The perils of big-race tipping. Cashing in on my Spring carnival selections. Almost.

November 17, 2012

As Judith Durham and the bloke in the big glasses told us years ago, the Carnival is Over.

Such great racing. So few wins. No-one seems surprised.

Lucky for us, I recorded my big tips for all to see, in a bold piece on these pages more than two months ago. The idea was to be boasting right about now. With pockets full of folding stuff.

Sadly, that’s not the case. In a bid to learn lessons for next year, I thought it would be wise to go back over those selections, to establish what the hell I was thinking. Or drinking.

First tip was for the Caulfield Cup. I dismissed the visitors, and stuck with a local. Lights of Heaven was the one. I suggested you get on at big odds.

History tells us that I was wrong about the internationals. Dunaden won with a leg in the air. But Lights of Heaven returned to form, and grabbed third. At the each-way price, we were up.

For the Cox Plate, I plumped for a three-year old star. Pierro was my good thing. Another third, behind the outstanding Ocean Park.

Skinny odds this time, so we did our dough. But my tips filled the first three placings, so if you had a trifecta, like I did, you were eating Chinese that night.

In the big one at Flemington, I admitted I had no idea, other than to say that a foreigner would win our great race yet again.

I kindly offered this bit of advice. I hope you ignored it.

“Although I will say one thing. Forget this business about local trainers picking up foreign horses….It might work in a few years, when they get their systems right. But not yet.”

Unless, of course, we’re talking about Green Moon. The former international, now trained here. That streeted them on the first Tuesday in November.


In my wildly popular Cup form guide, put out the day before the race, I changed tack a little. My tips were Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos.

Can I say here and now, that if the jockeys and horses hadn’t stopped after the first mile, sat in a circle together and enjoyed tea and hay, before embarking on the second part of the race, they would have figured in the bloody finish.

The slow pace killed them, and any hope I had of making a dollar out of the race.

We can’t complain. It’s a tough gig, this tipping. Luckily, the majority of you put the red pen through anything I suggest. I might start doing the same.

Although I will say this. In that original crystal-ball piece all those weeks ago, I made special mention of one horse. Of course, I ignored my own advice. You’d expect nothing less.

“I should add here, that I also like Green Moon. He’ll also be vastly improved this Spring. He’ll win something, for sure.”

He did. Paid a heap. And I didn’t have a dollar on him. I hope you did. Unless you couldn’t see him through all that red ink.