Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide Review: 31st October

Pictured: Denis Pagan has glory with a King

Since Denis Pagan left North Melbourne in 2002, he’s won 2 wooden spoons and been sacked by Carlton, gone into real estate and from all accounts done very well, then he decides to take up horse training and gets his license at age 70, and after 5 months and still on his provisional license……


Let’s be honest, this was a Benchmark 64 Derby

Pagan only has 2 horses in work because of his license (In fairness to him, they’re now both race winners), and not only was Johnny a 6-start maiden, Lachie King, son of 1991 Cups double winner Steven, had never come close to winning a Group 1.

Pagan had great success with Johnny and a King back in the ’90s, and he’s done it again.

As far as ex-footballers turned horse trainers go, I think Pago, in only 12 races in which he’s entered runners, has now surpassed Darrel Baldock and Mark Bairstow, although he will need a couple of Melbourne Cups to top Robert Hickmott.

And, on a day where a maiden wins the Derby, Shout The Bar wins from next to nowhere, and bloody Yulong, who have gone so poorly in 2020 that they’d be better off racing camels than thoroughbreds, managed to win a bloody Group One.

Now as you can probably gather, despite the fact I somehow plucked out 3 wins and a 2nd placing in the Chalk Eaters on the second-biggest racing day of the year, I was fairly average financially.

Outside of money back for some minor placings, the only collect I actually had was on Rock in the aforementioned Cantala, and bloody hell, that was a great effort from Michael Poy, considering the horse was looking shot at the 800m.

I didn’t back September Run, didn’t back Colette, despite it being one of my more astute picks ever, and as for Inspirational Girl, well, I was too busy watching Richie Mo’unga kick the crap out of the Wallabies.

Also, I noticed in the barrier draw on Channel 10 this afternoon that WA only had 1 town (Busselton) in that nationwide towns Cup sweep….


Typical Vic Bias.

Personal in the Wakeful Stakes at Flemington – 2nd

From 10

Absolutely no regrets about this one – Oliver gave Personal every damn chance in the run, she gave a huge fight in the straight, but Victoria Quay was simply the better horse.

In fact, the favourites in the opening 2 races had similar stories – Aysar had a lovely run in transit but just couldn’t win the 2-horse fight against Crosshaven, and Personal got a similar charmed run, but simply couldn’t eek out enough to win.

As luck would have it, losing by a neck on Tip 1 turned out to be the only defeat of the main Chalk Eaters today, and thank the lord it had to happen early, because sinking on Tip 4 would’ve been one for the ages.

Finally, it’s a strange move from Tony McEvoy to not back up Victoria Quay in the Oaks on Thursday.

Based on that run, she’d go pretty damn well, and there’s every chance being a filly, she’ll lose that spark in the autumn.

September Run in the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington – WINNER

From 10 Sport

In plain old Aussie English…


Some horses get brought undone by the unique nature of the Flemington Straight races, and some take to it like a pig in excrement and struggle everywhere else.

I think we can describe September Run as the second part.

Absolutely perfect performance – Got protection from the wind, never got held up, and Craig Williams unleashed the trademark barnstorming final 600m from the filly, who became only the third girl in the last 10 editions of the Coolmore to win, joining Sunlight in 2018, and Nechita in 2012.

Get her in the Newmarket in March, she’ll give that a huge shake if she’s still progressing along.

On another note, despite Glen Boss’ bold prediction that Farnan could win and win well, the Golden Slipper winner did exactly 3/5ths of 8/10ths of bugger all.

Perfectly living up to the recent trend of Golden Slipper winners doing nothing at 3 – Kiamichi, Estijaab, She Will Reign was the exception, Capitalist, Vancouver…

A very quick snap back for Gai and Adrian after Shout The Bar’s heroics in the Empire Rose.

Colette in the Golden Eagle at Rosehill – WINNER

From Sky Racing




What a top notch race, even if the Sydney weather was nothing short of ordinary.

Koby Jennings gets the call-up to Sydney from the Hunter for the biggest ride of his life on Colette, and he produced a deadset diamond in the rough when the whips were cracking, and young Tom Sherry on Icebath overcame some interference from Bottega at the 300m, picked the gelding up, and was about 10 metres short of an extra $2.6m and the biggest win of his young career.

The irony was Sherry rode home Seagalas for Godolphin earlier on in the day.

Despite a $9.50 winner being the longest-priced winner ever picked by me (Crazy Craig once picked Regal Power at $11) it was another example of me undoing my own work by not backing the bloody thing.

I reckon that was what got Colette over the line – Not having to carry the considerable weight of my financial support.

Inspirational Girl in the Asian Beau Stakes at Ascot – WINNER

Inspirational Girl by name, Inspirational Girl by nature.

She had a poor jump that forced Chris Parnham to ride for luck as he sat fourth from last on the rail most of the way, almost getting caught in Cup Night’s interference while conceding ground to a good’un in Red Can Man, but the runs opened, thanks mainly to Neufbosc running better than expected on his Perth debut, and Too Close The Sun running very well 1st Up.

Then, in that final 100m, the Peters mare showed she’s more than good enough to run in the Railway next month, overhauling Red Can Man and Too Close The Sun in a barnstorming finish.

The other hilarious facet was that Chris beat Brad Parnham, so we absolutely know who gets the top bunk at the Parnham house tonight.

Crazy Craig’s Tip Of The Day

Admire Robson in the Hotham Handicap – Heart as a big as a pea.

Put Admire Robson in Craig’s dreaded ‘Clan O’Sullivan’ file, because Delta Blues and Pop Rock, he is not.

He was absolutely no match for Ashrun, who carried 61 kilos, missed the start, had to sit behind the typical slow speed (What a surprise, it was a Waterhouse horse that lead), and was still good enough to overhaul Sound in another photo finish.

Meantime, what about Sound.

Hahahahahaha, he’s going to be an Aussie maiden forever.

He finally looked like he was going to rip off the dress and step up from being the bridesmaid….

And along came Ashrun to rip his heart, and his Melbourne Cup spot away.

Of course, the funny part, as I previously mentioned off the top, was that Ashrun, despite dropping 8 kilos for the Cup, got Barrier 24.

Conjure up the spirit of Frank Reys boys and girls, you’ll need it.

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