‘Tis the season to go to the track. The punter’s guide to enjoying Christmas.

Any punter worth his rum balls knows the festive season is a special time.

Sure, the Group Ones are over, and most of our champions are chomping on hay in paddocks with tinsel hanging over fences.

Don’t let it bother you. There’s no better time than the next few weeks to organise a trip to your favourite racetrack.

It’s a four-week window, give or take a few days. From now up to Magic Millions day, in the summer heat on the Gold Coast.

There’s something special about heading to the races over the holidays. Everyone’s a little more relaxed. Even more fun to be had than usual.

Groups get together to enjoy some festive cheer. Sometimes it’s a once a year thing.

Permission is granted to have a few extra cool drinks. The holidays will do that to you.

You will see some racegoers in funny hats. Santa shirts. No one will mind.

We had a Christmas race day last year, and a mate of mine couldn’t stop winning. He was collecting trifectas like lucky dips. He told me he hadn’t had a bet in months. I forced a festive smile.

Friends will give us tips at the most unlikely meetings in the weeks ahead. Most will do nothing. We won’t mind, because we’ll be full of Christmas cheer.

We get to have a flutter on Boxing Day, between overs in the Test, and on New Year’s Day, before we head for a recovery swim.

There’ll be Christmas Cups, and Yuletide Handicaps, and Santa Sprints. Late in the day, we might even look for some omen bets. Anything with Rudolph in the title is worth throwing into the quaddie.

The quality of holiday racing has improved in recent years. Brisbane’s summer series is great fun. Randwick is famous for those late December races. January in Perth is always a hoot. And of course, Magic Millions.

A few of us will be trackside next weekend. Spirits will be high, even if we won’t be wearing flashing ties.

Come and say g’day if you see us. We may or may not be singing Christmas carols after the last. Depending on how many winners we’ve found. If we’re in silence, don’t tell me about your successful trifectas. I only have so many festive smiles.

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