Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 16th November


The two best operators on Sky getting their chance to shine this weekend

In the midst of the catastrophic and absolutely awful scenes along the East Coast, the port city of Newcastle prepares for the biggest day of racing they’ve ever seen, with the inaugural running of The Hunter for a million dollarydoos, featuring Gazza doing his best work in the mounting yard, plucking out $2 favourites for a laugh, because he bloody well can.

I can say without hyperbole, that Newcastle won’t have experienced something this fantastic since Matthew Johns was released by the Knights.

It’s gonna be better than Lego.

It is quite fitting that I mention Newcastle in this Chalk Eating Guide, because it supposedly has the best strike rate (41%) for favourites of any track in New South Wales.

In the meantime, the Melbourne Spring Carnival OFFICIALLY ends with Zipping Classic Day at Sandown, but for the first time in many many years, there won’t be a Lloyd Williams-owned horse in the Classic field, the very race he effectively turned into his 45th separate retirement fund thanks to Zipping’s exploits.

What a bad year it’s been for Sandown and the MRC- First, they lose the Sandown 500 (again), and now the Williams family are going so poorly, they won’t even send their 3rd raters to win the Classic or the Sandown Cup.

Other than that, we’ve got a few more features in the Wild Wild West (Gold Cup, Champion Fillies & The RJ Peters), and there’s action in Gundagai- The Snake Gully Cup was run today, and Saturday is the Hair Of The Dog, most likely named because someone was a massive fan of Nazareth.

A very solid album.

Rule The World (No.1, Barrier 8) in Race 5 at Newcastle, 3:45pm AEDT

1600m 3YO Group 3 Spring Stakes

Trainer(s): Gai & Adrian, Hoop: Tim Clark, 56.5kg

Prior to this year, the Spring Stakes was traditionally on Newcastle Cup day towards the end of September, but was obviously moved to Hunter Day to pump a bit of hot air into the card.

Anyway, I’ve gone for one of Gai & Adrian’s unbeaten types (Shock horror), who will probably go straight to the front and try and run everyone into the ground, under the urgings of one Timmy Clark.

I once heard from a friend at the Waterford TAB (Who shall remain anonymous) that the reason Tim has ‘TC’ on his riding breaches is because he’s THAT C-

Due to not having been in the same room at the same time with Tim, I can’t confirm or deny that claim.

His main rival looks to be Anthony Cummings’ Indycar, whose name leaves me hoping that his sire Sebring (RIP) produced a relation to him called ‘Formula One’, who would naturally have much more speed.

Rule The World goes up to the mile for the first time at start 4, so that said, like most of Gai’s promising 3YOs throughout human history, he’ll probably have his bubble burst at the slightest hint of pressure.

Heart Of Puissance (No.4, Barrier 7) in Race 7 at Sandown, 4pm AEDT

1600m 3Y Group 2 Sandown Guineas

Trainer(s): Maher and Useless, Hoop: Mark Zahra, 57kg

It’s actually quite an even and somewhat interesting field for the last 3YO classic of the Melbourne Spring, but somehow I’m not picking Pretty Brazen, and instead going with Ciaron Maher’s 3YO who could just about be anything.

I watched his win in the opener at The Valley on Derby Day Eve, in which he jumped up to the mile at his 2nd start, and fair dinkum, he looked greener than Yoda, Kermit and Shrek put together in the run, laying out so badly that he was nearly trampling the patrons lining the outside fence, but still, he powered home and somehow won.

He’ll probably go back and give the leaders a start on the wide open confines of the Hillside track, but with more upside than Everest, he could either come home with a dazzling run, or more likely, being very raw, he’ll piss around and run midfield, with this being just his 3rd visit to a raceday.



Setting Sail (No.4, Barrier 2) in Race 10 at Sandown, 5:55pm AEDT

1800m Group 3 Eclipse Stakes

Trainer: Charlie Appleby, Hoop: James Doyle, 56kg

Hang on, before we begin, let me perform a demonic ritual to summon Rod Stewart from the underworld to sing something about Setting Sail.

Not many people remember that was a cover- the original was by The Sutherland Brothers in 1972.

Now that you’ve suffered through Rod The Mod’s attempts at seduction, I’ll get stuck into it.

When Charlie Appleby brings his variety of Godolphin horses to Australia, he typically doesn’t piss fart around with Sheikh Mohammed’s cash, and the Blue Team probably envisioned Setting Sail running in things more illustrious races than a backwater Group 3 in Sandown, but we can’t all live in gold houses.

Setting Sail has only raced 9 times for 4 wins in the Old Dart, and his last start was back at the end of August at Epsom Downs over the 2000, where he carried 60 kilos in a 3 horse race… and won by a lazy 4.5L.

Funnily enough, another of his wins was at Newmarket in June, where he was ridden by none other than Kerrin McEvoy when he ventured over for Royal Ascot.

He ‘only’ carries 56 kilos tomorrow, which appears to be a very solid tick, and even though he is coming in cold to this race, as previously mentioned, Appleby’s record in recent Spring visits to Victoria have enticed me to jump in like a tourist in waters off Amity Island.

The Wild Wild West: Tuscan Queen (No.4, Barrier 10) in the WA Champion Fillies, 4:37pm AWST (7:37)

1600m 3YF Group 3

Trainer(s): Grant & Alanna Williams, Hoop: Pikey, 55kg

Dear diary, it has now been 6 weeks since I last backed a winner in Wait Awhile, after my many hilarious failures throughout the week, especially at Bunbury on Wednesday.

I’m once again in the situation of backing this diminutive fellow they call The Wizard to find the remnants of my arse, piloting Tuscan Queen, looking for revenge on Kay Cee for her Burgess Queen defeat.

Based on prior performances, and with my luck, she’ll somehow lose again to Kay Cee and the Sunshine Band, or that little old bugger Peter Hall will pop up out of nowhere like Oscar The Grouch and pull everyone’s pants down on Special Choixce.

It begs the question as to why I made this decision, but then again, critical thinking has never been a feature of a guide where the aim is back horses as poisonous unders.

Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

LAYING Sound (No.4, Barrier 5) in the Sandown Cup (3200m), 1pm AEDT

Trainer: Michael Moroney, Jockey: James Winks, 60kg

G’day knackers, it’s Crazy Craig the Boy From Bairnsdale, back for another Saturday, and I tell you what knackers, I’ve forgotten about the horses this week, because watching those horrible scenes up in New South Wales has given me a craaaazy idea!

All the fireys battling those fires should collectively be nominated for Australian Of The Year!

Quintessential Aussie heroes, the lot of them!

Anyway, the Melbourne Spring is winding down for another year and I’m taking on Michael Moroney’s German import Sound, who ran in the Melbourne Cup, and wasn’t disgraced in 12th!

Since he came from the former home of Boris Becker and Nena, he’s raced 9 times in Australia, admittedly all of them in Group 1 company, for an average starting price of 100/1!

He hasn’t placed in any of those starts, and yet with the massive drop in grade, he’s 3/1 here!


Let me put it this way- If i’d just taken a swig of poisoned wine and he was carrying the antidote, I WOULDN’T TOUCH HIM!

A few months ago we heard a big big sound that mysteriously ended on Grand Final Day…

WELL GUESS WHAT, there’s a BIG BIG SOUND from the East of the town, and it’s the sound of Crazy Craig making SOUND my LAY. OF. THE. DAY.

I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me CRAAAAAAAAZY CRAIG!

And by the sounds of that, congratulations Mr Moroney, you’re getting on the board tomorrow!

And of course, this week is the annual Dunkeld Cup meeting at the foot of the Grampians, regarded as one of the Top 10 ‘Most Picturesque’ Racecourses… IN THE WORLD

Taken from

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