Derby Day 2014

Hello everyone


Why do Channel Seven, all metropolitan papers and all social media sites, think it is a good idea to interview C-Grade celebrities about their selections for the big spring races? Then to make it worse they give them money to punt with for ‘charity.’ Getting Bruce for almost 365 day a year is bad enough! He is saying the same crap he has been saying for 40 years. Sorry, back to the point… has anyone ever watched the Channel 7 coverage of the races, then taken notice of what a young lass who appeared in 7 episodes of Home and Away has to say in regards to a tip for a race? Has anyone ever heard that so and so is backing the 9, then themselves run out the door to find a bookie to follow the tip? If you hear Rob Waterhouse is backing the 9, then that is when you run out the door to back it yourself! Has the Australian obsession with the celebrity got to the point where we need to hear what horses celebrities are selecting? Who cares what some idiot is doing in the Emirates tent (segregation at the races is disgraceful) and what they think will win? Would it or would it not be better to give professional punters or racing experts money to gamble with for charity rather than to someone who played 6 reserves games for Richmond, then was filmed in the background in two episodes of Master Chief? Footballers that are wearing $4000 suits don’t know which horse will win a given race simply because they can afford an overpriced suit. I wear thongs and shorts and can pick the odd winner! Surely an expert could make more money for charity than some moron who was not even smart enough to win Big Brother / was dumb enough to enter Big Brother / The Block / any of the other 4500 reality television shows that free to air channels promote as if they are curing Ebola? There is no need for time to be taken up listening to the opinions of ‘celebrities’ who openly admit that they know nothing about horse racing? Just because someone is seen as important enough to be given free drinks all day and segregated from the other racegoers, it does not mean they need to be consulted about serious racing matters. 90% of the racing industry is supported by wagering turnover. Without punting, racing ends. We should be trying to encourage people to actually win rather than making them watch / listen to someone with zero knowledge of the sport.

Derby Day Punt!

Race 1.

Win – 15. Azkadellia. Should have won last start. Has the best hoop in the word on this start.

Hardest to neat – 14. Tahni Dancer

Best longshot – 3. Wandjina

Race 2.

Win – 3. Abduction. Gets a huge weight turn around on her conqueror from last start.

Hardest to beat – 1. Fontein Ruby. Tough as nails

Best longshot – 5. Muscovado. Back all Gai’s horses on Saturday. They all look good!

Race 3.

Win – 4. Hucklebuck. This is his preparation. He hopefully will win this then win the Emirates next week.

Hardest to beat – 10. Woodbine

Best longshot – 7. Pornichet. the best longshot of the day.

Race 4. The Coolmore Stakes

The first Group One up for grabs is by far the most open. 1. Rich Enuff is the logical favourite for the race. He is a winner down the straight, and he is a huge talent. 5. Rubick won well first up and he is the sprinter on the rise. We know what the rest of the field can do, whereas this boy might still be on the rise. 8. Kuro is flying. This colt has won three in a row and he certainly can go on with the job here. 10. Galaxy Pegasus won beautifully last week, and he is experienced up the straight despite having excuses on that particular day. The other one that looks good value is 14. Earthquake. This filly was back to her best at her last start, and the horse that ran second to her last start, won brilliantly last Friday night. But this is not where the races ends. Unfortunately you can’t back them all!

Winner – 1. Rich Enuff. As long as the tough run in the Guineas has not flattened him, he should be running well. His one run down the straight was breathtaking and if he reproduces that he should be going very close again.

Hardest to beat – 5. Rubick. This boy is still on the rise. He beat Overreach nicely last start and he by all reports has come on remarkably since this run. He has been aimed at this race for a long time and he is yet to run a bad race. However, like Rich Enuff, the big crowd and the atmosphere might test him. The positive is that it at least looks like being a cool day.

Best longshot – 10. Galaxy Pegasus. The win last week was great and the Hayes stable is flying. He has plenty of improvement left in him and the way he can let down off a fast run race will give him an opportunity to storm home in this Classic race over 1200m.

Race 5.

Winner – 6. La Amistad. Last chance for the relation of the Diva to get into the Cup/

Hardest to beat – 9. Signoff. Last chance for this bastard also!

Best longshot – a tie 2. Caravan Rolls on and 11. Like a Carousel

Race 6. The Mackinnon Stakes.

Over the years it has become almost fool proof that the horses that run well in the Cox Plate backing up in this race again run well. The Caulfield Cup horses coming back in distance struggle and the stayers having a warm up for the Cup rarely win. So we can place our thoughts around the Cox Plate horses which are 2. Happy Trails, 3. Foreteller and 13. Criterion. These are the three to work around, but choosing which one will win is another proposition altogether. Here goes…

Winner – 13. Criterion. This entire has barrier one, a gun hoop aboard and he will be just behind the pace (if not leading) and will have plenty of time in the straight to build his momentum and hit the front at the right time. He is at each way odds and looks close to an each way certainty.

Hardest to beat – 2. Happy Trails. This boy is having his 4th 2000m race in a row and while that is a little bit of a worry, he does thrive over the ten furlongs. He was flying home late in the Cox Plate after missing the kick and he is a Group One winner this track and trip. He deserves a Group One win.

Best longshot – 3. Foreteller. Beaten just 0.3 lengths in the Cox Plate by one of the best international horses to ever set foot in Australia. That is good enough form to run well in this race. He loves the 2000m and you know he will be trucking home late in the race. He is a bit of a plodder like Happy Trails, but both always run well despite not winning Group One races too often.

Race 7. The VRC Derby

This race looks a little bit easier. 1. Hampton Court is the best chance in this race by a long way. Of course things can go wrong in the run, and he is a colt so he can get stirred up. But all things being equal, he is the winner. He is better than the other three-year-olds in the race and he has absolutely thrived since arriving in Melbourne. Gai is one of very few trainers to get a horse to win the Spring Champion Stakes and the Derby and there is no reason she can’t do it again. Hampton Court is the best of the day by far for mine.

Winner – 1. Hampton Court. He beat a horse named Sweynesse last start in a Group One race as if that galloper was tied to the fence. Sweynesse has since come out and run beautifully in the Cox Plate. He will be storming home and is ready to win. Also, his sire Redoute’s Choice has sired plenty of Derby and Oaks winners and his dam is from Makybe Diva’s family. He should win.

Hardest to beat – 9. Bondeiger. This colt’s breeding is second to none in regards to the 2500m. He might not have the class to go with Hampton Court, but he is the clear second pick in the race. His run last week in the Vase was brilliant and he will be flying home late in the race.

Best longshot – 8. Light Up Manhattan. There are a lot of horses these days that have ‘Manhattan’ in their names. This colt has been ticking along nicely and he will run the 2500m no worries. He is a stayer in the making whereas some other of these horses will get the 2500m but won’t enjoy it. He is worth an each way ticket.

Race 8. Myer Classic

1,2,3. Those are the numbers. 1. Sweet Idea, 2. Catkins and 3. Diamond Drille. Sweet Idea beat most of these horses easily last start. Catkins almost won this race last year. Diamond Drille is a Group One winner over the mile. These three never do much wrong and although almost every other horse in the field has some form of chance, for mine, the proven performers are the ones to follow. But again, it can be easy deciding that there are three winning chances, but to put them in order is another thing. Back all three perhaps?

Winner – 1. Sweet Idea. Can it be a Group One double for Gai? She has had Group One doubles on Derby Day before and Sweet Idea looks a huge chance based on her last start. She is at each way odds and from barrier one, we all know where she is going to be and she has proven time and time again that she is hard to get past.

Hardest to beat – 2. Catkins. Finally this girl gets back to the mile! It has been a year to the day since she ran at what looks to be a perfect trip for her. Last year she failed to beat Red Tracer by less than an inch and a similar performance on Saturday will see her right there when the whips are cracking.

Best longshot – 3. Diamond Drille. Proven at the mile and at Group One level and at $14. She will storming home and will be hard to hold out. Perhaps a solid win beat on the 1, a small win bet on the 2 and an each way go on the 3.

Race 9.

Win – 6. Deep Field

Hardest to beat – 1. Bel Sprinter

Best longshot – 2. Driefontein

Good luck and stay tuned.


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Light weight Cup hopes

Hello everyone

No three-year-old has won the Melbourne Cup since Skipton in 1941. This Cup was run and won a month before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and as such, racing was not exactly at the top of people’s thoughts. Why haven’t we seen a three-year-old winner since Skipton? In fact why aren’t we seeing any three-year olds at all run in the Cup anymore? No three-year-old has even placed in the Cup since Gai’s colt Nothin’ Leica Dane in 1995 and only a few have even run in the great race since. There is a new rule where the VRC Derby winner or any three-year-old in fact, cannot be a late entry into the race. Is it a good rule?

Considering that nominations for the Melbourne Cup are taken in September, it is no doubt hard for trainers to calculate if any of their three-year-olds (that are not more than two months out of their two-year-old season) would be ready to run the two miles come November. Now, there is still plenty of water to go under the bridge, but as we speak Hampton Court is a short priced favourite for the VRC Derby. Should Hampton Court win, or even if he is beaten, either he as a Group One winner or the horse that beats him will thoroughly deserve a spot in the Melbourne Cup. After the Derby has been going a good six years longer than the Cup and is one of the most time honoured races in Australia. On the day Melbourne Cup entries were taken in September, Hampton Court had won a two-year-old handicap in Newcastle and had been beaten on another six occasions. Even the most optimistic analysis would have been dreaming if on this day, they felt he was a genuine Melbourne Cup chance. But come the warmer weather, and a few longer races, three-year-olds progress at a very quick rate; they find their feet and can demonstrate that their best is yet to come. They can get better and better as the races get longer and longer.The three-year-old races are not particulary long in early September. If Tulloch Lodge was to pay the initial entry fee of $600 for every three-year-old in early September that the stable felt ‘could’ become a Cup horse, then dozens of horses would command the fee. In reality one three-year-old getting into the race is a longshot, and as such 30 or so horses @ $600 each is an astronomic amount for any stable to start with. Then with second and third acceptors it gets more and more expensive. It ends up costing around $50,000 to get a horse into the Cup. It is a big commitment to nominate a three-year-old when you are still not 100% sure if they are a staying prospect or not.

There has to be a way to allow a three-year-old that a trainer feels is progressive enough to be competitive in the Cup, to gain a start in the Cup once they have demonstrated they have the ability and the stamina. Of course the horse would have to pass some form of qualification. But it is a simple fact that a decision can’t be made on a young horse in September. Again using Hampton Court as an example; he won the Spring Champion Stakes on 11 October and was a $16 chance to do so. On the morning of this race he was just another promising three-year-old, but by sundown he was a serious staying prospect on the rise. He broke a 20 year old track record on this day remember.

If a three-year-old wins any two of the Mackinnon, Cox Plate, VRC Derby, the Spring Champion Stakes, they should be allowed to be a late Melbourne Cup entry. This too would add another Aussie horse to the mix to take it to the international invaders.

Good luck and stay tuned,

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Bendigo Cup Day 2014

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Today is Bendigo Cup day and apart from the Cup, it is a pretty average meeting. But while we are seeing them as if we are Pakistani batsmen (nothing better than watching the Aussies get flogged. It brings them back down to earth), we may as well have a crack at the meeting. In Sydney the support meeting is at Warwick Farm. This is the worst track in Australia, but there looks to be a couple of little chances there, so we may as well mention those also.


2.10. Shintaro. At the bottom of the weights and is probably the best horse in the race and is in grand form.

2.4. Green Moth. Should the above one not win, this one has a good chance. Quinella maybe?

5.2. Neona. A very experienced gelding that always runs well. With a claim today he is not out of this race.

6.1. Tansy. Should have won last start and looks a big chance in this race.

6.9. Tigerdan. This one also as he is a stayer on the rise and is very lightly raced.

8.5. Order of the Sun. Gai’s stayer that looks very close to a good thing in this race. The equal best of the day.

9.1. Ventic and 9.11. Bay of Biscay. Both good chances at big odds.

10.6. Red Five and 10.8 Diamondwarrior. Both in ok form and huge odds.

Warwick Farm

1.4. Sun Force. The son of Samantha Miss. This is a four horse field and all have  chance, but this one is at the least the best bred.

3.1. Peeping. The equal best of the day. This horse beat a gun filly named Abbey Road recently and she is destined for greatness. Looks impossible to beat.

4.1. Magwitch. Another dud race but this one ticks the boxes so is worth $1 a win.

6.5. Golden Aro. Should be unbeaten this time in. Warwick Farm is a worry, but from barrier one with Tommy Berry aboard he has a huge chance at good odds.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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Mackinnon Mackinnon and sometimes Mackinnon again

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The Mackinnon Stakes, run over 2000m at WFA every Derby Day since 1869, it a magnificent race. Upon scrolling through the old records, it is very interesting to note, that the race has been won many times on multiple occasions, and the horses to have achieved this were all really really good. Just over the last few years, the Mackinnon has dropped away just a touch; but it is still worth a million bucks and it eventually good horses will be aimed at this race with the Melbourne Cup as a bonus (the Mackinnon winner gets a free ride into the Cup). Enjoy the story of the double and triple winners! Oh and Side Glance is the defending champion and he is going there again. But he is not in the class of any of these repeat winners, so he really will have to lift if he wants back to back titles.

The immortal mare Wakeful won the Mackinnon in three consecutive years from 1901 – 1903. To win the same race three years running is extraordinary. Black Caviar did it as have a few others, but at 2000m and as a mare it is just a tiny bit more special. At her third attempt in 1903, Wakeful looks to have started the very short price favourite…


It was almost twenty years before the next repeat winner of the great race emerged. The horse was Eurythmic and the years were 1920 and 1921. Eurythmic was a champion that had 41 starts for 31 wins. It appears from looking through his form, that he simply did not get the two miles of the Melbourne Cup, despite somehow winning a Sydney Cup. He was favourite in both his Mackinnon Stakes wins and his record overall is one of the best ever recorded in Australia without having won a Melbourne Cup.


Phar Lap strolled in twice in the Mackinnon during his years of dominance from 1930 – 1931. The Mackinnon over time has also been known as the Melbourne Stakes.


Next it was Peter Pan who won the Mackinnon twice over three years. The champ won the Mackinnon before winning his two Melbourne Cups.



Within his 31 career victories, the great champion Beau Vite won the Mackinnon in the years 1940 and 1941. These wins were during War time and despite his second win being a month or so before the Pearl Harbour attack, racing had already taken a small step back.


The front page of the Argus this day… 31 October 1941 shows that there were more pressing issues than racing!


The next to win the Mackinnon on multiple occasions was Tranquil Star who won the race three times over four years from 1942 to 1945. Tranquil Star has to be the most loved horse of WWII as she had 111 starts that almost all were run over the war years. 111 starts is two more than Sunline, Makybe Diva and Black Caviar combined.


1949 and 1950 saw the great stayer Comic Court win back to back Mackinnon Stakes’. While Comic Court was very good, he appears to have been the weakest of the repeat Mackinnon champions.


Next it was Rising Fast in 1954 and 1955. In 1954 the great kiwi won the Caulfield Cup / Cox Plate / Melbourne Cup treble and just casually picked up the Mackinnon on the way. The following year he again won the Caulfield Cup and the Mackinnon.


Since Rising Fast, the Mackinnon has only been won twice by a talented horse named Belmura Lad. Due to the presence of  Kingston Town, Belmura Lad may have been a touch forgotten. He won the AJC Derby and the Randwick Guineas as well as a Metrop, an All-Aged Stakes and a good race in Brisbane. His two wins in the Mackinnon were really really good and he won the races while on a traditional Bart Cummings Cup preparation.


So there we have it. So what have we learnt? We have learnt that only the best of the best can win multiple editions of the Mackinnon Stakes. Side Glance is not the best of the best and he surely can’t join the likes of the above-mentioned as a repeat winner of the great race. He will be risked!

Good luck and stay tuned.


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Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone

John Brady or ‘Crewy’ as he is known to his workmates has seen two Hall of Fame trainers apply their trade throughout the grounds of Tulloch Lodge. Crewy, perhaps less Bart Cummings, has most likely strapped, ridden and run his eye over more champions and Group One winners than anyone else in Australian racing history. He has seen three Melbourne Cups, eleven Golden Slippers and thirteen Doncasters as well as literally hundreds of other major race wins. He has seen the likes of Redcraze, Tulloch, Gunsynd, Kingston Town, Assertive Lad, Grand Armee, Desert War, Dance Hero, Pierro and Fiorente as well as hundreds of others come and go from Tulloch Lodge.


When did you start at Tulloch Lodge? What was going on at the stable when you first got there?

I started at Tulloch Lodge in 1952, the same year that Veterinary Surgeon Percy Sykes arrived. Roy Stewart…

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Two days at the Valley

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This week’s wisdom seems very obvious but needs to be said… It can’t be that hard to leave the pub, and get home without beating someone to death. I have done it three or four times a week for well over ten years. Why do young men keep bashing other young men to death for no reason? We are all people. We all have the same goal and that is to go to the pub, try ya luck, then get home safely and not die of alcohol poisoning the next morning. Why do some of us need to show some male dominance and crush poor boy’s heads against the concrete pavement? All those idiots doing 10 -15 years down the river will tell you that it was not worth one second of testosterone fueled glory, when you are looking out a one foot x one foot window for 15 years. It simply can’t be that hard to get home without bashing people. How can this continue to happen? We often wonder what it must be like living in certain other places and having a 50/50 chance of being beheaded, or killed by a suicide bomber each and every day. In Australia we are creating a new kind of terrorist… the coward bomber. The wanker who needs to wreck the lives of hundreds of people known to both him and to others, for no reason at all. If someone calls you a dickhead, then just take it. They are words and they surely don’t hurt as much as a blow to the head from behind and a whack on the pavement.

Come on fellas, and I say fellas because it is a 100% male issue, we are a team. We take on the bookies as a team, we sing and act like morons at he pub as a team and we should leave the pub (unless you have left earlier for some reason be it female related or not) as a united team. There can’t be a justifiable reason to punch someone so hard that they die. It can’t be justified.


We have two big days at Moonee Valley. Here goes… an attempt on every race for the two days.


Race 1.

2. Fast ‘N’ Rocking. Just back this horse a win and you should be off to a flyer.

Race 2.

The top weight is odds on and will probably win. Either just watch on, or have a small each way or place bet on 8. Melaleula and 3. Spinderbella. Both look a little over the odds and are in reasonable form.

Race 3.

The all greys race! I back all of these horses all year and now they are in one bloody race. 7. Slate on Edge has weight relief and 3. Black Jet has good QLD form. But other than that, I have no idea!

Race 4.

3. More Radiant. This filly will be flying home and she will win a race sooner or later. Her main danger will be in front, but she can definitely make up the ground.

Race 5.

A horrible race over 955m. Maybe each way 5. Fab Fevola because he will be in front or 10. Tintagel Rocker because he is 50-1 and anything can happen in these scampers. He should be 10-1. Not sure if the 8. Cult of Isis is very appropriately named!

Race 6.

12. Arctic Song to win and 10. Leveraction and 11. Riviera Riches each way. All are in form and on the quick back up.

Race 7.

The Manikato Stakes and yep, for the absolute last time ever… 2. Lankan Rupee. He is not $1.50 now but rather $4 and if he is the best sprinter in the world then he should win. I will be backing him (insanity I tell ya!) while having a saver on my old mate 1. Buffering. The favourite Terravista is a risk. He has never ran in Victoria, at WFA, at night or against a field of this quality.

Race 8.

Two at good odds are 2. Commanding Time and 9. Kim Command. But 6. Pheidon looks close to a good thing. He is a winner this track and trip and has buckets of class on this field.

The three specials for Friday would have to be 1.2 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, 6.12. Arctic Song and 8.6. Pheidon.


Race 1. 

This race is a mystery. Lots of un-raced horses that have not trialled either. The tip is 7. Hot Snippety. He is a winner in QLD and you always get a few extra points of value with horses trained in the sunshine state.

Race 2.

10. Miss Steele. Each way. She loves the Valley and is down in the weights.

Race 3.

1. Lumosty will probably win. Perhaps 8. Kansas Sunflower for those who don’t like odds on pops.

Race 4.

6. Greco to win. He has had one start this time in for a great win and he looks a progressive type. 5. Nicoscene each way at the $15 also looks pretty good. 2. Law is going well but is a bit of a non-winner. Greco a win, small win bet on Law and each way bet on the 5.

Race 5.

Really keen on 1. Precedence and 7. Opinion. Not sure which one will win, but pretty confident it will be one of them. Not the best edition of this race of all-time.

Race 6.

Righto… 1. Speediness and 5. Trust in a Gust can both get stuffed. I have been backing Speediness for years for very little return and have never backed the other one and it wins every week! They will probably dead heat for first, but they can do it without A Turf Fascination. Instead I will most likely waste some hard earned on 3. Akavoroun, 6. Hooked and 9. Liberty’s Choice. They are all at well and truly each way value.

Race 7.

13. Go Indy Go on top and 5. Bondeiger and 6. Duccio second and third picks. Go Indy Go will be flying home and should be in the Cox Plate.

Race 8. The Cox Plate

You can’t back them all! I have therefore narrowed it down to six, and will be backing three. The six are 2. Fawkner, 8. Criterion, 9. Silent Achiever, 10. Royal Descent, 12. Almalad and 14. Wandjina. With a heavy heart I will be risking Fawkner, Silent Achiever and Royal Descent, but they will be in the multiples and the quaddie. So here is what to do…

Have $6 a win on Criterion for a $48 return

Have $1 each way on Almalad for a $43 return for a win and a $9 return for a place

Have $1 each way on Wandjina for a $36 return for a win and an $8 return for a place.

For the last five years it has only been three and four-year-olds that have won this race. Above we have two three-year-olds and the only four-year-old (Adelaide is a four-year-old but really only a three-year-old by southern hemisphere standards). Back all three as they are all at super odds. If you only want to back one, make it Almalad.

Race 9.

This race will be a bit of an anticlimax after the Cox Plate. If you have a heap of cash, save it for Derby Day and have just a tiny bit on 4. Suavito and 8. Scratchy Bottom.

Good luck and stay tuned.

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The ancient Cox Plate


A quick reblog before we get into the Cox Plate tips. Enjoy

Originally posted on A Turf Fascination:

Hello everyone.

Today we will have a look at the double winners of the Cox Plate in the era before the big prize money increase in 1972. They are Phar Lap, Young Idea, Tranquil Star, Flight, Hydrogen and Tobin Bronze. Just to demonstrate the quality of the majority of these, here are some stats.

Phar Lap is of course Phar Lap. Probably most people’s choice as the best to race in Australia.

Tranquil Star is listed in the majority or experts list of the top 5 mares to ever run in Australia. She had 111 starts! That is 89 more than Black Caviar has currently had!

Flight is too listed in the top 5 best mares of all time list. She pushed Bernborough at WFA on at least 5 occassions

Tobin Bronze was a gun handicapper and WFA horse that could win at any distance, with any weight on any…

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