Well friends, Christmas is over and now we have to wait 3 days for Boxing Day to begin on Melbourne Cup Day, and I had a look back through the Piss Poor Flemington Group 1 Picks that I included in the start of yesterday’s Picks of the Day, and while Tofane and Paulele did stuff all, Alegron ran an admirable 2nd in the Derby, and it turned out my choice of Superstorm in the Cantala Stakes wasn’t so piss poor, as he got up in the finish of the entire bloody day:
Never looked like winning until he did:
Still, anyone who watched the Derby Day meeting at headquarters would say that wasn’t even Damien Oliver’s best Group 1 mile win of the day, because that honour went to Colette flying straight through 3 or 4 horses to win the Empire Rose:
It’s plausible that the reason Colette started $12 despite a big Group 2 win a fortnight ago was simply because Flemington stayed a Good 4 despite the rain… Which prevented her from winning by panels.
But through all the wins today – Hitotsu in the Derby, Home Affairs in the Coolmore, I’m Thunderstruck in the Golden Eagle, Western Empire in the Asian Beau, the most important win of them all was that Crazy Craig’s Pick of the Day SALUTED, and in triumph, we can SOUND THE LUCKY LIPS:
Pick of the Day: Great House in the Hotham Stakes at Flemington = WINNER ($3.50/$1.40p)
James McDonald and Chris Waller took home the first 2 winners on Derby Day, after Fangirl easily won the opener in the old Ingham colours, and this time around Crazy Craig was right on the money with Great House as his Pick of the Day, and I was stunned to see the winner drift the way he did.
Great House was a solid $2.70 an hour before the jump, before he drifted out to $3.60, briefly dropping to the second line of betting behind Mankayan, but Great House he eventually jumped the $3.50 market elect as Mankayan started just a point behind.
As the race played out, the hot speed worked out perfectly for Great House sitting off the midfield, which was exactly what McDonald did with Fangirl, and once I saw it was noted milk drinker Mankayan that Great House had to run down, I felt reasonably confident that the Pick of the Day was going to salute, and despite McDonald having to steady the gelding just before the clock tower, he got over the line and sealed his spot in the Melbourne Cup, having been right on the bubble at 24th in the order of entry.
Well done Crazy Craig, well done Crazy Chris Waller, and well done James McDonald on getting Great House home, and it should be noted that McDonald rode 4 winners at Flemington, the best result by any jockey on Derby Day since Michael Clarke rode 4 winners in 1990.
Lucky Lips all round.
Special VRC Derby Value Pick: Teewaters = 3rd ($6.75 the place)
Before we get on to the performance of Hitotsu, who was plunged so heavily into favouritism that the bookies were buried under an avalanche of money, I want to admire the performance of Teewaters, who turned out to be one of the better Crazy Craig value picks we’ll ever see, which should tell you about the low standards of the Value pick, and my goodness wasn’t this paragraph accurate:
“Now, there’s no debate that Gunstock has Teewaters drowning in a puddle of his own making at the 2000m, but I think the Dundeel gelding might just enjoy the extra 500m on Saturday, and if you look at the barrier draws, Gunstock will have to start from the train station in Barrier 19, and Teewaters has drawn Barrier 4, ensuring he’ll get a fairly comfortable run in transit!”
It was so accurate that not only did Gunstock not even sniff Teewaters in the run, in addition, Teewaters made the most of his economical run in transit to go straight past one-time favourite Forgot You at the top of the straight, and from there Archie Alexander’s gelding just kept on kicking clear of most of the field to eventually finish 3rd by a neck over 91-1 shot Raging Bull, and the pair of them were comfortably the best of the rest behind Alegron and Hitotsu, who both endured pretty rough runs, but still wound up being way too good for everyone.
It’s not often you see 3-year-olds go straight from the Caulfield Guineas to the Victoria Derby, but Hitotsu did it, and he did it by panels, and we can chalk that one down as another feature staying race win for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, who, all things considered, have the best case for being the best trainers of stayers in Australia.
A fantastic result all-round, and despite pulling off one component of his Special Value pick, Crazy Craig was wrong about one thing.
Teewaters didn’t jump at 20-1…
He jumped at 31-1.
Ellsberg in the Golden Eagle at Rosehill = 7th
A flat performance from Ellsberg, who looked as boring as a Scotch Finger for the entire bloody race, and he joined the rest of the beaten brigade from the Golden Eagle in being thunderstruck, na-na-na-na-na, by the blinding finish from I’m Thunderstruck, who backed up his Group 1 Toorak win by doing the Golden Eagle Rock, and I think Count De Rupee must’ve been shaking in his shoes when he heard an Angus Young guitar riff coming up behind him:
“I’ve been riding a long time and I’ve ridden some amazing horses as we all know and the feeling that I got today is what it’s all about.” – Hugh Bowman talking about I’m Thunderstruck
“Heart as big as a pea” – Josh Parr talking about
Clan O’Sullivan Ellsberg.
Categories: Horse Racing
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