Crio’s Question: Trust the tea leaves?

When Sunderland dramatically overcame Newcastle on the weekend, the commentators (perhaps prophetically) blurted,
“When it comes to a Derby, the formbook can go straight out the window”.

Hmmmm……a little disconcerting heading towards Flemington on Saturday.

When a bolter won, sometimes Bert Bryant’s dialogue would simulate theatrically tearing up the paper, opening the window and casting it afar. Might as well read tea leaves, it implied.

On reflection, many of us would admit to factors other than form having contributed to some of our best wins – a name, a whim, a fortunate tip, a mistake even…

Who is in the confessional?


  1. Tim Ladhams says

    A tough-to-swallow but all-too-true observation, I suspect if most of us were honest more often than not the winners come down to some element of luck as opposed to brilliant analysis of the form. Only last week I backed a horse e/w at Muswellbrook purely on the basis that his trainer is married to the daughter of friends and neighbours of my folks back in the wilds of Wiltshire – he finished 2nd, beaten only a head, paying $82….

  2. I spent Melbourne Cup Day at Randwick races when I lived in Sydney. Went to a bookie with a bet for the Cup, wasn’t paying attention, just said E/W No. 6 in the 8th or whatever the Cup was, but he was only doing the Randwick races not the Cup. Only when I got back to the group I was with did I realised I’d backed a roughie in a local race I had no interest in.

    I kept the ticket thinking handing it back would be too hard or bad luck, and settled in to watch my money fly away.

    It duly saulted for a $250 collect. Sweet!

  3. From a football perspective, my mate Adam picked the draw between St Kilda and Collingwood in the 2010 grand final.
    We were in Federation square, on our way to the game when he stopped at a portable TAB booth.
    The $20 he put on the draw turned into $600.
    His reasoning was simple. St Kilda were a defensive game, and they were playing Collingwood, who had a history of choking in grand finals.
    From memory, I think just 12 people picked a draw with the TAB that day…

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    “When it comes to a derby, the formbook can go straight out the window”. Spot on. As a Newcastle fan sitting up to all hours on a Sunday night to watch the big derby game, another loss to Sunderland is very hard to take. Especially when I’d backed Newcastle.

  5. David Downer says

    A discarded $75e/w ticket I found sitting perfectly upright in a pot-plant while queuing for a party pie at Flemington last year may have got me out of trouble on Derby Day.

    Soft Sand paid $3.20 the place


Leave a Comment