I’m still bitter about Santa pulling up Blitzen in the North Pole Stakes – He was a shoe in to beat Donner
Alrighty young boys and girls, I’m back for another character-building Saturday of torture and punishment, and the big one of the day is the Group 2 Villiers at Royal Randwick (Winner gets a guaranteed spot in the Doncaster), accompanied by the first of the summer Twilight meetings at Flemington, the Christmas Handicap at Morphetville, and the submerged Eagle Farm sees the conclusion to the State of Origin Jockeys Challenge, which, on account of 150mm of pissing biblical rain in Brisbane, will literally resemble a boat race.
If you ask me, what good is a State Of Origin Challenge without a bit of CATTLEDOG!
Back on topic, and as per usual, the day ends with the usual summer scorcher at Ascot and the G.A Towton Cup, and all I can say is, based on this afternoon, thank goodness it’s not at Belmont.
Somewhat concerning seeing that… usually the only thing on fire at Belmont is Pikey after booting home 4 winners during the winter.
Bam’s On Fire (No.3, Barrier 2) in Race 2 at Flemington, 3:40pm AEDT
1100m F&M Benchmark 84
Trainer: Ciaron Maher & That Useless Bloke, Hoop: Jye McNeil, 56.5kg
Speaking of ‘That Useless Bloke’, official name David Esutace, he’s been very critical of the programming of the Saturday Twilight cards by Racing Victoria, mainly questioning the financial benefit, and the impact they have on stable staff.
Anyway, I took Bam’s On Fire 1st Up in this very guide on Ballarat Cup Day, and all I remember was sitting back that morning and recoiling in horror as young Teo got too far back in running, and like a complete tease, rocketed home for 3rd.
Watching Jaws for the first time as a young’un is close to the top of things that had me recoiling in horror…. that race was a solid 15th.
Now she’s up the straight, against her own sex, the senior jockey in McNeil goes aboard, and let’s just say I am getting sucked in like dirty bath water down a drain.
Signore Fox (No.8, Barrier 6) in Race 6 at Randwick
1200m Listed Quality Razor Sharp Handicap
Trainer(s): Peter & Paul Snowden, Hoop: Tommy Berry, 54.5kg
“What barrier has he got Kenny?”
The Fox was nominated for one of the features at Eagle Farm, but the Snowdens kept him south of the Tweeds in an apparent show of confidence that he could get the job done in a Listed race in Sydney.
In hindsight, with all that rain turning Brisvegas into Brisvenice, it was a probably good decision.
This prep, Signore Fox won a BM88 at Randwick on Epsom Day, then had 6 weeks off and went up to The Farm for the Tatts Recognition, and it was a write off, getting bumped at the start and having to settle last, then he had to take the widest run on the corner, but showed more guts than Big Merv Hughes, making up plenty of ground to finish 5th, only 1.3 lengths behind Tambo’s Mate.
He’s 3rd up and rock hard fit tomorrow, he can handle the drop back in distance from 1350 to the 1200, has a good turn of foot, and with any sort of performance against the likes of Multaja, Bon Amis and Irithea, will be right there in the finish.
Who am I kidding, he’ll tease us all and run 3rd.
Defibrilate (No.2, Barrier 3) in Race 7 at Flemington, 6:50pm AEDT
2530m Summer On The Roof Garden Handicap
Trainer: Paddy Payne, Hoop: William ‘Billy’ Egan’, 60kg
By gee by jingo by crikey, Defibrilate, the 5YO lightly raced expat Kiwi has proven to be a very solid performer since he entered the services of the No.1 Payne in Australia.
He won his first 2 starts at Moe and The Valley (4 wins in a row after throwing in his NZ form), and recently ran a narrow 2nd to Creedence at Ballarat after laying in and getting checked at the 200, although since it was Creedence, I’m guessing it was a bad moon on the rise that cost Defibrilate the win.
Very good prospect, can carry weight, the wide open expanses of Headquarters, distance is no worry- Big question mark about the slow speed of the race, which is a worry, given the heart attack candidate usually settles off the speed.
So that said, this is probably going to end poorly.
Flower Of War in Race 9 at Ascot, 6:57pm AWST (9:57)
1200m 66+ Rating Handicap
Trainer: Simon Miller, Hoop: The Pontiff, 56.5kg
Plot: An Australian jockey nicknamed after His Holiness tries to boot home the last favourite at Ascot on a Saturday.
With Perth in the middle of a heatwave that was conjured up in one of the Coalition’s evil wet dreams, the Ascot card has been pushed right back to start at 3pm local, and finish just shy of 7 o’clock, when the temps should only be 40 degrees, instead of 40.1.
So on that note, I’m using all my allotted time to wait until the last for the return of Flower of War, 1st Up as a mare after a successful 3YO season and a couple of good trials (AKA a recipe for a crap one), and he’ll get the services of the original Perth Punters Pal of the 21st Century – Paul ‘The Pontiff’ Harvey.
The big question is – Can The Pontiff get on the phone to the big fella upstairs to give him the ability to have the Flower ping the lids, in the hope of avoiding being caught 3-wide no cover from the wide draw.
If not, grab a stubby, assume the crouch position, and prepare the waterworks, because this flick will leave you questioning your own existence.
3 out of 4 tips from Flemington and Ascot – #CounterClockwiseBias
Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day
LAYING Alward (No.1, Barrier 7) in Race 3 at Randwick, 2:10pm AEDT
2400m Listed Christmas Cup
Trainer: Chris Waller, Jockey: Hugh Bowman, 58kg
G’day again skippies, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, and while the rest of the country burns, as per usual, Victoria can’t make up her bloody mind!
One day it’s 33, now we’re pushing crap up hill to get past 20 degrees- And it’s a fortnight to Christmas!
Lunacy, says Crazy Craig!
Anyway, I’m once again heading up to Smog City for a BIG Villiers-filled card at Royal Randwick, and like many of my fellow astute judges, I’ve got one of Chris Waller’s four-legged friends in my line of fire!
Why have you gone after Alward, Crazy Craig?
Well, after his win in the ATC Cup at Rosehill, Chris Waller made mention of the fact that Alward doesn’t really get 2400m – And if you look at his career stats, he’s right!
7 starts, for NO WINS, 3 Seconds, and a Third!
And yet he’s $2.90!
How Crazy is that!
Chris, you’re in my Top 66 favourite Kiwis, but in my Craaaaazy opinion, you won’t be getting the choccies in this one!
ALWARD– My LAY. OF. THE. DAY.
I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me CRAAAAAZY CRAIG!
Categories: Horse Racing