Catching Carif

*This post was written for Sport Thought by Todd Blum.


Everybody has those horses that they continue to follow even if they aren't winning. Time and time again the one race that you don't have your $10 win bet they salute at a very juicy price. Carif is that horse for me. The problem? When he broke through he wasn't at the double figure odds I'd wanted. He still got the job done in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) on Saturday none the less and I am wrapt for connections as he has always been a favourite of mine.



W.S. Cox Plate Day and I could confidently say I'd had my couple of bucks on him to win in 12 of his last 20 starts and as he went around in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at $18, I turned to my mate and said: "Carif is going to win a race at odds one day and I'll be on."

Carif finished seventh in a strangely run MV Cup and although I was on Sound and followed the Mike Moroney import into the Group 3 Lexus Hotham Handicap (2500m) I again had my $10 on Carif.

Luckless again I thought we will follow him into the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth (2600m) in a week or wait for the Sandown meeting and take our chances then.


When the markets opened I was horrified.

Opening at a quote of $4.40 and I knew I'd missed my chance. Although a very open race I was never in doubt of the beautiful horse that is the progeny of a mum and dad who won 12 Group 1's between them. One of my all-time favourites in So You Think and Norzita, who also raced in the famous Dato Tan Chin Nam colours.


Carif duly saluted and put a run of luckless placings behind him and proved to the ownership group and training team of Peter and Paul Snowden that Carif can stay the 3200m.


It was another excellent ride from Jamie Kah who is leading the Melbourne Jockeys Premiership and is coming off the back of an excellent Spring.

The father-son combination will now be able to draw up a plan that would see Carif contest another 3200m race on the first Tuesday in November.


It will be a familiar sight to see the black and white checks with yellow sleeves in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) as two winners have carried them previously with Viewed winning in 2008 and Saintly back in 1996.


Although it was incorrectly reported after the race that the colours have won four Melbourne Cups, Tan Chin Nam was indeed the owner of four Cups but his first two with Think Big wearing Bart Cummings' green and gold diagonal stripes in 1974 and green and gold diagonal stripes with red sleeves when he won again in 1975.


One thing is for sure, if he is running in next year's Melbourne Cup, you can bet I'll have my $10 on him.


*To hear more racing listen to The Trainers Hut podcast here

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