Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 9th May

Remembering the trailblazing Darby McCarthy, The Fulla from Cunnamulla

Very sad to hear of Darby’s passing – He, along with the late Frank Reys, were the trailblazers for Indigenous jockeys in the 1960s and ’70s, achieving great success in the face of discrimination, and becoming inspirations for the Indigenous community – Darby would become a great influence for a young Cathy Freeman!

He will be missed.

In other news, Queen Elizabeth phoned Scotty From Marketing for a progress report on the colonies, and among some boring crap about COVID-19, equine enthusiast Lizzy said she was ‘pleased’ to hear Australian racing was still going.

I’ll assume that’s because Her Majesty put the deed to Windsor Castle on Too Close The Sun in the Warnambool Cup, and wanted to know if he was going to shit it in.

He did.

Anyway, much like Billy Snedden, The ‘Bool has come and gone from our minds, and just highlighting the massive comedown, Victorians are being forced to bet at Caulfield.

Caulfield – The Brussels sprouts of Australian racecourses.

So, looking at my Fax machine, tomorrow sees the abridged Brisbane Winter Carnival kick off at Doomben, the Gosford standalone meeting is at Randwick, and the halfway mark of the Adelaide Carnival sees the only Group 1 of the day, the time-honoured SA Derby.

True story – Bart Cummings scored his first major win as a trainer in the 1958 edition with Stormy Passage, the same year he saddled his first Melbourne Cup runner.

It’s Kind Of Magic (No.6, Barrier 1) in Race 5 at Caulfield, 2:15pm AEST

1200m Darren Gauci Handicap (3YO Fillies)

Trainer: Queen Brent Stanley, Hoop: D.Oliver, 58kg

There caaaaaaan be oooooonly ONE!

Talk about all-round hilarity – A horse with a name one letter short of a Queen song, in a race named in honour of THE GAUCH!

It’s easy to see how he pulled Karen from Young Talent Time

Who can forget The Gauch’s cameo appearance in that Ansett racing holidays commerical with Bill Collins in 1984.

Ansett and Bill Collins – Two names that are six feet under

Bill did very well to not just ask that attendant if he could change seats.

As for the horse, It’s Kind Of Magic is at her first run since running in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas on the Gold Coast in January, running 9th to Alligator Blood*.

Still, you’d think she only went up there so Brent and the boys could have a piss-up at Coolangatta.

She also ran 4th (Only 0.5L behind the winner) in the Desirable Stakes for the fillies on Cup Day at Flemington, sitting up on speed and giving a solid kick in the straight, despite being entitled to nod off the moment Xilong took her on.

Anyway, the two jumpouts at Bendigo were good, so she is perfectly capable of going close.

Almadrava (No.10, Barrier 6*) in Race 4 at Morphetville, 1:21pm ACST (1:51)

1050m Holdfast Insurance Brokers Handicap

Trainer: Phillip Stokes, Hoop: Kayla Crowther (a1.5) 54kg with claim

The Gabster always told me don’t bet in 1000m races….

But he never said anything about 1050m races, so that’s good enough for me.

The filly Almadriva is a Mick Kent reject who was sent to South Australia over the course of the New Year after 3 winless runs in Victoria, in seems to be racing’s equivalent of being dropped to the twos.

It obviously worked, because she won a trial easily, and then travelled to Gawler and whipped everyone from the front.

Just looking at the name ‘Almadriva’, I do believe it’s time for another ‘Musical tribute to a runner in Adelaide’.

It’s the redneck national anthem.

Sweet Home Almadriva, where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Almadriva, Lord, I’m coming home to you

Additionally, I had Drop The Pilot by Joan Armatrading:

“Almadriva, try my balloon…”

That Gawler win suggested she can probably measure up in a BM64 field.


Greyworm (No.3, Barrier 8) in Race 8 at Randwick

1200m Listed Quality Takeover Target Stakes

Trainer(s): John Hawkes & Sons, Hoop: Tommy Berry, 59.5kg

Ah, Takeover Target, the greatest rags to riches horse of modern times – Almost euthanised due to repeated leg & joint injuries, purchased for just $1250 and also trained/owned by a Queanbeyan cab driver, and ridden by an unknown jockey with a letter for a first name and a car for a surname.

They all became crowd favourites… except in Hong Kong.

Everyone remembers his Royal Ascot win in 2006, the battles with Apache Cat in 2008-09, but instead, here’s him dry licking the Japanese in the 2006 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama, confirming him as the World’s Best Sprinter.

The Japanese responded a month later by unleashing Delta Blues and Pop Rock on us in the Melbourne Cup, so they got the points in that war.

Now to the favourite for the race, and with Game Of Thrones dying a painful death last year, Greyworm has relished becoming the leading Greyworm in world culture, winning a dependable 8 times (With 4 minor placings) from 14 starts, most recently winning the Hall Mark on the last day of the Randwick Carnival, in a race that contained 4 Group 1 winners.

As a sign of the ghostly grey’s ability, he was the target of Crazy Craig last July, but the Hawkes boys outwitted Craig and scratched the gelding before my colleague could work his dark magic.

Deprive, who butters up tomorrow, finished 4L back in 6th in that Hall Mark, and with the two being at the equal weights, I’m thinking the bigger challenge will come from Snitz.

Greyworm is what the kids call a natural leader, leading all the way in pretty much all of his wins, which is unusual when you remember some of Johnny Hawkes’ champion gallopers – You’d assume he’ll find the front here, but after that, it’s all up to who fate decides to crap on.

Mystery Miss (No.5, Barrier 5) in Race 8 at Ascot, 4:25pm AWST

2100m Eurythmic Stakes

Trainer(s): Grant & Alana Williams, The Wizard, 57kg

A stakes race that doesn’t even cut it for Listed grade.

And it’s named after Eurythmic, one of the great forgotten horses of the ‘early’ 20th Century.

He was bred in Scone, sold to Sir Ernest Lee Steere and sent to Perth, dead-heated the 1919 Perth Cup as a 3-year-old, then went east to be trained by Jack Holt, where he won a hat-trick of Memsie and Caulfield Stakes, the 1920 Caulfield Cup, the 1921 Sydney Cup, and won the 1922 Futurity carrying what we would now describe as 67kg.

His reward after death was getting exhumed and mounted in the WA Museum.

As Phar Lap can attest, only good horses get mounted in museums.

Anyway, it’s only been a month, time to back the Wizard again.

Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

Today’s musical choice from Craig – 50 years to the day since The Beatles released Let It Be.

LAYING Russian Camelot in the South Australian Derby at Morphetville, 4:01pm ACST (4:30)

2500m Group 1 3YO SW

Trainer: Danny O’Brien, Jockey: John Allen

Get back to where you once belong kids, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, CERTIFIED Group 1 operator.

As you all know, I had my doubts about Sunlight last week, but I didn’t realise it was going to end up like THIS!

If you ask me knackers, that’s the biggest example of social distancing in horse racing since Might And Power won the Queen Elizabeth!

Moving on to this week, and I’m once again flaunting quarantine laws to pay a visit to Adelaide, where a Victorian border hopper is at a rather short quote in the Derby!


With the way some of these humdingers on are carrying on, you’d think Dalasan and Warning may as well stay home tomorrow, with big bad Russian Camelot coming to town!


If you look a bit further, all Russian Camelot has achieved this year is beating up a Benchmark 64 field, before getting scratched on ANZAC Day!

His longest run in 1800m – This is 2500m!


And to add to it, he won’t have the services of Damien Oliver, who knows the horse inside out!

John Allen goes aboard, and backing in Johnny Allen is like trusting an NRL player to not do anything stupid during a lockdown!

So, to summarise, beating up a Benchmark 64 field and thinking you’re a Group 1 chance?


Russian Camelot – My LAY. OF. THE. DAY.

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

On second thought, let’s not back Camelot, ’tis a silly price.

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