So as we wash away the chunder and store the C-Grade celebrities back in the closet for another year, the Melbourne Cup Carnival finishes with Stakes Day, the last day before most people go back to not giving two shits about horses, even though the Sandown Classic is next weekend.
Then again, nobody cares about Sandown.
As well as that, there’s the Group 2 Hot Danish and the first running of the 2YO Golden Gift at Rosehill, the Keith Noud at Doomben, and with 40 degree temperatures about to kill us all over here in the Mild Mild West, the Perth Summer Carnival truly heats up with the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes, and showing how well Darren McAulliffe is travelling, a Group 1 winner in Gatting isn’t even his best hope in the race!
Just a note- Perth Racing have rightfully pushed the races back to start at 2pm local, so we can avoid the worst of the heat.
Angel Of Heaven (No.4, Barrier 2) in Race 3 at Rosehill, 1:50pm AEDT
2400m BM78 Iron Jack Handicap
Trainer: Kris Lees, Hoop: Jason Collett, 57.5kg
Angel Of Heaven?
My goodness, it’s an omen from up above!
In what looks a very tight market, with 5 of the 9 runners in single figures, I imagine Angel Of Heaven will be earning the weight of money from the Christian Lobby tomorrow, based on name alone.
This prep, Angel Of Heaven has stuck on well stepping up in distance every start, with a 3rd at 1500m, 3rd at 1600m, and then 2nd at 2000m to Maid Of Ore, although that said, the Maid never seriously looked like losing.
Collett goes aboard, she maps to get a very nice run just behind the speed, and as many astute people say about many runners who inevitably don’t win, she has her hoof on the till.
But of course, she will have to beat the might of the Waller army to win.
True Self (No.5, Barrier 4) in Race 4 at Flemington, 2:10pm AEDT
2600m Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Trainer: Willie Mullins, Hoop: Ryan Moore, 56.5kg
In the Geelong Cup, only one horse beat home True Self, who got held up on the turn and was near enough to the rear, before charging home and missing by barely a head.
As you can probably guess, that horse who beat her was a certain tough bastard named Prince of Arran, who most recently OFFICIALLY finished 2nd in the Melbourne Cup.
As far as staying form lines go, that’s arguably the best in this race, and that said, True Self looks the best horse in the race regardless.
I mean seriously, Carif was well beaten by Downdraft carrying 59 kilos in the Hotham.
The lord of Irish jumps racing in Willie Mullins decided to skip that Hotham and give up on his mare’s Melbourne Cup dreams, possibly on the advice of OTI Racing (Who also own Downdraft), and he’ll instead try and leave our shores a winner.
That’s if she does leave, of course.
Mr Personality in Ryan Moore takes the reins, there’s a dead certainty of a Soft track, which she seems to love, so to quote the late owner of the Oakland Raiders in Al Davis….
Just Win Baby.
Melody Belle (No.15, Barrier 16) in Race 8 at Flemington, 1:55pm AEDT
2000m WFA Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes
Trainer: Jamie Richards, Hoop: Opie Bosson, 57kg
The last Group 1 of the year in Victoria, and it’ll also be the 58th and last race for one of Australian racing’s grand old boys, Hartnell, who heads off for a well-earned retirement after a storied career that started back in Old Blighty 7 years ago.
It really was an amazing effort by James Cummings and the Blue Army to keep his career going at the middle distances after all of that psychological trauma Winx inflicted on him throughout 2016-17, and if you ask me, he’s proven to be clearly the best elderly Englishman to settle in Australia since Leo Sayer.
Enjoy retirement, you tough old bugger.
Anyway, it’s a gripping edition of the Mackinnon, as a billion form lines close in on each other, as Melody Belle backs up from her Empire Rose win (Runner-up Aristia as well), Magic Wand backs up 4 days after a 10th placing in the Melbourne Cup, Fifty Stars and Fierce Impact from the Cantala, Hartnell from the Caulfield Cup, Humidor from the Moonee Valley Cup, and the likes of Kings Will Dream and Kluger from the Cox Plate.
That said, I’ve gone with the Kiwi ace Melody Belle, after bringing up her 10th G1 win in said Empire Rose, going back from the wide draw on a soft track before Opie activated the time circuits, got to 88 miles an hour, and rocketed home to win.
7 days later, she’s got a wide draw, it’s a likely Soft track, she’ll go back again and wind up, and while this field is infinitely better than last weekend, it’s not impossible for lightning to strike twice… Especially checking out the Melbourne weather on the BOM.
The Token Ascot Tip: Achernar Star in the Lee Steere Stakes, 5:59pm AWST (8:59)
1400m WFA Group Two
Trainer: Simon Miller, Hoop: Paul Harvey, aka The Pontiff, 59kg
You know what, I don’t think I’ve got a single one of these Perth tips right for just on a month.
That said, it’s another really nice looking edition of the Lee Steere, as evidenced by the fact that we have a rematch of the finish to the Northerly Stakes, and plus the inclusions of Uncle Bob’s pocket rocket Arcadia Prince, and Gatting, back from his triumphant run in Melbourne with that long-odds win in the Makybe Diva.
Seriously, you could throw a blanket over that lot… provided it’s not infected with EI or the Hendra virus.
That said, I’ve gone with Achernar Star, based on nothing other than the fact that he ran a narrow 2nd to The Velvet King in that Northerly, after coming from third last on the turn.
I once said I was going to keep track of The Velvet King, but like most Seinfeld episodes, I’ve learned pretty much nothing.
The Star finished runner-up to Gatting in the 2018 Lee Steere, he’ll be 3rd Up and rock hard fit tomorrow, and provided he doesn’t get too far this time, I expect The Pontiff will be wielding his holy persuader down the outside and storming home to give a few punters an aneurysm.
Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day
Santa Ana Lane to WIN the Darley Sprint Classic at Flemington, 2:50pm AEDT
Trainer: Anthony Freedman, Jockey: Mark Zahra, 58.5kg
Aloha cobbers, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bloody Frozen Bairnsdale, and guess what, to end the Flemington Carnival, I’m not backing a nag to lose, I’m backing one to WIN!
Because I’m CRAZY, that’s why!
Yes, this would be the type of race where I do something like pick Nature Strip to beat him, but even an old nutjob like me can see that Santa is still the best sprinter in the Southern Hemisphere, and his beauty of a run in The Everest confirmed that, only getting beaten by Yes Yes Yes, and before that, he ran up the straight in the Gilgai carrying top weight, and only just got beaten by Sunlight!
In pursuit of another Sprint Classic, he’s going up against a few other Everest rivals, and also the hot filly Loving Gaby, who may have won the Manikato, but I remember California Zimbol smoked her at Caulfield, and then yesterday, old mate California couldn’t even give a yelp up the straight!
I’m asking questions about the race, that still haven’t been answered!
So in summation, to paraphrase Gene Autry, put your bets on and say your prayers, because SANTA’S COMING TOMORROW!
Santa Ana Lane- MY. TIP. OF. THE. DAY.
I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me CRAAAZY Craig!
And for reason, here’s a cone hitting a dickhead blocking traffic after Oaks Day!
Categories: Horse Racing