Punting is a head game. The psychology of the punt rules, OK. Here I am sitting on three losers in a row. I got one back at Betfair Park on Wednesday, but mid-weekers don’t really count, do they? So I’ve consulted my psychological advisers, The Missus and Giovanni Pesci, and they both tell me that I need to go back to basics, to do what I do best. Back standout horses for a place. Get back on an even keel. Keep two feet on the ground. It’s all about confidence, Geoffrey. They tell me that my head is too confused in those last frantic minutes – is it a back or is it a lay? What is my password? Can I get matched? Just do the one thing – what I am good at! They reckon they can tell from observing my own body language on TVN that I’m not doing well. They fancy themselves as people watchers.
I’m listening. So, today is standouts only. Back bets only, no lays. And for me a standout is when I have crossed out every horse in the race bar one. And the bar one must look good.
I walk into Caulfield and see one straight away – Launay. Head down, relaxed, with winkers which I still don’t like much, but it’s only a five horse field and $1.10 the place is nowhere near my threshold of $1.75. So no bet. Nothing much till Velocitea in the sixth. Again relaxed, and with the opposition having faults – a bandage on Time Matters, and Solchow restless and kicking in her stall. But $1.10 the place? Please.
The seventh, the Typhoon Tracy stakes. Won’t be much action here with six horses and the Typhoon at $1.10 the place. But I love races with five, six or seven horses. If you can pick second, the divvy is often quite exceptional value. Typhoon Tracy looks well, fit, and head down, although mucking about with her head a bit. Snipers Bullet shows me a burst of fizz, and Joku is sporting a small worrying bandage and goes into the barrier riderless. Dao Dao looks great. So, if I ignore the Typhoon I have a five horse race with a standout. A bet! Need I say more? Dao Dao surges home for second and $2.80 for the place on the tote. The Typhoon manages $1.50 for the win!
I think I’ve got my feet back on the ground. And there was only one occasion when I briefly jumped up. Toorak Toff in the fourth was a quadruple dumper and ran sixth, but my place lay at $2.00 wasn’t matched.