Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 15th February

Did you know there’s a horse in Tassie called Hot Relation?

I could be mistaken, but it’s now been a year since this silly favourite backing guide started up, having gone through many iterations, such as the ‘Gary Harley’ Favourite Backing Guide, the Weekend Backing Guide, and the Kenny Callender ‘S’ Backing Guide, before I learned what a Chalk Eater was, and thus, the guide nobody understands the title of began.

And as we approach the last official weeks of summer, a horse not named Winx will win the Apollo Stakes at the swamp we call Randwick, and down at Flemington, the flying Kiwi Catalyst makes the Autumn a crapload more interesting as he fights Alligator Blood in the CS Hayes, and the big Group 1 of the arvo is the time-honoured Black Caviar Lightning down the straight, although it is a 1000m in Melbourne, so The Gabster won’t be betting in it.

The VRC have recognised that people won’t come to the races ti see Nature Strip and Redzel leading a pack of posers, so guess what – Black Caviar will be on course at Flemington for the first time since she retired in April 2013.

From the VRC’s Twitter

One of the few horses you’d pay to go see live, and then leave the track the moment she disappeared.

Still, what a great turnaround for Luke Nolen – He gets to see the Black Flash again, and Peter Moody is looking set to return to the training ranks.

And lastly, over here in the Mild Mild West, we’ve got a pair of Listed races in the Cyril Flower and the Challenge Stakes, but you probably couldn’t care less, and I don’t blame you.

Dark Alley (No.6, Barrier 1) in Race 4 at Morphetville, 1:56pm ACDT

2043m Benchmark 68 Handicap

Trainer: Paul Preusker, Hoop: Declan ‘Master’ Bates, 56.5kg

Fancy that, I take one look at Morphetville, and now I’m hooked on the stuff.

It’s like gambling Trainspotting.

Still, Paul Preusker is no stranger to pillaging Adelaide’s staying races (It’s easier than pillaging a pantry late at night), training Surprise Baby to last year’s Adelaide Cup, and he’s apparently found the perfect race for Dark Alley after his maiden win at Geelong, up against the McEvoy’s Allusion, who, according to people lacking credibility (Like me), is pulling the illusion of being a clear favourite.

In a funny form coincidence, both market leaders are coming off wins at 1700m, and making their first start at the slightly longer than 2000m.

The so-called astute judges have paid plenty of attention to this one – Either Dark Alley is one of the picks of the day, or Allusion is a fraud.

Using my lack of thinking skills, I’m going with the former.

Alligator Blood (No.3, Barrier 1) in Race 5 at Flemington, 2:50pm AEDT

1400m 3YO C&G Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes

Trainer: David ‘Dick’ Vandyke, Hoop: Ryan Maloney, 57.5kg

It’s the big warm-up for the Australian Guineas in a fortnight (Throw in the All Star Mile too), and on paper, this is the 3YO shitfight of the season – Alligator Blood venturing down from the Sunshine State, and the highly exciting Kiwi Catalyst crosses the ditch after winning 6 straight.

And Dalasan is there too.

On paper, it looks likely to be a quality punch-up between a Queenslander and a Kiwi, so I can only think that Brad Thorn must be thoroughly confused as to who to support.

The market is pretty darn tight – $2 for Gator versus $2.80 for Catalyst, which is mostly a show of confidence that the Kiwi is going to pull a Kiwi and fly from last to win.

The tactics from the Vandyke team have declared the Gator intends to lead from Barrier 1, while Catalyst will be spotting him a decent start, which might prove the difference.

I have seen the question asked – Is he strong?

Listen bud, he’s got Alligator Blood.

Can he swing, from a web?

No he can’t, he’s a horse you fool.

Libertini (No.4, Barrier 11) in Race 7 at Randwick, 3:50pm AEDT

1200m 3YO Fillies Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes

Trainer: Anthony Cummings, Hoop: Tommy Berry, 56kg

I don’t know what a Libertni is – Was it a Martini concocted by Liberace?

Considering Singo owns it, I doubt he’d dabble in any form of alcohol that wasn’t beer.

Looking at the race, and it’s a Cummings family war between Anthony and James in the Light Fingers, which is quite appropriate, considering the great mare won Bart the first of his 12 Melbourne Cups in 1965.

1965 was also the year of Jean Shrimpton’s mini skirt

Bart actually got the quinella with Ziema losing by a lip – He got it again in ’66, with Light Fingers running 2nd to Galilee, who did the Cups double.

Anyway, Anthony holds favouristim with the well-performed Libertini, while James has 1000 Guineas winner Flit, and the returning Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi, 1st Up after she flopped horrifically back in the Spring, although given she won that Slipper on a Heavy track, any questions about Wet track performance are non-existent.

Libertini on the other hand, has had 3 runs on Soft ground for 3 minor placings, one of which was the Coolmore on Derby Day (Behind Bivouac and Exceedance), BUT, she is at the 1200m, which does appear to be her best distance – 4 starts for 3 wins and a 3rd.

So once again, I’m paying no attention to the value on offer, and as Big Gazza says, the favourite is the favourite for a reason!

Special Choice (No.9, Barrier 9) in Race 8 at Ascot, 5:20pm AWST (8:20)

1400m 60+ Rating Handicap

Trainer(s): Grant & Alana Williams, Hoop: W.Pike, 58kg

Time to do what I’ve made a custom, and wait until the end of the day to pick out a Perth horse, so it makes more sense bringing out a post 2 hours past my last pick running, rather than 4.

Fortunately, I’ve found a mug punter’s wet dream – Pike on a Peters owned, short priced favourite in the last of the day.

Special Choice is a very fitting name, considering picking a $1.55 favourite is anything but.

The main reason the filly has ended up so short, besides being commanded by the Unholy Trinity, is her Spring performances.

She won 1st Up, then ran 2nd in the Belgravia Stakes, and a 4th in the Champion Fillies and also in the WA Guineas, which apparently reads very well for a 60+ race against older horses.

What could possibly go wrong, besides everything.

Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

So many people ask me is Crazy Craig really Crazy.
I always say “Possibly.”

LAYING Alizee (No.8, Barrier 1) in Race 8 at Randwick, 4:30pm AEDT

1400m WFA Group 2 Apollo Stakes

Trainer: James Cummings, Jockey: Hugh Bowman, 57kg

How’s it popping kids, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, and I tell you what, I watched the Oscars on Monday, and I’m a bit confused as to how Gary Glitter’s music ended up in Joker!

Did the Seppos not read the news!

That’s like some drongo here making a funny scene in a movie where everyone dances to Rolf Harris!

It’s bloody Crazy knackers, Crazy!

Anyway, speaking of things that don’t make sense, Alizee is favourite for the Apollo Stakes on Saturday, being ridden and trained by a guy named James, but the last time I checked, she wasn’t very good in the Expressway!

And it’s wet as well!


Now don’t get Crazy Craig wrong, Alizee is a good horse, BUT, on a wet track, and with strange characters like Dreamforce, Happy Clapper and Verry Elleegant (Good mudder) in the field, I’m brave enough to say, YOU AREN’T WINNING THIS ONE, JAMES!


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

I liked Gary Glitter as a kid.

He liked me as well.

A bit too much, apparently.

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