Just a few days to go, and we’ll be watching fireworks and downing the last cool drinks of the year.
That means it’s time for the racing industry’s most sought after list. The annual Hold All Tickets awards for 2012.
The biggest names in the game will be waking up even earlier, to see if they made a mention. Some will wear it like a badge of honour at the track today. Others will be on the phone to their lawyer.
As usual, send all angry responses to the complaints department. With the 1-hundred dollar fee. Cash or cheque taken.
So here we go. Good luck one and all.
*Greatest Racing Moment.
A host of contenders. But nothing beats Black Caviar at Royal Ascot, notching up win number 22. Just.
What golden theatre. Luke Nolen’s ride, and later, his honesty. Peter Moody’s love of the horse. The fact that she beat the best the Poms could throw up, firing at about 80%.
We were texting and tweeting in the middle of the night. Everyone had an opinion. Sporting gold, and we all felt a part of it.
*The ‘Stick With Me And You’ll Wear Diamonds’ Award.
Green Moon. Good judges knew he would win something big. Bad judges too. Like me. But we all dropped off, just in time for him to stride away with the Melbourne Cup. What were we thinking?
*Trainer Of The Year.
You’ll accuse me of favouring old Queensland boys, but it has to be Peter Moody. His handling of the Mighty Mare has been perfect again. Black Caviar aside, he’s been training winners all over the place. Back a Moody horse, and you know everything has been done to get the nag across the line.
Honourable mentions to Chris Waller, who will keep breaking records in Sydney, and Rob Heathcote. The Group Races will keep coming for Brisbane’s top conditioner. Hopefully a Stradbroke, with a lightly raced maiden coming back from a spell in the coming weeks. No pressure Rob.
And if you’re not backing Desleigh Forster horses, you should be. She’s winning everything. I’d love to be in with her for a Gold Lotto ticket tonight.
*Jockey Of The Year.
Tough. Glen Boss gets the nod, through weight of winners at the top-level. Few enjoy that winning moment better than Bossy. Just ahead of Hugh Bowman. No-one seems to be riding with more confidence at the minute. Nash and Damian have had their problems.
A few to follow for the New Year. Josh Parr will ride a heap of winners in Sydney, now that he’s linked with Moody. A perfect fit. Same for Ryan Wiggins in Brisbane. A highly talented horseman with a fierce competitive streak. It’s no fluke Heathcote is putting him on more and more top chances. And don’t be afraid of whacking your cash on young Tegan Harrison. An apprentice with a superb attitude, on the way up.
*Greatest Annoyance in Racing.
For me, the number of times totes and betting agencies fall down. On-line computer crashes, and phone systems that can’t take a bet. Especially on big days. Tote machines that freeze, the second a bloke is trying to get a bet on. Yes, it happened to me last week.
Is it too much to ask to have reliability, all year round? One crash is one too many. Use some of the millions we punters fork over to you, and get the system fixed.
*Tipster To Follow in 2013
With social media now abuzz with racing, there have never been more tips on offer. Most of them will empty your wallet. One bloke who gets it right more often that not is Nathan Exelby. The Courier Mail’s new head racing journo does all his own form, and is rarely far from the money. Bet on his Brisbane tips with confidence.
*The 2012 Twitter Media Guru
So many to choose from. Richie #richieplz Callander always provides a laugh. Young Andrew Hawkins has an opinion on everything, and does the research to back those opinions up. The Queensland trio of Ben Dorries, Gerard Daffy and Peter Psaltis are great fun. But we’ll declare joint winners. Andrew Bensley and Ron Dufficy make us feel like old mates. Highly entertaining, and true experts in their field.
*The ‘All Our Support’ award.
Chris Munce. One tough little bugger. His battle with throat cancer begins within weeks. He has all of those in racing in his corner. So, too, does Kristy Banks. Such courage, after a terrible fall. An inspiration to us all.
And finally, ‘The Horse To Surprise You All in 2013’.
Pintuck. But don’t tell anyone. Not until we get a price for him, anyway.
So there you have it. A few hundred pointless words to fill my final racing blog of the year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these scribblings. Thanks for the feedback, good and bad. It’s nice to know the handful of you out there are still on board.
To you and your family, have a wonderful New Year. Here’s to a year of backing more winners than our pockets can hold.