Horse Racing

Crazy Craig’s Picks of the Day: 14th May

Based on a series of plausible events in a regional Victorian town

So we move on through the Month of May-hem, and yesterday we were greeted with the news that Melbourne Cup + Caulfield Cup winner and all-time great Verry Elleegant has been transferred from Chris Waller over to Francis-Henri Graffard in France for the European Autumn, and most likely won’t race in Australia again, although the timing was odd, because nominations for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, an apparent target race for the mare, had already closed a few hours earlier, and she wasn’t in it.

Either way, it does make you think, seeing a horse get fed up with Australia and willingly move to France…

It stands to reason that Verry Elleegant has become the racing version of Tina Arena.

Looking at this weekend’s racing, the Scone Carnival is properly back up and running for the first time since 2019, the Andrew Ramsden at Flemington guarantees the first entry into the Melbourne Cup in November, Part 3 of the Adelaide Carnival features the time-honoured Group 1 South Australian Derby….

And with Brisbane being punished with 160mm of rain by the Lord for their permissiveness towards pineapple on pizza, the Doomben 10,000 meeting has been transferred from Doomben to the better draining surface of Eagle Farm.

That’s absolutely certain to throw a few people off, a race with Doomben in the name being run at Eagle Farm – It reminds me of how they built Ascot racecourse in Belmont.

Speaking of which, Belmont is back up and running with the Group 3 Roma Cup this Saturday, although nobody really cares about Belmont anymore, because they were racing there during the Summer with Bunbury out for renovation.

So I do believe that’s the cue for Crazy Craig, and I honestly have no idea what the Macedon Madman has up his sleeve this week, although if I were to guess, I’d say there’s at least 1 scratchie to give to the down on their luck, and a 2nd placing for his Value Pick, so pull your finger out and give them to us Craig, because just like Sir Cliff Richard, you’ve got Lucky Lips!


Pick of the Day: Startantes (No.10, Barrier 9) in Race 4 at Eagle Farm (BR4), 1:33pm AEST

1400m Stradbroke Calcutta 3YO Plate

Trainer: Robert Heathcote, Jockey: Taylor Marshall, 55kg

Hello hello hello everyone, it’s Crazy Craig TBFB, and I saw a story this week about Craig ‘Pearly Whites’ Williams and his wife travelling to the Ukrainian border to do a bit of humanitarian work in the midst of the war, and it got me thinking…

I could also go to the Ukrainian border and do a bit of humanitarian work, distributing scratchies to the Ukrainian refugees, because bloody oath, they’re down on their luck right now!

For the time being, I better put my snorkel on and travel up to Brisbane for the Doomben 10,000, which is now at EAGLE FARM.

What the bloody hell are those banana rooters doing up there, next thing you know they’ll run the Mackay Cup at Rockhampton!

Anyway, I’ve had a 5 minute look at the Eagle Farm card, and I reckon I’ve got a pretty choice for Pick of the Day anywhere in the country, and it’s the Robert Heathcote filly STARTANTES

They say when you Wish Upon A Star, well, I say when you Wish Upon A Startantes, because I’ve bloody well got one!

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Startantes went down to Sydney for the Group 1 Surround Stakes in March, which was run on an absolute bog at Randwick, and against all expectations, she ran an absolute blinder and finished 2nd by a lip to Hinged, then she had a 2 month break and resumed in the Group 2 Victory Stakes a fortnight ago, and produced a very strong late run to finish 4th, officially 1.7L behind Count De Rupee.

Going back up to 1400m, the same distance as the Surround Stakes, she’s back to racing against her own gender, this is a fair old drop in grade (Group 2 to 3YO Set Weights), she only goes up half a kilo, and with any sort of decent luck in the Eagle Farm quagmire, she’ll be winning this race and going to the Stradbroke!

So there you go, Startantes, my PICK OF THE DAY.


Value Pick: Harleymoven (No.5, Barrier 11) E/W in the South Australian Derby at Morphettville (AR8), 3:52pm ACST

2500m Group 1 3YO Set Weights

Trainer: Dan Clarken & Oopy MacGillivray, Jockey: Ryan Hurdle, 56.5kg

On to the Value Pick of the Day, and a Group 1 Saturday deserves a Group 1 pick, and I always never say you should never be afraid to chase the value, and in a race with heavy hitters like Allegron (Placed in the VRC and ATC Derbies), Detonator Jack (Unbeaten) and Jungle Magnate, I’ve gone outside the box and taken the best of the local hopes, and that’s Harleymoven!

His name may sound like Hardly Moving, but bloody oath he’s been doing the exact opposite this autumn, having won 2 of his last 4 starts (The Port Adelaide Guineas was a 4 length win), and he ran 2nd in the other 2, including last start in the Chairmans, when he jumped a conspicuous last from the wide barrier, made a huge run down the outside and ultimately ran 2nd by 3/4 of a length to Jungle Magnate, who had a much better run in transit and hit the line best.

But, you know what that run said to me?

DO NOT JUMP OFF JUST YET.

Of course, the last South Australian trainer to win the SA Derby was one Richard Jolly, way back in 2014 with Kushadasi, so just like their footy teams, they’re in a sustained drought in Croweaterville, and if Harleymoven is going to have one last big run this Autumn, then I would contend that Ryan Hurdle will have to make the great hypotheticals COME TO LIFE

Settle a bit closer in the run, get a cold sit on someone’s back, have clean running in the straight, then I can see Dan & Oopy’s rock hard fit gelding putting another barnstorming run in what must be his 6th or 7th run this prep, which may not be enough to defeat Allegron, BUT, if he runs in the Top 3, I’ll be delighted!

So there you go, Harleymoven, my VALUE PICK OF THE DAY.


Random Donovan Pick: Atlantis Beach (No.5, Barrier 5) in Race 7 at Belmont (PR7), 3:45pm AWST

1600m 59+ Rating Crown Perth Handicap

Trainer: Cliff Green, Jockey: Shaun O’Donnell, 58kg

And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind
Let us rejoice, and let us sing, and dance
And ring in the new
Hail, Atlantis Beach!

Way downnnnnn below the ocean,
Whereeeee I wanna be, she may be!


Enjoy your Saturday folks, stay safe, stay negative, KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD, and remember, I’m Crazy Craig, and that’s why they call me Craaaaaazy Craig!

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