Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 24th August


Gary Harley- The Master of the Odds & Evens

Of course, the big news for Saturday is that this season’s deluge of Group 1 racing is BACK, with the first running of the Winx Stakes at Randwick since the mighty mare retired!

Yep, even the old Warwick Stakes is now an established Group 1… I don’t think the Pattern Committee even give a crap about anything anymore.

And then of course, there’s the random country cups, like the Vietnam Veterans Cup at Kilcoy, The Collie Cup at Gilgandra, and of course, the other metro meetings like the Carlyon Stakes and the McEnzie Stakes at The Valley, which I’m still giving the middle finger to, because it’s a crap track.

Anyway, here are my typical short-priced p(r)icks, who will all somehow fail.

Dabiyr (No.11, Barrier 3) in Race 2 at ‘Death’ Valley, 12:55pm AEST

2500m BM78 Handicap

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: Michael Walker, 56kg

For the first time since January, I’m betting at Moonee Valley, because apparently there’s meetings outside of New South Wales on a Saturday, and yet, I still somehow find myself picking a Waller horse.

Chris Waller’s Irish import (Who used to be with Dermot Weld) is a lightly raced staying prospect, who goes beyond the 2100m for the first time, so there’s no better place to realise you aren’t a stayer than over the 2500 at The Valley, struggling to make up ground on the leader.

Dabiyr would’ve been going up against More Than Ever, The Statesman, Bling Dynasty and Not A Single Cent (Who all would’ve been ahead in the market), but they’ve either gone to Adelaide or been scratched , so instead, he’s somehow now come up the favourite in a suddenly crap field.

Funnily enough, I was about to mention how he had 5 kilos on More Than Ever, only for Tony McEvoy to scratch him half an hour before I was going to put this up.

Cuzzy Walker has ridden Dabiyr in both of his Australian starts, including that midweek win over the 2100m, he’s stripping fitter after a 3rd placing at Flemington a fortnight ago, so come on Michael, let me down again.

Libertini (No.3, Barrier 2) in Race 5 at Randwick, 2:25pm AEST

1200m Group 2 3YO Silver Shadow Stakes

Trainer: Anthony Cummings, Hoop: Tommy Berry (55kg)

The Shilver Shadow Shtakes- What a shuper race!

The price is short enough, but Good Golly Miss Molly said Little Richard, it’s going to take a bolt of lightning to generate 1.21 gigawatts to knock off Libertini 1st up.

She debuted as an Autumn 2YO, and capped things off with a jog trot win in the Woodlands during the Scone Carnival, and it’s absolutely worth noting that her only career defeat was finishing 2nd on debut to Bivouac in the Kindergarten… who of course, killed his so-called rivals at Caulfield last weekend, with the fastest 1000, 800, 600, 400 and 200m sectionals of the day.

If her two trials and a raceday gallop are any guide, she’s going to be pissing out fire and talent, and giving us mugs a few thrills throughout the Spring.

But word of warning, look out for the orchid that is Tenley, back and thriving in perfect conditions.

Deprive (No.7, Barrier 1) in Race 6 at Randwick, 3:05pm AEST

1200m Group 3 Show County Quality

Trainer: James Cummings, Hoop: Rachel King, 53.5kg

Deprive is firmly cemented in the Chalk Eaters Hall Of Fame, having won twice previously when I’ve put him in the guide, and now thanks to some shrewd work by young J.B Cummings, he remains at the 53 kilos once again!

Deprive’s slick turn of foot has powered him to 4 consecutive wins and a perfect 4/4 record at Headquarters, and the one always sticks out in my lemon for a brain was when Rachel King abused the imaginary right hand indicator on the 25th of May, cutting across 7 lanes of traffic and storming home to win by a head.

If that was a car, Rachel would fit right in driving in Perth.

There are a few problems that stick out- Obviously jumping to Group racing for the first time, Barrier 1 means he’ll probably be next to last on the rails, there’s the epic battle between June Stakes form, Doncaster form (Dreamforce) and European Group 1 form (Godolphin stablemate Cascadian), plus the question of how much ground the backmarkers can make up, in a field where the speed map has most of the field putting the blowtorch on up front.

I hope he wins, or else it’s going to be another case of me looking like a dickhead… Which I seem to enjoy.

Snowchino (No.13, Barrier 1) in Race 8 at Belmont, 4:25pm AWST (6:25)

1650m 76+ Peninsula Mile

Trainer: David Harrison, Hoop: Jason ‘Fish’ Whiting, 54kg

Apparently when you mix cocaine and coffee, you get a Snowchino.

No wonder she’s racing in Perth.

Anyway, drug epidemic jokes not withstanding, she’s doing two things right for David Harrison- She’s working her way through the grades, and is winning very nicely in the process, coming in to Saturday on the back of a Belmont hat-trick, all commandeered by the Fish, Jason Whiting, who sticks aboard after the most recent win a fortnight ago (When I went against her by picking The Fugazi).

An important note is that she does jump from 64 to 76 grade, but drops 3.5 kilos to have a decent swing against Free Trade, creating what appears to be a battle of the South West trainers (Harrison in Lark Hill vs Michael Lane in Bunbury).

Of course, now that I’m on board after being beaten by her last time, this little run is certain to end.

Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

LAYING Avilius (No.1, Barrier 8) in Race 7 at Randwick, 3:45pm AEST

1400m Group 1 WFA Winx Stakes

Trainer: James Cummings, Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

G’day fellow degenerates, it’s your old mate Crazy Craig, The Boy From Bairnsdale, back for another week, after my attempt to assassinate Mystic Journey went awry!

Turns out she’s good, and I’m just craaaazy to go against her!

Anyway, I’m heading back north for the first Group 1 of the season, and I’m taking on one of Godolphin’s many solid horses, and this one in particular happens to be an ex-Frenchman formerly from France, Avilius!

Yep, he may be a proven winner during his time Down Under, with 8/11 wins, including two cheap Group One wins last Autumn, BUT, against the likes of Winx’s good mate Happy Clapper, Le Romain, Verry Elleegant and the milk drinkers Invincible Gem and Unforgotten, I’m ‘verry’ happy to risk him 1st Up!

If that wasn’t enough, he’s never raced at the 1400m, even when he was still in Europe!

With a record like that, I’m surprised the Sheikh hasn’t phoned in his assassins to talk James Cummings out of this!

Anyway, if you’ve skipped all this and are just cruising through to end, I’ll sum it up in a sentence- Avilius is my LAY. OF. THE. DAY.

Ahead of a fun couple of months, I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me Craaaaaazy Craig!


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