Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide Review: 14th November

Sweet Reply would be a great partner to live with, because she always comes second

I had an inkling that today was going to be tough, and that’s how it played out, as I once again handicapped myself in fine style with some truly silly decision making.

Hang on, am I describing my Chalk Eaters performance today, or is that an All Blacks player reflecting on their defeat to Argentina?

Yes, it’s fair to say I’ve had better performances as recently as this month, even though we didn’t go winless like Caulfield Cup Day, and it’s fair to say the height of the Spring carnival is nothing more than a distant memory.

Obviously Sandown was the revenge of the non-winners, Ascot was turned into a quagmire, Doomben was actually reasonable, but I reckon what summed up the day would’ve been what happened to poor old Strawb in Race 8 at Newcastle.

She was going to jump a clear favourite, but got fractious in the gates and sent Koby Jennings jumping out of the structure, requiring the dreaded VET CHECK BEHIND THE GATES, which is usually a kiss of death for any horse, but instead of giving the people what they wanted, the vet passed her fit to run….

And wouldn’t you know it, Strawb didn’t come with cream, and dropped out badly to run 3rd last.


Sweet Reply in the Sandown Guineas – 2nd

From the Twitter

So there I am, sitting on my backside watching Sky Racing at just past 10am, and up comes the news on the phone…

Apparently it was on the float ride to Sandown.

That undid just about all of my work on Friday, because instead of running 2nd to a horse that had been backed into $1.50, Sweet Reply was sitting at a clear $2.40 favourite, in what was no better than a Benchmark 65 race disguised as a Group 2.

As for the actual race, there was no bad luck for Sweet Reply this time around, as she hit the line very well after settling last, albeit with clear running, and after pairing off with the maiden Alibor, Sweet Reply…..


Besides annoyance, all I could feel was that Aysar would’ve beaten both of them easily.

So on a day where the perennial non-winners like Carif, Sound, So Si Bon and Missile Mantra were getting the chocolates, Sweet Reply managed to make it 5 second placings from her last 6 starts.

Sounds about right.

Ranier in The Hunter at Newcastle – 8th

From the Sky Racing Twitter

You couldn’t say anything positive about Ranier’s performance, which was nothing short of disappointing.

It just looked like he was never travelling well, especially on the corner where he seemed to be under hard riding, whereas Special Reward was travelling soundly in the lead, and Sweet Deal was running like she just needed luck on the rail, she got it, and was a fairly deserving winner of the race.

On another note, I used a Bonus Bet on Fiesta to run a place, and she was always going to need a bit of luck getting back from Barrier 18, and if you notice on the replay (Purple with the white cap), she builds into the straight pretty well, but at about the 300m, gets caught on the heels of Gaulois, then tries going for a run between Gaulois and the fading Chief Ironside, which smashed her momentum, and that was pretty much it.

Too Close The Sun in Race 8 at Ascot – WINNER

From RWWA/Sky Racing

As the rain kept tumbling in Perth, so did the odds for Too Close The Sun, who went into the red by midday when the track was a Soft 7, but went back to $2.20 after the track was downgraded to a Heavy 8 after Race 5 with the persistent rain.

In fact, the last 2 races were on a Heavy 9, in Perth, at this time of year.

It turned out that $2.20 was a gift from heaven, because the conditions were such that Too Close The Sun probably thought he was back at Warrnambool, where the phrase ‘Good 4’ doesn’t exist.

I have to say Azzopardi’s ride was very good – From the extreme outside, Smokin’ Joe managed to sit up running 2nd by the 200m without any difficulty, he put the pressure on the leader just before the corner, took the lead 400m out, and never looked like losing in the conditions, as it looked like about 4 horses actually looked comfortable trying to swim.

The Perth Cup campaign remains alive, and I suppose the great irony is a horse with a Sun in his name not only won on a gloomy day, but he’s also proving a damn good wet tracker.

Snickerdoodledandy in the WA Champion Fillies at Ascot – 5th

From RWWA/Sky Racing

To put it mildly, I don’t think the 3-year-olds are going to make an impact on the Kingston Town this year.

What a craptacular race – The winner pays $21, 2nd was $26, 3rd was $17, and Solaia in 4th was $11.

The first 4 paid $53,157.80.

Poor old Snickerdoodledandy got held up behind the fading runners for a bit too long to make an impact, running on for 5th, but just to rub it in, he rebounded and booted home Celebrity Queen not even 35 minutes later, completing a riding treble.

Crazy Craig’s Lucky Lips Tip Of The Day

Avilius in the Zipping Classic at Sandown – 5th


Death, Taxes and Avilius getting snagged back to the last 4 and having no realistic chance of winning, although if Brimham Rocks and Future Score are running past you and beating you at Weight For Age, it might be time to start thinking about retirement.

It was pretty much a summary of his prep – Things were against him, there was no speed in a race where he got too far back, the surface was a bit too firm, but he just doesn’t seem like the same horse that had a fantastic 2018/19.

Some horses age like fine wine, and he’s aging like milk.

Overall, tactics were the theme of yet another questionable Australian staying race, and the winning move came from none other than Jamie Kah, who has deadset pulled the pants down of her more senior male counterparts in Melbourne so far in 2020/21, and she made a simple mid-race move on Sound to go forward and inject a bit of speed into what was a snail’s crawl of a race.

The expat German had more than enough in the tank to hold off Brimham Rocks, and having not won since May 2018 (909 days) in a Group 2 back home, the perennial bridesmaid was booted home by a bride to be.

It seemed Kah had a thing for booting home bridesmaids today, considering she got Carif home in the Sandown Cup, oddly enough becoming the first Australian-bred horse to win the race since it was moved to 3200m in 2010.

Still, if you think 909 days was a drought, it wasn’t even the longest broken drought today – Tony Gollan got Jonker to win the Keith Noud Quality at Doomben after 1,058 days, and not only win, but thump the 1200m record that had stood since Takeover Target.

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