Horse Racing

The ‘Callander’ S Backing Guide: 9th March

“Another Shuper Shaturday ahead Tappy!”

Rolling Score: 12 runners: 8 winners, 3 seconds.

Crazy Craig’s Lay Of The Day: 1 start, 1 fail.

After covering myself in glory with a perfect performance last week thanks to the guidance of the Wizard of Odds (Backing two horses under $1.50 helped), the Callander ‘S’ backing guide is back for another ‘Shupter Shaturday’ as we look for horses we consider the MLTWOTD (Most Likely To Win Of The Day), and they’ve got an S in their name.

Of course this Saturday is the climax of the Melbourne Autumn Carnival, with the great Group 1 combination of the Newmarket Handicap and the time-honoured Australian Cup, won by Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate winners alike, including Makybe Diva, Northerly, Shocking, Fiorente, Octagonal, Saintly, Better Loosen Up, Bonecrusher and Dulcify- I could go on!

It’s so big at Flemington they even managed to drag Willy Pike over from his dominion of Ascot- That’s even rarer than a Royal visit!

Meanwhile at Woyal Wandwick it’s a huge card of black type racing, headlined by the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (The Autumn Sun to shine again) and the Canterbury Stakes, plus there’s the Group 2 juvenile races- The Reisling Stakes and the Todman Stakes, and did I forget to mention that 2x Everest winner Redzel is back in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes?

Good lord, there’s enough quality there to make your salivary glands explode from overuse!

On another note, I’m disappointed to hear that She’s So High, one of the stars of last week’s Backing Guide, has been forced into retirement after not pulling up well from her win.

Now, let’s blast off!

Morphetville Race 1 (AR1) No.4 Allusion

1550m 3-year-old BM70 Handicap (1:36pm AEDT)

As is the norm in Adelaide since the SA Government decided to give the racing industry a lethal injection at Christmas time, the opening race has attracted a mere 5 runners. What a terrific way to start the Adelaide Cup Carnival.

But I’m making a rare foray into the City of Churches, as I want to see how Tony McEvoy’s gelding measures up in BM70 grade after smacking a maiden field at the track in February by nearly 6 lengths, despite being eased down. For all we know, it could be the equivalent of Jason Gillespie’s double century.

But it should be noted that the horse that ran second to him, French Response, came out and won at Murray Bridge on Wednesday.

With Chris Caserta in trouble for multiple punting offences, it’s up to cult hero Jason ‘Stubby’ Holder to get Allusion home.

Remember- Your beer is colder, with Stubby Holder.

Randwick Race 3 (SR3) No.1- Exhilarates

1200m Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1:45pm AEDT)

I’ve had a shocking record backing 2-year-olds this season, so much so that I could count the wins on my index and middle finger, but for some reason I keep getting suckered back by the quality on offer.

Exhilirates has a great turn of foot, and it showed on Magic Millions Day on the Gold Coast back in January, where she flew home from the rear to beat Dubious (Going around in the Todman) and Hightail (In Canberra for Sunday’s Black Opal Stakes) in the 2YO Classic, one of the best wins of the season for this current batch of juveniles.

With Tassort now under an injury cloud, the filly is set to step up and lead Godolphin’s quest for the Golden Slipper- Cummings has kept her under wraps since January, she’s got the 1200m question answered emphatically, and had an easy barrier trial at Canterbury to warm-up.

If McEvoy lands no worse than midfield from Barrier 2, I’ll be disappointed and swearing violently if she’s not right in the finish against stablemate Tenley and the Snowden’s Anaheed.

Randwick Race 7 (SR7) No.1 The Autumn Sun

1600m Group 1 Randwick Guineas (4:20pm AEDT)

The Autumn Sun is currently the undisputed heavyweight champion of the three-year-olds, and he’s currently a red hot $1.50 to win the Guineas, BUT, he’s now got a new contender in Mark Newnham’s filly Nakeeta Jane, now a freshly minted Group 1 winner after getting the photo in the Surround Stakes last weekend, as she heads towards the Oaks next month.

The fillies have largely had the measure of the colts & geldings over the past year, with the girls winning the Golden Slipper, Sires’ Produce, Champagne Stakes, the Spring Champion Stakes, the Coolmore Stud Stakes and now the Australian Guineas (Mystic Journey).

It may not look big in the official margin, but TAS was huge in the G2 Hobartville at Rosehill, managing to storm home and win despite not handling the soft track and having to deal with a moderate speed by Vegadaze in a small field.

Now he steps up to the mile where he’s a perfect 2/2 (Including that ball-tearing Guineas win at Caulfield), gets a good track, and he’s never been beaten by a filly.

The more I look at it, this race should resemble Louie the Fly and his friends versus a can of Mortein (The Autumn Sun).

Crazy to think that Kerrin McEvoy has rides on 5 of the 9 favourites tomorrow

Flemington Race 8 (MR8) No.7 – Avilius

2000m Group 1 Australian Cup (4:35pm AEDT)


Avilius made an appearance in the favourite backing guide a fortnight ago, and Hugh Bowman didn’t disappoint as he chalked up another impressive victory at Caulfield, using Barrier 1 to sit further forward than he has in his other Australian starts.

Saturday looks a carbon copy- He’s got Barrier 1 and Bowman sticks aboard, as he makes a return to Group 1 level for the first time since his complete non-event in the Melbourne Cup, and with the form he’s in, it’s gonna take Winx coming down to Melbourne and attacking Bowman with a steel chair to prevent him from winning a maiden Group One!

Amazing look at the current market- Avilius is the dominant favourite at $1.85, and the returning Rekindling is on the second line… at $12!

🤪🤪Crazy Craig’s Lay Of The Day🤪🤪

Most people I know, think that I’m craaaaazzzzzzyyyyy!

Crazy Craig with Billy Thorpe, 1972

Randwick Race 6 No.1 Trapeze Artist

1300m Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (3:35pm AEDT)

Crazy Craig is going the Group 1 route for his lay of the day as he aims to keep up his imperfect record.

CC explains that his decision this week is based on the fact that the top pair in the market for the Canterbury (TA and Kementari) are a pair of deadset milk drinkers.

Trapeze Artist hasn’t won since last year’s All Aged Stakes, and the excuses are a cocktail mix of: soft & heavy tracks, running into good horses (Like Redzel in The Everest) and just not showing his best, as was the case in the Expressway when Alizee took him behind the woodshed (She has won another Group One since).

Gerald Ryan has said that TAS “Just wins”– Of course he’s just trying to cover the fact that not retiring him after his All Aged win last year has cost the owners $25 million in stud value.

But anyway, the best horse in the race is in the gun- That’s why we call him Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy Craig!

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