Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 11th May

Still going better than the Footy Show.

Gav, Big Gaz and Lizzie Jelfs on fire at at a frigid Scone
(Sky Racing/TabCorp)

Running Score: 48 runners: 20 winners, 11 seconds, 8 thirds.

Crazy Craig: 10 runners, 6 horses won, 2 lays, and 2 losers… actually, who knows anymore.

What a shuper Saturday we’ve got ahead of us – The Doomben 10,000 up in Brisbane between Nature Strip and Osborne Bulls, the SA Derby at Morphetville, the first running of the Redoute’s Choice Stakes at Caulfield since the big fella passed away in March, and the final day of the Scone Carnival in Australia’s Thoroughbred Capital, with the running of the Luskin Star Stakes and the Dark Jewel Classic.

What a Luskin Star he was for Maxy Lees- Winner of the 2YO Triple Crown in 1977, with the highlight being his Golden Slipper win, in which he smashed the race record (1min 10 secs) and won by a race record 7 lengths.

Speaking of which, his regular rider John Wade was inducted into the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame this past week!

Enough of that history lesson, it’s time to find out who should win, but won’t.

Wild Planet (No.2) in Race 1 at Scone- 12:15pm AEST

1400m Listed Scone Guineas

Trainer: Team Hawkes, Hoop: Tommy Berry

Imagine putting the richest race of a Carnival as the first race of Day Two.

Some people.

Anyway, I’m going with the classic ‘2nd Favourite to beat the Favourite’ trick that Big Gaz usually pulls.

While the Snowden’s Military Zone won the Hawkesbury Guineas a fortnight ago and the Gosford Guineas back at Christmas, Wild Planet has been plugging away in Group company, running 2nd in the Carbine Club on Derby Day, 2nd in the Darby Munro at Rosehill (In which he beat home a mightily unlucky Classique Legend), and then 3rd in the South Pacific at Randwick despite being four-wide in parts.

In a battle between the master Johnny Hawkes and his former apprentice Peter Snowden, who also trains Signore Fox, I’m siding with the Hall of Famer for absolutely no good reason whatsoever.

Zoutori (No.1) in Race 3 at Caulfield, 1:05pm AEST

1600m Rod Fenwick Handicap

Trainer: Ellerton & Zahra, Hoop: Craig Williams

Matt Ellerton & Simon Zahra have a stranglehold on Race 3, with Zoutori returning with two consecutive wins and a dominant favourite, with stablemate Shandy on the second line.

The gelding jumped the favourite on Anzac Day at Flemington, and settled 6L off the leaders and powered home to beat Big Night Out under the urgings of Melbourne’s premier hoop Craig Williams.

I know I’m always trying to defeat a Big Night Out the morning after.

Now jumping out to the mile and up to the 60kg impost, it’s a big task for any 3YO, but Zoutori has solid upside, retains the services of Williams, and with a trip to Queensland on offer, it means he’s a certainty to have something go wrong.

Specialism (No.1) in Race 1 at Ascot, 12:24pm AWST (2:24)

1200m 2YO Bruno Ottaviano Memorial Plate

Trainer: Paul Jordan, Hoop: Chloe Azzopardi (A 3kg)

Specialism goes around again on the quick backup after a thrilling win over Jaguar Grey in the shadows of the Ascot post, and this isn’t much harder than that bunch.

With Chloe Azzopardi’s claim, the filly goes around down 2 kilos on that run, and if she can sit just off Mia Dolce (Drawn immediately to her inside in Barrier 2), then it’ll look like an easy win.

Whoop de doo, it’s Ascot.

Leonardo Da Hinci (No.8) in Race 8 at Caulfield- 4:20pm AEST

1200m Handicap

Trainer: Mick Price, Hoop: Mick Dee

The silks are a dead giveaway, but ‘Da Hinch’ is owned by the same group of people who owned Black Heart Bart, led by Kim Renner.

The last time the Renaissance Horse was seen on a racetrack, Darren Weir was training him.

As you can tell, a bit has changed since then, including DK going off for an enforced holiday, so he’s ended up at the Caulfield stables of Mick Price, who set up Leo’s return with a pair of jumpouts at Terang and Caulfield- His warm-up at The Heath was impressive, as he led all the way and won.

It’s worth noting that during the Spring, he finished runner-up twice to the Doncaster winner, Brutal, and was nearly squeezed to death in the Stutt Stakes at Death Valley, but escaped to win spectacularly.

If these ex-Weir horses like Nature Strip, Fifty Stars and Verry Elleegant are any indication, ‘Da Hinch’ should still have plenty of that magical juice in his body to score on his return to racing!


Victorem (No.3) to PLACE in Race 8 at Scone (SR8)- 4:45pm AEST

1100m Listed Ortensia Stakes

Trainer: Jenny Graham, Jockey: Ben Looker

G’day folks, Crazy Craig here, bringing you a runner with as much chance of winning as the Coalition next week!

And just to prove how crazy I am, I’m not backing a horse to win, I’m backing it to PLACE!

That’s right! PLACE! I’m ‘Billy Thorpe’ Craaaaaazy!

The Port Macquarie team of Jenny Graham & Ben Looker come to Scone looking for a first-up kill, and Graham warmed up her stable star with a pair of trial wins at Taree and back at home at the Port.

It’s a tough race to end the Carnival, but I’m confident that at the VERY LEAST, Victorem can use the big straight of Scone to wins and at the very least, form part of the trifecta- I’m almost tempted to put my 14th mortgage on it!

I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why THEY call me Craaaaazy Craig!


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