Horse Racing

The ‘Gabster’ Backing Guide: 23rd March

For obvious reasons, Gabster’s identity must be protected to maintain his legend

Rolling Score: 20 runners: 9 winners, 5 seconds, 4 thirds

Crazy Craig’s ‘Lay’ Of The Day: 3 starts, 3 horses that ended up winning

Ladies, gentlemen and Eagles supporters, what another exciting Winx-filled weekend we have for you!

It all kicks off on Friday evening with the Group 1 William Reid Stakes, which being at Death Valley means I won’t be touching it, then on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill, we have NOT ONE, NOT TWO, NOT THREE, BUT FOUR GROUP 1 RACES… The Ranvet, The Rosehill Guineas, The George Ryder, where the mighty mare says farewell to the Rosehill faithful, the richest 2-year-old race in the world, the $3.5m Golden Slipper, and The Galaxy!

But like a good Demtel salesman, there is still more! Along with Winx, we’ve got The Autumn Sun going around in the Rosehill Guineas against the Kiwi invaders, and Redzel will have to lug 59.5kg on the bog in the Galaxy.

And then there’s the Mornington Cup, in which the winner earns ballot exemption from the Caulfield Cup. As per usual, I’ll be backing a North Korean missile to come flying in and take out the joint.

Anyway, time to meet this week’s inspiration for my guide!

The ‘Gabster’ as we have nicknamed him, is a truly funny individual who sits with yours truly and the other regulars at the Waterford TAB throughout the week, entertaining us with his antics about how people steal tickets from the chair he sits at (The culprit is known as Ticket Man), abusing the Trivago girl when she appears on the TV (For reasons unknown), and by far the funniest bit is how he claims that he hasn’t backed a winner since the current owners (Good people of Far Eastern extraction) took ownership of the TAB last year… which anyone who sits near him will know is complete crap.

And to top all that off, he has a few rules for punting that he’s developed over 200 years of experience:

– Back the 8 (Which he constantly forgets, understandably)

– Don’t bet in 1000m races

– Spit at the TV, even when you win.

– Don’t Bet In Victoria

The 1000m races I can agree with, and probably the spit at the TV thing, but since he usually doesn’t follow his own rules, I won’t either!

Rosehill Race 2 (SR2) No.14 Classique Legend

1200m Listed Darby Munro Stakes – 1:10pm AEDT

Hoop: Kerrin McEvoy, Trainer: Les Bridge

I’ve watched Classique Legend in both his starts at the Randwick midweeks on the Kenso track, and he looked like the sort of promising young horse who gets shipped off to Hong Kong after a few big wins- Which works, since his owners are based in Honkers.

In his maiden on the 20th of Feb, he drew away to win by 2.5 lengths, and then a fortnight later, proved that the sequel was better than the original, when McEvoy rode him like the $1.30 favourite he was, sitting just off the leader before utterly annihilating his rivals to the tune of 6 lengths.

Will be interesting to see how he handles a pretty obvious rise in class, Rosehill, as well as a likely soft track (He is by Not A Single Doubt, so he should).

He’s a classic boom horse, I can’t knock the aesthetics of his wins, so I’ll stick fat again!

Rosehill Race 3 (SR3) No.10 Shraaoh

2400m Group 3 N.E Manion Cup

Hoop: Kerrin McEvoy, Trainer: Chris Waller

In his first start in Australia on Cup Day at Flemington, the Irish import was an eye catcher, lapping up the 2800m on a track that had been smashed by a downpour to win well.

First up at Rosehill over 1500m a month back, he was one-paced and ran 2nd last, but last start he stepped up to the 2000m in the Randwick City Stakes, coming from the rear and rattling home under hard riding to just miss out on nailing the all-the-way leader Hiyaam on the post (I think he did lay in too).

Now out to the staying distance of 2400m, and guaranteed to get a bit of give in the track, he should be near ready to win for Waller & McEvoy, but Sydney staying races have been proven to be crapshoots, so he’s probably going to get held up in traffic and run a luckless 3rd.

He’s currently $8 to win the Sydney Cup, so this could be a huge springboard.

For those who love their pedigrees, he’s sired by the Irish legend Sea the Stars, the only horse to win The 2000 Guineas, The Derby and The Arc in the same season!

Rosehill Race 5 (SR5) No.4 Winx

1500m Group 1 George Ryder Stakes – 3:05pm AEDT

Hoop: James Hugh Bowman, Trainer: Chris Waller

It’s Winx, and after this, the Final Countdown reaches 1.

There’s something a few don’t know- Hughie’s first name is James!

Ascot Race 2 (PR2) No.8 Double Bubble

1200m Graduation Handicap- 1:35pm AWST (4:35pm)

Hoop: Patrick Carbery, Trainer: Simon Miller

This could be the closest that a number 8 gets to winning this weekend, as in my past experiences, Slipper day has been a bloodbath in favour of the bookies.

A fortnight back at Headquarters, Simon Miller’s filly was up against her fellow 3-year-olds, and sat 2nd in the run after giving up the lead to Metro Boy, yet still ended up running away to win well by 1.5 lengths to some solid performers like Samizdat.

Pat Carbery sticks, and against a field that is arguable inferior to her last start victims, she should hopefully roll forward from the barriers with moderate luck and get it done for The Gabster.

Hasn’t won on anything other than a soft track though…

As for the Golden Slipper, well, this wouldn’t be a Gabster Guide without backing #16 Loving Gaby, whom I have been reliably told will be supported by the great man!

Maher and Eustace have shown how much they want Gaby to win it for his namesake, by flying in the Irishman from Ireland, Oisin Murphy, to ride him!

🤪🤪Crazy Craig’s “Try to Lay A Horse But They End Up Winning” Of The Day🤪🤪

Rosehill Race 8 (SR8) No.1 Redzel

1100m Group 1 The Galaxy- 5:10pm AEDT

Hoop: Kerrin McEvoy, Trainer: Peter & Paul Snowden

That’s right folks, I’m Craaaaaazy enough to take on Australia’s sprint king, and it’s primarily due to the fact that he’s carrying a megaweight of 59.5 kegs in the trudge through the swamp, conceding at least 3.5 kilos to the rest of the field, and the fact that the Snowdens haven’t set the Galaxy as his ‘Grand Final’- That’s the TJ Smith in a fortnight.

I don’t see Nature Strip winning because he’s proven himself as a classic example of a flat track bully when he gets to Group 1 level, but he’ll do fatal damage to Redzel’s chances purely thanks to his awesome speed from the jump, and then throw in the likes of Ball of Muscle (Who beat Redzel last start), Pierata, Graff, and the acclaimed mudlark Jungle Edge- I’m Craaaaaazy enough to take on the Red Rocket!

And that’s why they call me Craaaaaaaazy Craig!

Would You Look At That! Crazy Craig Taking On A 2-Time Everest Winner! Congratulations in advance to the Snowdens for the inevitable win.

Just 2 races to go before Australia enters the longest mourning period since Farnzy announced another comeback tour.

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