Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 28th December

A New Year’s Resolution: Back more 2nd Favourites

Gazza detailing his latest special from what appears to be Wyong

Well homies, the end of the decade is drawing nearer(erer) and nearer(erer), and after batting at a solid 25% all year, I’m very much looking forward to another decade of character building defeats.

Looking ahead to the last Saturday of the decade, and there’s plenty of action around the nation; The Christmas Classic at Woyal Wandwick, some boring Listed staying race at Ascot, but they’ve got plenty of action North of the Tweed, with the Road To The Magic Millions in full swing at The Farm, led by the G3 BJ McLachlan for the 2YOs, and the G3 Vo Rogue Plate for 3YOs, featuring Alligator Blood against the Cockroaches from the south.

Ah, Vo Rogue – There was rarely a dull race when he and Cyril Small were 10 lengths in the lead.

Poor little Stylish Century loved freewheeling out in front… then he met big Vo.


Ryan’s Fender (No.5, Barrier 1) in Race 3 at Death Valley, 1:55pm AEDT

2040m Handicap

Trainer: Matt Cumani, Hoop: Fred W. Kersley (a1.5), 52.5kg

Wow, hey everyone, look at how brave I am, once again including a favourite at the skinny odds and then bragging about how I’m such a genius for finding it.

Selections like a $1.60 favourite are the primary reason why I named this the Chalk Eaters Guide… Taking the piss out of form analysts was a close 2nd.

Anyway, on to Ryan’s Fender over the Cox Plate trip, and with the retirement of Luca, Matt Cumani out at Ballarat has assumed the title of ‘Best Trainer In The Cumani Family’, although if Francesca ever takes out a trainer’s license, she’ll be at No.1 with a bullet.

Thanks to a pair of scratchings, most notably Future Score (Ran 2nd to Odeon at Caulfield on Boxing Day), Ryan’s Fender has come up very short in the small field, with the other reason being his impressive win a fortnight ago at Flemington, where young Fred Kersley, grandson of Fred Kersley, and son of ‘Group 1’ Gavin Eades, sat on the speed and just kept on finding in the straight to win in an upset.

Freddie sticks aboard, the claim drops Ryan’s Fender to 52.5kg, 1 down on his last start win, he has won at The Valley previously- Is short enough in the small field, but all things considered, should be winning.

A shame he couldn’t be named Ryan’s Bender.


Sanabreanna (No.2, Barrier 4) in Race 1 at Ascot, 12:42pm AWST (3:42)

1400m 3YO SW&P

Trainer: David Harrison, Hoop: Chris Graham (a3), 54kg

Sanabreanna?

Wasn’t he that guy that caused the split in the Labor Party back in 1955?

Still, named after a crazy anti-Communist Catholic or not, Sanabrenna caused a split of her own way back in the Champion Fillies in mid-November, when she ran 2nd to Tuscan Queen, beating home a certain Kay Cee, who would only go on to turn the tables and win the Kingston Town Classic, which by default, appears to be the best form reference.

And I didn’t even mention David Harrison held her out of the WA Guineas, so she could instead mow down everyone to win a very quick Lee Steere Classic, beating Three Eze and Special Beau, who she goes up against against tomorrow.

Anyway, this looks a stock standard drop in grade, she gets the claim from Chris Graham, who I once thought was a Welshman, but is in fact a New South Welshman, and let’s be realistic, she should be winning.

Then again, stupider things have happened.

To cut a long story short, I lost my mind backed another red hot favourite.


Phaistos (No.7, Barrier 7) in Race 8 at Randwick, 5:35pm AEDT

1600m BM88 Handicap

Trainer: James Cummings, Hoop: Hugh Bowman, 56kg

There is due to be at least one major scratching – Toryjoy went around as the market elect in the Belle Of The Turf at Gosford, a move which went as well as New Zealand bowling first on Boxing Day.

Living up to my mythical New Years’ resolution (Which generally lasts 2 weeks), I’m really sticking the neck out here and going for James Cummings and Phaistos to defeat his father Anthony and Something Fast, with a massive 20 cent difference between them in the market.

It could be the greatest case of son on father crime since Luke Skywalker severed Darth Vader’s hand in a fit of rage.

Phaistos resumed at Flemington on Cup Day, and did 8/5ths of piss all, finishing 4th by a length to Bravo Tango after coming from the rear, and then went a month between runs before resuming at Randwick, where he got out late to run 2nd after the leader had jumped to lightspeed…. who just happened to be Something Fast.

Really does make you question why they’re so close in the market, but the obvious answers that spring to mind are the 4.5 kilo weight swing in the favour of the Royal Blue corner, and the fact that Phaistos has won 3rd Up previously.

Big woop, I’ve previously climbed Mount Lawley, does that mean I can climb the Snow Mountains?

Probably not – That Mount Lawley effort was a trek.


Prince Turbo (No.7, Barrier 8) in Race 7 at Ascot, 4:30pm AWST (7:30)

2200m Listed A.T.A Stakes

Trainer: Jason Miller, Hoop: Clint ‘The Hyphenator’ Johnston-Porter, 54kg

The Miller name may look familiar, and it is, because Jason Miller looked after Adam Durrant’s stable with Adam’s dad Geoff, while Adam went on a break back in 2016-17, and they would end up training Star Exhibit to his first Perth Cup win, and he’ll be hoping to win a second with Prince Turbo, who has come flying through the grades like Adam Sandler in Billy Madison.

Unless I’ve had one too many Christmas piss-ups this week, this is the lucky last major staying race before next Saturday’s Cup, and we’ve got an interesting fight in the ATA between Pikey on Arctic Stream and The Hyphenator on Prince Turbo (Throw in Friar Fox to boot), and after my stunning success of picking British Bessy to beat Sentimental Gift last week, I’m once again reaching out to the Punting Prince of Darkness, and backing against a Pike horse.

Arctic Stream has won his last 2 starts, so it begs the question – Am I still groggy?

Yes, quite possibly.

Prince Turbo charged up through the grades at the provincials, before he stepped up to both black type and the staying distances in the rescheduled G.A Towton Cup, where in a typically slow Perth race, he gave Taxagano an almighty fight in the straight, but would go down in a photo finish, which was confirmed in the face of a Hail Mary protest from The Hyphenator.

With any luck, he’ll be in the finish again staying at the Class & Distance, in which case, I’ll probably be commenting about him running 2nd to Arctic Stream in the Review.


Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

Toot toot goes the Crazy Train!

LAYING Blondeau (No.4, Barrier 9) in Race 6 at Eagle Farm, 3:27pm AEST (4:27)

1200m 2YO Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes

Trainer: Chris Waller, Jockey: Bossy, 57kg

Auld Lang Syne kiddies, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, and it’s time to end another successful decade of lays in grand style, with one last taking down of a cocky short-priced favourite!

When I say success, I mean that I only went through 14 bank loans compared to 15 in the 2000s – And I paid back 9 of them!

But the best part of all – I still haven’t had my legs broken!

How crazy is that!

Anyway, for this last act of 2019, I’m heading up to the state that brought you classic characters like Sir Joh and the Snowtown killers, and taking on Chris Waller’s favourite for this big 2-year-old race, with some implications towards the Magic Millions!

I saw a replay of Blondeau’s debut as a favourite at Rosehill, and I was STUNNED to see that he he had his fellow juveniles bent over a barrel and begging for mercy at the 200, before he appeared to start pondering when Steve Smith was going to score his next ton, leading to him being run down by Aim, who has apparently won again!

But, wait a minute Crazy Craig, why are you taking on a horse who has one the best form references of the current juvenile crop?

WHY?

Because I’m CRAZY, that’s why!

Anyway, I’ve got no idea who will win, but I simply think Blondie is just too short off that debut run, and am I prepared to be burned alive for that statement?

You bet!

BLONDEAU– My LAY. OF. THE. DAY.

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


Damn, I was hoping he was going to lay Every Rose… that way we could fit in a joke about Every Rose Has Its Thorn.

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