Sat’dy’s races

It won’t be easy backing up tomorrow on the bag. That, on face value, seems ludicrous, given that I’m stepping from Provincial races to the Rails at HQ (Flemington). But this has been no ordinary week. It is May. It is wet. Winter is closing in. I’ve been, like so many kindred souls, to the ‘Bool.
It is hard to explain. It is certainly not for everyone. Wadey’s missus reckons she understands; “Like chicks and Chaddy!?”. Another bloke calls it “schoolies for over 40s”. I’ve spent the week at my post looking at clusters of (predominantly) blokes smiling – living the dream. Fellow Knackers were amongst the sportslovers on course. C. Down’s horse was backed for a fortune and came third. P.J.Flynn, sartorially scarfed and typically enjoying someone’s hospitality,emerged to back roughie Melted for a good collect – he should have consulted Budge on a Quaddie, as the May racing debutant declared Jungle Ruler in the last race of the Carnival….good judges those boys, not just of the horses but for making the trek to the wonderful Warrnambool week. Big crowds. Fabulous atmosphere. A delight to work at and a must for the diary again next year.
It will be so different at the lacklustre meeting registered as MR Saturday.
I need to concede that I’m too weary to do any form. The fields are modest and scratchings and track rating will have a large bearing on selections. For the Quaddy, try 1,2,3,5/2,4(value),7/1,4,5,12/1,9.
Elsewhere it is also a bit of an “off week”. Sydney has had a fantastic April but now must finish the Randwick redevelopment and plan for the future. They run their metrop meeting at Hawkesbury with an outstanding Guineas Day and some quality support races. The “out of town” in initiative has been a big success and will be the subject of discussion another time.
Adelaide has a pretty good Derby Day but, to most there, this is the weekend between Black Caviar runs! But many of the top hoops see it as an important day, with Olly, McEvoy and Dunn amongst those listed to ride. If forced to bet, I’d E/W Mick Kent and Brad Rawiller with Backbone in the feature (AR7,No7).
Brisbane will soon be the most exciting focus for the good horses and races, but this weekend cedes its prominence to a Gold Coast meeting and, given weather patterns up there, I’d avoid any punting for the time being.
Weather will not, however, be a factor at Alice Springs, which has its main weekend of the year with a feature day on Saturday and the Cup on Monday. Maybe another for my future “bucket list”?
Good luck if you are having a punt, though there’s much more to our “game” than that. As this week reminded me, sometimes it is great to get back to the basics of some good racing, good friendships and a shared love of our unique Industry.


  1. Peter Flynn says


    Gotta love the ‘Bool.

    3am Friday out the front of Maccas eating several Big Macs with Tommy (Irish jockey who won the Brierly) was hilarious. His interpreter (who we couldn’t understand) was even more hilarious.


    PJ Flynn

  2. It doesn’t appear you can watch it on TV, but I know you can bet on it, and so, having recently finished our 24-page preview section here at the Louisville newspaper and finalizing plans for our 26-page results section, here’s a brief analysis of today’s Kentucky Derby (8:24 a.m. Sunday in Melbourne):

    It’s a loaded field and tough to pick, but conventional wisdom says that Hansen (14), Trinniberg (9) and Bodemeister (6) will get to the front at the start. If their pace is fast, it sets up the race for stalkers like Union Rags (4), Take Charge Indy (3), Gemologist (15), I’ll Have Another (19), and Creative Cause (8). If the pace is really hot, it could set it up for the deeper closers like Daddy Nose Best (10), Dullahan (5), Sabercat (18) or Alpha (11). If the pace is dawdling, though, like in 2002 (War Emblem) or 1994 (Go for Gin), one of the two star speed horses, Bodemeister or Hansen, could steal it, more likely Bodemeister.

    Trinniberg is a pure sprinter thrown in for the hell of it and likely will act as a rabbit to set up the stalkers, I think. But exotics are tough to figure because there are so many horses able to rate with the leaders, and at least one of the deep closers will probably wedge himself into the top three or four.

    Union Rags is the consensus pick of our Derby pollsters and handicappers, with Gemologist probably No. 2. But Daddy Nose Best, I’ll Have Another, Take Charge Indy and Creative Cause all have backers for exotics. Our lead writer, Jennie Rees, has as her top four Take Charge Indy, Gemologist, Union Rags and I’ll Have Another. But she’s only hit two winners in the past 20 years. Last year nobody had Animal Kingdom better than fourth.

    There’s a chance of rain, but not enough to matter, and the Churchill dirt track has been very fast the first week of the meet. Post-time temperature should be about 85, or 30 in your lingo.

    I’m betting on Take Charge Indy — partly because his trainer is the brother of a page designer I work with, but partly because he’s sparing with praise and when he touts one of his horses, they usually do well — and have a share in a small superfecta syndicate we set up just for fun. Maybe this is our year.

    I promised — and delivered — these tips to Mr. Downer, but why should he reap all the profits of my wisdom?

    And you’ll be pleased to know that there is some interest growing even here about your marvelous Black Caviar

  3. Thanks Glenn…there’s a “get out” for us! Are you going? Does this race cross in to mainstream interest?

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Cheers Glenn, I knew you’d front with some Derby mail. I’m on Union Rags. He’s a big hard finishing beast. Bodemeister was impressive, but how strong was the Arkansas Dreby this year?

    The way my savings are tracking I will definitely be at the 2018 Derby. Save that spare room!

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    I was just reading that the fave Bodemeister, should he salute, would be the first Kentucky Derby winner since 1882 not to have raced as a 2 year old.

  6. I’m searching everywhere to “get on”…seems the agencies won’t bet on the Derby!
    Also…2000Guineas at Newmarket this weekend also.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    TAB Sortstbet. Scroll down to ‘horse racing’. It’s under ‘tomorrows racing’, “Churchill Downs”. The Godolphin runner Alpha is paying $17. Big overs, I’m keen on him.

  8. Thanks Skip. Having computer issues and probably brain fades from Warrnambool….did you not get there?

  9. Skip of Skipton says

    Union Rags is paying $15 on the tote at the moment. Alpha is almost fave on the tote, but still $17 on fixed odds.

  10. Skip of Skipton says

    Didn’t get to the ‘bool, crio. I had to work an extra shift this week to cover for this bastard Chris, who went to the ‘bool. I have only worked at the establishment for 6 months, so next year I will know to get my dibs in early.

  11. Sorry to hear that Skip, though relieved you didn’t reply with: “We chatted for 20 mins in a Pt Fairy pub”!

  12. Skip of Skipton says

    Not that there is anything wrong with chatting in a Port Fairy pub for 20 mins!

  13. Not at all…book it in for next May!

  14. Skip – big overs and Tab Sportsbet have never previously appeared together in the same article. You sure??

  15. Alovesupreme says

    Centrebet have also offered a market:
    Union Rags, Bodemeister equal faves @ $5.50, Gemologist $7.50, Dullahan $9, the rest double figure odds.
    Any of the Almanac good judges prepared to guess whether there will be a reasonable tempo, so that we can make some use of Glenn’s detailed form guide?

  16. No idea mate….can maybe help you re Alice on monday but USA racing is totally foreign to me!

  17. “I’ll Have Another”, a cheap yearling, reeled in tearaway fav Bodemeister to win the Run For The Roses.

    Camelot looked a Derby Colt winning the 2000Guineas at Newmarket.

    C. Williams off to a flyer in his Japan jaunt.

    King’s Rose to run in the G1 Mile in Hong Kong @ 6.35pm AEST today.

  18. Glenn, Great to get that kind of analysis from the source. Can you keep it up for rest of the Triple Crown?

  19. Ripper ride by James McDonald to clinch the HK Mile….what about the mobility of hoops these days. Some had ridden at Newmarket (UK) yesterday, others in Australia?!

    1000Guineas for the fillies from Newmarket tonight.

  20. Budge has just relayed to me the newsof the death yesterday of the great Vo Rogue…an extraordinary horse, with a story to match.
    Great memories.

  21. Vo Rogue was one of those horses that made you want to watch any race he was in. A real excitement machine.

  22. And, though a leader, not just a dasher. Very brave and raced against some real top class opponents.

  23. And the cast of characters was incredible.
    I reckon the name Vo Rogue sounds like a hack.
    The jockey, Cyril Small (who was at Warrnembool last week) was certainly unfashionable and had a hilarious name for a hoop.
    Vic Rail, the trainer, was another extraordinary tale.
    Add Bob Perry and, later, Gary Roberts, and it was a tabloid dream.

    Above all that, though, is the acknowledgement that Vo was a very, very good horse.

  24. Peter Flynn says

    His first start was on my 19th birthday.

    I idolised Vo Rogue.

    Some of his best races were in defeat.

    However it’s the 1990 Australian Cup for mine. Burning off Stylish Century at the start and holding off Better Loosen up at the end.

    I’m glad the late summer Melbourne tracks in the late 80’s were Fast 1 rated.

    V Rail contracted that incredibly nasty Hendra virus. First reported case?

  25. Yes, Vic was the first reported human case

  26. Erratum….of course I meant Jeff Parry as the idiosyncratic owner checking not a drop of rain was on the track.

  27. I was just giving Tom some background to the Vo Rogue story.
    He thought I was kidding…a jockey called Small!! A “train”er called Vic Rail!

    I pushed on with some of his credentials.
    “Good horse”, conceded Tom.
    “He was more than that”, I added.
    Go, Vo, Go

  28. I was also educating my son, Matt, on Vo Rogue. Poor quality video but shows his Gr1 wins.

  29. Alovesupreme says

    I’m sure you and many Almanackers know, but for Tom (and others of his vintage) it’s worth recording that Vic gloried in an unexpected full given name of Victory. In its own special way that’s as apt as Cyril Small, although Vic’s sad demise represented an unlikely instance of his being vanquished.
    Vo Rogue and connections were examples of the distinctive characters that give horse racing such a romantic dimension.

  30. Skip of Skipton says

    Vo’s effort in the 1987 Cox Plate was a classic. 30 lengths or so leading around the back. The fact he held on for a close up fourth was amazing. The following autumn was when he started putting it together and won all the big races culminating in the much hyped Australian cup ‘match-race’ with Bonecrusher, which he won, except they got rolled by the 100-1 pop Dandy Andy. One of the coolest and best horses ever. Vic used to ride him at trackwork in shorts and thongs.

  31. It was a great era.
    The front-running people’s champ, Vo Rogue, and Kenny Callendar’s fav, “Super Duper, Super Impose rounding them up from last.
    Great memories.

  32. Peter Flynn says

    Vale Northerly.

    Also one of my all-time favourites.

    Gee I despised Freemason.

  33. I only really liked Northerly cos I reckoned he showed up Sunline. A great horse in a tight finish. Never beaten.

    Flynny, how’d the ‘Bool end up for you?…your sidekick was leaning on an invisible post by the last!

  34. Peter Flynn says

    It ended at 3:15am gourmandising Big Macs with the jockey who won the Brierly.

  35. Northerly was one of my all-time favourites. To me, he was actually a better horse than Vo Rogue. Nowhere near as exciting to watch but the toughest fighter I can recall. Very rarely beaten by one coming from behind him. His win in the Caulfield Cup with a big weight was magnificent

  36. Skip of Skipton says

    Northerly now?! This is getting weird. He’s my favourite horse this millenium. Guts and determination. I first saw him when he won the Railway and got a good exacta collect with Old Comrade, who I had originally gone to the pub to back, until a bloke clued me up. You could tell then that those two were well above average and would be coming east pronto. Shame he went to Sydney-town and put his head on their chopping block in those dodgy small field boat races they like to conjure. My nephew was at Rosehill when he got rolled by Waterhouse’s filly(Assertive Lass?) and said he had never seen a racecourse empty out of punters so quickly as after that race.

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