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Spring Carnival Punting Tips for the Mug Punter

Home > Melbourne > Melbourne Cup | Fun Things To Do | Sport
by Clay Steele (subscribe)
Nutritionist & Life Coach Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published October 9th 2012
From one mug to another
It's nearly that time of year in Melbourne when bleary eyed sports fans come to the sickening conclusion that there is no longer any football on the television. Meanwhile women everywhere are revelling in the sunshine and chomping at the proverbial bit to buy a new off the shoulder number and show it off at a dressy outdoor event somewhere.

As men look desperately for a sport to watch and women search wistfully for an excuse to frock up, along comes Melbourne's Spring Racing Festival. Born out of the Melbourne Cup - possibly the only sporting event in the world for which a public holiday has been struck - the Spring Racing Carnival has been a triumph of marketing for the racing industry.

No longer the domain of gambling addicts and race fixing syndicates, the race track suddenly becomes the epicentre of Melbourne's social scene. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to Caulfield, Moonee Valley and Flemington Racecourses to be seen with - and to see - the beautiful people.

Those lucky enough to get into a marquee enjoy fine dining, free liquor and exclusive seats in the grandstand. Those in the general admission sections are pretty much corralled into a daytime nightclub where the bawdy throng, though dressed highbrow, are forced to queue beyond reasonable timeframes for drinks, food, toilets and, god forbid, a small patch of grass to rest their stiletto ravaged tootsies.

Of course the bookies love this time of year as the seasoned gamblers with their canny appraisals of the form and sagacious wagering are elbowed out of the way by mug-punters who want to back a horse because the jockey's silks match their own attire. Indeed, much like a bucks/hens night is the only time that strippers are socially acceptable, betting an entire pay cheque on nine races a day becomes par for the course on Cup Day.
2011 Cup winner Dunaden (pic courtesy of Wikipedia)

Having backed the winner and also the quinella at last year's Melbourne Cup (turning a $5 investment into around $500) I feel I am an authority on the subject of breezing into the horsey scene having not backed a nag all year and then making off with the loot.

Rather than giving detailed explanations of what "7143x3" and "dw" may mean when you view it in the form guide I shall instead give you my best lazy mug punting tip for backing a winner:

Back the third favourite: Okay so the favourite is most likely to win but who wants to get back $10.00 for their $5 investment? The third favourite obviously has a chance and you'll generally get $7-$10 for a $1 outlay. There're worse theories out there.

But Rob" I hear you ask "how on earth did you back the Melbourne Cup quinella last year. The horse that ran second was a 50/1 shot. You're quite brilliant you know."

Well firstly, I'm flattered thank you. To address your query I must admit that picking Dunaden to win was based on slightly more than my repeated reading of 'The Lord of the Rings' as a youngster. In surveying the form I noticed that Dunaden had beaten a number of the other contenders in European races earlier that year. I also noticed that the horse had won the Geelong Cup, a good indicator of form in recent years and was carrying less weight in the Melbourne Cup than it did in its Geelong start.

Picking Red Cardeux to make up the second leg of the quinella was even more scientific, so try to stick with me as I take you through the finer points of this sweet science. My wife's favourite colour is red and that horse had red in its name. That is all.

So from one mug punter to another, don't waste too much time worrying about your bets. Just know that you're likely to lose whatever money you put on the horses so consider it another expense along with your clothing, food and beverages. Should something get up for you and win you some money consider it a bonus. Bookies have families to feed too you know!
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Why? Unscientific Betting Tips
When: Held annually during October and November (Spring).
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