The official Melbourne Cup Guide for Mug Punters. Can Barack Obama win at Flemington?

November 2, 2015

No idea what to back in the Cup? Sick of workmates laughing at your lame attempts to sound horse-hip? Fear not fellow mug punters. Help is at hand.

The official Hold All Tickets Melbourne Cup Guide for Mug punters will answer all your questions. One read, and you’ll be the expert at the lunch table. The guru at the work canteen. Hell, you might even win something!

As well as a detailed look at every runner in the field, you’ll also receive fascinating racing insights, to improve your performance when the talk comes to racing. All this, for the small price of buying me a drink the next time you see me. Cup winners may even consider two.

So here we go. Pens at the ready. Good luck!

(Publisher’s note – there is every chance alcohol is involved in the formation of this so-called guide. Anyone who follows this fool’s ramblings needs to have a look at themselves).

1/ Snow Sky – Roger Moore (jockey). Even with a former James Bond riding him, this bloke’s no hope. And his trainer has a knighthood. As if..

2/ Criterion – Michael Walker. Genuine chance. Trainer David Hayes has his mojo back, and Walker can ride. Classy, but a query on whether he’ll see out the 3200 metres.

3/ Fame Game – Zac Purton. The favourite. And Purton is a gun. The Japanese say he can’t be beaten. At least I think that’s what they said. Over-rated for mine. And needs a bone-dry track. Leave me out.

4/ Our Ivanhowe – Ben Melham. Named after the mighty Ivanhoes footy club in Cairns. Which is a surprise given he’s from Germany. Trainer Freedman knows how to win a Cup. Top Six chance.

5/ Big Orange – David ‘Luttsy’ Lutteral. Named in honour of our great redheads. The horse carrying the hopes of all ginger-tops. They actually had to change the rules to allow a ranga to have a ride in the great race. Luttsy will give his all .. but the horse will still be running after dark.

6/ Hartnell – James McDonald. Not doing enough, even with the services of our most improved jockey. Pass.

7/ Hokko Brave – Craig Williams. The second of the Japanese raiders. Forget his Caulfield Cup run. Tell your mates he’s a better chance than the favourite, and glow in their praise when he rockets home into the placings.

8/ Max Dynamite – Frankie Dettori or Rod Stewart. There are three things the Irish are passionate about. Guinness and racing. This bloke can spring a huge shock, especially if it’s wet.

9/ Red Cadeaux – Paul Hogan. Hoges has been given the ride in honour of the horse being named Australian of the Year. He won’t win, but cheer him anyway.

10/ Trip to Paris – Tommy Berry. The winner. Get on and get on for plenty. The more you put on the more you get back.

#Hoofnote – the star of the movie Racing Stripes was a zebra. And he won the Kentucky Derby. And the stable flies could talk. Very, very cool.

11/ Who Shot Thebarman – Blake Shinn. Ran third last year. Johnny Cash sang a song about him. Or Waylon Jennings. Anyway .. trainer Chris Waller is winning everything except the RSL raffle .. so watch this fella.

12/ Sky Hunter – Bill Shorten. The Opposition Leader will do anything for a lift in the polls. They could start an hour early and still not run in the first ten.

13/ The Offer – Damien Oliver. One of Gai’s hopes. Top trainer. Top jockey. Might not be good enough, but the dynamic duo will give him every chance.

14/ Grand Marshal – Jim Cassidy. The ‘Pumper’s’ last Cup ride. Sadly it won’t be a winning one.

#Hoofnote – I shed a tear in the movie Phar Lap. Several times. When he died, and when he was beaten early and they lost their cash. Gents, if you’re trying to impress the ladieeez at your Cup function today, feel free to borrow that line.

15/ Preferment – Hugh Bowman. Huge chance. The best of the locals, with the Cox Plate-winning jockey. Include him in anything you do.

16/ Quest for More – Damian Lane. If he wins I will give each and every one of you a glass of champagne. (Publisher’s note – see above).

17/ Almoonquith – Dwayne Dunn. Should be penalised for having a silly name.

18/ Kingfisher – Bronwyn Bishop. She asked stewards if she could use the chopper to tow him along. Even then would struggle.

19/ Prince of Penzance – Andrew O’Keefe. Instead of wearing silks he’ll be in the pirate costume.

20/ Bondi Beach – Brett Prebble. He’ll be riding topless in honour of the backpackers who’ll be cheering him.

21/ Sertorius – Craig Newitt. The horse ran against Phar Lap back in the 1930s. Stewards have given permission for him to run with the aid of a walker.

22/ The United States – Barack Obama. A lightweight threat. Include him in your multiple bets.

#Hoofnote – Just after the start of the Cup, you’ll see the field pass the winning post, before the horses do another lap. You are required to cheer loudly when this happens, and pretend that your horse just won. Hilarious trick, especially at an expensive function.

23/ Excess Knowledge – Kerrin McEvoy. Another of Gai’s runners. Scraped into the field with a win last Saturday. Not for us.

24/ Gust of Wind – Mark Latham. Now there’s an omen bet if ever there was one. You’ll hear him belly-aching before they hit the straight.

So there you have it. Winners .. horses to avoid .. and conversation gold. Share this with your friends. Unless they happen to be lawyers. Happy Cup Day!

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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.


All the Cup winners, two months early. Remember me when you cash in.

September 1, 2012

The dark days of winter are a mere memory. Spring and all her delights are in the air. When a young punter’s fancy turns to the Cups.

And the Plate, of course. The Cox Plate. The Caulfield Cup. And the big one. The race the rest of the world now pinches.

Today, the first of the Cup contenders show their stuff. Early days, on the way to bigger spoils.

The rules have changed, of course. Races that were once vital, now matter little. And country cups that were good for a beer and a cheer, now host Cup favourites.

I’m telling you nothing special when I say an overseas horse will win the Melbourne Cup. That’s just how it is now. They are deadly serious about breeding two-mile specialists, and we’re not.

Our money is for sprinters, and the milers. No use protesting about it any more. Someone, somewhere, decided we didn’t need to be in the staying game. And so, a foreign raider will again pinch the cup that connections of Phar Lap sipped out of.

Of course, that makes it bloody difficult to pick the winner this far out. Because we have no idea how good any of the foreigners really are. Or if they’ll even make it here.

Depressed yet? Don’t be. There are winners coming further down the page. Just not for the Cup we love the most.

Only the brave or the foolhardy would be plonking money down for the first Tuesday in November just yet. Another few weeks needed. Although I will say one thing. Forget this business about local trainers picking up foreign horses.

It’s all the rage at the minute. Anyone with a fat wallet and a dream is buying half-decent foreign stayers, and throwing them at an Australian stable. We’ve been caught out, and we’re playing catch up. It might work in a few years, when they get their systems right. But not yet.

The winner will be trained by an international. He’s been sitting in his barn, on the other side of the world, for months now. Maybe Cumani, or Dermot again, or the Sheik. Or some other bloke we’ve never heard of.

I know what you’re saying. You paid good money to read this stuff, and so far it’s still totally devoid of any decent tips. (Hang on, you PAID to read this? Seriously? You obviously have far too much spare cash. I’ll give you my TAB account details later.)

Ok, so we’ve established that together, we have no idea who’ll win the Melbourne Cup. Brilliant. But what if I told you that this year’s Cox Plate winner is running around today?

Have a look at Rosehill this afternoon, just after 3 o’clock, and you’ll see something special. Pierro. Triple Crown winner. Unbeaten as a two-year-old. One right out of the box.

I was on when he won the Golden Slipper. Bless him. Normally, that would force me to rule him out for the Spring Carnival the following year. But not this guy.

He just keeps getting better. Gai Waterhouse can’t say enough about him. Even in Gai talk. The wraps are twice as big as those she puts on all her other neddies. God love her.

But I reckon she’s spot on. He strikes me as one of those rare beasts, who will actually thrive over the torturous Cox Plate trip as a three-year-old. Tough as old boots. With an enormous desire to win.

The downside is that plenty of others agree. He’s ridiculously short for a baby in the nation’s premier weight-for age race. Seven dollars at the minute, second favourite behind stablemate More Joyous. And as much as I love Singo’s mare, I don’t think she can beat him.

Right, there’s our first winner, for a race that’s still weeks away. Write it down, put it in your early doubles, and remember me when you collect.

Winner number two comes up the week before. The Caulfield Cup can still be taken out by a local. Even with the foreign interest.

Lights of Heaven couldn’t have been more impressive earlier this year, culminating with victory in the Brisbane Cup. I love that Peter Moody has given her all the time she needed, after struggling a touch the season before.

Granted, she’ll have to keep improving. And I think she can.

Get on right now, and you’ll nab the Zabeel mare at twenty-one dollars. Money for jam.

I should add here, that I also like Green Moon. He’ll also be vastly improved this Spring. He’ll win something, for sure. But I can’t back one that is Caulfield Cup favourite this early. They just never, ever, get up.

Two winners, a special, and a game plan for the Big One. And there’s still two months to go.

We’ll re-assess our strategy in a few weeks. And the normal rules apply. Donations from all winners gratefully accepted.

In the rare case that someone might lose from this information, contact our Complaints Department. I’ll get back to you with that address.


It’s official. The three greatest days recorded on a racetrack. Were you there with me?

November 26, 2011

I’ve never had a bad day at the track.

Sure, there have been frustrating days. Costly too. Afternoons where common sense ran a distant last. And sessions that led to a long walk home.

But it’s always fun. Sometimes in a perverse sort of way. Non-punting friends are shaking their heads again.

To help those poor unfortunates who prefer golf or scrabble on their Saturdays, I thought I’d compile a list of some memorable days at the races.

Every chance you won’t remember them. No Phar Laps or Black Caviars here. Just some personal favourites. Special racecourse visits, that still make me smile.

So here we go. Counting down my all-time top three Ripper Days at the track. Not including the ones I can’t remember.

*Ripper Memory Number 3 – Magic Millions Day 2003 .. Regimental Gal.

I have always had a love of Gold Coast racing. And nothing says surf and turf better than Magic Millions.

Singo used to call it Melbourne Cup day in shorts and thongs. A unique party atmosphere. In the middle of summer.

Back then, Shaun Dwyer was training out of Toowoomba. A fine horseman, who’d been having great success. But without the profile of Bart, Gai, and the Freedman boys.

I convinced the boss that it would be fun to follow a Queenslander trying to win the big race. Just maybe, we’d link up with a bunch of locals who could  knock off the big guns.

Shaun was great. Incredibly generous with his time. He introduced me to the owners, and to a flying filly called Regimental Gal. More importantly, he confided in me that she was a huge chance.

On race day, the course was packed, as usual. We had a big crew, and no-one missed out on a cool drink.

Nothing unusual there. Except this year, I considered myself part of the team. Whether the team liked it or not.

She won, running away. One of Michael Rodd’s first big victories. When she saluted, I jumped in the air like she was mine. Possibly something to do with the 15 to 1.

After the race, I went down to congratulate Shaun and the rest of them. Hugged them, and possibly kissed someone. To their eternal credit, they didn’t have security drag me away. They even made me stay for an ale. I may or may not have sneaked into a photo.

The locals won the day. I was proud of them.

*Ripper Memory Number 2 – Melbourne Cup Day .. 2001

Going to the Cup for the first time is incredibly special. I’d been to Flemington, but not for Carnival week.

It’s like a cricket fan walking into Lords. Almost religious.

Derby Day was awesome. As I imagined it would be. Cup day? Simply spectacular.

We arrived early. Because everyone does. The big race was sponsored by Tooheys that year. What luck. It was decided that we should do the right thing, and support them straight away.

Hitting the bar, as the rest of the country was having breakfast, we encountered a snag. The sponsor’s product hadn’t been chilled. It was just sitting there, in cartons. What were they thinking? Hot beer was not the way we would be celebrating the great race.

So, our first drink of the day was that glorious product originating from the cane fields of Bundaberg. The Queenslanders were in town.

Somehow, I still remember the following hours. The colour and excitement of the day was more intoxicating than anything they served in glass.

Ethereal won the big one. She claimed a Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double. We cheered, and hugged, and laughed. And then caught a train home with 100,000 other people.

It should be compulsory for Australians to go to at least one Melbourne Cup in their lifetime. And if you’re a punter, you have to go to two. We’ll be back.

*Ripper Memory Number 1 – Beartracker wins at Eagle Farm – November 21, 2009

It wasn’t the biggest race of the year. Not even the feature of the day. In fact, it was Race One, on a pretty ordinary card at headquarters.

If you’d been there that day, you would have found a seat with ease. And there was no line up for drinks.

That humble Saturday, remains one of the greatest days in my life. The day a gritty gelding we had a part-share in, took the prize at Eagle Farm.

It was the mighty Beartracker’s main target. A 2400 metre Quality event. And so it was that a bunch of us gathered, to watch him go around.

Jason Holder rode like a man inspired. We stood and cheered in the stand, louder than anyone has ever cheered on a racecourse.

He won.

I doubt anyone could have been more excited. My face hurt from smiling. Jason may have been injured in the post-race hug. Rob Heathcote considered applying for a restraining order in the enclosure, to keep me away.

Members of our syndicate went into the Committee room, and drank tiny beers. The same place the greats had stood, and sipped. We gulped.

They finally kicked us out, to prepare for the next race. We found a nearby table, and continued the party. I can’t remember having more fun.

I can only imagine what the celebrations must be like after a Cup, or a Cox Plate. But for us, nothing could beat the feeling we had that afternoon at Eagle Farm.

So there you have it. Three golden moments. Just thinking about those great times makes me want to go straight to the track.

I’m sure you have your own memories. It’s the beauty of the racing game. We’re easily excited. And nothing beats a winner.


Finally, the official mug punter’s Melbourne Cup guide. By the biggest mug punter of them all.

October 31, 2011

Are you being laughed at for your lack of Melbourne Cup knowledge? Kids being teased at school because mum and dad missed the barrier draw? Friend, help is at hand.

Face it, we all want to back the Cup winner. Even for a dollar. Bragging rights can last for years.

You need something easy to digest, with no punches pulled. And here it is. The first annual Hold All Tickets Melbourne Cup guide.

I hear scornful giggles. Fair enough, my Cup record isn’t flash. Before the great Makybe Diva, we go back to Kiwi in 1983. There may have been one or two in between, but my memory of Cup afternoons is hazy at best.

Anyway, here we go. A highly researched document, some of which may or may not have been made up.

1/ Americain – Gerald Mosse (jockey). Won last year. Won’t win this year. Too much weight. And I can’t pronounce the trainer’s name.

2/ Jukebox Jury – Neil Callan. Big wraps overseas, but has never raced here. Would be like backing Meat Loaf to sing at a footy grand final. As if that would happen.

3/ Dunaden – Craig Williams (appeal pending), or some French bloke. Not for me. Won the Geelong Cup, now a popular form race. Except Geelong’s population is the same as Ipswich. I won’t be backing the Ipswich Cup winner either.

4/ Drunken Sailor – Dwayne Dunn. Nope. But anything with ‘drunk’ in the title on Cup day is worth a cheer.

5/ Glass Harmonium – Lisa Cropp. Should be leading early. Will be overtaken like there’s a sniper in the Flemington grandstand about 600 metres from home.

6/ Manighar – Damien Oliver. No chance. Only because he was my initial tip. Even the great D. Oliver won’t overcome that hurdle.

7/ Unusual Suspect – Nash Rawiller (appeal pending), or any small bloke with riding boots. A visitor from the U-S. Not even with help from NASA.

8/ Fox Hunt – Silvestre de Sousa. I think the jockey played for Portugal in the soccer World Cup. Can someone check that for me?

9/ Lucas Cranach – Corey Brown. Great run in the Caulfield Cup. And that was on three legs. Fully fit now. Will give this a shake. (Note, that’s a racing term).

10/ Mourayan – Hugh Bowman. The winner. Go and collect now. Order the Chinese for Tuesday night. Bowman’s riding so well he could go out on a rocking horse and still run a place.

11/ Precedence – Darren Beadman. Bart’s best hope. The horse hasn’t won since Bob Hawke was Prime Minister. Will have support from above.

12/ Red Cadeaux – Michael Rodd. The jockey is a Queenslander. At least that’s something.

13/ Hawk Island – Glyn Schofield. Couldn’t win if he started an hour early.

14/ Illo – Jim Cassidy. German horse, trained by Bart, and ridden by jockey who has won the Cup twice. No third time lucky.

14/ (a) – Mister Ed – Wilbur. Would give the best post-race interview ever. Might be a bit old now.

15/ Lost in the Moment – William Buick. Has all the pace of me striding home from an afternoon at the tavern. Possibly with better steering.

16/ Modun – Kerrin McEvoy. Jockey is another winning plenty of late. Just as well, because he won’t be saluting here.

17/ At First Sight – Steven King. Two jockeys tossed a coin to ride him. Nice throwback to ANZAC tradition. That gives him a chance.

18/ Moyenne Corniche – Brett Prebble. My outsider. Saw him score an amazing win in the UK before he came over. Jockey knows his way around the big track. Include him in multiples. (Note – another racing term).

19/ Saptapadi – Chris Symons. If you get him in a sweep you’ll get your money back for last. They might have to delay the start of the next race he’ll be so far back.

19/ (a) Phar Lap – Jim Pike. He’d lap this lot. God bless the mighty horse.

20/ Shamrocker – Luke Nolen. Black Caviar’s jockey. He’ll notice the difference.

21/ The Verminator – Craig Newitt. When did the Wyong Cup winner claim the Melbourne Cup? On the First of Never, that’s when.

22/ Tullamore – Chris Munce. Brisbane Cup winner. Queensland jockey. Trained by Gai. Will try his heart out.

23/ Niwot – Dean Yendall. Made the field with a slashing win last Saturday. Stranger things have happened.

24/ Older Than Time – Tim Clark. And will take his time to finish. Hopefully before sundown.

So, there we have it. You are now a Cup expert. Feel free to pass these expert comments on. Go and have fun taking on colleagues who pretend they know what they’re talking about.

Time now to look at the rest of the day’s races. Does anyone know if that Portuguese soccer player is riding in the last?


Are you a Phar Lap fan? Still angry about what they did to him? Then join our Derby Day protest.

October 29, 2011

Last night 25 years ago, we would have been gathered around the old VHS player.

Our favourite movie would be getting yet another workout. Phar Lap. What else? The perfect way to prepare for Cup week.

It was our routine to get ready for the Carnival. And no one could get us there quicker than Big Red.

Viewing would take place with several cool drinks, and delicacies from the local Chinese.

Like any classic of the cinema, heroes were cheered, and villains hissed.

We celebrated every time the great horse hit the front. Applauded the efforts of Tom Burlinson, as he battled cranky trainer Harry Telford. And wished we’d been around to back Jim Pike.

But there was one man we loathed. The boos would echo around our lounge room as soon as he appeared. I believe more than one spring roll was thrown in his direction. Lachlan McKinnon.

Remember him? The pompous, snobbish head of the Victorian Racing Club. I’m pretty sure the same actor played one of those Pommy generals giving the disastrous orders at Gallipoli. No one was more hated in our bachelor pad.

Back to Flemington. McKinnon wanted his own donkey to be in with a chance to beat the greatest galloper of all. After Phar Lap won the 1930 Melbourne Cup, McKinnon made it his mission to get our hero out of the winner’s stall.

The images replay in my mind now. I can hear his voice. See his scheming features. Ordering weights that would have crippled a lesser animal.

I can’t remember the pin number for my credit card, but I recall with ease scenes from a movie decades ago.

McKinnon and his cronies made Phar Lap carry 68 kilos in the ’31 Cup. Kim Beazley would have almost made the weight. It was the bravest 8th in racing history.

We couldn’t take it any longer. The screen was getting covered in too many Chinese entrees. Something had to be done.

My mate came up with the solution. A practice we follow to this very day.

It was decided that we would boycott the McKinnon Stakes. When the field jumped in the time-honoured event on Derby Day, we would turn our backs to the screen.

This would happen in the pub. The three of us were on self-bans. No watching the race. And no bet. After it was run and won, normal viewing, and punting, would resume.

None of our mates joined in this silent protest. We may or may not have been mocked. Didn’t worry us. If Phar Lap could lump the grandstand, we could take the barbs.

Year after year, we assumed the position. I took the stance with me when I moved on. The lads in Bundaberg thought I was mad. They would punt on the tide going out. Missing a race was unheard of.

I’m proud to say one of the boys did join in. He’s still part of our team. Rings me just before the McKinnon, every year, to make sure I’m facing in the honourable direction.

The beauty of our ban, is that the premise behind it has never been researched. Not once. Our stance was taken solely on the script of our favourite film. That was often viewed through one eye.

We refuse to contemplate that it could be false. McKinnon may have donated buckets of cash to orphans and baked cookies. But I doubt it.

So, the tradition continues. As they jump in race 5 this afternoon, I’ll be in my lounge room, facing the other way. So will a handful of other blokes, in various parts of the country.

If you worship Phar Lap like we do, feel free to join in. At the pub, or the TAB, or the track. Tell your mates you’re helping to right a wrong, all these years later.

Trust me, it will feel good. The punting Gods might even smile on you kindly later in the day.

If you know the real story, don’t bother telling us. Too late to change our ways now. We owe it to the memory of Phar Lap. And besides, it’s the one race of the day I can’t lose on.