Racing: You want winners? Look no further than this site

By Chris Riordan

Every Saturday and most public holidays I stand in the betting ring, bag around my neck, grabbing money from the dreamers and the greedy. Inevitably I am asked for a tip.

“You must know?!”

It bemuses me. I want to point out that I’m the one who is working during everyone else’s leisure time. Just how good a judge must I be?

The answer was again evident at Caulfield on Saturday when my fancies again failed to salute. Some races went according to my outline but the fact is I lost.

So where can you find the winners? This week’s best pointers came from unlikely corners of the nation, with the common link, of course, being in discussion on our website.

From Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Elvis declared: “The Toorak, and I am throwing out Allez Wonder. I said to Budge, I’ve got a kind of ‘La Neige’ gut feeling about her. The $51 last night on fixed price is now $35.”

Great stuff, Elvis. Hope you cashed in.

And in the icebox of our capital, JTH, in Manning Clark’s study, had an epiphany. Starspangledbanner, in the Guineas, “ is three lengths clear at the 250. The good ones are getting stoked up, and chasing, but it’s too late. The Banner has pinched this. You are a genius, D. Nikolic.”

How’s that for emphatic? Two legs of the quaddie declared, Whobe a moral in the WFA, and we all deduced the last was open to a roughie and thus a “field”. Nearly 100G!

Maybe I’ll spot it next week but, for now I’m playing catch-up.

Bookies headed off to Cranbourne Cup on Sunday hoping to recoup losses from MV on Friday and Caulfield on Saturday. Despite a couple of roughies at Caulfield, most of the results were awful.

The first five races were wipeouts and offered little hope even in the run. There is still a lack of “field money” in the ring so the strongly supported winners bit deep.

King Pulse was dominant in the first and then Maxisun was heavily backed in the next where Romneya was friendless and ran last.

Avenue streeted them in the next and then Vasil’s cheer squad stepped in again for Lucky Secret’s breathtaking win, although surprisingly I note that the Cat SP’d favourite. When Whobe then saluted things were looking grim for the satchel swingers.

That was the low point of the day and many made monumental comebacks while others just steadied the ship.

Allez Wonder, despite reliable reports of some good wagers from within the Dato Tan-Bart enclave, was, on balance, a good outcome. Raheeb and Raffaello were the most popular. My suggestion, Magical Pearl, failed to get the mile and the class. Makybe’s loyalty to All American must now be stretched.

Trusting and Denman let punters down in the Guineas as the Sydney form flopped again at the Heath. The Banner led a procession. 1,2,3 in running finished thus with the winner still going strongly at the line. We only chopped out on this race as local punters, perhaps hearing Brad Spicer’s morning confidence on SEN, rallied to the value, track form and conviction he’d be up in the firing line.

Our hopes of recovery slumped in the Herbert Power where punters wanted only Alcopop and Shocking in the order in which they finished. The winner was convincing. The runner-up, though good, has convictions. Makybe’s beloved Hissing Sid ran on well and will be a strong Country Cups candidate.

As for the last, I didn’t even know that the winner was in … it is tough to get to R9 No14. The site, however, certainly emphasised that it was a wide race and punters looked for value.

My pointer, Arms Wide Open, was unders, well supported and ran modestly. Harmsy’s Shehu Shigaru roughie, Run Roxy Run, was specked  mid-betting. But the winner was unloved and we’ve still got small notes in the bag to begin the comeback on Caulfield Cup Day next Saturday!

It was a long, mostly enjoyable day. We were busier than usual but most of the crowds are now marooned in trendy marquees miles from horses, let alone the betting ring. Nine races are noticeably too many and interest dwindled after the Toorak — and from now it’s the horror 10-race cards. These benefit no one. Staff hate it. Punters struggle. The grog gets too much for many.

We’ll have a more serious post-mortem after replays are dissected. The track got very firm at Caulfield (look at Lucky Secret’s time) so it will be interesting to see if any horses have jarred up. The forecast rain will ensure a softer surface next week.

Enjoy the Cup. I’ll be working.


  1. Anyone who won money at Caulfield on the weekend knows nothing about racing.

  2. Dips,
    I’ll concede the Toorak and the last, but why do you think punters would miss in the other 7. The first winner was backed in from Thursday and won with a leg in the air. Both of Vasil’s were heavily supported and at Caulfield that carries real currency. Alcopop and Whobegotyou were obvious chances. Starspangledbanner, particularly if you rated it unlucky last start, was Victoria’s best (granted, I thought all of Sydney would beat it..)…

  3. Dips,
    I forgot 6/4 fav Avenue.

  4. I only made the comment because I lost !

  5. Sorry Dips. I lost too.
    Bookies got all their money back at Cranbourne yesterday.

  6. Mark Freeman says

    Crio correct on both fronts – All American officially sacked. You had him in the Von Costa bag pre-race and were spot on – not a genuine galloper, you can see that when Allez Wonder goes past him he doesn’t want to go, instead waits to come home strongly at the end to suck the punters back in next time. Not this little black duck.

    And Sid, yep was a good run, not good enough to beat the winner, but did get held up badly on the turn, lost his momentum, so could have beaten Shocking home. On that score he’ll keep for the Geelong or Moonee Valley cups.

    One lesson I’m taking out of the meeting: Always, ALWAYS take the field in the mares 1200m last leg of the quaddie. That thing would have been the first I’d have taken out of a field leg if I’d had to trim it up. Impossible to have.

    And great to see you in action on Saturday. I could almost hear Okey King and Reg Lancaster in the ring!

  7. Peter Flynn says


    I’m exploring the possibility of attending the 2010 Galway festival.
    A week of Guinness, races etc.
    I’ve been to Galway before but want to know if anybody has been to the festival and has any advice.


  8. Flynnie – I have been there. Its all a bit of a blur now. Things I remember: driving a left hand drive Fiat down a narrow country lane with a young lass in the passenger seat telling me what traffic was coming the other way. Sleeping in the back of the said Fiat after losing a bet (something about consuming 15 pints in a night). Pretending I was French to chat up a young local lass (lasted about 15 seconds until my French ran out). Looking at a few horses that looked like, well, horses. Drinking Guinness at lunch because I was hungry. Falling over a fair bit. Lots of laughing. Not sleeping in anything resembling a bed. Looking at horses again. Drinking Guinness for dinner because I was hungry. Sleep.

    You’ll have a ball. Take a sleeping bag.

  9. Dips,
    You’ve missed your calling for travel writing (not in French!).

  10. oui.

  11. Peter Flynn says


    Brilliant. Thanks mate.

    I have gained much enthusiasm for the trip upon reading your exploits.

    I’ve got to remember the sleeping bag.


  12. By the way, on racing, what about Kav’s morning, losing Cat’s Whiskers and Maldivian for Spring?
    Maldivian always ensures an honest pace so he’ll be missed by fans and foes. Pity those 3yo colts flopped as they might have given some zing to the Plate.

  13. Peter Flynn says

    Agree Crio.

    I’m not overly excited by the standard and style of WFA racing in Australia at the minute.

    Whobegotyou will be rather cramped odds at Money Valley.

  14. I expect there’ll be interest in the “raiders” this week. The Cup might be more interesting if it is wet.

  15. Peter Flynn says

    Cumani’s Cima De Triomphe and Godolphin’s Kirklees have very good European form coming into this race.

    Cumani’s current nag (on form) is better than both Mad Rush and Purple Moon.

    In Europe, Cumani is renowned for training winners of big handicaps.

    The perennial question:
    How have they settled and will they adapt to a Caulfield Cup tempo?

  16. Mark Freeman says

    Could end up $8 the field Crio, with Predatory Pricer and Vigor faves only by default. Shaping up very messy this one

  17. Awaiting info from UK. Never been lured before, but maybe??
    Rain means looking at horses like Fiumicino and Sarrera. Need to get the glorious thoughts of it being a champs’ race out of our heads…it is a handicap most likely on a wet track. Rate accordingly.

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