Horse Racing

The ‘Harley’ Chalk Eaters Guide: 20th April

Where I Provide The Tomato Sauce Odds, And You Bring Whatever People Eat With Tomato Sauce.

Blue Steel as Gazman dominates at Scone
(Still: Sky Racing/TABCorp)

Running Score: 37 winners, 17 wins, 10 seconds, 7 thirds

Crazy Craig’s Lay: 7 runners, 5 that won, and 2 that actually managed to lose

On the second day, the fictional Big Gazza rose again to provide the chalk eaters with favourites to chase over the Easter weekend!

And of course tomorrow is the last day of the Sydney Carnival, with the Champagne Stakes to round off the 2YO Triple Crown, and the All-Aged Stakes.

Note to Channel Seven’s ad department- The key for Godolphin to win the Triple Crown is to actually have a runner in the Champagne… which they don’t.

Meanwhile, there’s the fabled Oakbank Carnival in SA, always popular with the animal activists, the Easter Cup card at Caulfield, also marking 31 years since Bill Collins retired from racecalling, the Ascot Handicap and the Mick Dittman Plate at Doomben (Plus a few others), and the fabled Kerang Cup in Kerang.

While over in the West, aside from our Good Friday card, we’ve got the worst staying race in Australia, the Western Australia Cup at Ascot, and the time honoured Dongara Cup, at the home of the Big Lobster, Dongara.

Anyway, enough of that, time to take the piss and find a few shorties!

Note: I’ve only put 3 runners in this week so I can get back to an even 40 runners.

Blue Morpho (No.2) in Race 1 at Oakbank- BM82 1400m Autumn Series Heat 7, 11:56am ACST (12:26)

Trainer: Will Clarken, Hoop: Jake ‘Tow Rope’ Toeroek

It’s a big jump to go from the Group 2 Sunline Stakes at Death Valley, to the fabled Easter Saturday meeting at Oakbank in the Adelaide Hills, but that’s what awaits Blue Morpho on Saturday.

She ran a sound 5th in said Sunline Stakes, sitting one off the leaders on the rail and finishing 1.25 lengths off the winner Consensus, and was only just beaten on the post by a certain fast charging mare by the name of Kenedna- Who won the Group 1 Queen of the Turf last weekend.

This race is a slight step down from a Group 2, her last run in SA was at the BM82 grade over 1400, and she battled on well in the straight and won, and it’s also worth noting that her only prior visit to Oakbank was her maiden win in March last year!

A name like that reminds me of this timeless lyric from Eiffel 65, 20 years ago:

Amangiri (No.11) in Race 3 at Randwick- Group 3 2000m Frank Packer Plate, 1:10pm AEST

Trainer: John Hawkes & Sons, Hoop: Tommy Berry

The last filly to win the Packer Plate was Arabian Gold back in 2014, who was also the favourite that year.

I backed Amangiri at Hawkesbury back in March, and Tommy Berry took her straight to the front and demolished the stragglers by some 5 lengths, which proved she had some ability.

The filly put in a superb losing run in the Adrian Knox a fortnight back, which at least showed she was able to cut it at Group level, having to work from barrier 15 to lead, and then respond to the whip in the straight to hold off the chasing pack, only to get narrowly beaten by a 50/1 swooper in Aliferous, who subsequently ran 4th in the Oaks.

Draws Barrier 5 today, so she can lead easily with a clean jump, has the turn of foot to beat the likes of the The Chosen One (4th in the Derby) and Carif, as Gaz would say, the favourite is favourite for a reason!

Manolo Blahniq (No.7) in Race 7 at Caulfield- Group 3 1400m Victoria Handicap, 3:55pm AEST

Trainer: Tony Noonan, Hoop: Dwayne Dunn

I’ve seen plenty of people lining up to tip Manolo Blahniq tomorrow, and apparently for good reason, based on his run in the Anniversary Vase a fortnight back, where he got belted around in the straight like Max Gawn against Port Adelaide, while the winner Naantali burst to the lead.

Manolo got eventually got clear and ran 2nd by just under 2 lengths, beating the likes of Kemono, Fastnet Tempest and Sirrconi- All of them are back for the rematch.

And the last time I checked, Naantali is now off to Sydney, which should make this race more winnable.

Famous last words.

Anyway, Manolo’s been rock solid at Stakes grade this prep, winning the Chester Manifold at Flemington, running 2nd in the John Dillon on Australia Day at Caulfield, so he’s more than proven at the 1400m at Caulfield, with a record 3 starts for a win and a pair of 2nds.

I’m so excited that I’m already putting my sheckles in the machine to get on him, and it’s Good Friday and nothing’s open!


He’s Crazy, and you’d better believe it!

Castelvecchio (No.1) in Race 6 at Randwick (SR6)- Group 1 1600m Champagne Stakes- 2:55pm AEST

Trainer: Richard Litt, Jockey: Josh Parr

No, today it’s not Crazy Craig’s LAY OF THE DAY, it’s Crazy Craig’s GET A HORSE TO WIN OF THE DAY, because I’m so craaaaazy, I don’t know which one is which!

This edition of the Champagne has been billed as a battle between Loving Gaby and Castelvecchio, and I’m in the corner of the second favourite, because he’s been screeeeeaaaaaming out for the mile ever since he blasted home to win the Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm over 2 months ago!

Richard Litt skipped the Golden Slipper to aim for the Sires and Champagne, and in the 1400m Sires he charged home from the rear to run 3rd alongside Loving Gaby, and now he’s finally out to a distance he’s been looking for since February- Get me on with Joshy Parr as we rocket from last to first, CASTELVECCHIO!

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

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