The Prime Minister’s Cup is one of my favourite days at the track.
Not that you need a reason to have fun on the Gold Coast.
But there’s something about the PM’s Cup that stirs the imagination.
So if I’m excited, why isn’t the PM?
Once again, I’m led to believe that our nation’s leader won’t be handing over the Cup.
If only he knew what he was missing.
Just in case he wants to leave election planning for a bit, I thought it would be handy to provide my guide to the Gold Coast track.
This has been carefully put together over many years, recorded on several beer-stained coasters spruiking brands all the way back to Powers.
First off, the Entrance.
There will be weird and wonderful sights as you approach the gate.
Blokes in top hats. Blokes in thongs. Girls in thongs. Some even on their feet. And more tattoos than an NRL dressing shed.
My advice to Malcolm is – don’t be distracted.
Many good punters have missed a good thing in the first, by savouring the wacky images from the glitter strip.
Once inside, ditch the party hacks, and head to the snack bar.
You’ll find those pre-made steak burgers just the trick, to soak up the hours of fun ahead.
The crowd will be bustling by this time. Embrace it. With ears open. Tips will be flying. Write them down carefully. Especially from old rich blokes. Every chance you’re standing behind an owner. Or a Cabinet Minister. Either way, they wouldn’t be telling fibs.
Find a table, and don’t let it go.
Get your mates (Christopher Pyne could come in handy here), to arrange jackets and form guides on every available chair.
You will be in a running brawl across the day, fighting off table-pinchers. Again, focus is the key.
That kind lady asking if she can rest her champagne next to your Best Bets, is actually plotting to overrun you and Christopher with ten of her noisy friends.
Treat it like a Monday morning party room meeting. Ignore everyone, banish the unwelcome drink, and concentrate on where the money’s going in the next.
Once Pyney has the table fortress-like, you can concentrate on your punting. And as a multi, you at least know that you won’t be chasing bus fare after the last.
There are key points to remember as you mark that form guide. The glorious Gold Coast is like no other. Some things stand the test of time.
Horses near the lead won’t win every race. Just most of them.
If they don’t have an inside barrier from the 1800 metre start, forget it.
Follow the money in the last. Rare that it’s off the mark.
And don’t leave it too late to get to the tote window. Remember the lady who wanted your table? She’s in front of you, about to place thirty trifectas worth about four dollars.
It’s the sort of stuff Bob Hawke knew years ago. He wrote the manual on raceday tricks. Come to think of it, he probably would have let Champagne Trifecta Lady share that table. But I digress.
I hear the PM’s staff saying I’ve wasted too much of Malcolm’s time, when all he really wants is a tip for the big one.
Well Prime Minister, I reckon your Cup might just be going to Rob Heathcote and Hopfgarten. With Coolring a definite chance at odds. Are you writing this down?
And if you’re (more) cashed up by the last, Santa Ana Lane is a good thing. Yep, another big day for your favourite jockey D.Browne.
I’ll keep an eye out for you and Christopher at the snack bar. In case you have a change of heart. What a publicity shot ahead of the election. Of course, you could always open the new look Eagle Farm. Perfect timing before we head to the ballot box. And between us, Bill Shorten has already asked me for my Stradbroke tips. Let the election race begin.