Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 24th October

A Grand Final weekend where I’m punting on a Moonee Valley Group 1 on the Friday – 2020 has changed nothing

“What an idiot!” – Mitch Manners, describing this blog

So it seems this weekend is some kind of once in a lifetime mother of all sporting weekends – The Cox Plate, the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, the prestigious Sale Cup, and the coveted Northam Cup on Sunday evening.

Of course, thanks to the dual Cox Plates in 1946, this is the 100th edition of the Weight For Age Championship of Australasia, despite it first being run in 1922, as we eagerly await to see who will join luminaries like Shamus Award, Pinker Pinker, Maldivian, Surfers Paradise and Leonard as Cox Plate winners.

And, in case you missed it, Magic Wand is out, which means Buckhurst, who originally got the arse for the token 3YO Grandslam, is in the field.

It makes Nick Williams cracking the shits on Tuesday look bloody funny in hindsight.

Obviously with no crowds and Darryl Braithwaite this year, if you ask me, in the COVID-safe future, they should just stick on the replay of Bonecrusher vs Our Waverley Star in 1986 to warm up the crowd before the Cox Plate goes around.

A bit of Bill Collins to get the blood pumping.

And on another note, there’s something on at Randwick, but The Everest is over, so who gives a rat’s tossbag, and over here in Wait Awhile, we’ve got the Belgravia Stakes on, featuring our little gun Clairvoyance, who will be saying “Tata” to this field.

So let’s get stuck into it, and be warned, for those taking the great risk of punting on the old Death Valley…


The Australian MotoGP would’ve been on this weekend… Phillip Island would’ve more than lived up to the reputation of being the Gateway To Hypothermia.

Young Werther (No.6, Barrier 3) in the Moonee Valley Vase (MR6), 2:15pm AEDT – SCRATCHED at 12:40pm AEDT

2040m Group 2 Drummond Golf Vase 3YO SW

Trainer: Danny O’Brien, Hoop: Damien Oliver, 57kg

From the Gallica Digital Library

Apparently that poster is Old Werther.

The Russian Camelot combination of Danny and Damien should be throwing all their eggs in the Young Werther basket, because he’s got a far more live chance of winning at the Valley on Saturday than the Cossack.

A mere 2 starts ago on debut, Young Werther was nothing more than a 10/1 1500m maiden winner at Geelong.

The next start, he was a 2.60 favourite in the Super Impose, and barring the classic bad luck, and being greener than Yoda in running, he probably would’ve beaten Khoekhoe, something he’ll get another chance at here, as Danny sticks the winkers on to keep him straight.

Young Werther is the outright favourite for next week’s Derby, and assuming he runs well, that won’t be changing.

As for his so-called rivals, after doing nothing in the Spring Champion, I’m convinced Cherry Tortoni has, as Crazy Craig would say, a heart as big as a pea, a title he’s only previously dropped on Clan O’Sullivan after losing a Golden Slipper.

The Cox Plate pick

After getting on Lys Gracieux to win last year after witnessing that crapshoot of an Underwood a good 3 weeks before the race, I’ve got a big ask fluking back to back Cox Plate victories.

September 29, 2019

Along with Crazy Craig plucking out Regal Power in the All-Star Mile, that’s one of the great Chalk Eaters moments, and trust me, we don’t have many of them.

The E/W on Probabeel (No.13, Barrier 2), MR9, 4:15pm AEDT

2040m WFA Group 1

Trainer: Jamie Richards, Hoop: Kerrin McEvoy, 55.5kg

Look at me – I’ve turned into Crazy Craig doing this.

First of all, it’d be very easy to pick Arcadia Queen, just so I could post that Family Guy William Pike joke and save myself about 15 minutes of writing and editing, but I figured bugger it, we’re Probabeely going to lose, so let’s have a laugh.

Jamie Richards ran 3rd with Te Akau Shark in last year’s Cox Plate, and this year he brings down Epsom winner Probabeel, who sat 3 wide and still proved too good that day at Randwick, and crucially, Kerrin McEvoy sticks aboard comes down to The Valley off the back of his Everest win, to try and claim that elusive Cox Plate and join the cabal of jockeys who have won all of the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.

Neville Selwood, Roy ‘The Professor’ Higgins, Mick Dittman, Pat Hyland, Chris Munce, Jim Cassidy, Damien Oliver and Craig Williams.

As for the 10 furlongs, her only visit to the distance was in the Vinery Stud Stakes back in March, running a narrow 2nd, and if there is a Soft track by 4pm, then I’d feel okay, because she’s got 10 starts for 4 wins 5 seconds on Soft going.

Mares have won the last 5 Cox Plates, but the Kiwis haven’t crossed the Tasman and won the WFA Classic since Gary Hennessy and Ocean Park in 2012.

Russian Camelot will probably win and make me look like a fool, but to paraphrase Monty Python, I’ve come from nothing and I’m going back to nothing, so what have I lost?


Hilo (No.5, Barrier 1) in Race 8 at Randwick, 5:10pm AEDT

1200m BM88 Southern Cross Handicap

Trainer: James Cummings, Hoop: Rachel King, 57kg

Better hope the milk doesn’t expire before 5 o’clock

I’ll be honest, I’ve got no idea why I picked Hilo again, after what he did to me last start.

Piss Poor Perth Punting

I think they call it Piss Poor Perth Punting because that’s how your finances end up once you’re done with the place.

Celebrity Queen (No.8, Barrier 6) in Race 8 at Ascot, 4:10pm AWST (7:10)

1200m 78+ Rating Handicap

Trainer: Grant & Alana Williams, Hoop: Chris Parnham, 56.5kg

Look, it’s a celebrity Queen

Celebrity Queen has been tucked away for the last month, having exploded 1st Up with a heart-stopper at Belmont to nut Cliffs Of Comfort by nothing more than a runny nose, keeping her unbeaten fresh record intact.

This time around it’s a fight of the 2019/20 3YO crop – Celebrity Queen, stablemate Long Beach, Laverrod (On the 7 day back-up), and Cliffs Of Comfort.

You can probably expect Cliffy and Rocket Rod to sit further forward, Long Beach will probably be just off midfield, and I’m expecting Celebrity Queen to sit at the rear, hopefully in clear running, and just fanning out wide and hitting the line well.

This is also assuming Chris is fit to ride, given he sat out Wednesday’s meeting after an incident at Lark Hill on Monday morning, but based on Julio Santarelli’s comments, the most-liked of Neville Parnham’s sons is okay.

Gabby’s Number 8 in Race 8.

As they say, what could go wrong.

Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

True story – Alan Parsons was an engineer on The Beatles’ Abbey Road

Criaderas (No.8, Barrier 6) in Race 4 at Royal Randwick, 2:35pm AEDT

1400m Filante Handicap

Trainer: James Cummings, Jockey: Rachel King, 52kg

G’day folks, it’s Crazy Craig, THE BOY FROM BAIRNSDALE, BACK AGAIN AFTER MY WEEK OFF, and let me tell you, after I heard there was a Coronavirus case in Bairnsdale, I chopped off the modem and headed straight out the back and INTO THE CRAZY CAVE!


So on that note knackers, looking at the forecast, I’m gonna bugger off and punt on a place where it won’t be pissing rain and wind by 8:30 in the morning…


Look at that, at least it’ll only start pissing down IN THE AFTERNOON, which suits me perfectly!

Anyway, what great race this Race 4 is, named after a horse who knew a thing or two about Cox Plate day in Filante!

What a Cox Plate that was in 1996 – She had it won, then along came Saintly to nab her on the post!

As for why I picked Criaderas…

Don’t ask me, I’ve got schizophrenia!

Oh, that’s right, I think getting 10 kilos off Ranier might help, so hopefully we get a nice cheap victory!

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

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