The Punting Gods are not smiling. What have I done wrong?

January 4, 2014

I have not backed a winner all year. Four full days. And last night’s debacle. Don’t ask.

The bank manager is getting nervous. The kids are wondering what chance new shoes for school.

I know what’s happened. The last bet of the year is all important. And I blew it.

In years gone by, I would call stumps, if I’d backed a winner near year’s end. Not that I’m superstitious in any way.

It’s just nice to end the season with cash in the kick. A sign of things to come.

A few days ago, I got the tip of all tips. It would just be winning. At Toowoomba, of all places. A New Years’s Eve meeting, where we would fill our boots.

When I was told this special, I was drinking champers. And listening to a very loud band. The brain cells available at the time dictated that I delay the call to my favourite betting agency. Too loud, you see.

You know the rest. Stop gloating. I was too late. Ten minutes, that cost me a heap. But much more than cold hard cash.

It was my last betting venture of 2013. And it was a spectacular failure. We all know what that means.

Ever since, I can’t pick left from right. Up from down. Leader from stalker. Mudlark from dry track specialist.

So now I’m lumbering on, throwing good cash sideways. Getting beaten in photos. Watching unknown hoops beat the world’s best. Sigh.

We need to change the mojo. So punting Gods, here’s what I’m prepared to do.

If I get a decent tip, back it. And no grumbling if it gets bloused.

Back my favourite jockeys in Perth. At any odds. It’s a place like no other. They will win at fifties. And no-one will ask why.

Back Chris Waller in Sydney. But not at the Provincials. No exceptions. He has camels, like all the others. And that’s where they end up.

Go to Eagle Farm more. Because it’s fun. Doomben too. And my beloved Gold Coast. And get a crew together. So many laughs.

Do the Melbourne Cup form before the Monday. You will be hungover, or drunk. Print this and tell all your close friends.

There are other rules, but I need to get to Gloucester Park trots. You understand.

I hope you’ve started the New Year with a blast. If you have a tip, maybe send it my way? Not that I’m desperate. It’s only early. What time is Turner riding in Perth?


It’s official. 2012 was crap. Ten ways to make sure 2013 rocks.

January 1, 2013

It’s all Pluto’s fault. The planet, not the much-loved Disney dog.

So a bloke on radio told me. He called himself Australia’s leading astrologist. I’m not up on how big that field is, but the title sounded pretty impressive.

Apparently, 2012 was a rubbish year, because of where Pluto sat with Uranus. He said this, without the hint of a giggle. Astrologists must be very serious types.

The guru of the stars went on to tell us that 2013 wouldn’t be much better, because their paths are still bumping into each other. Something like a New South Wales State of Origin backline play, millions of kilometres into space.

His expertise took a hit a little later, when he said our political landscape would be the worst since John HEWSTON tried to become PM. I think he was the guy before John Soward. Or was he in that bumbling backline? Anyway, someone had a problem.

But not us, dear readers. Because we’re taking aim at Pluto and all those around her, and declaring 2013 to be our year.

It’s true, 2012 had hair on it. So many people tell me. Just about everyone I know has been counting the seconds to open up the new calendar.

I never want another year like it. Nor do those I love and care about. So I’m doing my bit, to learn from mistakes, and make sure those twelve months are disposed of, to the deepest bin with smelly New Year prawns.

Those who have already erased 2012 from the memory banks, also believe change is in the air. There’s confidence among us. We demand better days ahead.

Family is everything. We will keep learning from each other. And having fun. Daughter Two gave me the most beautiful Christmas card last week. Made me cry. One of her messages was that 2013 would be a Refresh year. The same as we do with computers. Such a smart girl.

There are things I’ll be doing more of. Near the top of the list, is to be around people who make me laugh.

I’ve seen so many people say the same thing of late on social media. It seems we are all in the mood for a giggle. No more gloom and doom. If you can’t offer a smile, feel free to catch the next bus.

I want to spend more time speaking with old friends. The people who know me best. Those who are there, in the darkest hours. And yes, they all make me laugh.

More catch ups. Better use of time. Connecting with the people who really matter.

An old football mate had a crack at me this year, saying I don’t pick the phone up enough, when times are tough. The male mentality, of suffering in silence. He’s right. I’m working on it.

More lunches, with fun people. Those who enjoy all that life has to offer. With tall stories and the ability to take the piss. And the odd cool drink.

I want to read more. The stuff that teaches, and inspires. I want to play more of my old music. Neighbours be warned: J Cash, K Rogers, J Fogerty, D Martin, the Beatles and Eagles will be on high rotation this year.

There’ll be more time allocated to racing people. Salt of the earth types. I’ve never had an unhappy day anywhere near a racetrack. Expensive days, yes. But never unhappy.

There’s the prostate cancer battle. I’ll tell you more about that another day. Don’t worry. I’m happy to say that everything so far is positive. As my consulting surgeon Dr Billy Joel advises, Only The Good Die Young.

Happy New Year everyone. Join with me tonight, in the yard or from your balcony, in giving Pluto the raised middle digit. Do it proudly, and prepare for a ripping 2013.  Just don’t get it mixed up with Uranus.