Crio’s Racing: Lightning and Hobartville Stakes days

Has there ever been a better time to race a good horse? The options at the top end are broad and lucrative as Melbourne’s crammed Autumn abuts Sydney’s rich Carnival creating, unfortunately, meetings which lack the depth which might have been foreseen.

Both Flemington and Rosehill provide examples this Saturday.

At both places we see some terrific horses enlisted and a couple of good races – but these are far from vintage meetings.


The G1 Lightning Stakes is the day’s signature race at HQ. Much anticipated, with a fabulous heritage, it has managed to attract two of Australia’s most exciting sprinters in a field of 6 (at most).

The Oakleigh Plate, of course, is next week and the Newmarket a fortnight thereafter will be the target for some, whilst others may cool their heels longer and aim at the T.J.Smith (Randwick, 4 April, 1200m, WFA, $2.5m.).

Nevertheless the clash of Deep Field and Lankan Rupee (MR7, 1000m, WFA, G1) will help sort the pecking order for this year. There’s a real feeling that Hawkes’ rising superstar will triumph.

The Talindert (MR1, 2yo, 1100m, SWP, Listed) is the traditional opener on this day and is always a volatile betting race. It is rarely a lead to the Diamond or even a Slipper, but some real good youngsters have announced themselves – Miss Finland (2006), Star Witness (2010), All Too Hard (2012) the recent notables. Miss Finland’s daughter (by Street Cry) makes a long-awaited debut here and, with the Hayes camp red hot, it will be one of the favs, though the pedigree indicates it could cope with more ground – if, of course, its sight is OK (Stay With Me being, of course, the big hit from Faces’ “A Nod Is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse” – and this filly is wearing “Winkers”!). Another debutant, with “Watch” attached, is Vicious (from Hawkes’ yard), whilst Jameka and, most probably, Ragazzo Del Corsa, are the obvious chances from disclosed form. When pre-post betting was non-existent, this was a ripper flurry in the ring. Still worth a look.

The 3yo races are probably the best of the rest.

The Vanity (MR3, 1400m, 3yoF, SWP, G3) is a strong race with a really promising filly, the unbeaten Wawail, as the elect. Maastricht is the likely danger. Of particular interest will be the resumption of Oaks winner, Set Square.

The young boys contest the C.S.Hayes (MR6, 1400m, 3yoC+G, SWP, G3) and this is much more open. I’m giving Hauraki another chance E/W at big odds and keeping an eye on Wez Hunter’s well credentialed WA recruit, Disposition. Wandjina, with a Cox Plate run on the CV, is an obvious chance, as is Weiry’s Stratum Star. Very interesting race and another reason why I’ll not bother with a Quaddy – the multi then finishing with 2x80k Benchmarks!


Similar comments could apply to the Sydney card though, with their pots of gold still some weeks away, it is understandable if the big guns are not yet blazing.

Despite this, I reckon they’ve again got the race of the day…the Hobartville (SR6, 1400m, 3yo, G2). How many Group One winners are in this? – I’ve not the time now to check….amongst the roughies resuming there’s the winners of the VRC Derby (1), Champion Stakes (6) and Wakeful (13)! Other “first uppers” expected to be prominent are ruling Caulfield Guineas (Shooting To Win) and Golden Rose (Hallowed Crown) colts, both of which seem glory bound in 2015. There’s a host of chances in this ripping race – I’m leaning to Delectation E/[email protected]/1 with the benefit of race fitness.

The other race sure to impact futures markets is the Silver Slipper (SR5, 2yo, 1100m, SW, G2). Ottoman (6) was enormous on debut, landing some serious plunges in dramatic style. Headwater (6) is likewise earmarked for big things. Snowden’s Paceman (3) was doubtless put aside for this and beyond after November’s win and there are huge wraps on Holler (2). Elite juveniles and reputations are on the line.

Less unknown are the combatants in the time-honoured Millie Fox (about whom, I’m sure, I wrote last year). Catkins is a gun at this level (SR3, 1300m, F+M, SWP, G2) and will be odds on to beat Lilliburlero (4) again.

Let’s hope the track races better than its city counterpart last week where there was a distinctive lane through which most winners came (God Bless Contributer).


As always there’s racing aplenty in the upcoming weekend – just here in Vic there’s an OK Moonee Valley listing for Friday Night (importantly, good weather and bigger prizemoney), Picnics at Woolamai (Sat) and Yea (Sun) and a terrific Kilmore Cup as the main race on Sunday’s programme at the popular venue just an hour up the road.

Time to get out the formguide and make some decisions- any assistance welcomed.

Good luck!


  1. Great work Budge last week with contributer.
    Really disappointing Lightning , may as well have a match race, in fact all the Group races leave me a bit cold, and the only thing i’ll be having a dip at is Catkins who is evens on Betfair, surely gotta start well into the red.
    And you’re right Crio about how good it would be to have a decent horse this time of year, but ignore the Group races, how would you like to have a 10 furlong hacker who’s up and about to run in 100k sat races against Crafty Cruiser and the likes.
    And oh for the good old days, when dishy trainers would pull over at a takeaway joint on the way to the track , and shove a Four’n’Twenty down the gullet of the Bale or Temlee in the trailer, run a Barry Crocker and get a price next start!

  2. Very keen on Wawail. Should come across from barrier 9, sit outside the leader and be able to control the race.

    Giving Better Land a second chance in CS Hayes. Scissor Kick form is as good as any, and not suited down the straight first up. Blinkers come off and will get prefect run from barrier 4.

    To Rosehill – R3 Looks to be good speed, and tipping Shaumari to come home over the top of them.

    Think Avoid Lightning can knock off Catkins in the Millie Fox.

  3. It is going to be as hot as here tomorrow and racing heads to Gawler giving the city track a rest ready for the Cup Carnival
    Scratchings will be plentiful but Zayak a locally trained horse is an e/w chance but my tips are hopeless at present
    Avoid Lightning used to be trained here and always runs well late summer/autumn
    Further study is necessary today and tomorrow

  4. Turns out my comments have been getting stopped by the spam filter, it’s obviously very astute.
    Anyway taking my chance at getting through, Chivalry is the EW bet of the day at Flemington.
    I like Kermadec in Sydney and I’m keen on Jims Journey at Gawler in the 6th, Right to Roam in the 7th and Mr Backchat in the 8th.

  5. Jock, why aren’t any Adelaide horses over here? Modest fields, great money…they’ve shown the shallow nature of locals and only a sweltering Gawler at home. Missed chances.

  6. Was referring Flemington but the SA horse a moral beaten in last at MV tonight

  7. Fortunately it was beaten, Hinchley at 16’s for me.
    Don’t worry about the Adelaide horses, you’ll see a very good one next week in Alpine Eagle ( yes, Wolf Blass) really good and I think that if it wins it goes to Sydney for some big money.

    I do agree though that the Melb fields outside of the smart horses are pretty average and they race for more than double the stakes so it makes the trip look like its worth a try.

  8. Cheer for Miss Yearn at Wodonga tmrw

  9. Skip of Skipton says

    Lankan Rupee was back in his best form and needs to be considered among the best sprinters we have seen. I hope he isn’t overlooked in the History books because of his proximity to Black Caviar. He’d have blown wind right up her.

  10. Skip, the boom on Deep Field was so big, the Hawkes sprinters so dominant, Rupee patchy in Spring and with convictions as an Entire…on handicaps and best form, 7/4 was fantastic.
    Hope you cashed in. I stayed out.

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    Rupee started doing his best work after they cut his nuts off, crio. Oaks day 2013 to be exact, when he beat Snitzerland. Onward and upward since then. *he was’t 100% last spring but still managed to perform very well.* His Autumn last year was exceptional.

  12. Skip of Skipton says

    I’m a big fan of Deep Field and his brother Shooting to Win, the Caulfield Guineas winner. It wasn’t their day. It was Lankan Rupee’s day, big time. He’s the real shit.

  13. Some horses are Autumn

  14. Launceston Cup Day this Wednesday. Not a bad race and, undoubtedly, a ripper day. For locals the highlight will be the return of local star, The Cleaner, in the George Adams Plate (R9, 1600m, WFA, Listed) @5:07pm

  15. Crio – loved the Stay With Me / winkers connection. If she is as good as the song she’ll win a few.
    Skip – Lankan Rupee certainly would not have “blown wind right up” Black Caviar. Let’s not compare every horse who wins a group one sprint with her. It’s like trying to compare each new spinner who plays for Australia with Shane Warne. Some are just in a category of their own.

  16. This weekend coming, in 1979, a 16 year old apprentice rode the wonderful mare Mistress Anne to victory in the Oakleigh Plate. Mark Riley was that jockey and his father Martin the trainer. Moving to 1993 Mark, now a trainer, became the only person to win this prestigious sprint as both a jockey and trainer when Mookta saluted.
    Yesterday Mark Riley was disqualified for 3 years on doping offences effectively finishing his career as a trainer. Given that one of his horses, Of The Brave, the well named Starspangledbanner colt, is well in the market for this Saturday’s $1 million Blue Diamond stakes, appeals have been issued for a stay to enable one last big pay day. Whatever happens, Mark Riley will remain a significant name each year when this great meeting rolls around.

  17. that notwithstanding, I doubt they’ll name a race after him!
    His old man was also “colourful”

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