The Form Guide

20 Mar
Robster the Blogster of B&B fame (it's his photo not it's him in the photo although actually...)

Robster the Blogster of B&B fame (it’s his photo not it’s him in the photo although actually…)

The Across the Lake Swim on sat’dee with 174 punters already registered compared with 233 actually swimming last year, is shaping up to be a Belmont Classic. It’s the 54th outing for this prestigious swim in this the Year of the Horse. With Can Too unveiling the results of its new ‘Long’ swim programme at Lake Macquarie, I thought it might be worth a quick look at the field.

Well, just some (and by no means all) of the orange liveried Can Too stable at least. Keep reading regular os.c punters, you may be surprised by the talent lurking here.


Jacki Alcock:  stable name, Not Quite Nemo, this steadfast mare is actually more at home in colder climes and is training for a place at the Escape from Alcatraz swim in California in June.  Pedigree – 2013 Sarf Head Roughwater duo; 2014 Crawl for a Cure – appears to be more pub crawl than front crawl.  Verdict: could be distracted by all her mentees and the warm water though outside possibility that she could be very focused on Belmont RSL.

Go jump in the lakePip Bell: confusingly not sired by Can Too North coach Jon Bell, this enthusiastic maiden is very well grounded.  The punters love her racing name, a giveaway as to her potential.  She’s champing at the bit to be under starter’s orders.

Kim Cook:  British bred.  Australian trained.  Where will the similarity with Makybe Diva end? Less diva and more of a steady temperament, this 3 yo filly is another one training for Sarf Head Roughwater but doesn’t mind a canter out on the flat and is rumoured to be on peak form for the 10km Easter meet across Auckland harbour. Bad race at the Big Swim this year has put her form off.  Could be interesting.

Grant Campbell: Has a penchant for hitting the front too early but don’t write off this sturdy steed just yet.  Proved last year that he’s got the staying power for this distance.  Could be wise to wear blinkers after being decoyed by the buoy collecting boat in 2013.  Other nags would be well advised to keep off his rear as he has a mean kick.

Liz Crowhurst:  Long odds though not entirely hopeless as went the distance last year.  Loves flat conditions.  Definitely carrying too much weight though.  Apparently currently distracted by Donal Buckley’s brilliant sugar confectionary analysis.  Will certainly have plenty to think about crossing the channel.  Her trainer claims she likes to channel Black Beauty in endurance events.  Odd because she’s an aging grey.

Mark Ellis:  Another mount with British provenance, this Clydesdale looking stallion is all class.  Difficult to lay odds though at $8,750 he’s highly fancied.  He has an unusual aversion to certain race day hats and will need to stick by his strapper in the birdcage.  Another one training for the Sarf Head Roughwater, he likes a bit more rough and tumble than likely to be offered by being bailed up on the flat in the back straight.  Was a strong performer last year and is a definite stayer at this distance.

Ros Elmslie: Scratched.  You should have been out in the eye of the storm at Bilgola if you wanted to have seen this fearless mare.  As much as you might pine for this fine maiden, you’ve more chance of seeing Shergar swim across the Lake.

Michelle Gailey: Can Too coach horse rumoured to be late entering but don’t expect a dray.  Although, she’s a strong breed alright.  Goes across multiple disciplines – including professional triathlete.  Stable name: the Honey Badger.  Will be looking to send other nags off to the pet cannery.

Kieran Gallagher: More Champion the Wonder Horse than classic Red Rum, this veteran racer could be tempted by a red rum at Belmont and a good nose bag.  Ran a great tactical race at Bilgola.  Irish lineage might be a great late St Patrick’s Day punt. Could be on the nose.  Depends if the trainers keep him in hand.

Glenda Hunter-Brittain: os.c favourite and Australian thoroughbred, this well fancied mare ran 4th in her age category at Bilgola last weekend.  GHB has been training hard all summer.  But appears to have some concern about lakes and flat racing.  Has been known to get herself in a pickle but expect the class to shine through.

Gail Langley: famous Can Too brood mare, happy to show the youngsters her hooves.  Narrowly missed out on a place last year, could be in the winners’ enclosure this year.

Bijorn Liden*: No could be a dark horse about this one; we are in fact, completely in the dark. This Swedish colt is part of the Big Blue stable, ran very well last year, but it’s unknown if he will be putting in an appearance this year. We can’t understand the Swedish form guides, so Bijorn is a total wildcard punt.  Have heard that he loves the movie ‘Men who Swim’; could be all eggbeater kicking and barrel sculling.  Keep watch on those around him in case he tries to lift the competition.  No idea whether he will be off to a flying start or off for a roll mop herring and a birching.

Credit: The Real Banksy.  Our captain was in danger of losing his stripes

Credit: The Real Banksy.
Our captain was in danger of losing his stripes

Martin Patience: more patient than patience this season, this Can Too North pod captain was in danger of losing his stripes after over training had him in rehab with a dicky ticker.  But don’t doubt the huge heart of the aging stallion – there’s no confining him to the knacker’s yard yet.  A definite stayer but will find the distance tough going.

Ted McClure: one of 2 from the Big Blue stable with form that goes back to Can Too 2007.  Ran 6th in his age category at Bilgola last week.  A Lake place getter in 2013 (3rd), will undoubtedly be worried about nemesis Steve de Lorenzo and distraction of Can Too water safety.  But maybe that just gives him a bigger heart.  Keeper of the Big Blue mascot and more popular than Phar Lap in Can Too circles.  One to watch.

Katie Price: A young filly from the East stable and highly fancied by the Bondi SLSC.  After her outing in the 9km Dee Why to Manly, she’s proven she’s a stayer and she’s training for the Sarf Head Roughwater solo so likely that this distance is just too short for her to even feather a fetlock.

Photo from the crazy Malteser herself

Photo from the crazy Malteser herself

Fiona Scicluna: highly fancied by the Toowoon Bay Buttercups, this dancing young filly and maiden this season could be one to watch.  Can be flighty however.  Stable mates rumour that she’s easily spooked by what lies beneath – see photo in surf training earlier this season.

Clair Simpson: Another impeccably credentialled filly from the Big Blue stable ex Can Too 2007.  Disappointed to be pipped at the post last year by American Big Blue stable mate Priscilla, she’s odds on for a place this year.

Tenielle Thompson: another highly fancied filly from the East (Coogee – smelly place – Tenielle said that, it’s not a sign of intertribal rivalry).  Looks like she might have a great affinity for the lake conditions.  Definitely one to watch.

Leanne Warner: another mare full of Eastern Promise, and with a high price on her head but this one comes with real pedigree.  Has definitely got the distance in her.  Could be the ultimate laydee of the lake. Rumoured twinge in the back means she could be subject to veterinarian clearance.

If the Honey Badger turns up, can’t go past an each way trifecta on the Jon Bell/Mike Langley trained trio McClure, Simmo, Gailey making a showing in the winners’ enclosure.  Plenty of candidates for a place getter at the tail end of the pack.  Should be a great day for a flutter.

In the Cure Cancer Australia stakes, this little lot (and their absent stable mates – not got them all in here as it’s a bit of a Melbourne Cup start) are up to an aggregate $40,000.  To put money on a nag, go to  and search for your fancy by name.

See you Sat’dee.  At the Lake.  For the Autumn Carnival.  Don’t shout yourselves ‘hoarse’ but please keep yelling – Go Can Too!

Aging grey

The Aging Grey

* used to say Janissen Riley: a 19 yo talented colt who placed 3rd in his age category in the 1km.  Well done Janissen!  The Aging Grey apologises profusely for confusing Janis with Jonas who is a Swede marrying into the Can Too family and thinking that Fassifern was more likely to be a suburb of Stockholm than Lake Macquarie.  We sincerely hope only amusement and no offence was caused by the simple case of mistaken identity.

4 Responses to “The Form Guide”

  1. Libby March 20, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    Wishing you all the very best:) I’m sure you will do us proud!!

  2. London City (Mum) March 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    Go Lizzie! Missing you and will be sending ‘go forward’ vibes in my absence.

    LCM x

  3. KP March 25, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    This is the best blog post I have ever read!

    • lizziecantoo March 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

      Golly, thanks Katie! You must have had too much woine at the Researcher Reception. I am still embarrassed about the Janis Jonas confusion! See you on Sun’dee at North Steyne. Lizzie

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