Turnbull Stakes Day Preview – Winx, Winx, Say no more

Greetings all and welcome to carnival season,


It would be remiss not to make commentary on the events of last Saturday!  As self-respecting Blues fan the result was hard to take, not quite as hard to take as the rubbish going on within the club now.  The Blues take shooting themselves in the foot to a new pedestal!  I encountered Burkey an old Tiger from School and Footy days with his family of Tigers on their way to the parade.  He acknowledged that I could never support his team and I reciprocated that I would never expect him to support mine, a feeling of mutual respect (or possibly disrespect).  Respect is an interesting word for Richmond and the fact that nobody has any for them assisted enormously in their quest for the flag.


That flag was ultimately won through good fortune and good management.  They were fortunate that the list stayed healthy all year and went into the finals with their best 22.  The management of the team and club was first rate especially after the ruckus late last year with the infamous Malvern Hotel meeting.  Peggy O’Neal, Brendan Gale and the board managed that situation effectively and have led with strength and stability.  Prestia was a handy recruit, but Neil Balme’s homecoming back cannot be underestimated – he knows what premiership teams look like and with Dimma ensured the Tigers played with those traits.


Adelaide were healthy all year till the finals, Smith and McGovern’s absence did not help them.  What has not been discussed were the players with one foot out the door, by Grand Final time it was common knowledge that Lever and Cameron were planning to depart.  I don’t think their performance necessarily suffered, but it was an inconvenient distraction for both the players and the club.  The Tigers had everyone on board with a singular focus, whilst AFL has not gone down the Rugby League path of announcing destinations well before the season’s end even the speculation is a significant distraction.


Not sure how to classify the lack of respect Richmond got from the opposition.  The game plan is pretty simple and was effective all year, but still they won all three finals in precisely the same manner.  None of their opponents Geelong, GWS or Adelaide seemed to adjust their plans to counter the Tigers all believing their own style will be good enough.  Richmond on the other hand were meticulous in restricting the ball movement of the opponents, the Giants could not move the ball laterally as they like to and the Tigers created a traffic jam in the corridor to stop the Crows preferred pathway.  They all allowed Richmond the spare defender who were then able to mop up most of the forays forward, surely they had to be made accountable at some stage.


Then there was the factor that none of them had an answer for – Dustin Martin.  Was not BOG in Grand Final from my perspective, but was the most influential player all year and in the finals in particular.  Whatever plans the opposition had to curtail Dusty all fell apart.  Not sure there is anyone in the competition to match him mano-e-mano, perhaps we will see teams take the risk and double team him to restrict his output in 2018.


The numbers for the finals continued almost to the point with the 48 point margin very close to the 47.1 average for the final.    Tigers could not care less, but the game was another final played with a drab second half.  Will 2018 see more of what we saw in the finals or will it be close like most of the 2017 season was?


Most grudgingly – well played Tigers.


The Flemington Winxpedition


The great mare finally runs at Flemington on Saturday on what is usually a great day of racing with the Turnbull Stakes highlighting the Melbourne card and the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.  Both cards being littered with other group races.


Flemington Race 5


The VRC have chosen to run the Turnbull Stakes (G1, 2000m, SWP) not as a leg of the quaddie due to the market dominance of Winx (2)with only six other runners to greet the starter.  A shame really as there has been plenty of comment about the lack of quality in the fields she has encountered in Sydney this campaign, Melbourne has proved equally frightened.  It will be the test for how good Humidor (1) is.  He demolished the field in the Makybe Diva and won the Australian Cup over this journey.  In fact, he is 3 from 4 over the distance and 2 from 3 at HQ.  Clearly the exacta horse or do you dare take the gamble that she has not faced this quality this preparation and has not run at HQ.  Really it all about the odds at $5 Humidor might be worth the gamble, if he gets into $4 then Winx (2) might get out to the luxurious price of $1.20.  Of the others Ventura Storm (3) is progressing nicely to the cups and theorising on relative performances Sir Isaac Newton (6) is going better than Assign (4)


Selections – 2-1-3-6


Randwick Race 7


The Spring Champion Stakes (G1, 2000m, 3yo SW) see the youngsters stretch out the distance with a number of them looking to head south for the derby.  We might just have Godolphin’s prime candidate Sanctioned (4) – lightly raced and never out of the placings I suspect GSOB is building him up for a crack at 2500m at Flemington.  He chased home Ace High (1) in the Gloaming so he must also rate highly.  Dissolution (6) ran well in the Dulcify as did Sully (7) in the Gloaming to fill the holes, pretty keen on the top two.


Selections – 4-1-6-7


Quaddie Time


No Winx free hit this time.  The first two legs have relatively short-priced favourites that let’s those legs be trimmed if desired.  Leather‘n’lace should be thereabout when the whips are cracking and is the main selection in the first leg.  The cup winner dominates the betting in the second leg and could be taken one out.  Then it gets tough!  Have to be wide in the 3rd leg, Missrock is well drawn at more value is Kenedna won over the journey and undefeated second up.  Last leg is even tougher, going skinny 8 and 12 go in but if you can afford to go wide I reckon the winner might be in the $10-$20 range putting some value in if you can find it.


Leg 1 – 3, 4, 12

Leg 2 – 1, 4

Leg 3 – 3, 7, 9, 11, 16

Leg 4 – 1, 2, 8, 11, 12


150 Combinations, $30 Investment, 20% of the dividend!


Go to Flemington!


Cheers, Sal





  1. Tom Riordan says

    With you on Kenedna, Sal. Looks way overs at 30-1.

  2. Sal

    I will be having an early quaddie. Winx is the last leg. Pray for early roughies.


  3. How good is Winx, Sal ??

  4. Sal Ciardulli says

    JTH – hope you got those early roughies!

    Smokie – Winx is quite incredible – left Humidor in her wake as he crumbled back into bad habits. Still reckon the Horse Whisperer can get him right for the Caulfield Cup. Still reckon she had gears to go as well. Hope she comes back for the McKinnon!

    Poor team racing from Granddukefotuscany – had to go harder for Almandin to get up. May have found the kryptonite if they dawdle.

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