Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 12th December

Hitting the festive season with a total lack of flourish

If one of Santa’s reindeer goes down with colic in the next two weeks, the jolly old fat man should get that guy in as a replacement

You want to talk about getting your heart run over by a Greyhound bus, check out Alan Hanrahan’s luck at Ararat on Tuesday.

He finally managed to get Abraxos, his only horse in work (Which he also owns) into a maiden after getting balloted out time and again.

Somehow, at start 12, at the grand old odds of 126/1, having been beaten by at least 9L at his last dozen starts, Abraxos stormed over the top and won, giving Alan a fair old return…

Only for the stewards to declare the event a no race, because half the 10-horse field had been denied a fair start, which had a material effect on the result.

Abraxos out of Barrier 10

Deadset, if you backed that roughie, you’d give up the game and start spitting at the TV, Gabster style.

So looking at this coming Saturday, and the annual post-Spring track spruce up is done at Woyal Wandwick, and it’s now time for the Doncaster Mile qualifying Group 2 Villiers Stakes, best remembered as that race Takeover Target lost on protest to Honor In War in 2008, sparking the great Sydney riot of January 2008, as angry punters took to the Eastern suburbs streets in anger.

Actually, that may have just been the Indian fans who were seething with rage at Steve Bucknor’s umpiring in the New Years Test.

Elsewhere, after a 10 week break, Eagle Farm is back in action with a bunch of Listed races, the first Flemington meeting since the Cup Carnival sees the crowds back for the Living Legends races, in honour of some of the great thoroughbreds residing in that four-legged retirement village, the Listed Christmas Handicap at Morphetville, and finishing off in Wait Awhile, we have the Listed G.A Towton Cup for some of the donkeys heading to the Perth Cup.

There also might be some added Australian interest for the annual Hong Kong International meeting on Sunday, with Everest winner Classique Legend having his first start in Honkers for Caspar Fownes in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint, although with some of the rough results that Honkers can dish out, I wouldn’t be shocked if an 80-1 pop randomly wins that race and Classique Legend does a Pakistan Star and decides he doesn’t want to race.

Accountability (No.8, Barrier 2) in Race 4 at Randwick, 2:25pm AEDT Updated as of 12pm Saturday – Accountability has been scratched… which means I once again have no Accountability.

2400m Listed Christmas Cup

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: Tommy Berry, 53.5kg

Dunno why I’ve picked Accountability after he semi-flopped at the 2000m last week (Significance won that race and goes around here), because as I mentioned in last week’s Chalk Eaters:

If there’s one thing this website has never had, it’s Accountability.

It’s never had a good editor, either.

Bandersnatch (No.1, Barrier 1) in Race 7 at Flemington, 4:40pm AEDT

1410m BM84 Efficient Trophy

Trainers: Team Hawkes, Hoop: Will Price (a3), 60kg

There’s a couple of former Melbourne Cup winners being honoured on Saturday at Flemington – 2000 winner Brew, 2015 winner Prince of Penzance, 1999 winner Rogan Josh, who is still going strong at age 28, and this particular race is named in recognition of 2007 winner Efficient, the only horse since Phar Lap to win the Melbourne Cup the year after winning the VRC Derby.

It’s also incredible to think that some 13 years after he won the great race, Efficient is still the most recent grey to win the Melbourne Cup.

That said, I can guarantee you a grey horse won’t be winning the race named after Lloyd Williams’ beloved stayer, simply because there aren’t any in the field, with about 90% of the field being a bay, with one chestnut.

So that leaves us with dear little Bandersnatch, who gave everything a feather dusting at Moonee Valley with 3-kilo claimer Will Price producing a cracking ride for the apprentice school video tapes after drifting back in running, which was also the 4-year-old gelding’s first run for John Hawkes and sons after being transferred over from Gerald Ryan’s stables.

Obviously there’s a heap of questions that need asking, like where will he settle from Barrier 1, how will he handle Flemington, will he get the 1400m, but I’d respond by saying this.

You know why they named him Bandersnatch?


Frosty Rocks (No.3, Barrier 2) in The Gateway at Eagle Farm (BR8), 4:52pm AEST (5:52)

1400m 4-year-olds & Set Weights

Trainer: Bjorn Baker, Hoop: Glen Boss, 57kg

Pictured: Glen Boss’ form this season

Ya geddit?

It’s a bunch of Frosty Rocks!

There may be 4 black type races at Eagle Farm on Saturday, but they won’t have the same major prize that The Gateway has – A golden ticket into next year’s Stradbroke Handicap, and it looks like this could be a race in 3.

The cockroach from the south Frosty Rocks off a 1st Up barnstormer, well-fancied local Profit, and Paniagua, the North Queensland winning machine who cost a mere $600 at a tried horse auction, who once again gets the services of Hall of Famer Robert Thompson, the jockey who makes Betty White feel young.

If all goes well, Frosty Rocks will probably roll forward and try to dictate the race, but the problem may not be the horse, but the Caboolture creature riding him.

Bossy has recorded approximately 4 winners from 103 rides in 2019-20, and you have to remember that two of those wins were Bivouac demolishing everyone in a Group 1 Darley Classic, plus Sir Dragonet winning the bloody Cox Plate.

It makes you think that Bossy’s been spending a bit too much time on the singing syrup celebrating those wins.

Still, a strike rate barely touching 4% was enough for Bart Sinclair and the Brisbane Racing Club to roll out the green carpet when he flew in on Friday morning.

They’re a different folk those Banana Benders.

Piss Poor Perth Punting

Here’s a random fact – This Sunday will mark a year since a wild scrub fire broke out at Belmont Racecourse just before Day 2 of the Australia-New Zealand Test got underway.

It really was a strange event…

Usually the only thing on fire at Belmont is Pikey during the winter.

Royal Command (No.3, Barrier 6) in the GA Towton Cup at Ascot (PR8), 4:40pm AWST (7:40)

2200m Listed Handicap

Trainer: Adam Durrant, Hoop: Chris Parnham, 56 kg

The idea of dropping horses from a Group 1 to a Listed race off a 7 day backup would usually get laughed at in the Eastern states, but this is Perth, the place that once thought Laurie Connell and Alan Bond were upstanding businessmen.

On a path to the Perth Cup, Neufbosc and Trap For Fools are the pair making the jump in trip but down in grade, however on paper, the Towton Cup appears to be a race between, shock horror, the Peters horses.

Midnight Blue, named after Lou Gramm’s only hit after he left Foreigner:

And Tattersal’s Cup winner Royal Command, named after the thing the Windsor family have been using to try and get rid of Prince Charles for the last half-century.

Once again, I’m playing with fire by challenging the Wizard to a duel, but I honestly thought there might be a bit of extra value in Royal Command, who does have the runs on the board compared to Midnight Blue, who comes in off the 7 day backup after going down by a nose to Adornment in a BM68, ironically ridden by Pike, who elected to jump off Royal Command to ride Midnight Blue, which probably explains how Lou Gramm’s favourite is currently sitting at $2.60, whereas Royal Command has the services of Kingston Town winner Chris Parnham and sits at $3.30.

You swap the jockeys and you probably swap the prices as well, although another probable reason the weight swing – Midnight Blue drops 3 kilos to the minimum 54, and Royal Command goes from 54 to 57, which is still a reasonable weight for a 7-year-old.

That said, I’ll stick fat with Parnz, and trust that he’ll follow the Bob Peters guideline to riding stayers – Stick midfield and give yourself room to peel out in the straight.

21% of the time, it works every time.

Crazy Craig’s Lucky Lips Tip Of The Day

Ranveer (No.7, Barrier 8) in Race 1 at Flemington, 12:55pm AEDT

1100m 2YO #lovethehorse Handicap

Trainer: Matt Laurie, Jockey: Ben Melham, 59kg

Hello hello hello again, it’s Crazy Craig, The Boy From Bairnsdale, and let me tell you knackers, I think some of those pokies down at the bowlo are RIGGED!

So, I’m not playing on them AGAIN, but I will still be playing the one-armed bandits down at the bowlo, if you get my drift!

Of course you don’t, I’m CRAZY!

Anyway knackers, after my issues with Telecom (Or is it Telstra?) were resolved in a non-threatening kind of way, I’m back punting on races inside of my own state, and donating my winnings to those who need it more than me this festive season, and thankfully we’re back at Flemington, so I reckon I’ve got a chance of jagging one!

Now, I haven’t even looked at the form for Saturday, but I’m going straight to the 2-year-olds in Race 1, and I reckon there could be a horse name to describe Crazy Colin, who is STILL taking my beer on a daily basis…


But, I can’t be bothered backing him, because I might support this debutant Ranveer by WINNING RUPERT, and that’s a pick based on absolutely nothing at all, and I say nothing at all, because there isn’t even a video of his Mornington trial!

But, Crazy Craig, why would you back an unraced 2-year-old when they’re all total and utter headcases, like you and your mate Crazy Colin?

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

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