Crio’s Racing: Back to Randwick

It’s an unconventional fixture confronting form analysts this weekend.
Racing returns to Randwick for a black-type Guineas meeting that conclusively transfers the Autumn spotlight to Sydney. Perhaps in acknowledgement of this, both Victoria and South Australia stage their Saturday metros “off-Broadway”, possibly a portent for future post-Carnival “venue diversification”.
Racing NSW has trialled this with some success, giving selected Provincial clubs a Fri/Sat opportunity, especially whilst they have been limited for city tracks by the renos under way. It makes some sense, but will need to be carefully monitored. Undoubtedly some will see this as a step towards The ‘Bool going Th/Fr/Sat and maybe Ballarat and Cranbourne getting city status for their Cup meets. Certainly the “dipping of the toe” this Saturday looks like being a boon for the Bendigo Jockey Club, with large noms, great depth, no footy yet and a St Pat’s date seemingly creating a positive mix. The SA meeting will be at Oakbank, a kind of St Pat’s cum pre-Easter hybrid excuse. They’ll get a good crowd but need to be wary of “cooking the golden goose” by defaulting to the traditional Easter venue. The Adelaide Cup day crowd was fantastic on Monday and I can see the need for something different – maybe a celebration of the Northern ‘burbs with races and pre-season SANFL footy at Gawler would be a more progressive idea?
I’m having a Saturday off, getting my wages and my “fix” at Moonee Valley on Friday night (1st race 6:45; Rail TRUE). This is the 2nd last of their season under lights and, if the weather is kind, it deserves a good crowd this week and then a bumper turn up for next week’s William Reid Stakes finale.
Friday’s first conundrum confronts me in Race 2 where my failed “spruik” Rhandara will seek to make amends in the (Listed) St Alban’s Stakes over 1200m for 2 yr olds. Stewards once again published a book following his (non) performance at Flemington, but he is already becoming what my Dad used to term “an unsafe conveyance”. With his convictions I’ll avoid taking the “shorties” until he gets it together…firstly by getting to the gates without tipping off the hoop and then by racing tractably. If and when it clicks, he’ll win better races than this, but I’m not paying his tutorials. “Watch”, as they say!
The 55 second Challenge has been a mainstay of the Night calendar, with a Mazda the prize for the fastest time of the series. The field for the 955m dash this week is disappointingly small but has some real quality. Kulgrinda (1) should win.
We can probably go skinny to start the Quaddy (MR5, 8:45pm, 1200m). I’m rapt to see an old fav in Vlad (“the Impaler”) Duric back from Singapore and getting on some Snowden stock (starting with a likely winner in R1, No10). Here he accompanies Graskop (5), the obvious danger to popular select The Fairy’s Kiss (6).
The Gr2 Alister Clark Stakes (MR6, 2040m, 3yo, 9:15pm) is the feature and it is hard to go against Mister Milton (6) after his gritty third in the Australian Guineas. Sabrage (2) is the obvious next elect.
Whilst there is a push for the C.Williams/Mick Kent combo and Tenno (11) in the penultimate race (MR7, 2040m, 9:45pm) I think the key runners are last start winner Colden’s Choice (4) and course specialist Bangerang Quikpik (5), always good value and in the money. 5,4,11 to be safe.
The last (MR8, 1200m, Listed, 10:15pm) is the toughest on the programme. Go as wide as you can afford…definitely including 8,1,5 as well as those in the betting.
An excellent card and I’m looking forward to it…I’ll be sad to see the end of Valley Nights.
But the racing caravan moves on and for those looking for quality, Bendigo and Randwick have plenty on offer Saturday afternoon.
Bendigo City – along with the Jockey Club – is putting on a huge entertainment package to entice patrons to the historic town over this weekend. It’s an easy drive and an even more convenient train trip (shuttles to the course) for anyone wanting to enjoy some time in this “Golden” region.
The Golden Bracelet (R6, 1400m) opens the Quaddy and here I’d suggest 3,7,1,12.
Next up is the Golden Mile (R7, 1600m). Testacana (4) looks the one to beat. My quandary is what to do with the toppy, Red Colossus, which I tipped and backed unrewardingly in a much tougher appointment last start. Butter up at better odds or sack? Certainly throw him in the Quaddy.
The last is an 1100m sprint. 8,12,4.
I hope to find time in my idle Saturday (@ Soldier’s Reserve, Werribee for cricket!) to ponder the Randwick card. There are some key formlines converging here for the weeks ahead.
The Randwick Guineas is rightly the focus of most attention (SR6, 1600m) and I’ll be relocating to watch this battle between Manawanui (1) and Mohsheen (17). There’s plenty of blowout or trifecta options also – maybe Galah?
As can be the case on Thursday afternoon, a glimpse at the fields simply whets the appetite for a deeper study.
Thus I’ll be looking for that golden nugget when I grab a formguide tomorrow (Friday) and susceptible to a good tip from anyone keen to correspond.
Good luck!


  1. I too an a Vlad Duric fan and I hope he gets the mounts he deserves after a sojourn in Singapore.
    Sad to read today Jim Easom the likeable Adelaide bookie died after collapsing at the Strath races Wednesday thus thinning the ranks even further.

  2. Sad to hear of the death of Jimmy Easom, a very likeable rascal and a larger than life character of my “Uni Days” on the bag in Adelaide. I’ll always remember his 2-up school after Jens’ shut during the Mt Gambier Carnival (for sportsmen!) and seeing him in action with the great Mulva (Brian Mulvihill) calling the bets at Strath Dogs. Fun and funny times. Jim was always an absolute gentleman to me and my late father. The track in SA is worse for his passing. RIP

  3. Hoping Bendigo is a big day on Saturday. Unsure where to invest my $$ on Saturday, after a disastrous day on track @ Corowa on Sunday. Berrigan has a St Pat’s day meeting on Saturday, but it’s not TAB. Of course there’s Wang Cup on Sunday. Time to dig out the Winning Post, and start studying.


  4. Ripsnorter says


    Happy punting tonight and tomorrow – think strike the stars is the value tomorrow and will be putting king saul into the multiples at a big price.

    At Ascot tomorrow maybe look to stay lady stay 9 -1 in the Natsha each way especially if she gets a cheap lead and Lord Hattras in the race afterwards – still can’t draw a gate but is going really well and back to the level weights tomorrow will be good value eack way also 17-1

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    Uate, the toppy in the Eskimo Prince looks value to me. Check it out.

  6. Prepared to risk Kulgrinda over the 955 tonight. 60kgs and barrier 1 could bring her undone.

  7. A really disappointing crowd and vibe at the Valley. Punters just did not show. Maybe on their way to the goldfields?

  8. Really pleased to see Underestimation (20/1) win on Friday night, despite letting it slip under my guard. As I mentioned previously, Dean Lawson has a big opinion – “black type” – of this horse and it will get further and better come Spring. Black book it.

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