Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 31st October

This Halloween, I present the horror story of…. THE HORSE TURNED INTO A MAN.

And you thought the Headless Horseman was creepy.

So friends, it’s time for what was once the greatest day of the Australian racing calendar.

Derby Day.

While Melbourne Cup Day has the most meetings across the nation, Derby Day is eternally the higher quality day, by virtue of those 4 Group 1s; The Coolmore Stud Stakes, The Empire Rose, the Cantala Stakes, and the 165th running of the Victoria Derby, which is still younger than the Longford Cup in Tassie.

It seems the effects of the Melbourne lockdown have ensured this year’s Flemington card could quite honestly put a glass eye to sleep.

Seriously, it’s so bad they had to tell the owners to stay away for their own good.

In fact, summing up how much Australia doesn’t give a rat’s tossbag about the Melbourne Cup Carnival anymore, by all reports, the United States Presidental Election is probably holding more money in Australia than the Race That Lasted Stopped A Nation In 2005.

It’s probably bullshit, considering the global Betfair exchange is holding most of that cash, but that sounds absolutely right by 2020 standards.

So looking further away, and Sydney is highlighted by another McRace, The $7.5m Golden Eagle at the Rosehill quagmire, and we’ll see if Peter V’Landys has recovered from the hammer blow of seeing a bunch of Victorian residents win the NRL Grand Final, followed by Scott Morrison flying over his head like a seagull with that national anthem business.

Now, for the record, despite his scratching 7 days ago, I will stick with Young Werther in the VRC Derby, on the basis that Danny O’Brien pulled the same kind of prep last Autumn with Russian Camelot when he was a space age too good in the SA Derby, which should give everyone a degree of confidence- In my untrained view, this field is no better.

So on that note, the jinx is on.

Personal (No.1, Barrier 8) in the Wakeful Stakes at Flemington, 12:20pm AEDT

2000m Group 2 3YO Fillies

Trainers: Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes, Hoop: Damien Oliver, 55kg

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Radio X, you know what I’m talking about.

So with David in Hong Kong, it’s now Dabernig/Hayes instead of Hayes/Dabernig, which is on a par with The Beatles’ first album being credited as McCartney-Lennon, then changing to Lennon-McCartney.

It appears the Damiens/Damians from WA could be claiming the first 2 on the Flemington card for Lindsay Park, with Damian Lane on Aysar in the Carbine Club, and a certain D.Oliver on Personal.

Personal hammered the line in the Thousand Guineas and finished 2nd to the runaway winner Odeon, a run that screamed as an ideal lead up to the 2000m and actually down in grade.

In fact, out of that 1000 Guineas run, Personal was given a 94 handicap rating.

Next best in the Wakeful is the maiden Starelle at 73.

Bearing in mind, this is also a Set Weights race, which conceivably is a huge advantage to the favourite.

As for the chances of Victoria Quay, don’t make me laugh, as a Sandgroper, I can tell you it hasn’t got anything on Elizabeth Quay, cob.

Oh wait, you’re talking about the horse…..

September Run (No.14, Barrier 12) in the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington (MR6), 3pm AEDT

1200m Group 1 3YO Set Weights

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: Craig Williams, 55kg

At the Melbourne Cup start time, it’s the stallion/broodmare-making race formerly known as the Ascot Vale Stakes, which usually turns out to be one of the highlights of the day.

In another wide open field, including the return of Golden Slipper winner Farnan, who Glen Boss has just about declared OTL, the crucial thing that might get September Run making the giant leap for humankind from Listed to Group 1 level is that not only does she have the Flemington Straight experience, she’s a deadset demon in the sheets up the Straight.

After doing nothing 1st Up in Sydney, ‘Chris’ sent her down to Melbourne, and on September 12, September Run ran well in September and flew over Swats That, who went away and won his next 2 starts fairly convincingly, and seriously had offers to run in The Everest from Chris Waller and Aquis, if you can believe Leon Corstens.

Just to back that up, September Run proved that she can run well in October, winning the Poseidon Stakes on Turnbull Day in similar convincing fashion, smashing the last 600m with the aid of a breeze, but still winning very well.

Craig Williams stays aboard after booting her home in both those wins,and it’s up to the lords of bullshit luck to get her home in the Coolmore.

Colette (No.13, Barrier 6) in The Golden Eagle at Rosehill, 4:50pm AEDT

1500m 4YO Set Weights

Trainer: James Cummings, Hoop: Koby Jennings, 55.5kg

Drop the strides gents, it’s Golden Eagle Rock time.

The song that inspired Elton John’s Crocodile Rock

With a Soft 7/Heavy 8 likely for Sydney, I’ll need to look for the horses with swimming prowess on a par with Eric Moussambani, and I think our old friend ‘Toni’ Colette in the Royal Blue fits that description.

In her 3 runs since becoming a 4-year-old, she’s struck a bone dry Good track every time, although that said, she wasn’t disgraced in the Epsom, running 2 lengths behind Probabeel after hitting the line very well.

BUT, more important than being 1/1 on Soft going is that she’s 2/2 on Heavy – The first was the Adrian Knox in April at Randwick, when she won with a leg in the air, and a mere 7 days later, she absolutely romped away to win the Group 1 ATC Oaks, under the urgings of this loose unit.

A 2400m Group 1 win would suggest she wants even further, but I reckon the boys and girls at Godolphin were probably crying with happiness when they saw Mother Nature have a week long sook and unleash a flood of tears on New South Wales and South-East Queensland, turning every racetrack into Australia’s version of the Great Lakes.

Eagle Farm now looks more like Lake Superior.

She’ll get back in the run, even with the inside draw against Funstar and Alligator Blood, and at a solid 6/1, Colette can hopefully pull the finger out and at least run in the Top 3.

Piss Poor Perth Punting

Welcome to Perth, where it’s already 37 frikkin’ degrees at the end of October.

If a pandemic doesn’t kill us, climate change will.

Well, it’s the Black Type double act at boring old Ascot, with the Prince Of Wales Stakes over the dreaded 1000m, and the Asian Beau Stakes, and here’s a fact that’ll leave you shaking in your boots…

Asian Beau still has the Australian record over 1450m, which he’s held since DECEMBER OF 1978.

The obvious reason for that is no sane race club bothers to race over 1450m anymore.

Inspirational Girl (No.9, Barrier 2) in Race 8 at Ascot, 5pm AWST (8pm AEDT)

1400m Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes

Trainer: Grant & Alana Williams, Jockey: Chris Parnham, 54kg

It just wouldn’t be a Saturday in Perth without Mr Peters having a short-priced favourite in a feature race, and that’s what we get with Inspirational Girl, who is one of the fancies for the Railway, bur before we count our chickens before they hatch, she’s got to prove she’s even up to group standard.

On another note, I had a look at the overall Australian Jockeys Premiership last night, and here’s a fact – Chris Parnham is the first rider nationwide to crack 50 winners for the season.


Onya Parnzy.

So on that note, despite sitting at a rock bottom $2.20, will Inspirational Girl get beaten?

Yes, probably.

Will I give absolutely no credit to Cup Night or Red Can Man if they beat her?

Yes, probably.

Crazy Craig’s FRIGHTENING Tip Of The Day

I ain’t afraid of no Ghost-ly Grey!

Admire Robson (No.11, Barrier 4) in The Hotham Handicap, 1:40pm AEDT

2500m Group 3 Quality Handicap

Trainer: Paul Preusker, Jockey: Glen Boss, 56kg

BOO knackers, it’s Crazy Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, with you for this October 31 DERBY DAY SPECIAL, and you know what’s gonna happen if the kiddies knock on my door asking for a Freddo?

I’m going to tell them I was cursed by a witch as a boy, who sent me CRAAAAAAZY!

That’ll turn those munchkins right off their lollies!

Anyway kids, a couple of weeks ago I took a look at the Bart Cummings with the golden ticket in to the Melbourne Cup, and now it’s time for the lucky 24th entry via the Hotham Handicap, the very race that produced the first recorded TRIPLE DEAD HEAT in Australian racing back in 1956!

Fighting Force on the outside, Ark Royal (centre), and Pandie Sun on the rail

You should’ve seen the look on young Crazy Craig’s face when he saw the photo in The Age the next day, mainly because it was the first time he’d ever seen a photo finish!

Anyway friends, in this edition of The Hotham, I’m sticking with my old Japanese mate Admire Robson from The Bart Cummings, a race in which I think he could’ve potentially run Top 3 with a bit of better decision making!



So instead of Boring Old Brett, on goes another old bugger who can boot home a Flemington stayer like few can….


What feasible he’ll actually make to the horse, I have no idea – It could turn out throwing me aboard proves a better fit.

As for these European types that appear to head the market why should I care about them and the fact they’ll probably cream me, I’M CRAAAAAAZY!

So there you have it knackers, Admrie Robson for me!

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

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