Forget Melbourne Cup week, forget The Championships – the best racing carnival in the country is this week and it’s at Warrnambool.
It’s been about 15 years since my first trip to the Bool and there have been many journeys since.
The people in attendance are there for the racing. It’s not like the spring carnival, where inner-city types dress up for a party, the Bool is all about jeans, a warm jacket, and a cold beer in your hand.
If you don’t know how the carnival is structured, here is a quick explanation: three days of racing, with a mixture of jumps and flat events, culminating in the Grand Annual Steeplechase and Warrnambool Cup on Thursday.
The carnival is always held in the first week of May, based around the Grand Annual being held on the first Thursday in May (it’s April 30 today, for example).
This week, I’m going to preview the main races on each card and throw up some quaddie numbers. After some good results on Saturday, I’m hoping to keep the momentum rolling.
Make sure you follow me on Twitter @mattnicholls29 for some live updates throughout the day, but there’ll be another preview here tomorrow.
Track: Soft 7 at the time of writing.
Rail: True position entire circuit.
Race 6 at 2:20pm – $150,000 Brierly Steeplechase (3450m)
Topweight Gold Medals is the class runner of this race, having won the same event last year before going on to back-up successfully in the Grand Annual.
Last year, he was given three runs on the flat and two trials over the sticks before heading to the Brierly. This year, he’s had three jumping trials and two flat runs.
I’m keen to take him on today because he’s been up for a reasonably long time. He ran dead last in the Jericho Cup in December and something looked off.
You can’t read too much into his flat runs, but is he the same horse as last year? I suspect not.
There was money in the market for him, so perhaps I’m wrong, but I am reluctant to back him at the $3.30 mark.
This looks an even race on paper and the veteran galloper I’ll’ava’alf could be the value. The ten-year-old would probably prefer there to be more sting out of the ground, but he’s had three trials since March 1 for three wins and looks to be in excellent condition. He was fourth in this race last year and appears to be going better. He looks the best value in the race.
Suggested bet: I’ll’ava’alf each-way.
The quaddie (Races 7-10)
Each day of the carnival I’m going to throw up my numbers for the quaddie as they usually pay well. The idea is to spend $50 and see if we can get a collect.
Race 7: 2-3-7-8
Race 8: 5-7-8
Race 9: 1-3-5-8-13
Race 10: 4-5-12-14
$50 to pay 20.83% of dividend
Results to date
Total spend in 2019: $340
Total return in 2019: $478
Total spend in 2018: $1000
Total return in 2018: $1445
(Based on $20 spend per selection.)