Dr. Geoffrey Hutson's breakthrough book Watching Racehorses is out now! Learn about behavioural handicapping: how head tossing, pawing, salivating and other behaviours provide telltale clues about a horse's readiness to run.
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The Melbourne Cup

November 5th, 2019 2 comments

I spent a few days out at Werribee with the wise old heads, checking out the international horses. After all, it’s not our race anymore, is it? I was quite taken with the Japanese horse and the returning British bulldog. So I put Mer de Glace ahead of Prince of Arran, and then I had Finche, who looked fabulous out at Caulfield. Next came Raymond Tusk, Master of Reality and Southern France. And of course I wouId have put Marmelo in if I was given half a chance! I backed Arran the night before for the top five at $4.00 and then the international box trifecta and the Japanese for the place once I got to the track.

As soon as I got to the stalls I crossed out Mustajeer who looked like he had been caught a rainstorm in his float. The rest looked pretty good except for Master of Reality who was mucking up in his stall. I tried to battle up to the mounting yard but kept getting distracted by various patrons. By the time I made it to the yard the entertainment had started and my usual spot was taken. I finally managed a possie on the corner, two deep. One out and one back! My spot was right next to a loudspeaker and I had to poke my fingers into my ears to prevent being deafened by John Paul Young!

There were three head up horses that I noticed: Master of Reality (also late into the yard), Southern France (also lolling) and Raymond Tusk. I tossed them out of my top six and bunged in Latrobe (salivating) and Surprise Baby (no faults, chewing). And whoa, who’s that? Vow and Declare! Absolutely stunning and a clear standout. Just enough time for another trifecta. I couldn’t have El Paradiso, yet another head up horse.

I’m struggling to remember the last time a horse led at the post the first time around and at the finish? Was it Might and Power? A daring ride and an amazing victory for Australia against strong international competition. So I ended up with only one out of four bets successful and just an average day. Maybe I should have conserved energy and taken up my mounting yard position early and backed the winner for the place. Should’ve, could’ve. The punter’s lament. Oh well, there’s always next year.

2 Responses to “ The Melbourne Cup ”

  1. Trevor says:

    Geoffrey, are you treating ‘head up’ as more of a negative these days? It came out as neutral in your last book (Table 9.3, page 131).

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Yes, especially if paired with a changing gait.

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