Based on a series of plausible events in a regional Victorian town
Well friends and strangers, the dreaded month of October is here, daylight savings are about to start, and this shitshoot of a Spring Carnival is about to get a major injection of Group 1 racing, with a bit of Elephant Juice on the side thanks to Laurie Connell, because there’s four Group 1s across the locked down capitals of Australia.
The Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, featuring Verry Elleegant vs Incentivise, in what will be the last meeting at Headquarters until Derby Day, and at Randwick, it’s Super Saturday, the day that used to be the highlight of the Sydney Spring Carnival before the prize money pissing contests began in 2017, starting with the Flight Stakes for the fillies, the feature Epsom Handicap, and The Metropolitan, which rivals the Perth Cup as being the worst staying race in Australia.
There’s 17 horses in that Metrop field, and I can guarantee you a good portion of them will go to Melbourne and achieve absolutely nothing, because 99% of our stayers are legends in their own lunchbox….
Which is something I can relate to.
In amidst the sea of Group 2s that are also on tomorrow, the other races of importance include The Bart Cummings, in which the winner gets ballot exemption for the Melbourne Cup, and over here in McGowanville, there’s the Kalgoorlie Cup out in the Goldfields, which will reap the soul of many a Perth resident that dares travel inland in search of a good time.
So on that note, it’s on to ‘Crazy’ Craig for his Picks of the Day, and accompanying him as always, it’s the familiar sound of Cliff Richard covering Ruth Brown, because he’s got LUCKY LIPS!
Pick of the Day: Verry Elleegant (No.4, Barrier 5) in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington (MR7), 3:45pm AEST
2000m Group 1 Set Weights & Penalties
Trainer: Chris Waller, Jockey: Damian Lane, 57kg
Hello hello everyone it’s Crazy Craig the Boy From Bairnsdale, and in this weekend full of doom and gloom, I think we need to look at the positives of this hole we Victorians now find ourselves in….
WE’RE NUMBER ONE AT SOMETHING, TAKE THAT NEW SOUTH WALES!
In fact, with the way the Big V was looking after yesterday’s case numbers, I wasn’t sure who was going to better handle the jump up to 2000….
Incentivise in the Turnbull Stakes, or the Andrews Government!
So on that note, let’s take a look at the Turnbull featuring the Queenslander from Queensland, because it looks like being a compelling fight between the 9-time Group 1 winner (And 2020 Turnbull winner) Verry Elleegant, following the same Chris Waller progression that Winx followed on the way to her last 2 Cox Plates, and Incentivise, now up to 7 consecutive wins after his major breakthrough in the Makybe Diva Stakes, and with Spanish Mission not coming to Australia, he’s now the only horse in the Caulfield Cup futures market that’s in single figures!
How crazy is that!
As expected, both VE and Incentivise are pretty much on their own private island in the market for the race ($2.35 vs $2.80), considering every other runner (Besides Sir Dragonet) has a HEART AS BIG AS A PEA, but after careful consideration with Crazy Colin following a night of solid drinking with beer that he ‘acquired’ from the bottle shop, I’ve settled on the reigning Caulfield Cup winner for a couple of reasons:
- She’s recorded 5 wins and a 2nd from 6 previous starts 3rd Up
- Class runner of the field and that’s a FACT.
- Flemington looks set to be around a Soft 5/6 on Saturday with this huge dump of rain, and the Zed mare does her best work on rain-affected tracks, although so does Incentivise when you look at his record.
4. I’m not all there, don’t you worry about that!
So all up, what a great race it should be – Chris Waller vs Peter Moody, Incentivise out in front controlling the speed, Verry Elleegant giving chase just behind, with the win coming down to a battle of wills as they hit the clocktower, but if my Lucky Lips are true, then Verry Elleegant will salute as my PICK OF THE DAY.
Each-Way Pick of the Day: Icebath (No.7, Barrier 14) in the Epsom Handicap at Randwick (SR8), 4:05pm AEST
1600m Group 1 Handicap
Trainer: Brad Widdup, Jockey: Robbie Dolan, 52kg
On to the Each-Way pick in the time-honoured Epsom Handicap over the Randwick mile, and with the handicap conditions there’s at least 14 live winning chances out of 17 horses, but given this is the Each-Way pick, I figured I’ll go for a mare who is consistent in big races without winning, and that’s dear little Icebath, who ran 4th just last week in the Golden Pendant.
In case you don’t know, Icebath ran 2nd in the Golden Eagle last year after hitting the line in unison with Colette, but the Godolphin mare got the chocolates in a nice tight finish at Rosehill:
HOWEVER, the race of greater relevance is the Doncaster Mile back in the Autumn, because Icebath drove home along the rail grabbed the lead in the final furlong, but only just got nutted late by another James Cummings trained horse in Cascadian!
The Top 3 from the Doncaster (Dalasan was 3rd) all go around here, but crucially, Icebath (Who carried 50.5kg in the Doncaster) carries 52kg in the Epsom and gets a big weight swing on Cascadian, who goes up from 53kg to 56kg, and Dalasan goes up from 53 to 55!
I think it was Tom Petty who said the weighting is the hardest part…. Or it was something along those lines, after all, I am CRAZY!
Now, you’ll notice in Icebath’s three runs this prep that she’s been around the mark without winning (3rd, 5th and 4th), but I’d point out that all of those runs were on Good tracks, and there is a small amount of rain forecast for Sydney overnight, and if you’ve ever seen Randwick after a small amount of rain, you’d know 1mL would be enough to turn it into a Soft 5, which would be nothing short of ideal for the mare, who’s only missed the placings once from 9 runs on rain affected tracks!
The other facet of the race is that she’s drawn Barrier 14, which is a tricky barrier for some, but recent Epsom history shows that 7 of the last 8 winners of the race have drawn Barrier 10 or wider, including last year when Probabeel won from 15, Kolding won from 12 in 2019, and Hartnell won from 10 in 2018, so I’d expect Robbie Dolan should be able to find the back of a runner and get a cart into the race, and there’s plenty of good runners out wide to choose from…
The favourite Riodini from 15, Mo’unga from 13, Hungry Heart from 10, you can’t go wrong Robbie!
SO GO ON ICEBATH, RUN YOUR GUTS OUT ONCE AGAIN AGAINST THIS PEA-HEARTED LOT, BECAUSE YOU’RE MY VALUE PICK OF THE DAY.
So that’s all from me, enjoy your Saturday and remember to wind your clocks forward before you go to bed tomorrow night, and remember, I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me CRAAAAZY CRAIG!
Categories: Horse Racing