Sal’s Final Day Preview – last one for the year

Greetings All,


The carnival is almost over and with it the last preview for 2019.  We have gone through another Richmond flag.  They had all the favours late in the season but plenty of challenges early that they needed to endure to position themselves well.  Dustin Martin again showing that when he decides to play there is no equal.  He not only plays well himself he makes others around him play well.  Hopefully 2020 will produce a challenger in navy blue – but might need to wait a couple more.


From a personal perspective the highlight was the Friars going through the season undefeated in the Seniors and also winning the Reserves flag.  D1 is on the menu for 2020 where we look to remain very competitive.


On the track the racing industry is reeling with attendances, TV ratings and turnover all down over the spring.  Not many things could have gone worse for the VRC this week with ABC story, no Taylor Swift and some pretty ordinary weather.  It would be folly of them to think these are the only reasons.  As for the racing itself it has been first class on a surface that has presented brilliantly on the first three days despite the challenges thrown by Mother Nature.  The highlight being Vow and Declare winning the cup and the narrative around it.  It has been the exclamation mark on a resurgence in the breeding of stayers in Australia, with great performances through the week of progeny of Declaration of War, Shocking and Puissance de Lune to name a couple.


We now look to the last day and what Flemington will serve up, the weather gods predicted to deliver storm and pestillence again.


Race 4 – Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G3, 2600m, HCP)


Lizzy opens up the group racing on the day as the consolation race for those that did not get into the Melbourne Cup. True Self (5) was just out of the Cup line up and was within a length of Prince of Arran in the Geelong Cup, suspect she will put the internationals on the board here.  Carif (8) stays down in the weights after a good performance in the Hotham.  Then putting in the top two Gallic Cheiftain (2)Red Cardinal (1) who like it soft and have been running consistently.


Selections – 5-8-2-1


Race 5 – VRC Sprint Classic (G1, 1200m, WFA)


We get a few from The Everest taking on a few from The Manikato and a couple more.  Only nine but a great race and made better with the inclusion of Nature Strip (2) who will ensure a solid pace.  He is drawn to what I believe will be the preferred outside and will take some catching, can he hold on?  Santa Ana Lane (1) got him in The Everest and won’t mind the conditions and suspect he will come over the top.  While the inside draw doesn’t help The Bostonian (4) has appeal with a great record on wet ground, the lightweight gives Loving Gaby (9) a great chance.  C Williams on board doesn’t hurt either!  Great Renewal.


Selections – 1-4-2-9


Race 6 – Matriarch Stakes (G2, 2000m, Mares SWP)


A tough affair to open the quaddie.  Roger James crosses the ditch with intent so going with his mare Rondinella (7)who gets a nice weight swing on Spanish Reef (1) from their encounter at Caulfield.  Girl Tuesday (13) is running consistently with this being her target race for the campaign.  Aliferous (5) put in a good run on Tuesday and has won over the distance.


Selections – 7-13-1-5


Race 7 – Chatham Stakes (G3, 1400m, HCP)


What a ripping contest this is!  Got a couple of favourites in this so objectivity could be an issue.  Widgee Turf (2) is one of them, prefer an outside alley but B Rawiller should be able to drop him out the back and if they fan out cut the corner and get through them.  Has some good ones to catch Admiral’s Joker (3) was an emergency for the Cantala and is up to this.  Haunted (5) is in excellent form and can win.  Iconoclasm (6) is also in form and holds it well – add Oliver/O’Brien – a query on the surface.  Ken’s Dream (11) loves the sting out and has a fantastic second up record.


Selections – 2-3-5-11


Race 8 – McKinnon Stakes (G1, 2000m, WFA)


The final group race for the carnival sees an old favourite in his final race.  Hartnell (1) has been an absolute beauty since being brought Australia by Godolphin.  Always running at the highest level against the very best and carrying the top weight.  3rd in a Melbourne Cup, chased Winx home for 2nd in a Cox Plate my favourite being on Footscray Grand Final Day when got through to win the Epsom.  Not sure he wins this but he’ll do me for the final time!  The mares present the big challenge, Melody Belle (15) was outstanding on Derby Day and clearly up to this.  This is a better distance for Magic Wand (14) than the Cup where she ran so well.   Humidor (3) gets to compete at 2000m at WFA after not getting a run in the Cox Plate.  Plenty of other hopes.


Selections – 1-15-14-3


Quaddie Time


Going skinny in the last cost us on cup day and $6 the field in the last makes this pretty tough again!


Leg 1 – 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13

Leg 2 – 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12

Leg 3 – 1, 3, 8, 11, 14, 15

Leg 4 – 12, 16


432 Combinations a $30 investment will return 6.9% of the dividend.


Hope everyone has had a great year and has a terrific summer and holiday period before we get serious again in 2020,


Go Blues, Go Friars, Go Hartnell!


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Sal,

    Thanks for a fantastic year. You’ve become part of our readers’ Friday routine. And I hope they followed your tips – footy and racing tips. Some terrific gets.

    I know you had Vow and Declare second with Finche on top. It was a blanket finish. Finche was only a couple of lengths off, if that.

    Impressive performance from G. Carpenter at lunch on Monday. He pretty much nailed it.

    All the best tomorrow.

    And, again, huge thanks from me, and the Almanac community. You are an editor’s dream.


  2. Oh, and one more thing: let’s hope Andy Gemmell’s horse races to the best of its ability tomorrow. (True Self)

  3. Sal Ciardulli says

    Thanks John

    It’s been fun!

    The barrier draw put me on Finche, I was locked into Vow and Declare earlier than that! Happy Days

  4. Again, great tipping Sal.

    Love seeing Andy Gemmell’s horse (True Self) win – and you’ve given us the quineela horse too.

    Plus the trifecta in the McKinnon.

    Hope it was a good day for you and your pocket.


  5. This has been an enjoyable read throughout Spring.
    Thanks, Sal.
    I trust that you did ok on the punt…

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