Big Richie’s what’s doing, what’s happening



“I was in an envious position going out of the straight the first time” Craig Williams told interviewer Dean Pettit when asked about the nightmare that was Charlevoix in the first race at Moonee Valley.

It doesn’t have to be said but I will anyway, Craig Williams is one of the world’s top jockeys and his record speaks for itself but I disagree that he was in an ‘envious’ position.


The speed was slow meaning the nine runners were jam packed and he was on the back of the $251 chance Vysotsky meaning Craig would need to be making an early move or leave himself open for trouble.

Craig sat far too long and when the $101 pop Percy Henry took off from the back at the 1000m and when Williams hadn’t moved trouble had arrived.

Would Charlevoix have won with a better ride?

There is no use arguing the toss as we will never know but being on a $251 chances back in a slowly run race certainly isn’t ‘envious’.





Following the fourth at Rosehill on Saturday all the talk was about former European galloper Alward as his trainer Chris Waller signalled his intention to aim the son of Aqlaam at the group one Metropolitan Handicap.

Waller then gave glowing praise for Chatelard who ran second and then of course Quick Defence who hit the line in fourth. Vaucluse Bay even was applauded for his effort in finishing sixth when hitting the line ok.

As the former band Moving Pictures and more recently Shannon Noll sang, “What about me, it isn’t fair. I’ve had enough now I want my share. Can’t you see?”

I speak of the nine-year-old gelding Nat King Cu who was having his first career start over the 2000m journey having never been past the mile at his previous 56 life time runs.

Tough, gallant, tenacious are just a few words that came to mind when Nat King Cu was able to finish third beaten just over a half length.

The run was full of merit and there is certainly more wins in store for the old boy.





Racing could learn a thing or two from boxing and other sports when we are looking for headlines.

Why does racing promote WINX as the ‘Best Turf Horse in the World’ or ‘The Second best horse’?

Be bold and declare your hand, WINX is the world’s best full stop. Scream it from the roof top that’s what your customers want to hear.

Our jockeys are the worlds best as are our trainers.

In racing its only opinion who is the best or second best whether it horse, rider or trainer.

And I say WINX would carry the supposed best horse Arrogate on her back and win.

Why do we believe what other parts of the world want us to believe?

You don’t hear boxing talking their stars down?

The biggest sporting event in the past decade was the Floyd Mayweather verse Connor McGregor fight on the weekend where the fighters will share in the spoils of somewhere around $500 million.

Both men declared themselves the best and even after McGregor’s defeat the MMA declared a win as its fighter was able to take Mayweather to 10 rounds in a foreign sport.



JUST CALL THEM TIPS!!! and the new style of showcasing Victorian races have certainly drawn plenty of opinions from participants and customers but I won’t be getting involved.

I’ll leave that to others to debate the pros and cons.

Head of Sport at Channel 7 Saul Shtein understands ‘live’ sport better than anyone in the country so I think his input would be hugely valuable to the network.

I will make one observation, you have to know your customers and it isn’t a small group of cuddly pies on twitter.

You have to talk the language of your customers.

A perfect example is Ross Greenwood on channel 9 with his money segments. Ross could use jargon and big terms but instead he explains it in real terms for those of us not involved in that industry can understand it.

When your customers are asking what’s that mean or what are they talking about, you are getting it wrong.

In Australia we call it the mounting yard not the paddock. If you say paddock I’m thinking dirt bikes or something and as far as ‘top rater’ or ‘second top rater’ you are missing your audience.

They are called TIPS.

I think some may do it to sound clever or whatever but racing’s core audience is knockabout punters and they don’t call them ‘ratings’ they just want a tip.

Punters want tips and with ratings being tips why not call them tips!!!!!!!





‘Conformity’ is unappealing for viewers and listeners when it comes to television or radio.

As a customer I want to hear different thoughts, someone who thinks outside the square and makes you think or learn or challenges your mind and offers opinions that have basis.

Anyone can give a tip; it’s how you came to tip that particular horse and the reasoning and work that got you there.

Racing podcasts are popping up everywhere and are becoming more and more popular all the time.

You may say that’s just the way things are going and that’s right buts it’s also racings’ customers saying we are looking for something different and without the bias of party lines.

Sometimes over playing your hand like Tom Waterhouse did in rugby league broadcasts a few years back can turn viewers and listeners away and seeking a different medium.





There has been plenty of debate about Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign and whether she is going to live up to the hype as a 3yo after she was run down on Friday by her stablemate Single Bullet in a 800m barrier trial.

Ben Melham who partnered She Will Reign was pleased with the trial as was trainer Gary Portelli but you’d expect them to maintain the faith.

She will have another trial before resuming in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on 29 September over the flying 1000m her only run prior to taking her place in the $10 million Everest on 14 October.

Eight hundred metre barrier trials and a 1000m dash around the Valley are a long way off the tough 1200m against the best at Randwick that’s for sure.

He might have finished a mile from the first two in the trial but the benchmark of sprinters Chautauqua looked nice and relaxed as he stretched his legs in readiness for another preparation.

Chautauqua is still the one to beat in the eyes of many for the Everest but keep an eye out for Spieth who puts his credentials on the table this weekend when he lines up in the group 3 Concorde Stakes 1000m at Randwick.





Its personal opinion but I know many agree with me when I say the best race caller in the land is Mark Shean and wow haven’t the public welcomed him back with a bang.

Mark is offering his expertise and unrivalled eye for horses as a late mail service direct from the mounting yard in Sydney, soon to be in Melbourne for the big spring races and when you consider there are nine races each Saturday its outstanding value.

To get involved click on this link:

Last Saturday Mark declared four winners on top with a couple of quinellas and three of the other winners were savers.

With so many time restraints in life nowadays it’s certainly the smart way to go.





In finishing it was a sad weekend with the passing of broadcaster Drew Morphett.

Better known in the AFL states as the legendary broadcaster called the AFL as good as anyone but I loved his cricket commentating just as much but Drew loved all sports including racing.

I had the opportunity to work alongside Drew at several sports lunches and dinners and wow what experiences they were and I’ll cherish them forever.

Drew was as nicer person you’d meet and will be sorely missed.

On behalf of us all here at Just Racing our thoughts and condolences to the entire Morphett family, a legend has gone but he has left his mark on this world.


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