Locals reveal their secrets, on how to back a winner at the Cairns Amateurs.

The best racecourses get you excited at the front gate.

Walk into Eagle Farm, and tell me you’re not tingling. Randwick too. You can’t help but breathe in the history.

Cairns does it to me every time. The walk to the entrance, reminds me of everything that is wonderful about the tropical north.

So it will be today. There will be a swarm of us, ready for the fun that is Amateurs.

Some, it must be said, will be dusty. Many of those dressed to the nines, will be showing remarkable powers of recovery.

Just hours ago, they were dancing up a storm at the Amateurs Ball. Screaming Shannon Noll’s name as if he was a short-priced favourite three lengths clear.

They will be sweating pure champagne. Such is the sacrifice that must be made for the North’s premier racing event.

Of course, it’s all well and good to be in the social pages tomorrow, but the priority today is to find a winner or three. Luckily, I’m here to help.

After shaking off the black-tie cobwebs, I’ve been able to canvass some experts in the field, to guide you in the right direction

The bloke two stools up at the early-opener told me we must follow that wily veteran Frank Edwards.

He may have been giving that advice for half a century, because that’s how long it seems Frank has been winning races up here.

But age shall not weary him, so don’t be afraid to get on today.

Another veteran hoop will be in action, and as sure as I’ll be late getting a winning bet on, he will win a race.

Robert Thompson could salute on a rocking horse. He’s been coming up here for years, showing the youngsters how it’s done. He might be the one to finance your lobster tonight.

What we don’t want, is to be following jockeys who were bopping to ‘What About Me’ last night.

They tell me he’s a fair dancer, but Chris Whiteley will be saving his special moves for this afternoon. My Gold Coast mates rate him at the top of the tree. Follow him with confidence today, even at odds.

Here’s hoping those three have us excited when we’re walking out of the gates too.

And one final piece of advice. If a woman in fancy headwear tips you something based on names, colours or lucky numbers, follow her. Funny things happen on Amateurs Day. That’s the beauty of it.

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