Crio’s Racing

With The Championships dunked and after experiencing a desolate Flemington last week, I’d prepared to bunker down with Bairnsdale Benchmarks until Brisbane. Once again I was wrong.

The changing calendar has obviously confused me…I certainly didn’t see this weekend coming, with some cracking G1 action in Sydney, some nostalgic old favs in Adelaide and a batch of rich VOBIS races backending a long, mostly very good day at Caulfield.

The extended MR card is courtesy of a rescheduled 4000m marathon (series final) from Sandown – perhaps they could run up Dandy Rd from one MRC venue to the other? The Club’s timed it for 1145, conceding a betting flop and thereafter running a normal day (including the customary, cynical “hidden” $40k BM78 – MR4).

Subsequent fields are strong and the meeting, with its lucrative SuperVOBIS bonuses, is being publicised to showcase the Victorian breeding industry and to court present and prospective owners.

A highlight of the day will be the return of Toorak Handicap winner Trust In a Gust (MR6, No1), looking to springboard from here to Queensland in a final, pre-Stud prep. Justifiably short.

Another shorty goes in the next (MR7), with Fontein Ruby (9) seemingly only challenged by Hayes’ Jurasound (10).

The Sprint (MR9, 1100m, H’cp, Listed) is arguably the pick of a good Heath programme – there have been worse Group races this year. Very even – maybe the 3 E/W?

Nationally, though, the standout race is the All Aged Stakes (SR6, 1400m, WFA, G1), nowadays positioned as a logical progression from the TJ or a freshen-up post-Doncaster. It has attracted a quality line up and hopefully it is on a drying track – forecast is for some rain but warm weather. Chautauqua (1) is an exciting horse and is the one to beat. (2/1). Dissident (2) generally box seats and is proven at class/distance (9/1). Terravista (3) and especially Lucky Hussler (4) have solid claims as do 3yo challengers Shooting To Win (11) and Wandjina (12). Ripper final 2014/15 G1 for Sydney.

The other Group One is The Champagne (SR4, 1600m, 2yo, SW), seemingly a bridge too far for the precocious Slipper types. There are plenty of chances. If pressed, I’d suggest Takedown (3).

The support card is strong, including an appearance from Our Boy Malachi (10), a winning machine, in the Hall Mark Stakes (SR7, 1200m, SWP, G3 – not sponsored by a card company!…rather, the winner of 18 races including the Doncaster Handicap, AJC Derby, VRC Derby, Caulfield Stakes, Underwood Stakes (twice), AJC Champagne Stakes, AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes, Melbourne Cup, VRC St. Leger Stakes, C.B. Fisher Plate and Memsie Stakes).

My best for the day up there (as at Wednesday arvo) is Peeping (SR3, No3).

The surprises continued when I cast a “cursory” at the Morphettville fields and immediately hopped inside my time warp.

Adelaide, probably more than any other jurisdiction, has really shuffled races around since my early days on-course. The Cup, for example, was weeks ago, yet The Goodwood, traditionally hand-in-glove, is another month away.

RacingSA is hoping for a window of opportunity by reverting to some major May action, and this weekend sees the build-up underway.

Though The Goodwood is not until May 16, an old favourite, the R N Irwin (AR6, 1100m, WFA, G3) is posited as a “lead-in” – a strange concept these days when horses criss-cross the country weekly. Nevertheless it is good to see this race still profiled – there have been some top class winners over its storied past, including Driefontein in 2014. Some non-acceptors and scratchings have hurt but it remains a good line-up. Platelet (6) is the logical tip though Magnifisio (7) brings ultra-impressive WA pedigree. 8 and 1 are amongst others with claims in an excellent edition.

Morphettville’s Group One stretch begins with the Oaks in a fortnight, so this week’s Auraria (AR7, 1800m, 3yoF, SWP, G3) is perfectly positioned for trainers who have responded with a capacity field. Maastricht (4) is the obvious one, though I’d be wary of Tony McEvoy’s progressive staying filly Into The Mist (13).

Another 3yo attraction is the Redelva (AR5, 1100m, 3yo, SWP, Listed), a good sprint. I’m keen on Get The Nod (2) to defeat Éclair Choice (4) with value Durendal (9) on a softish track.

But of all the races which leapt off the page, the oddest was the Dequetteville Stakes (AR4, 1050m, 2yoF, SW, Listed). Here’s a blast from the past.

In my dim memory the ARC hosted the first 2yo scampers of the season down the straight at Vic Pk. I reckon it was 4 1/2   furlongs for the boys in the Fulham Park Plate and then for the girls in the Dequetteville – but I may be wrong.

These were frenetic betting races. Mr Magic would burst through the rings exposing C.S.Hayes’ best, sometimes colliding with Pat Cummings on a mission whilst other stables would “launch” on the basis of trials or dreams – the ill-fated Les Samba loved these early 2yo dashes and I reckon Ted Cameron sometimes snuck down from Swan Hill.

It’s good to see the race name still exists though it has certainly lost its traditional role. Punters won’t care as long as they find the winner. Mike Moroney’s brought over the undefeated Misty Waters (2) and Weiry’s followed him with last start’s vanquished plunge filly Maddie Moo Moo (7). Fascinating and always the definitive “Watch betting” race!


What a pleasant surprise it has been for me to peruse this Saturday’s possibilities. Can’t wait to sit down and do some form. Any tips or topics welcomed.

Good luck!


  1. Great summary especially with regard to Adelaide and the history you mentioned. It’s certainly a far cry nowadays at our one and only city course.
    It’s a good card at HQ and with a bit of effort I may jag a winner. More later

  2. A talking point with the rich vobis races is the weight scale. Trust in a Gust carries 59kg under the set weight conditions. Maybe a set weights + penalties may be better, with penalties for group 1 winners or any group win?! In a handicap Trust in a Gust would be giving away around 6kg to Tycoon Tara, and 10+kg to the others. Although, as we saw with Hartnell last week, the weight certainties don’t always win!

    R7 Fontein Ruby is 17 rating points above the next highest and Self Sense 8 rating points higher in R8.

    My best at Caulfield is R9 Gregers $5+

    Like a few at double figures odds at Randwick –
    R3 Press Report $10+
    R7 Big Money $14+
    R8 Tales of Grimm $10+

    and Chautauqua to win the All Aged…..

  3. cowshedend says

    Excellent wrap Crio
    Judge, will follow you in, nice get Criterion last week, but i beg to differ on Hartnell,it was weight that beat him last week, in fact it was precisely 52kg’s which beat him. The exact amount carried by his ballast T.Berry.
    Got one in the 5th at Sunshine Coast tomorrow Venecia, was a very reluctant sale and she was in career best form before heading up there last month, reckon she’d have this lot covered.

  4. I’d like to see Riziz put in a good run in the RN Irwin. For a change he’s carrying less than 61K’s.


  5. May as well through my 2 bobs worth in for races tomorrow….
    Adel R4 Misty Waters looks winner but only $2.70
    ” ” R5 Durenal looks great value at $15

    Will the track be leader-ish again in Syd? Rail out 5m!
    Track looks as though it should be dead, or dead side of slow at worst. Thinking Fontelina will improve on top of ground, took $51 it. Finished off well behind Chautauqua and prefers it dry…$3 and $51 look a little far apart.
    Will Our Boy Malachi get across easily enough or will he face the breeze? Rock Sturdy and Charlie Boy look knockouts at odds if fav has to do early work.
    I took $26 win only Tales of Grimm y’day (now $10 so take it as a stand out for 2nd in your exactas and tri’s!) and something small on Rugged Cross at $51.
    Didn’t think Lord Durante was hopeless in last Melb at $67, has some ok fresh form. Will be watching London Stripe 1st up tomorrow without backing, it goes well 2nd up so looking for a quiet little run tomorrow making ground late!

    Good luck to all tomorrow.

  6. cowshedend says

    Like your thinking Higgo re Durenal, EZ are black short trainers (never like heading away from home), it was only beaten 1/2 length at the heath last start.
    Very unlike Contract racing to send 1 to Adelaide.

  7. Been raining steadily in SA so will tread with caution
    Brent Stanley has a runner at good odds and not much form in the Redelva-long way to come if it’s not up to it
    I’m having a small e/w on Gordon Yorkes Hidden Warrior in the seventh at Randwick (another roughie)
    Not too confident in my form or with favoured hoops
    Glen- Ledgers have one in the second ridden by Lindop

  8. My best is Terravista in Sydney. Better draw this time and will be better suited against Chatauqua than in the TJ and will beat it home.

    I like the Adelaide fields for a change and the fact that it has rained, currently a slow 5 but no more rain due until tomorrow arvo, consequently I’m very keen on Silent Whisper in the 5th as it is very good fresh and likes a soft track. Stablemate, Get the Nod is fav but trainer has stated the goals which include getting to the Stradbroke so maybe he’s not fully would up. I have a sneaky roughie in the last if the track gets cut up, Castano Girl- stayer 2nd up in a race where the 1600 is a query for many runners who are also queries on a potentially affected track.

    Crio, Dequetteville and Fulham Park plate were indeed the first 2 yo races of the year at Vic park in the old days, over 800 metres, I think. CS used to always produce a good one, particularly fillies and I seem to remember Defiant, Bodega and maybe another one who was a flying machine that may have never raced again or was that Bodega?..Budge may be able to assist on that. The sooner they abandon the March Cup the better but they are reluctant to because they will not get a public holiday..big deal Sydney, Brissy and Perth don’t have one and I would also like to see a potential star staying 3yo win the derby and have a go at the up again like Subzero & Our Pompeii but I like the lead ups to the Goodwood as the DC Mackay is in a week or two as the final leadup race and the same program has the Oaks and derby so a pretty good program

  9. Private Show?

  10. I’ve always been a Silent Whisper fan…..or was that a Wham! song?? Sorry I digress – long lunch. He’s a very good horse so happy to be on him.
    Good points made The Judge (Showdown-Bellition). Trust in a Gust is a weights special if you’ve ever seen one. Only 4kg over the minimum (a 3YO filly). Only gives 2kg to the rest.

  11. No surprise to Budge, I might have a lick at Magnifisio in the RN Irwin at Morphettville, Jimmy Taylor is a little nob as a trainer, and I have an idea he may have ridden Moss Kingdom when he won the Adelaide Cup and we took that SP Bookie bloke at the Broadway for a big quid.

    I like Politeness in the Politeness in the Bel Esprit at Caulfield.

    Come first of May, I will be at the Derby, Kentucky Derby that is, Mint Juleps and talking the Aussie slang the Americans love. Budge reckons I should tell them I have lobbed over there to back American Pharoah at the best global odds. Reckon I can do that.

    Sydney, dunno.Reckon I will do some exotic treble business and go wide.

    So there you go (Atilla – Espadrille) The Heath, Morphettville, Randwick and Churchill Downs. Thoroughbreds. What’s not to love.

  12. and the Aussie dollar is fighting back Elvis. How about a Kentucky/Epsom Derby double?

  13. Crio,

    To quote Dennis Cometti, “that’s ambitious” other than to say a Sheik bought into a Sheik bred would go close.

  14. Elvis,

    Kentucky Derby? Do you go every year? I’ve always wanted to do the Kentucky Derby. It’s been a childhood dream of mine…I’ve been to Singapore Cup and HK Invitation a coupe of times meet but yet to go to KD.

    Would love to hear any tips you can give and will aim to get there next year….less commitments now, kicked kids out of house so finally can do what “I” want for a change. Like punt my head off!!

  15. Crio,

    Hall Mark. Sad to say they just don’t make em’ like that anymore.

  16. Higgo,

    No, I went to Kentucky in 2013 and loved the joint. Did a tour of the famous Claiborne Stud and had a look around Churchill Downs, including morning trackwork. This will be my first Run For The Roses. Will let you know how it goes. Great place Kentucky.

    Punt your head off. Love it.

  17. Elvis,

    Great to hear…Churchill Downs, almost Sacred. Early morning trackwork ..(heaven!)…did you have a contact there to experience that or did you just scale the fence and don a plastic nose and glasses?

  18. Higgo,

    Just lobbed. Everyone is so accommodating. We emailed Claiborne the day before and were included on a tour of the stud. I had a photo taken of me patting War Front, who is the Fastnet Rock of America. and stands at $150k. Can you imagine being able to do that at Coolmore.

    Churchill Downs is pretty much always open, with a great Museum there. You just book to be included in a track work tour the following morning.

    Then go and have some eggs over easy at the Diner around the corner featured in the Secretariat film..

    We went in August of 2013, so I guess that would be good time if you wanted to take a trip. Good weather too.

  19. Thanks for the tips….will diarise your info, thx.

    Dare I ask, Elvis, were you born in Memphis?

    Sorry to bore everyone here that knows you, but I’m new here ;-)

  20. Higgo,

    Nah, there is another more recent “Elvis” who didn’t shoot TV’s while eating fried peanut butter sandwiches and wasn’t buried in a piano case. More a bloke who spent some time “Watchin The Detectives” and is a member of “Oliver’s Army”

  21. Ah yes….I think he was known to “Pump it up” with “Alison” and “Veronica”….are we speaking the same Elvis??

  22. what a love in! Get a room you two. And Elvis, any particular concert you’re going to over there?

  23. Budge,

    I will be at a Bob Dylan concert in Nashville before the Derby. Not a hardcore Dylan fan, but in Nashville, well, that’s a bit different . Googled the venue and it looks fantastic. Got to say though, that many years ago when I was into John Mellencamp, I told anyone who wanted to listen that I wanted to go to Seymour Indiana, where he grew up and which features in his “Small Town” song video clip. I’m going there, and to me it outstrips Dylan, and runs a close second to the Derby.

  24. So just to clarify. Going to the scene of some two bit video clip of 25 years ago outstrips seeing Dylan live in Nashville? Did I get that right?

  25. enough sniping….
    anyone going to Caulfield?

  26. Crio,

    Caulfield Indiana, Caulfield Nashville or Corfield Queensland.

  27. The upside to this schmuck, Elvis, is that you’ve not tipped a loser in last dozen posts!

  28. Correct Budge

    It was becoming a little self indulgent however the K Derby is something I will experience within the next year or two and if I can grab a tip or two I’ll take the run if it presents itself …..on that note I’ll leave you all with best wishes for tomorrow, whether that be footy or racing.

    Lay of the day….Leebaz.

  29. Is Bob Dylan still alive?
    Is Kentucky really a “dry state”
    Anyone got a John Cougar album, I tuned out on the first name change
    Bon Voyage Elvis have a great trip.
    Budge, yes, private show was the one who had the big spruik

  30. Randwick’s missed a fair bit of the rain but still posted a Soft6 with a bad forecast. Be wary.
    Caulfield’s good.
    Morphettville wet.
    Good luck!

  31. Elvis,
    Well done with your tip on Politeness…$14. Unfortunately I didn’t follow you in.
    Hope you (or anyone else for that matter) followed me in on Rugged Cross…..took $51 Fri night then backed again Sat at $61 fixed.
    Have a great K Derby trip!

  32. Well done Higgo…don’t set the bar too high and shame shams like me!
    Politeness doesn’t win out of turn but there did look pace for a swooper
    Bookies had a rare fill at The Heath today

  33. Indeed crio, I gave Politeness “life” some time ago and swore never to be guilty of backing her again, so that clearly helped her find something today.

    As for setting the bar too high, I generally set it an inch or so above my ankles, so long as I get a run up. My winners are as common as total eclipses of the moon on days that start with the letter X.

    Have a little bank to whittle away over the coming weeks anyhow.

  34. Punt your head off!
    Well done.
    Gotta love tipping a roughie.

  35. Caulfield winning barriers yday – 5,4,1,1,7,3,6,4,5,4

  36. Good stat and relevant given the large fields.
    Caulfield is a good place for patient punters looking for a pattern.
    Hope you found a winner. Bookies mowed them down late. Last winner was very findable but gee they stitched up the favorite

  37. Caulfield track was a joke.
    How far out was the rail? and even at that no one wanted to race near the fence. I can accept that maybe riders may want to get wider late in the day as a result of wear during the day but when they want to a 3 or more wide when the rail is already our a mile, no wonder inside draws worked.

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