Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 1st August

Happy Birthday To All The Nags of the Southern Hemisphere!

The greatest man vs horse contest since Jesse Owens in North Dakota

Well friends and weirdos I’ve never met, get ready for a strange new racing season of favourite backing, with the same old dodgy crap from the same old dodgy characters, although the added bonus for the serfs like me is that we can now watch the same old dodgy crap on both Sky 1 and Sky 2 without the annoying fee.

It’ll still be annoying watching Perth races get moved to Sky 2….. All that extra effort lifting my finger.

Anyway, it’s been a wild week – Queensland jockey Chris Whiteley got 2 months off for a classic pull up job at Cairns (Ol’ Archie Butterfly had himself a field day), and in a major story, Hugh Bowman got 6 weeks for careless riding in causing the Hot ‘N Hazy fall last weekend, which is in line with other serious careless riding suspensions, and his relatively clean record helped his case, but when you consider the effects of that careless riding (Andrew Adkins seriously injured and the horse euthanised), and the fact that the biggest annual period of Australian racing is just around the corner, it seems a bit light.

Still, it is rather quirky that one jockey gets suspended for not giving his horse every chance, while the other gets done for getting too aggressive giving his horse a chance.

Of course, the Adkins situation is topical, because this Saturday is the National Jockeys Trust Celebration Day, remembering all jockeys who have been killed or injured in falls.

It does get lost in the heat of emotion, but the basic fact of life is that race riding still remains one of the most dangerous professions on the earth.

Brave brave little buggers.


Kordia (No.7, Barrier 3) in Race 3 at Randwick, 12:55pm AEST

1300m ATC Thank You Jockeys Handicap (BM94)

Trainer: James Cummings, Hoop: Kathy O’Hara, 52kg

Kordia was 2/2 to start his brief career after debuting as a 4-year-old, before having to go back from a wide barrier did him in last start at Rosehill, as he simply gave away too big of a start and ran on for 4th, doing enough to suck us all back in again.

There may be the likes of Noble Boy and Man Of Peace in this field, who have both scored wins in the last month, but I’m stupid and cocky enough to declare that with the 52 kilos on a Heavy track in a small field, the now 5-year-old has enough upside to top them both.

The boys and girls wearing Royal Blue probably have some bigger fish to fry in the Spring for Kordia, but for the time being, they’ll have to go close to winning Race 3.


Wilmot Pass (No.10, Barrier 2) in Race 6 at Moonee Valley, 3:50pm AEST

1200m Remembering Mikaela Claridge and Melanie Tyndall Handicap (Bm84)

Trainers: Anthony & Sam Freedman, Hoop: Jamie Kah, 56kg

On this a day to remember fallen jockeys, the end of August will mark a year since Mel Tyndall died at Darwin on August 30, and not even 2 days later, Mikaela Claridge died in a trackwork fall at Cranbourne.

As for the race named in their memory, the Freedman brothers have made a habit of training in partnerships lately – Lee and Anthony trained together, Richard and Michael are together up in Sydney, and now Anthony teams up with his son Sam that can continue on his winning way when he contests the Benchmark 84 Handicap (1200m).

The now 5YO recorded his 3rd win from 8 starts up the Straight Six at Flemington on July 18, giving Jamie ‘Choo Choo Chugga Chugga Big Red ’ Kah a 2/2 record on the gelding.

You could argue Wilmot Pass is the best horse in the race in terms of ability, but it is Moonee Valley, so I completely expect the shit to hit the fan and the favourite to get caught up in running.


Fulmina (No.4, Barrier 4) in Race 8 at Randwick, 4:10pm AEST

1800m ATC Thank You Trainers Handicap (BM78)

Trainer: Mark Newnham, Hoop: Tom Sherry, 56.5kg (a3)


Ah, young Tom Sherry, the 3-kilo apprentice who routinely gets mistaken for Tom Berry.

Of course, Steve Perry from Journey wrote a hit song about young Tom, albeit 20 years before he was born.

Ohhhh, Sherry.

Fulmina drops a furlong and returns to Fillies & Mares grade after her last start 4th at the Rosehill 2000m, when she got caught on speed in the dreaded 3-wide no cover, and after jumping at $2.20, Sherry could only battle on fairly to miss the paying placings.

With Sherry’s 3kg claim, she drops down to 53.5 on a heavy track, I suppose the low draw will probably help, and I suppose it’s a question of whether or not young Tommy can sit back and get a trail with clear running.

I hope he does, or else I’ll look like a bigger dickhead than usual.


The Piss Poor Perth Punting Part

Given his success this past season, it was fitting that William Pike won the last metropolitan race of the season, which was titled ‘Congratulations William Pike’, riding a horse owned by Bob Peters, trained by Grant & Alana Williams, and backed into $2.10.

Photo: Western Racepix

Of course, the big news for Pikey is that he’s hitting the Eastern Seaboard this Spring to hopefully ride Schabau in the Melbourne Cup… if we even get that far.


Silkinize (No.10, Barrier 5) in Race 8 at Belmont, 4:35pm AWST

1000m Amelia Park Handicap

Trainer: David Harrison, Hoop: W.Pike 55.5kg

I tried this 1000m race gambit with Long Beach a few weeks ago, and somehow it worked, because Pike simply sat off the speed, peeled wide and ran over the top of the leaders in another Pike in the last moment.

Apparently the faithful have got a similar feeling with Silkinize, who by pure coincidence ran 2nd in that Long Beach race, in what was a very game run after being hung out wide the entire run.


Crazy Craig’s Tip of the Day

Musical Hint: A random song with the title of ‘Happy Birthday’

LAYING Victoria Star (No.6, Barrier 7) in Race 1 at Moonee Valley, 12:35pm AEST

1600m Support Living Legends Horses Birthday

Trainer: Greg Eurell, Jockey: Craig Newitt, 56kg

Wassup friends, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, and while we’re all celebrating the birthdays of our beloved nags, guess what?

IT’S CRAZY CRAIG’S BIRTHDAY NEXT WEEK!

Yesssss, I was born on the 8th of August – 8/8!

The Chinese would consider me lucky!

Fair to say it’ll be the biggest piss-up of 2020 that nobody will be invited to!

Anyway friends, I’m taking a look at the old ‘Death’ Valley, traditional starting point for the Melbourne racing season, and on the first race on the card, I’m taking on the $1.90 favourite!

Why would you do a thing as dumb as that, Crazy Craig?

Because I think he’s VULNERABLE!

3rd at Caulfield, 3rd at Flemington in the Winter Championship, yet he’s come up in the red here after drawing wide, and there’s a good chance he’ll get caught out by on-pace bias!

As always friends, I’m prepared to be wrong for the sake of comedy, so to old Froggy Newitt and Greg Eurell, I say a very sporting BRING IT ON!

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


One final happy note – Krystal Bishop retired from race riding to take up training, and had her final ride at Balaklava on Wednesday.

Believe it or not, she went straight to the front on Exalted Traveller, and in a fairytale ending, led all the way and won!

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