Racing: Crio to channel Shane Dye to get to Diamond Day at the Heath

By  Chris Riordan

The Caulfield meeting, with seven Group races, is a strong response to media naysayers who have focused on the unfortunate injuries and withdrawals of many Autumn drawcards.

It’s a tough day on the punt and in these situations it’s always a sound strategy to turn to the last, where recovery or glory usually hinges. Freeza sagely insists on a “field” last leg, but I’m usually tipped from the quaddie by then.

I’ll be forgiving last week’s run of Rolling Stock and instead will look to Caulfield form. Maree Payne guided Rolling Stock to victory over Clothing at the Heath. A definite watch is 25/1 for Red Flair, with The Gauch trying to dictate from the front.

The “get out” is, in fact, the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes, named after the Cup winner best remembered for hugging the running rail whilst R. S. Dye on the runner-up preferred to follow the train rail; a tactic which, to general derision, he has obstinately defended ever since.

I’ll be taking the “Veandercross route” to Caulfield, going from my Flemington lair via Donnybrook (look it up) for junior cricket and then out to the track in time to back Race 1, No.1, Marveen for an early bank. Those winnings will be speculated in the next, each way on Happy Glen (20/1),  whose form has not been great. This will be its last chance.

The Carlyon Cup (Race 3 and Group 3) is a small and poor field. Rafaello is some hope if you are desperate.

The Angus Armanasco (Group 2) for fillies is very interesting. No Evidence Needed and Quest for Fame are on fire. Irish Lights was awful last week but this is easier. Rostova heralded a return to form and is good second-up. Top-weight my anchor.

Denman dominates and should win the next, formerly the Autumn Stakes. Scrutiny will be cast over AAMI Vase winner, the giant Hanks, who returns here, presumably en route to Randwick for the Derby.

The St George’s Stakes is the middle leg of what should be an incentive-laced treble — Orr Stakes, St George and Australian Cup — which only greats Leilani, Vo Rogue, Let’s Elope and Lonhro  have collected. This 1800-metre Group 2 has its own impressive honour roll: Phar Lap, Tobin Bronze, Ajax, Northerly, Rain Lover, Elvstroem.

I expect Heart of Dreams to win this year, with Theseo the threat. Speed Gifted’s fresh form must be respected and Miss Maren will be well supported, but I’ll be taking 3 and 4 as the first leg of my Quaddy.

The Blue Diamond is a raffle, made even more random by the barrier draw which reinforced Beneteau’s right to favoritism and scared me off my earlier selection, Star Witness, despite her impressive Flemington form. I’ll be putting 14 (Shaaheq) and 16 (Willow Creek) in to my multiples with the fave.

It gets no easier in the Oakleigh Plate, which is not a great field this year, but always a frantic 1100-metre scamper. Racegoers will hope for Weekend Hussler to have a sound and impressive return but a win seems a pipedream.

A reasonable case could be presented for half the runners and, in a smaller than usual field, there should be few excuses. I’ve selected Starspangledbanner but will be wary of Eagle Falls fresh. It might be worth noting that several of the fancies don’t have strong Caulfield form, which could be a deciding factor in calculations.

Good luck for those having a bet. I’ll be sweating in the main ring at the Turfbet stand handing out top odds to all who come up for a try.


  1. Crio,

    Now this is a great meeting.

    The Diamond is a raffle I agree, but that is it’s nature. The Oakleigh Plate is a ripper with Weekend Hustler back after 12 months and out to frank his rating as New Senation’s best relation. Yet to really do the form or have a sleep vision, however, I like good fresh young horses and I think I might be going the Tickets way. Impeccably bred, he has always shown potential and this might be the race to realise it. 3yo’s have a pretty good recent record in the race.

    The St George and the rest of the card is fantastic, with plenty of options to find a good horse at good, and better than good odds.

    Mouth watering, and its my turn to roll $400 for our local syndicate. Legend awaits

    I’ll be back.

  2. Elvis,

    Sleep vision?

  3. Elvis,
    I’d love to see The Hussler do well, but happier just to see him get through unscathed…a bit of a NAB Cup run. Then he can set about establishing where he fits in “racing’s pantheon.” The trouble with his (and Light Fantastic’s) stellar season is that, with EI, it was a diminished pool. Let’s hope he bolts in the Newmarket.

  4. Peter Flynn says

    I’ll be having a little something e/w on Changingoftheguard.

  5. Flynnie,
    Did you hear Bossy on TVN last week?…he gave Changingoftheguard the biggest wrap since Sheeds tipped a Tigers flag last year.I’ll be “watching”.

  6. Peter Flynn says


    The Hayes camp is apparently cock-a-hoop with Changingoftheguard. I hope to collect a little something after ‘watching’.

  7. Pauldaffey,

    Hoping I can dream a winner. Being awake sure isn’t working.

  8. Crio,

    Weekend Hussler adds a great dimension to a race with all category of galloper. The EI thing is a valid point though, one I hadn’t considered.

    For no reason that form analysts will find reasonable, I like these for the day:


    Race 4: LINKY DINK


    Race 8: TICKETS


    Havn’t found a Diamond selection yet, need to refer to the Stud Book.

    Good luck on a great days racing.

  9. Filthy here Elvis; tipping half the Valley card to Tom (incl Jeteven at $15)but saving my meagre Betfair funds to waste tomorrow.
    Just being made aware Sydney has top horses also.

  10. mark freeman says

    Ah Diamond Day… drop in on the way to shift at the big paper and drop a double pineapple in less than three-quarts of an hour. Last year, Swiss Ace in the Plate and Reward for Effort in the Diamond. Didn’t rate either. For years I’ve written a column about the Diamond and tipped a result for the local paper. Never even close. John Salanitri and Road to Success in the year of Mannington and Ponton Flyer. Unbelievable – no, Undoubtedly, the horse that put Kav on the map and me out of business for the day.

    But I gave it away this year… I can almost hear the sigh of relief from the avid readers of the Caulfield/Glen Eira Leader!

    Nonetheless, by the same logic that always gets you rolled by an outsider in the last leg of the quaddie when you’ve got the first seven in betting (this happened again last Saturday), and that ensures that if you’ve got the field, the fave wins (the week before among a million other times)… then I’m a cert with Shaaheq in the Diamond tomorrow.

    Also a wee crack at Gold in Dubai at the $7 with Centrebet last night, and I like Avenue in the Oakleigh Plate, mainly cos I like the lithe fillies and mares in the Plate, the ones that slip through on the fence in the mad scramble that is the Plate… River Dove, Reactive and the like.

    Good luck punters.

  11. Elvis,

    It’s morning. What did you dream?

  12. Pauldaffey

    I did have a dream last night and whilst no particular horse featured, a trainer I know did. I rang him this morning for any mail, which I have never done before, and he threw out Rostova and Willow Creek.

    Sure I will dream tonight how I lost once again, but you get that.

  13. Mark Freeman says

    Doomsaying probably brings doom, or some such – so no wonder La Rocket held off Heart of Dreams by a whisker when I had a very juicy all-up riding on Heart, and no wonder Shaaheq collapsed in a heap just when the engraver only had the ‘q’ left to inscribe on the trophy. Ended up in front by some beer money on the day, but nearly won a stack.

    And Crio – what in Hades was happening on the stand today. Not since Snr Sgt Peter Stirling ushered me out of the Springvale CIU have I seen a bloke so busily caught up in some serious business…

  14. Peter Flynn says

    I incorrectly fell for the Hayes spruik re Changingoftheguard.

    A small share of the two first fours in the Oakleigh Plate was handy.

    Backed the Banner, Tootsie and Willow Creek.

    Agree with Crio re The Hussler. Has leg issues now. Has been overspruiked and mishandled.

    A good horse as a 3yo during EI.

  15. Awful day Peter. Didn’t back the Banner and swapped from Diamond winner to the runner-up and was pleased with myself at the furlong. Dreadful crowd and a bleak day all round. Thank heavens for Denman’s exhibition gallop.
    Freeza, sorry if we were terse. Tough day and bad timing.
    Your Betstar buddies backed the second winner at $31!

  16. Elvis,

    Great performance to come up with Electromotive @ $30 plus. I would have had an enormous day if Be Positive had held on in the last but what do you expect with a name like that!

  17. Elvis,
    I completely overlooked your Electromotive tip…well done and hope you won plenty.

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