A day at the Cox Plate

by David Hyland

Firstly I have to say that Saturday was my virginal live Cox Plate experience. I had always wanted to attend having been to the course many times for different events and thought that packed to the rafters it would provide magnificent atmosphere and excitement. I went with my wife and another two couples and arrived just after race one greeted by glorious sunshine.

Having watched as several bets in the earlier races decided that the turn in front of the Tabaret was as far as they were going to race, I was starting to get a bit despondent. This was all transformed when a mate and I stumbled upon a horse in race seven called “The Sportsman”. I looked at Steve and said “how could you not have a go at a horse called The Sportsman”. To which he replied “I do not know but I am going to”. Off we went to Kingbet to place our wagers. We were not cocky so only small bets each way but we had a strange ill informed confidence about the transaction.

Race 7 started and The Sportsman took off to lead and Steve and I both thought we were going to have another horse stop for a beer and couple of dollars through the pokies at the turn. The race progressed nicely and up near the turn he was still in the lead. There was some resistance from the place getters as they went through the turn but The humble Sportsman took off again to lead all the way for a fantastic $31 dollars the win victory. Suffice to say that this changed the feeling of the entire day.

Dropped a bit on the plate as highly rated things failed to fire, couple of non events after that and we found ourselves in the main downstairs bar at the members talking up the sportsman when my wife piped up. “I think there is a race we should have a go at in Sydney” I said “go on” she said “Race 8 Hyland Race Colours Hcp, horse there running called Innings”. A few omens there obviously our surname and the cricket flavour drew us to the horse.  “Lets have a go, it has the highly reputable Chris Munce aboard fresh from Hong Kong” I said so off to the tote we went again no real confidence just a strange knowing.

With the bet placed our group went on talking, drinking and not really paying attention to what was going when I caught on the screen the race in progress. It was hard to tell whom was there at the front but I could see a horse that looked like number 3 race down the outside to win in the last 100m. I said to the wife I reckon it has won. She said “no way” but it had triumphed  and we celebrated another unlikely value bet that had earned its keep on Cox Plate day.

So reading the hard luck stories I do sympathise, but I can’t complain about my first trip to The Cox Plate.

About David Hyland

Just a mad keen footy supporter, whom would like to perhaps get to the stage of being able to post an article on here. Support the cats and have been alive long enough to have them disappoint me. Still just hopeful they can do the job this year and go down as a "Truly Great Team" or otherwise we will have to endure years of those underachieving country bumkins. I was educated in Geelong and live there now as I have apart from about 5 years in the late 80s and early 90s. Played lots of Junior footy in the region and some seniors in GDFL with Modewarre (the junior home of the Abletts).


  1. Quality…

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