craig, the rail’s out 4m and we should know by your race how it is playing – presumably on pced. Last day meeting the rail was completely off. Usually that’s not the case from this rail.
    Judge – going to give us a Hobart Cup preview for Monday?

  9. The People's Elbow says

    Isn’t it true that as a general rule the further the rail is out, the more the leading horses are favoured?

    What I mean to say is LOAD UP!

  10. The Elbow,

    Love you’re confidence. It’s in my quaddie..good luck

  11. Quinella it with the bottom weight at big odds – real place chance.

    Cowshedetc – what was Vlad the Impaler doing on your R3 tip?

  12. cowshedend says

    Jesus wept Crio! Was dead set jogging before straightening then he grabbed hold , by the time he booted up he was forced 6 deep and the leaders were gone.
    That performance leaves me in no doubt that the horse is a topliner, gear change next start should simply read ‘pilot off’!

  13. someone help…who is a standout leg in the quaddie at bendigo???

  14. and sandown , who is the standout leg in the quaddie. suggestions please..

  15. Sorry I couldn’t help paubai…huge crowd and patchy internet at Woolamai. Hope you found a winner.
    Anyone else see the Hunter Cup? fav galloped out and didn’t complete.
    Kerryn Manning saluted on a 100/1 pop.

  16. G’day Crio. How was Woolamai ? We ‘ll be going to Alexandra for the cup on 28/2. The last picnic meeting for us this season.


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