Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 5th November


Remember everyone- As Big Gaz would say, the favourite is the favourite for a reason!

You bewdy, it’s the first Tuesday of November, and of course, time for the Melbourne Cup, the race that apparently once stopped the nation, only because it was 1930, Phar Lap was bigger than Bradman, and nobody had any work because of the Depression

Apparently these days people don’t give a shit about the Cup or the nags for a number of reasons, predominantly the actions of the Waterhouse clan (Looking at you Bill), so I’ll be surprised if anyone actually reads this.

Summing up the state of the Melbourne Cup, and the Australian breeding industry in 2019, there’s only 2 Australian-bred horses in the race- Vow And Declare and Youngstar.

If you came here looking for the Cup winner, you’ve taken a wrong turn- By my own count, I’ve backed one Cup winner since the Diva retired, and that’s a streak I aim to uphold.

So for that matter, given the Soft track, I’m straying away from the Samurai stayer Mer De Glace, and giving Mustajeer my cursed weight of support for absolutely no reason.

But of course, finding value has never been the goal of this guide, so like a typical mug, I’m traversing the some 40 Cup Day meetings to pry out a few short priced winners, who will inevitably somehow lose.

Shared Ambition (No.3, Barrier 4) in Race 4 at Flemington, 12:45pm AEDT

2800m BM96 The Maccas Run

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: Nash Rawiller, 56.5kg

So after bagging the shit out of Brae Sokolski all week for kicking Linda Meech off Thought Of That, I’m now singing like an untouched choir boy about one of his horses.

The master Kiwi that is Chris Waller could be on for a very promising day at Headquarters, with Finche playing himself into Cup favouritism, plus a string of other runners, headlined by the shortest priced runner of the day in Irish import Shared Ambition, who is a rare commodity in the Australian staying ranks, in that he’s a stayer who hasn’t had his bubble burst.

After debuting in the Emerald Isle back in June, he won at his 2nd start, and was then straight on the boat to the Convict Colony, and promptly came out and shat in his first two starts at Caulfield in really nice fashion, with that last win at the 2400m 3 weeks ago being highlighted by Nash’s very patient ride with top weight, in which he still proved way too good.

Still, those wins were against tiny fields compared to the 12 rivals he’s facing tomorrow, but regardless, he looks to have massive upside, goes up to the 2800m, and looks what we call a ‘Frank Worrell’, at the rather short $1.70.

Let’s hope we don’t do our Chaminda Vaas.

Dirty Work (No.3, Barrier 11) in Race 3 at Randwick (Kenso Track), 1:05pm AEDT

1100m Maiden Drinkwise Plate

Trainer(s): Team Hawkes, Hoop: Josh Parr, 57kg

Shit, that’s Dirty Harry, not Dirty Work.

The peak of Cup Day punting- Betting on a 1100m maiden at Randwick at 10 in the morning.

That said, it’s not the worst maiden you’ve ever seen, because Downdraft has been running in black type races, most recently running 4th in the G2 Roman Consul, he finished 4th, eyeballing eventual Cosmic Force most of the way before he weaken out late, and there’s also Hulk, who shares the same name as Bruce Banner’s alter ego, but so far has proved as likely as winning a race as Tony Galati is of trimming his eyebrows.

They’re Western Australian icons.

I think Dirty Work can get it done, but like most maidens, the big problem is that he’s a non-winner.

Betcha Flying (No.6, Barrier 2) in Race 10 at Flemington, 5:15pm AEDT

1200m 3YF Listed Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: Hugh Bowman, 55kg

A superb-looking end to the day at Headquarters, with a billion in-form fillies ripping shreds off each other, like the McEvoy pair of Xilong and Pretty Brazen, but for some reason, I’ve taken the time-honoured combo of Waller and Bowman and Betcha Flying, in her first go over the proper direction to race.

Those North of the Murray types with their clockwise racing… pffft.

Apparently Chris and Hugh had success with another filly… just can’t remember her name.

She ran in the Reginald Allen at Randwick on Everest Day, and copped what was in layman’s terms, a bum steer from Hughie, getting held up in the straight all the way to 250m mark, and then keeping the door open by flashing home to run second by half length to Akari, who of course, backs up in this race with a horror gate.

She stays at the 1400m, and based on the ever unreliable speed map, Hughie will be taking her back and giving her another luckless run and winding her up on the wide open expanses of Flemington, and with some even luck, might just about finally win for the 2nd time in her short career, or once again run 2nd.

She is currently $5 right now, so taking her for the place doesn’t look like the worst idea.

Not To Be Mist (No.7, Barrier 7) in Race 9 at Ascot, 5:25pm AWST (8:25)

1400m Crown Perth Handicap

Trainer: Adam Durrant, Hoop: William Pike, 58kg

When 99% of the remaining 25% of Australians who do punt inevitably do their arse on Cup Day, they turn their eyes to the West, and look to one unique individual and his magical persuasive wand to turn the tide.


Although, he won’t be riding cerise and white in this one, he’ll be in the iconic Oakland Park silks of the great Northerly.

Normally this phenomenon of backing Pike In The Last is done without looking at any other runner, or the market in general, although on this occasion, I think it’s justified, because the grey Not To be Mist looks the best horse in the race, making a ‘promising’ return to the races 3 weeks ago, settling pretty much next to last at the turn in a 1200m race, before having a rocket strapped his arse and taking off to finish 3rd, barely missing Ocean’s Fifteen and Denim pack, and if the race had been 50m longer, he’d almost certainly have won.

Although, if my Aunty had two Jatz Crackers, she’d be…. alright you get the point.

The nation roared for a hero in 2005, hopefully Pikey can have us doing the same.

Crazy Craig’s Cup Tip, which for some reason is a Lay Of The Day

LAYING Constantinople (No.19, Barrier 7)

Trainer(s): The Hayes Gang, Jockey: Joao Moreira

G’day knackers, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, and like many of you, I’ve got a BIIIIIIIIIIIIG piss-up planned for Tuesday, and I’m gonna bloody well enjoy it!

After the barrier draw on Saturday night, I went to the Bowls Club with Crazy Colin to discuss the race.

He said he was backing Constantinople, and I said his Caulfield Cup effort wasn’t all that and a packet of chips!

In response, he tipped a full pot of VB over my head, and said “You’re nuts, Crazy Craig!”

Oh yeah? WELL I’M LAYING IT COLIN, and by the way, tipping your beer on me has been your best tip all Spring!

Now don’t get old mate Crazy wong, he’s a good animal, but then again, how many horses over the last 15 years have had a solid Cup preparation, and not gone on to win the race!

I think this could be yet another of those years where some random European pops up and wins, or some roughie pops up out of nowhere!

So more specifically, who can win the Cup?

I’ve got no idea as always, but you know who can’t win the Cup?


I’m Crazy Craig, and for the second time in 3 days, that’s why they call me Craaaaaazy Craig!

By the way Colin, I’ll be asking for that apology after you lose!

Last but not least, here’s the Cup tip from the Waterford TAB’s resident 93 year old, The Gabster!


And to think, he’s only the second-oldest character in that TAB…. by a month.

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