Music to a mug punter’s ear. The perfect way to end Doomben Cup day.

May 21, 2016

There was a time when entertainment after the last came from your cashed-up mate.

He’d be the one tap dancing, cash in hand, while the rest of us looked for dropped coins and winning tickets discarded in haste.

Times have changed.

It’s not a feature day now without a superstar belting out his or her favourite tunes, minutes after the stragglers have been sent back to their stables.

What a treat last weekend. The legendary Daryl Braithwaite, in full voice at the Doomben 200 metre mark.

They tell me he went over a treat. I was busy near a monitor trying to get out in Perth so couldn’t join the great man on stage, but I could hear him in the distance.

“That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darlin’…’

Yep, the most famous ‘Horses’ since Phap Lap and crew were parading at Flemington.

One of the best racecourse concerts I’ve seen, through bleary eyes, was in Cairns, a few furlongs ago.

It was Cairns Cup day. Quite possibly the greatest consumption of Bundy rum over a 24 hour period in the southern hemisphere.

We were at a footy reunion, dressed sharply, and receiving golden tips from a mate working for a local bookie.

Our deal was that the mail would continue, as long as we loaded up on his counterparts.

It was in this winning environment, that someone mentioned the after-race entertainment.

In the best bit of scheduling since Nikki Webster was sent dangling over the Olympic stadium, local organisers had enticed The Angels to head north.

It’s doubtful if Doc and his mates would have had more loyal fans than those who’d trekked across the state’s far north, many of whom would be sleeping in swags that night.

It’s also doubtful that organisers had painted a true picture of where the ageing Aussie rockers would be strutting their stuff.

The stage was plonked in a swampy paddock, near the top of the straight. This proved difficult for many of the raceday patrons, who by now were without shoes.

It was loud enough to keep the crocs at bay, but not the mozzies, who created a new blood-borne disease based entirely on rum.

We’ve come a long way since then. Race day entertainment is a vital part of getting young people to the track.  What better place to boogie, than the wonderful spaces stretched across our top tracks.

After Our Ivanhowe wins the Doomben Cup this afternoon, a performer by the name of Mashd Kutcher will be doing his thing. The teenagers at home tell me he’s top shelf. Actually, they used a term I didn’t understand, but they seemed excited.

There’s a whisper Elvis has been booked for Stradbroke Day. I may or may not be making that up. Either way, it will be better than your tap dancing mate.

 

 

Advertisements

It’s back! The ultimate Cup guide. Who won’t win, and is Warwick Capper really a jockey?

November 5, 2012

So here we go again. Last year’s guide to our greatest race was such a hit, you’ve demanded a repeat. You really need a hobby.

Remember my tip last year? No? Good. Surely we can’t have such bad luck again.

Our team of researchers went through a box of cool drinks to help you sound like an expert on Cup day.

If you’re named below, apologies. If you’re my lawyer, stay close to the phone.

Dunaden – Craig Williams. Has won everything bar Big Brother. That run of luck is about to end. The French horse will think Williams has been replaced by Santa Claus he’s carrying so much weight.

Americain – Damien Oliver – Won’t win. This French favourite isn’t getting better with age. The booking of Oliver is a plus, as opposed to last year’s jockey, Mister Magoo.

Jakkalberry – a bloke named Colm you’ve never heard of. One of those international types with no chance. Couldn’t beat me up the straight. Aren’t you glad we invite them here?

Red Cadeaux – Michael Rodd. The winner. Do you have a tin of cash hidden in the backyard? Dig it up, shake the dirt off, and head straight to the TAB. You can pass on my ten per cent later.

Winchester – Jamie Mott. A slow American horse who’ll still be running when they start the presentation. Out of a mare called Rum Charger. What a shame.

Voila Ici – Vlad Duric. A visitor from Italy now trained here, who couldn’t win if they gave him a lap head start.

Cavalryman – Frankie Dettori. Why did they bother bringing him? Frankie obviously wanted a holiday. He’ll have plenty of time to check out the sights before, during and after the race.

Mount Athos – Ryan Moore. A big danger. Plenty of good judges have already backed this bloke. A prolific winner in Europe, still on the improve. If you’re running the sweep, slip this one into your back pocket.

Sanagas – Nick Hall. Another American, now trained by Bart. Cummings, not Simpson. Unless the great man is permitted to strap NASA-style rockets to his tail, there’ll be no 13th Cup win.

Ethiopia – Rhys McLeod. A decent run in the Cox Plate. Which is lucky for connections, because it will be the only thrill they’ll receive this carnival.

Fiorente – James McDonald. An English horse now with Gai. I’m sure I heard her say he could be the greatest horse ever to be saddled. Or something similar. Actually, that could have been any one of her horses. Will over-achieve if he finishes top twenty.

Galileo’s Choice – Pat Smullen. My best roughie. Dermot Weld has been aiming at the Cup for twelve months. The canny Irishman and his camp have been playing their chances down since they arrived. That should set alarm bells ringing. Big chance at even bigger odds.

Glencadam Gold – Tommy Berry. Another one from Gai. Likely leader. If they give a ribbon for the horse in front after 1600 metres, he might be successful. That also makes him a distinct chance of running last.

Green Moon – Brett Prebble. Failed in the Cox Plate. Injured, and blowing out with the bookies. Nothing like confidence.

Maluckyday – Jim Cassidy. Runner up two years ago. Not many ride the two miles better than the Pumper. A chance to be the top Aussie home. There should be a prize for that.

Mourayan – Hugh Bowman. Terrible luck last year, because some idiot who writes smart-arse Cup guides tipped him. Of course, he was scratched hours later. I’ll never live that down. Good luck to all concerned this year.

My Quest for Peace – Corey Brown. The only horse to sing before the Queen. And did a tap dance at the opening ceremony for the London Olympics. In horse-shoes. Only has to repeat that here and could figure in the finish.

Niwot – Warwick Capper. Interesting choice of jockey. Keep an eye out for what he’s wearing during the National Anthem.

Tac de Boistron – who cares. The name means ‘French Arrogance’ in English. As in, let’s send any old plodder to take on those bums down under.

Lights of Heaven – Luke Nolen. My Caulfield Cup tip, and what a race she ran. I’d be happy for her to win this, so I could see Peter Moody drinking XXXX Gold during the Cup handover.

Precedence – Jim Pike. Not many people know that Bart actually ran this horse in the 1958 Melbourne Cup. Great that’s he’s still with us, and has all his original teeth.

Unusual Suspect – one of the scientists from Beauty and the Geek. If you get this one in a sweep, rip it up on the spot. At least those around you will think you know something about racing.

Zabeelionaire – Donald Trump. Are we finished yet? I’m running out of paper.

Kelinni – Glen Boss. The best jockey in the field. Sadly, he’s not on a horse to match. No Makybe Diva moments coming this year for Bossy.

So there we have it. Feel free to share this with friends, and people you want to annoy.

Remember, gamble responsibly. Meaning, if my tips win, you have a responsibility to give me money. Good luck to us all.


Let the Magic begin. Why only racing’s bravest survive the Gold Coast’s biggest week.

January 7, 2012

It’s Magic Millions week. I hope you’ve been in training.

Seven wonderful days. Eight, if you joined them for the Sportsman’s Lunch at Northcliffe Surf club yesterday. Thank the Lord I didn’t know about that one.

Now, you need to forget all about those piddly one day racing events. Or the so-called Big Weekends. This festival of fun lasts a full week. Like that fancy one in Melbourne come November.

There are some highlights, that everyone will attend. The main race day of course. This time next week. Millions on the line, at a jam-packed Gold Coast Turf club.

The sale across the road attracts buyers from all over the world. Four unique days. Cashed up lovers of young thoroughbreds. Most of them will be wearing shorts.

Others will spend a few hours around the sale yard, enjoying cool drinks. There will be banter, and dreaming. Thinking of a winning purchase next year. I’ll be in that category.

True Magic Millions fans, however, have plenty more to do. No rest days. A survival of the fittest. With fresh tans.

Are you up for it? Of course you are. That’s the beauty of this week. Everyone is on holidays. Ready to play.

Today is Ladies Day at the track. A taste of things to come next weekend. With a tough eight race card.

The highlight is the Bat Out of Hell, a 900 metre scamper. I have never backed the winner of this race. Ever. Let’s move on.

Sunday and Monday are a little quiet. Good chance to inspect the yearlings at the sales complex. And for the girls, Monday’s ‘Magic in the Clouds’ luncheon is a must. Apparently.

Tuesday is when things gets hectic. Up early for the Barrier Draw, now being held at the beach. Good chance for a swim to shake the cobwebs off.

The Carbine Lunch starts at midday. At Jupiters Casino, of all places. Pat Welsh hosting. Don’t tell anyone, but he would actually pay them to do it.

Somehow, the party set must stay tidy, for the official launch that night. Invitation only. Mine must have been lost in the mail.

The boys get a sleep in the next day. Not the girls. They have to back up for a Sparkling Ladies lunch, at Palazzo Versace. Another must. Apparently.

Thursday is my favourite day at the sales. Day One. Always a buzz. The cool drinks will be icy, shared by some characters. Often into the evening.

The fairer sex get to show off their best headwear, at the Marriott’s Hats & High Tea. An annual favourite. I’ve been tempted to buy a fancy lid just to join them for a quality cuppa.

There’s a gala dinner on the Friday night. The rest of us will be doing the form. Trying to find some winners to pay for the previous few days.

Saturday is Race Day. The toughest will cross the road after the last, and finish things off at the sales. I’ve only ever made it that far once. Something about a false bid that caused a minor stir. I believe the ban might still be in place.

Is the week done? Who cares. That’s enough for most of us.

Let me know how you fare. If you make it to everything, I’ll push for some sort of award. Maybe a nice hat. It could be handy next year.