I admit I never really understood the attraction of horse racing until the great bay mare Sunline strode past me on her way to the barrier for the 2001 Cox Plate and gave me a look so similar to the one many girls on the Star dance floor had given me.
It was a look of “I’m too good for you”.
This naughty look of disdain brought to mind how the serfs would have felt as Catherine the Great regally passes them by.
I expressed this thought to my friend, as we leant against the railing near the finish line.
“What’s a serf?” he asked, looking up from the guide.
Since that time of course I’ve spent many an hour talking racing and listening to far too many bad tips in the front bar.
It’s always the way. I follow the bad tips, and never put enough on the good ones, but it’s the stories that racing enthusiasts tell you that convince me those who have a keen interest in racing are the best raconteurs among all forms of gamblers.
Why we aren’t even gamblers, we would watch the sport if gambling wasn’t even involved because we love horses.
Or so we tell ourselves.
Now with the Melbourne Cup but a few days away I’m going to share with you the best of the advice I’ve heard over the years regarding racing.
I expect you to do with this advice what I do with all advice I’m given, and ignore it.
1. Always bet within your means
At the end of a day’s gambling no-one should be able to tell if you have won or lost.
If anyone can tell you have lost, then you have lost too much, and if they can tell you have won, you may have to shout them a drink.
2. Get the best odds you can.
It’s hard enough winning, so make sure you maximize what you get when you do.
3. Don’t listen to tips.
I think over the years the strike rate when listening to tips is slightly lower than my own.
If you do listen don’t blame them if it loses.
4. Don’t chase money.
This is like flailing in quicksand, you’ll only sink faster.
5. When you win, buy something for yourself or others.
6. Don’t give it all back.
7. Pick what horse you want to bet on and stick to them.
8. Good punters tell you less than bad punters
If you have any interest in learning more, or less, go to the Old Boys Calcutta at the RSL on Monday night, its one of the great nights of the year.
Good luck Tuesday.