Horse Racing

Crazy Picks of the Day: 27th November

Glen Boss and Makybe Diva, one last time

From last year’s Melbourne Cup (Source: Victoria Racing Club)

Well friends and strangers, it’s time for the last Saturday of the Spring, with the lone Group 1 race being the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot, but that’s not the main focus of the day, thanks to the news that 90-time Group 1 winner Glen Boss has confirmed he’ll be retiring from riding at the age of 52, with his last ride being Spanish Mission in the Zipping Classic at Caulfield.

Obviously everyone with half a clue will best remember Group 1 Glen for his epic partnership with Makybe Diva and the hat-trick of Melbourne Cups from 2003-05, but if there’s one ride of Bossy that I’ll include as a tribute for this week’s report, it’s God’s Own in the ’05 Caulfield Guineas… He had no hope of winning until he won.

A performance so amazing that Bryan Martin was at 6s and 7s

2,406 wins, 90 Group 1 wins, 3 Melbourne Cups, 4 Cox Plates, Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductee… A fine career for a simple Caboolture bogan.

So looking at Saturday’s cards, this is the day for the revamped Zipping Classic meeting (With 9 black type races) at Caulfield, which was the jewel in Sandown’s wooden crown for so many years, and it should also be noted this is the last Caulfield race meeting before the training complex at The Heath closes for good on Wednesday, ending well over a century of history that included names like Cecil Godby, Kel Chapman, Angus Armanasco, Lee Freedman, Peter Moody, Mick Price & Ciaron Maher.

In Sydney it’s the Festival Stakes meeting at Rosehill, which looked like it might be held at the Sydney Aquatic Center instead thanks to another massive downpour on Thursday afternoon, while the Recognition Stakes meeting on the Gold Coast might be suffering a more blunt fate due to the rain hammering South East Queensland…

While it’s the damn polar opposite over here in Perth, where it’s 35 bloody degrees today, and it’ll be 36 frikkin’ degrees for the big Winterbottom Stakes meeting on Saturday, so I imagine quite a few air condition units will be getting an arse kicking…

I know mine certainly is.

Now, with all that out of the way, it’s up to me to crash this unsinkable Crazy picking ship into an iceberg before Crazy Craig returns 1st Up in December, so here’s my not-so Crazy picks for the 27th, and this week’s band of choice, because it’s hot enough already, is Mungo Jerry and their quintessential 70s hairlines:

The Topical Weather Pick: Decent Raine (No.1, Barrier 11) in Race 3 at Caulfield (MR3), 1:45pm AEDT

1400m Listed Twilight Glow Stakes

Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, Jockey: Jye McNeil, 57kg

What’s the weather like across Eastern Australia right now?

Decent Raine, mate!

Value Pick: Kobe Rocks (No.5, Barrier 2) in Race 9 at Rosehill (SR9), 5:20pm AEDT

1300m BM78 Elite Turf Projects Handicap

Trainer: Bjorn Baker, Jockey: Josh Parr, 58kg

It’s basically a bigger certainty than death and taxes that Rosehill will be a Heavy track on Saturday, so you may as well go looking for a bit of value with wet trackers, and there might just be one in the form of Kobe Rocks, who has done eight-tenths of seven-fifths of stuff all on dry ground (4:1-0-0), and Soft ground (2:0-0-0), but on Heavy going, he takes to the track like Evel Knievel took to jumping over 50 buses at once, having had 5 goes on deadset bogs for 2 wins and 2 second placings.

Of course, Kobe Rocks does come in 1st Up off the back of 2 trial wins, with the winkers off first time, although his last start at Randwick back in July does leave a few questions to be answered, because he finished stone motherless last, although Tim Clark was of the opinion that Kobe raced like he needed the spell, and the vet exam came back clean.

Anyway, this Race 9 seems to be a pretty open affair, with favourite Brookspire $5 and the field at $6.50, so there’s plenty of value to be found, but for absolutely good reason other than his wet track form, and the fact that he does map to get a decent run in behind the leaders, I’ll settle with Kobe Rocks, who may or may not be a tribute to the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant.

Pick of the Day: Elite Street (No.2, Barrier 10) in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot, 4:45pm AWST

1200m Group 1 SWFA

Trainer: Daniel Morton, Jockey: Brad Rawiller, 58.5kg

Elite Street, it’s just around the corner from Baker Street:

So it’s another edition of ‘Shithouse Saturday’ at Ascot to mark the midway point of The Masters, which is what us weirdos over here call the Group 1s that make up the Perth Spring Carnival, and in the feature Winterbottom Stakes, Daniel Morton seemingly has the quinella at his mercy, with the mighty mare Wilchino, part owned by my mutual acquaintance Glen ‘Buck’ Rogers (Good luck to all the Rogers family), who has now won 6 races on end, and most recently ran the fastest 1200m at Ascot in the last 2 years, showing that she might just be ready to make the huge jump from a 72+ rating race to a WFA Group 1 sprint, and 2020 Winterbottom winner Elite Street, coming in off 3 superb feature wins from 3 starts this Spring, showing he’s in even better form than he was last year, which is a classic sign of a jinx if you ask me…

But, I’m not a genius on the scale of Terance Tao, so Elite Street is my Pick of the Day!

Of course, the recent history of the Winterbottom shows that while two horses have won the race twice (Buffering and Ortensia), the last horse to win the race back to back was Belinda’s Star in 1975-76, which would have you think that history is against Elite Street from Barrier 10, but, a counterpoint is that since Ortensia’s second win in 2011, only one horse has won the race from inside Barrier 8, and that was Viddora in 2017….

Who jumped from Barrier 7.

Tomorrow, Wilchino has drawn the rail in Barrier 1, and as mentioned, Elite Street has Barrier 10, which is probably what Dan Morton wanted in both cases, because Wilchino is a leader, and Elite Street will slot in midfield and try to build momentum before the corner, which is where he’s been to race at his Group 1-winning best.

There’s usually no such thing as a good thing, but I’d like to think that a good thing on Saturday is that the last furlong of the Winterbottom is going to cause at least 45 separate cases of heart palpitations trackside at Ascot, and several thousand more nationwide, because Wilchino will almost certainly hunt up and lead under Chris Parnham, and if Brad Rawiller rides Elite Street like he did last year, and as he’s done in all 3 starts this Spring, then he’ll be coming home 2 to their 1, and saluting as the PICK OF THE DAY.

As for the other horses, like the Emu Export mascot Red Can Man, Stageman and Graceful Girl, I couldn’t give two hoots, which means they’ll probably all run huge races and upset the apple cart.

Enjoy your weekend everyone, and here’s another Bossy moment… When he went for a swim in the bath preparing to ride Yes Yes Yes in The Everest:

Two words… IT WORKED.

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