Racing: Cup Day picked me up and now I’m looking forward to the carnival’s final day

By Chris Riordan

After  the debacle of Derby Day, I tentatively swung on the bag at 9.30am on Tuesday, praying not to ever face another day of such disgraceful, anti-social behaviour.

Nine hours later, I left the track after a tremendously enjoyable, relatively busy experience interacting with a gamut of patrons who, while having a good time, seemed to understand that this need not be at anyone else’s expense. We had the hairy nun, the Elvis impersonator, the T-shirt formals, the brightly dressed crayons … the usual fancy dress schmuck. There were notably lots of tourists for whom the Cup was the “place to be”: Canadians, Scandies, Brits, mostly with no idea of how to bet but happy to ask and learn. Heaps of Brisbanites too. And the stereotypical Japanese who photographed the bettor, me, the bag, the board, the ticket…!

Regulars all commented on the buoyant atmosphere and the change of crowd demography from Saturday.

For bookies, it was a huge day. No favourites won. Ortensia and Here De Angels should have won; they hurt serious gamblers. Definitely Ready, though hard to lay, wounded those who saw it as the day’s “good thing”. As a devotee of bookies’ hopes, this should have been my day. Budge tipped me in to Strawberry Field and I’d backed Right Fong last start, but I try to stay out of trouble when busy on track so had to settle for a modest profit. Shocking had been a big watch for me at the start of this season and I was convinced that it was “not seen to advantage” in earlier runs, but I’m too stubborn to reverse a sacking despite believing it to be a horse that holds winning form.

I did not even look at the fields for today’s Oaks Day, but I am looking forward to this Saturday, despite the tedious procession of 15-year-olds trying to bet and emulate their role models from Saturday.

The Sprint, although a smallish field, is fantastic. It should be a leg of the quaddie. The crowd favourites Apache Cat, Mic Mac and All Silent will ensure an electric atmosphere and the next few races are also rippers.

Surely it’s worth going just to see So You Think tackle the older horses again at Group 1  … no soft lead like the Cox Plate. Watch the rightly aggrieved Vigor try to stalk him and an otherwise even field, mostly specifically set for this distance, stake their claims.

The Matriarch (Estee again!!) and then the Queen Elizabeth are fantastic support events. Our own Makybe will be stretched to continue his loyalty to topweight Hissing Sid (B. Melham) with the Cup form, making Hume an early fancy.

A really open 1400-metre field leg closes the carnival.

It promises to be a great day. Patrons are telling me that you can see the horses and move around relatively freely as the crowd is so dispersed and often infatuated with sitting in a car park.

So come along and enjoy the final day. Bring a hat and plenty of water. You can leave a small cooler at our stand if it helps. Hope you find a winner!


  1. Mark Freeman says

    Crio it looks like family Freeman will make it out there tomorrow. Even convinced ‘er indoors that it would a be marvellous way to spend the arvo – quite a coup that. Where’s your stand? I won’t see you guys tonight as I’d better go git organised for tomorrow.

  2. We are in the main ring opposite Betstar.
    Do you want me to bring an Almanac along?
    Also, Budge and Elvis (direct from the Darwin red-eye) will be there.

  3. Mark Freeman says

    Excellent, and that’d be great if you could bring a book along, I’ll square it with Daff out of allocation. Brilliant. And opposite Betstar too! I can do some sledging!
    Have a good night over there, and I’ve sent in a preview where I’ve said let’s all have a crack with Daff’s cash, so if you guys want get just blast away with 100 on the yarn when it gets posted


  4. Copies of 2009 Almanac at Turfbet in main ring…just down the row from Wally Beaver.

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