Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 7th March

Instead of selling sand to the Arabs, we’re selling toilet rolls to the Aussies

Gazza receives the bad news that a favourite has gone under at Tamworth

I can understand why everyone’s stocking up on toilet paper – I also have to go through 8 rolls of Sorbent after drinking a Corona.

As stores across the country set up toilet roll black markets, it’s a long weekend for a majority of Australians, and the Randwick Guineas headlines a loaded Randwick card (Full of Slipper contenders), and at Flemington, the 157th Australian Cup and the 147th Newmarket Handicap are the last Melbourne Group 1s of the Autumn.

I have a unique fact for you, there’s only 2 races at Flemington with a maximum of 24 starters – The Melbourne Cup is the first… the Newmarket is the other.

Touching back on that Randwick meeting, take a look at the field for the Canterbury Stakes…. For a Group 1 field, it looks like something you’d use toilet paper to clean off.

The most generic Sydney Group Race field in the history of the word ‘generic’

The only thing more hilarious than that lot running around is the ICC not scheduling a reserve day for the Semi Finals of a major tournament.

It was only in Sydney in the Autumn, nobody in the known universe could foresee it pissing down all day….

Other than that, it’s also the weekend for the Black Opal and the Canberra Cup in our nation’s capital, and on Monday, it’s the race they gave every Croweater the day off for – The Adelaide Cup.

I wonder which Victorian raider will romp to victory this year.

Muntaseera (No.2, Barrier 5) in Race 1 @ Flemington, 12:20pm AEDT

1200m 2YO Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes

Trainer(s): Maher and Useless, Hoop: Jye McNeil, 55kg

Climbing Everest = A bit of a challenge, unless you’re Sir Edmund Hillary.

Betting on a 2-year-old race up the Flemington Straight = Next to impossible.

As we kick off Australian Cup Day at Flemington, Muntaseera has been matching it in far stronger company this Autumn, running 2nd in the Fillies Blue Diamond Prelude, and then running 5th in the Blue Diamond itself, after drawing wide and being one of the many runners sucked into the black hole that took down every backmarker at Caulfield that day.

They’re holding the All-Star Mile at The Heath next weekend… I look forward to 9 leaders winning on the card.

Most likely under instructions from whichever Sheikh owns her, Muntaseera stayed in Melbourne instead of going to Sydney and beating up on the inflated runners up there, and it appears to be a good move – She’s got the strongest form lines, and on face value, this looks like an attempt from Mr Maher to add a bit of cheap black type to her breeding resume.

Wild Planet (No.10, Barrier 5) in Race 5 at Flemington, 2:45pm AEDT

1400m Listed March Stakes

Trainer(s): Team Hawkes, Hoop: Dwayne Dunn Nothin’, 54kg

A sign we’re living on a Wild Planet (Source: Facebook)

Welcome to the Chalk Eaters, where I give you 2 picks at Flemington on a major Saturday, and neither of them are Group 1s.

That’s the kind of sixth rate service I offer my viewers – I hope you feel as thoroughly disappointed as I do every week.

On to the horse, and former Scone Guineas winner Wild Planet returned in the 1100m Rubiton at Caulfield, and was a classic luckless run to finish 7th, then he jumped up to the Group 1 WFA Futurity at 1400m a fortnight back, and on a day where making up ground was about as likely as me writing something actually humourous, he fought on well in a checked run to finish 4th, still a couple of lengths behind Streets of Avalon.

He does appear to be suited to Headquarters – 3 starts for a win and 2 runner-up efforts, and with the 5 kilo drop back to a Listed Handicap, this appears to be some solid placement by the Hawkes trio.

Shared Ambition (No.8, Barrier 7) in Race 8 at Randwick, 5:05pm AEDT

2000m Listed Quality Randwick City Stakes

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: James McDonald, 55.5kg

This was almost The Gabster hat-trick – No.8, Barrier 8 in Race 8.

Inverloch’s scratching ruined everything.

Chris Waller’s Irish import Shared Ambition made quite a splash last Spring in his first Australian prep, winning twice with a leg in the air at Caulfield, and then winning at the Flemington 2800m on Cup Day – He was the shortest priced favourite on the card, so I obviously picked him.

Given those staying wins and the room for growth still on offer (5 starts from 7 wins), one would assume Mr Waller’s long term aim is a Cups assault.

An interesting note about Shared Ambition is that despite racing and winning at the staying distances, he’s never run over 2000m in his career.

He’s run and won at 1800, 2100, 2200, 2400, 2800 – But never 10 furlongs.

Still, he’s raced 2nd Up twice before, and won both times, and with his very good return of 4th at the unsuitable mile of Warwick Farm 3.5 weeks back, (And a turnover trial since), he’ll be stripped down and ready to rumble with a win either tomorrow, or when he eventually gets to 2400.

Token Ascot Tip

Special Choice (No.7, Barrier 6) in Race 9 at Ascot, 5:55pm AWST (8:55)

1400m 60+ Rating Graduation Handicap

Trainer(s): Grant & Alana Williams, Hoop: Chris Parnham, 57.5kg

I’m still not sure if it’s possible to pick a runner in the last at Ascot when Pikey is off riding in Melbourne, but here we go, it’s time for an expensive science experiment.

The filly Special Choice ran 4th in both the Champion Fillies and the WA Guineas last spring, and 1st Up this prep on the 15th of Feb, she went around at the glorious tomato sauce odds of $1.60, only to suffer the fate of many Ascot backmarkers, getting belted about 400 times on the turn, finally getting out when the race was in the keeping of Sophie’s Song, and running a flashing 2nd.

I seem to remember picking Special Choice that day, so my judgement is still absolutely top notch.

Being a Peters horse (By Redoute’s Choice if you don’t mind), she’s got enough quality to redeem herself straight away, staying at the 1400m and dropping half a kilo, although that said, Uncle Bob has bought a few letdowns in his time.

Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

LAYING Tagaloa (No.1, Barrier 7) in Race 2 at Randwick, 1:15pm AEDT

1200m Group 2 Todman Stakes (2YO C&G)

Trainer(s): Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young, Jockey: Michael Walker, 55.5kg

Happy long weekend cobbers, it’s Crazy Craig, The Boy From Bairnsdale, and for the last 4 decades, I’ve marketed myself as the craziest bastard in the Macedon Ranges….Until this week, when I saw the rush to get every bloody roll of toilet paper in town.

I’ve had to use bloody sandpaper to do my business in the thunderbox this week, and let me tell you cobbers, it’s been coarse IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!

Lasting pain notwithstanding, I’m heading up the Princes Highway this Saturday to take a look at the very interesting 2YO action at Royal Randwick, as Blue Diamond winner Tagaloa races the WRONG WAY for the first time.

I haven’t paid any attention to the Sydney juveniles, but I noticed that he’s up against a horse called FARNAN!

Will someone bloody well tell Whispering Jack to STOP MAKING COMEBACKS – I bought tickets to his final farewell show 16 years ago, and it turns out it was only his 246th to last comeback show!

He’s CRAZY I tell you!

Anyway, the market appears to have been narrowed down to the aforementioned Waterhouse-trained Silver Slipper winner, the Blue Diamond winner, and Silver Slipper runner-up Global Quest, and with the heavy ground the only certainty of the day, I just have to PICK AGAINST TAGALOA, given how well Farnan won that Rosehill race in the slop!

Maybe after tomorrow, we’ll have a clear favourite for the BIIIIIG 2-year-old punch-up in a fortnight, and if my expert analysis is correct, it’ll be from Tulloch Lodge!

So there you go cobbers, have a good weekend, Tagaloa is my LAY. OF. THE. DAY.

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

Craig, I thought YOU of all people would realise that the current Melbourne 2YO form is superior….

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