Horse Racing

The Chalk Eaters Guide: 19th December

Did you hear Rudolph got transferred to Gai Waterhouse…. No wonder he’s always trying to find the lead of Santa’s sleigh

Pictured: Me at 10am on the 25th after cracking my eighth Swanny D

So with two selfish wankers from the Insular Peninsula ruining Christmas for millions of Australians, it’s time for me to make things even worse with the Christmas Special Chalk Eaters for 2020!

If New South Wales really is the gold standard of contact tracing, then I’m the Gold Standard of tipping short-priced winners.

Of course, the big story in the great game this week is Chapter 458 of Racing Victoria vs everyone in the Victorian industry, regarding whip reform and whip-less races, an idea that was put back on the shelf by RV after the Trainers & Jockeys Associations voiced their concerns about using the whip for safety reasons only.

If you ask me, in the spirit of the festive season, if Racing Victoria want to convince their participants to give whip-less races a chance, why don’t they use old Saint Nick as an example of what you can do without a whip – That fat old slob has been riding his reindeer hands and heels since Coca Cola conjured him up in 1931, and you don’t see animal welfare groups complaining about him… Probably because they’ll get coal in their stocking.

And, what does it matter if they actually use it, the folks in Victoria are still going to regard them as a bunch of clowns.

So looking ahead to Saturday, and there isn’t too much going on – Gawler gets a standalone Saturday card, there’s the usual Saturday races at Woyal Wandwick (With TWO Highway races) and Flemington, minus a number of noteworthy jockeys who recently rode in Sydney, the Queensland Summer Carnival rolls on with the Listed double of the Gold Edition and the Lough Neagh Stakes, and we round out the day with the usual Wild West cowboy show out at Ascot, headlined by the Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes, the last major lead-up race before the Perth Cup in a fortnight.

Obviously Perth Racing couldn’t fathom the hammering the bookies would cop if they put the feature race as the 3rd Leg of the quaddie with William Pike riding a $1.45 favourite (Kingston Town winner Truly Great), so they teased us all and put it as Race 5 at 2:47pm local (5:47 AEDT), which is probably turnover related.

Those sneaky buggers.

Bartholomeu Dias (No.3, Barrier 3) in Race 1 at Flemington, 12:55pm AEDT

2600m Seppelt Salinger Handicap

Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, Hoop: John Allen, 56kg

Obviously the grog from the VRC Christmas party is already affecting the scheduling department…. Who puts a staying race first up on a Saturday?

According to a quick search of The Google, Bartolomeu Dias was a 15th century Portuguese explorer who was the first European to discover the southern tip of Africa and round the Cape Of Good Hope, establishing a new direct trade route from Europe to India and the Far East.

Bartholomeu Dias probably covered the length of Lisbon to Hong Long last start at Moonee Valley, after getting caught in the dreaded 3-wide no cover, fighting on finish just 2.2L behind the winner One More Try, albeit in 8th place.

True story, two starts ago I backed Bartholomeu Dias in the coveted Kyneton Cup the day after the Melbourne Cup, and I still have no idea how he didn’t win, because Jordy Childs gave him a gun run just off the speed, he timed his run superbly, looked to have Mongolian Marshal done to a dinner on the turn with how well he was travelling, but somehow the Croweater got the bob in an out of sequence finish, with Double You Tee running a narrow 3rd by a long neck.

This will be Bart’s 4th run this prep, he draws a good gate, and obviously he hasn’t been tested beyond 11 furlongs, nor has he won on a Good track, but I’d point that back in Old Blighty, he did win at 2500m and placed at 2800m on the Synthetic, which suggests that he will stay 2600m, and now that I’ve said that, watch out for a horse in blue silks dropping out the back with 200m to go.

Still, creatures named Bart have often gone alright at Flemington… They’ve also gone alright on Millionaire Hot Seat.

Accountability (No.8, Barrier 4) in Race 4 at Randwick, 2:25pm AEDT

2000m BM88 Handicap

Trainer: Chris Waller, Hoop: James McDonald, 56kg

So last week I tipped Accountability at Randwick, then he got scratched on race morning, so as per usual, I had no Accountability on this website.

Let’s see how many more accountability jokes I can smuggle in

Now it seems that Accountability is going around again at the 2000m and slightly up in benchmark, so in an effort to change my error-riddled ways, I’ve decided that I need some Accountability on this website, so here we go again.

Ruuca (No.16, Barrier 12) in Race 7 at Doomben, 4:12pm AWST

1110m BM85 Handicap

Trainers: Toby & Trent Edmonds, Hoop: Robbie Fradd, 54kg

“My name is Ruuca, I live on the second floor, I live upstairs from you, yes I think you’ve backed me before”

Yes, I am absolutely aware what the song is about

Now if my friend ‘The Critic’ from the Waterford TAB is around the mark from his days of backing Robbie Fradd in Hong Kong (Fairy King Prawn against Sunline in 2000 the standout story), this race will go something like this.

The Fraddster will either take Ruuca back or try and sit midfield from the wide barrier, run up arses in the straight trying to save ground, claim that bad luck and the barrier cost the horse a shot at a win, while people angrily throw form books at him.

That said, Ruuca (Who lives on the second floor) settled last and showcased some superb talent to storm home and win last start under Fradd, and looks well placed to go close again a month between runs, and with the recent blast of La NiƱa bringing heavy rain to Queensland and leaving Doomben at Heavy 8, I should note that Ruuca does have a Heavy track run and win on the board as a 2-year-old at Ipswich in April last year.

I’ll be honest, I only put Ruuca in so I could make that joke about his name sounding like a Suzanne Vega song, so as Suzanne would say, just don’t argue anymore.

Piss Poor Perth Punting

The countdown is well and truly on to the New Years’ Classic, better known as the Perth Cup, and one of the last major lead-up races to Laurie Connell’s favourite race is the Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes over 2100m, the race that was once called the CB Cox Stakes and run over 2400m, before they cut it back in accordance with the change in distance for the Cup, and the name change came in 2017 to recognise Mr van Heemst, who led the West Australian Turf Club for several years, and still owns Lynward Park Stud.

I think the other reason they changed it from the Cox Stakes was because people would look up the results in Google and always get redirected to Cox Plate results.

The other major event of the day at Ascot, which is in Belmont by the way, is NOT the Listed Starstruck Classic, but the last on the card, which would’ll notice contains the word ‘Pikey’.

The backstory is William Pike wanted to find a good way to say thanks to everyone in WA (And indeed the world) for supporting him through a hectic spring & summer in Victoria and during the recent Perth Carnival, so he decided to sponsor a race and give a bit back to his disciples.

Hence, in the traditional Pike In The Last timeslot, we have the PikesaysthanksWA Handicap.

He truly is a Wizard of the people.

Dig Deep (No.1, Barrier 3) E/W in Race 9 at Ascot, 5:15pm AWST

1400m BM72+ PikesaysthanksWA Handicap

Trainers: Dan & Ben Pearce, Hoop: William Pike, 60.5kg

Look, I figure Resortman will go close to winning this after somehow losing last week, so I’ll just have a laugh and take the Each-Way on Dig Deep, and see if this happens again:

Crazy Craig’s Christmas Tip Of The Day

A traditional Australian Christmas song

Kordia (No.12, Barrier 5) E/W in Race 9 at Randwick, 5:40pm AEDT

1200m BM88 Heineken Handicap

Trainer: James Cummings, Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Ho ho ho kiddies, it’s Crazy Christmas Craig, the Boy From Bairnsdale, and let me tell you a Christmas tradition of mine, because you’ll be laughing so hard you’ll think I really am CRAZY!

I like to buy $30 worth of scratchies from the newsagency, but I don’t actually take them home with me, so instead, I just tell the newsagent to give them all to the first bastard who walks in and looks down on their luck!

It may cost $30, but the look on their face is PRICELESS!

Moving on from my craaaaazy Christmas traditions, I figured I’d smuggle in one last border run into New South Wales before those typical Northern Beaches snobs and their lack of isolation get the Princes Highway closed down again, so I’m off to Royal Randwick dressed in my Sunday worst, fridge padlocked to stop Crazy Colin’s beer thievery, and I’m going hunting for VALUE!

Kordia for the Cummings/Godolphin yard is 1st Up after a couple of quiet trials, resuming from a winter campaign that ended on the first day of the new season (1st August), his only run as a 4-year-old, and he seems to be the type of nag that’s at his best when FRESH, which explains why his runs are a so spaced out.

As it stands, he’s had 6 starts for 3 wins, and broken down further, he’s had 2 runs 1st Up for a win and a 2nd Place!

That would validate that theory!

And, with the classic Sydney Soft track form back in vogue like Crazy Colin’s culinary skills, Kordia has ticked off the wet track question with a win at his only Soft run, plus a runner-up performance behind Man Of Peace on the Heavy in his last run, although that probably won’t matter with the rain staying away in Sin City, which will probably lead to a track upgrade.

So all up, I reckon with McEvoy belting the ears off the little fella, we can scrounge at least a Top 3 finish out of this one, so for no good reason at all, Kordia gets my pick of the day!

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

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