Horse Racing

The ‘Harley’ Chalk Eaters Guide: 6th April

RUNNING SCORE: 29 runners, 13 wins, 8 seconds, 6 thirds

Crazy Craig: 5 runners, 4 that have won, one that he actually layed

In case you’re unaware of the term ‘Chalk Eater’ (And you probably are), it’s a Seppo betting term for someone who consistently backs favourites (The chalk is defined as the favourite).

I brought back the inspiration that is Ken Callander last weekend to tip a few horses with an ‘S’ in their name, and it worked, plucking out 3/4 winners with a 2nd placing to Madison County, giving me more winners than I’d somehow plucked out in the previous three weeks.

It does help when they’re all starting at short odds, which has been my recurring gag on this pathetic guide since day dot.

And staying on the subject of the chalk eaters, it’s time to bring back a beloved figure, whose fictional likeness helped kick off the tipping guide, The Hero of the Hunter, Mr ‘Gary Harley’!

Since I last had ‘Gaz’ on the tips, the real Gary Harley celebrated his 70th birthday, and almost a month later he’s still celebrating at today’s Tamworth meeting!

Last time I checked it was one ‘R’

Apparently, this week marks the beginning of The Championships, or as we call them over on the BigFooty Punting Board, The Championswamps, since they’re consistently run on Soft or Heavy bogs.. and tomorrow will be no exception.

Last time I checked, the Grand Finals of Australian racing were held at Flemington at the start of November in front of 100,000 drunkards.

Aside from that, there’s big races in all corners- The Slipper of the West, the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate at Ascot, the Listed Anniversary Vase at Caulfield, and the Weetwood and Toowoomba Cup at Toowoomba.

And I’d be remiss to mention that the Grand National is on tomorrow night in the UK as well!

So, time to be brave and use Gazza’s inspiration to find some $2 winners!

Set to Sparkle (No.4) at Morphetville Race 4- 1300m Mares BM86, 1:16pm ACDT (1:46 Eastern)

Trainer: Tony McEvoy, Hoop: ‘The Red’ Barend Vorster

Tony McEvoy’s mare has had a month off since she raced in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes at Flemington a month ago, where she pushed up to 2nd in the straight, but tired out late in the race to run 8th- Worth noting she jumped from Barrier 13 that day, and gets a massive upgrade to Barrier 3 tomorrow with the South African from South Africa, Barend Vorster, on her back.

Back racing in Adelaide (And SA in general) for the first time since December, where the record at headquarters read 8:2-2-1, she’s gonna command plenty of attention among the 13 people that now attend Morphetville on a Saturday.

Another interesting runner should be Swampland, who hasn’t raced since she was ploughed in the Dane Ripper at Doomben way back in June last year- Has won first up before…

Noble Boy (No.1) in the Country Championships Final, Race 4 at Randwick- 1400m, 1:55pm AEDT

Trainer: Todd Blowes, Hoop: Hugh Bowman

The Queanbeyan flyer Noble Boy has been the favourite for the Country Championships since the day the markets opened, and he’s won 5 of 6 career starts, with two wins in the Saturday Highway races in town.

There’s plenty of threats from the far-flung corners of NSW- The Master of
Murwillumbah, Matty Dunn, has Noble Boy’s main rival La Scopa, Donna Scott comes from Albury with Bennelong Dancer, and Goulburn’s Tash Burleigh with Al Mah Haha and Bocelli, who ran the quinella in her home qualifier on the 2nd of March.

I am a ‘tad’ concerned with Noble Boy, with the news that trainer Todd Blowes reported he’d worked ‘unusually’ in track work on Monday, however a blood test by the NSW Stewards came back all clear, and he will run.

Noble’s only blemish was his failure to win said Goulburn qualifier (Finishing 4th after getting too far back), before Hugh Bowman hopped back aboard and won the Wildcard at Muswellbrook to reach the final.

Bizzarely, that run at Goulburn was his only visit to the 1400m, the distance for the final.

But i’ll stick fat like the fool I am- Bowman is aboard (And not on Winx day), he’s drawn a perfect barrier in 5, so with even luck he’ll probably win, and once again, I’m looking forward to seeing another rip-snorting edition of the Country Championships FINAL!

Mr Quickie (No.1) at Caulfield Race 4

1600m 3YO Handicap, 2:15pm AEDT

Trainer: Phil Stokes, Hoop: Ethan Brown (a)

I remember once hearing a joke that Wayne Carey went to a restaurant and asked the waitress for a quickie, only to be told by Mark Bickley that the item on the menu was a quiche.

More to the point, Phil Stokes’ Mr Quickie is a damn fine specimen, winning his past 6 starts and a career record of 7 wins from 9 starts, which is very good considering he usually runs off the speed and gives his rivals a start.

A fortnight back, he did just that, coming from off the speed to fly over the top of the field in the Mornington Guineas to win by 2 lengths, the key word there being Mornington, but still really good yet again.

With a claim from Ethan Brown, he goes down to a top weight of 60kg, with even luck, he’ll win and win well.

Not that I’ll be piling in at $1.75, but I just want to see him win again.

Magic Empire (No.5) at Ascot Race 1

1400m Maiden- 12:19pm AWST (3:19 Eastern)

Trainer: Adam Durrant, Hoop: William Pike

This could be the first time I’ve actually been able to tip Pikey in the Guide, and it’s about time, he’s been dudding me for weeks during the midweeks and the Photo I left on this website isn’t doing the job.

While everyone’s off running Group races to start their Saturday racing, we’re off running maidens at Ascot.

Magic Empire was quiet in two trials prior to resuming over 1200m at Bunbury last Thursday, where he was outsprinted for most of the race, before picking up and letting down the fastest closing 400m and 200m sections of the day to tease everyone yet again.

The stewards report also notes that he was “Impeded from the 125m until taken inwards across heels at the 50m.”

This field is a pack of absolute milk drinkers (as it would be for a maiden), and with a better barrier of 6, if the Wizard can’t get something with Magic in its name to win, I’ll sit here and say in hindsight that non-winners don’t win.


The master of so-called reverse psychology tipping

Ringerdingding (No.1) at Randwick Race 3, Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), 12:45pm AEDT

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: James McDonald

While JT is happy picking the mutton muncher combo of Waller and McDonald, I’m craaaaaazy enough to predict that Chris Waller could lose this race to Chris Waller!

Ringerdingding (Pumper’s The King) may be the favourite and the best horse in the blue corner, but in the red corner waiting to extract a pound of flesh, is the stablemate Dealmaker with his miiiighty record of 1 win from 11 starts, coming off being stretched too far at 2000m in the Rosehill Guineas, and then you’ve got the other Larry, Curly and Moes like Ranier, Fun Fact and The August who can do some damage.

Throwing in Barrier 1 for Ringerdingding when he’s usually a get back runner could spell a smidgen of traffic problems, the high weight of 59kg and questions about the track surface (Which should improve… unlike Rosehill), I’m happy enough to nominate Jim ‘The Pumper’ Cassidy’s catch cry as my Lay of the Day!

I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me… Craaaaaaazy Craig!

Congratulations in advance on your win, Chris!

On a parting note, sad news this afternoon with the passing of Trevor McKee, trainer of the mighty mare Sunline, at the age of 81.

It does seem a bit of a sad coincidence that he passed away on the eve of the Doncaster Mile, a race that Sunline won twice.

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