Come for the poor analysis, stay for the laughter
Well comrades, it’s another of the great weekends of the Spring Carnival, with the Cox Plate Carnival, headlined by the 99th Weight For Age Championship of Australasia, revered not only for the legendary horses that have won the race, but because it also forces us to bet at Moonee Valley.
As per usual, I’ll be doing my Chalk Eater thing and putting the favourite on top.
Of course this year marks 40 years since Colin Hayes, Brent ‘The Babe’ Thomson and the ill-fated Dulcify left their mark on the Cox Plate, as he, in the words of Bill Collins, won by a minute.
It’s wrong using the word tragedy in this sense, but what happened to Dulcify 10 days later was an absolute tragedy.
Greyworm (No.5 Barrier 2) in Race 4 at Randwick, 2:45pm AEDT
1400m Quality Filante Handicap
Trainers: Team Hawkes, Hoop: Brenton Avdulla, 55kg
Speaking of Cox Plates, Jack Denham’s Filante, part of that superb 3YO crop of 95-96, finished runner-up twice in the great race, and both times, she was out-foxed by a Bart Cummings horse.
Saintly in ’96, and then Dane Ripper in ’97.
Of course, Jack got him back with Might and Power in ’98.
Needless to say, this lot won’t be touching the Valley or WFA racing anytime soon.
The Hawkes boys love their greys, and they’ve got another in the form of Greyworm, who has 2 wins from his last 3 runs, and ran 3rd in that other run on September 21st, while Improvement, who ran 2nd in that race, presents as the most immediate rival, dropping back from Listed grade and 2.5 kilos better off in the weights than the grey.
Greyworm drops 3 kilos going up in grade off the back of the win a fortnight ago, he draws the low gate, so I’d assume he’ll go forward, so let’s see if BRENTON, who, despite the instances of the Waterford TAB, is not of the Islamic faith, can the make most of his imaginary reprieve.
Lys Gracieux (No.9, Barrier 15*) in Race 9 at Moonee Valley 4:55pm AEDT
2040m WFA G1 W.S Cox Plate
Trainer: Yoshito ‘Samurai Paul Hogan’ Yahagi, Hoop: Damian Lane, 57kg
This will be only the second time I’ve ever included a Death Valley runner in this pathetic guide, but heck, it’s the Cox Plate.
With all eyes back on the Japanese after Mer De Glace cantered to the Caulfield Cup last weekend, Lys Gracieux, and Kruger for that matter, are the first Japanese-trained runners in the Cox Plate since the $201 shot Tosen Dandy featured in 2005, and appropriately finished near to last against Makybe Diva.
This time around, Lys is the favourite, and deservedly so, because based on her work in Japan, and our really shit WFA stocks, she is the class of the field.
She has 2 Group 1 wins back in Nippon, the last of which was the Takarazuka (2200m) at Hanshin in June, where she jumped wide with Frosty Lane aboard (Two constants tomorrow), and still gave Kieski (Who ran 2nd to the champion Almond Eye in the Japan Cup) mild windburn by 3 lengths.
On the back of that, she ended up getting an invite to Australia from the MVRC, and 4 months on, here we are.
The big question about LG is pertinent- If it rains, how well will she handle the softer ground, given Japanese tracks are the equivalent of concrete, and then there’s the only small worry about the synthetic hoof filler from when she first arrived in Australia.
As for the others, to quote Malcolm Blight, I couldn’t give a rat’s tossbag.
*= Will likely become Barrier 11 once the Emergencies are scratched.
Amangiri (No.5, Barrier 5) in Race 10 at Moonee Valley, 5:45pm AEDT
1600m G3 Tesio Stakes (Powerflo Solutions)
Trainers: Team Hawkes, Hoop: Dwayne Dunn Nothin’ (54kg)
Two picks at the Valley on a Saturday?
Associating with Crazy Craig really has warped my brain.
Fortunately, it’s the last race of the Cox Plate Carnival, and I’m returning to one of Johnny Hawkes’ mares that I picked way back as an Autumn filly in the Frank Packer Plate in April.
Let’s just say Tommy Berry’s ride caused me to vomit in horror, and I could sum it up in 3 timeless words.
Good. Thing. Beaten.
This time around, Amangiri wanders down to the Valley 3rd Up off the back of two placings in Sydney, most recently running a big 3rd in the Angst at Randwick a fortnight back, kicking on well in a fast race, before getting collared by Delectation Girl and the eventual winner, the flying Nettoyer.
She’ll carry the natural improvement from that run (Yada Yada Yada), and be right in the hunt, assuming Dwayne Dunn(y Brush) keeps his head screwed on, and I just realised I’ve put two Hawkes runners in the guide for today.
No doubt this will raise suspicion that I am indeed Wayne Hawkes.
Black Ducati in Race 9 at Ascot, 5:35pm AWST (8:35)
1200m 60+ Graduation Handicap
Trainer: Michael Lane, Hoop: Chris Parnham
Well what do you know, I’ve found a race that Ducati can win in 2019, and on the same weekend as the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix.
Now that I’ve said that, just wait for the stewards to make a last-minute inclusion of a horse called ‘Marquez’ carrying saddle cloth No.99.
It’s a big Saturday for the Lane family, and Michael’s progressive Black Ducati heads to WA racing Headquarters on the back of winning a Class 5 on October 9th in Michael’s native Bunbury, after sitting up on the speed and pulling away to make it 3 wins and 2 seconds from 5 starts.
Needless to say, this is a tad tougher than a midweek Bunbury race, and I’ll be honest, while I do think she can win, the main reason I included her was so I could buy a bit of time to edit this crapheap.
Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day
LAYING Just Thinkin’ (No.2) in the Bondi Stakes (Race 7) at Randwick, 4:35pm AEDT
Trainer: Gai & Adrian, Jockey: Tim Clark (57kg)
How’s it hanging fellow degenerates, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, and ahead of the COX PLATE, I had to stop Crazy Colin from taking his beer home under his shirt from the Bowls Club!
HE WAS THIRSTY!
Go buy a carton from the bottleshop, Colin!
Moving on from that shock, for my weekly extravaganza, I’ve locked on to this thing called The Bondi Stakes, and fair dinkum, for a debut race, the field is STINKY!
It looks like the richest Class 2 race in the history of Australian thoroughbreds!
Anyway, of those stragglers, I’m taking on the Tulloch Lodge 3YO Just Thinkin’, who Gai once thought was a hope for the Derby, until the Spring Champion came around, and Shadow Hero smoked him like a Winnie Blue over the 2000m!
Then again, Gai and yours truly have two things in common!
We’re old, and we’re both CRAAAZY!
Anyway, the real reason I’m taking him on is because my crazy senses are telling me that dropping down to the mile, someone is going to pull a big one and mow him down, like Bottega, or even Kubrick, taking time out from directing A Clockwork Orange!
And thus, after some lack of thinkin’, Just Thinkin’ is my LAY. OF. THE. DAY.
I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me Craaaazy Craig!
Categories: Horse Racing