Running on all 2 cylinders
Ah here we are, the first weekend of December 2022, which means Christmas music is blaring at full blast everywhere you turn, and it’s time for the last Group 1 of the calendar year with the running of the renamed Northerly Stakes at Ascot, as the most successful WA-trained horse in history finally gets a Group 1 named in his honour, although ironically Northerly never ran in the race, given he targeted the Railway and later the Cox Plate during the Spring, with great success.
The Northerly is a rebranding of what was the Kingston Town Classic, which used to be the Fruit ‘N’ Veg Stakes, which used to be the Beat Diabetes 2 Stakes, which used to be the Winfield Stakes, which used to be the Rothwells Stakes, which used to be the Western Mail Classic, which was originally the Marlboro 50,000.
Funnily enough, this year marks 40 years since Kingston Town, with Miracle Malcolm Johnston aboard, won what was then the Western Mail Classic, just over 3 weeks after he narrowly missed out on the Melbourne Cup to Gurner’s Lane, and that win would turn out to be Kingston Town’s 30th and final win, in what would turn out to be his final race start as his injuries finally got the best of him.
Fun fact – Grosvenor, who ran 2nd to Kingston Town in that memorable Cox Plate a month earlier, also ran in that Western Mail Classic.
Other highlights on the day include the Group 3 George Moore Stakes at Doomben, named after the all-time legend of a jockey who managed to pick up an OBE as he won major races in all 3 corners of the Earth, the Pakenham Cup out in the sticks of Melbourne… and some other stuff.
Now, straight down to business, here’s a couple of picks that probably won’t win, and hopefully we’ll get at least one of the Crazies back next week after they have a completely undeserved rest, given the way they finished off the spring, so to kick off the weekend, here’s JOE COCKER!
Value Pick: Bella Rogue (No.3, Barrier 9) E/W in Race 4 at Rosehill (SR4), 2:05pm AEDT
1350m BM78 Handicap
Trainer: Chris Waller, Jockey: Ben Coen, 59.5kg
Yes, Frumos is in this race as a $2.50 favourite and will probably win with even luck, unlike in August when he got caught in a coffin and couldn’t get running to go down as a $1.60 favourite…
Hang on, Ben Coen?
What on Earth is a Ben Coen?
Apparently, he’s an Irishman from Ireland who has come to ride in Sydney, and unlike previous generations, he didn’t need a criminal record to enter the country….
If anything, I hope his nickname in the Jockey’s room is Leonard!
The Elvis Presley Special: Looks Like Elvis (No.2, Barrier 3) in Race 8 at Pakenham (MR8), 5pm AEDT
1400m VOBIS Gold Bullion
Trainer: Jarrod Austin, Jockey: Craig Williams, 60kg
Looks Like Elvis won this race last year, Crazy Craig has previously backed him on New Year’s Day, and I simply have a couple of lines for Craig Williams….
A little less conversation, a little more action please!
All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me!
A little more bite and a little less bark, a little less fight and a little more spark, close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me, SATISFY ME BABY!
The Northerly Stakes Match Race Special: Amelia’s Jewel (No.16, Barrier 1) in Race 8 at Ascot (PR8), 4:45pm AWST
1800m Drummond Golf Northerly Stakes
Trainer: Simon Miller, Jockey: Pat Carbery, 50kg
What a great edition of the former Kingston Town Classic, because on the one end you’ve got the class Godolphin galloper in Cascadian, who could be named after Sheikh Mohammed’s favourite Australian beer, although I routinely mistake his name for the band Kasabian:
And on the other hand you’ve got the dynamic 3-year-old filly Amelia’s Jewel, winner of the WA Guineas last start and 5 out of 6 overall, going up against the older horses with the light weight of 50kg, and history tells you that 3-year-olds have a pretty decent record in the race, with the last 3-year-old to win the race being Kay Cee in 2019, and that was a big win for Kay Cee, considering she did it without the Sunshine Band, then the year before you have Arcadia Queen, Perfect Reflection in 2015, Ihtsahymn in 2013, and Playing God in 2010….
So you know what, my arse is going to be hanging out of my pants by the end of the day after the first 2 runners don’t run in the Top 3, so I may as well just take the old second favourite to beat the favourite trick…
Barrier 1, 3-year-old against the older horses at WFA, WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Categories: Horse Racing