At last, the long-awaited sequel to Dr. Geoffrey Hutson's breakthrough book Watching Racehorses is now available! In Watching More Racehorses, learn more about behavioural handicapping, betting on horses to lose, and the taxation of gambling winnings! Order Now!

Cox Plate

October 28th, 2023

I was three out of three going into the plate with Bold Bastille, Thalassophile and Skybird all stand outs. The best of them was Thalassophile showing $1.75 for the place on the world pool in a seven-horse field. But can you believe that I backed it at $2.90 fixed on the tote! It reminded me of one those old Monopoly Chance cards – “Bank Error in Your Favour”.

Romantic Warrior, the short-priced favourite from Hong Kong, is all the rage but not my sort of horse at $1.35 for the place on the world pool. In the stalls he is beautiful, with his affable trainer Danny Shum all over him like a rash, hanging on his neck, cuddling him, kissing him. Quite clearly there is a romance going on here! But in the yard the horse’s head is very unsettled. Maybe he’s trying to shake off all those kisses. The best paraders are Gold Trip and Fangirl. But Gold Trip will drop out to last which is a difficult position to be in on the tight track so I go for Fangirl. You can imagine how disappointed I was in the running to see the mare back at the rear  with Gold Trip. Like everyone else I thought Mr Brightside had won, but the Hong Kong star had prevailed by a nostril.


Caulfield Cup

October 21st, 2023

So I need seven for a tilt at the trifecta. First cab off the rank, as usual, is Gold Trip, looking as good as ever, and my place bet. The favourite West Wind Blows is out of his stall walking and when I finally catch up with him he looks big, strong, outstanding. Without A Fight is half asleep in the tie-ups, always nice to see. If you add in Soulcombe, which I did, you probably only needed to box four for the trifecta. But I also liked Hoo Ya Mal who was much bigger and stronger than last year and the lightweights Spirit Ridge and Valiant King, to round it out. The fancied horses filled the placings, apart from Soulcombe, who missed the jump. At least the dividend of $297.10 covered my expenses.

And how good is Gold Trip? Paying a generous $2.70 for the place on the world tote pool.


Caulfield Guineas

October 14th, 2023

I’ve been in training for a couple of months now. Averaging 7000 steps a day and even betting on mounting yard behaviour on the TV. And at last the time has come, the first day of the Spring Carnival. I’m here early for the first race, but I’m feeling very unstable and wobbly. There is a big crowd in the medallion bar and as I push through and bump into people I feel as if I’m about to fall over. Time to sit down and take stock. I reach into my pocket for my emergency supply of levodopa. This drug is converted into dopamine, the neurotransmitter which is missing from my brain, and by the fifth race I’m ready to enter the fray.

It’s an interesting race with eight runners and two short-priced favourites, Uncommon James and Asfoora, both showing about $1.10 the place. But I like the grey Chain Of Lightning, despite the Moody nose roll, and there are only six horses vying for the third spot. The horse is head-in to the strapper and accepting of the bit. It is a race in two, as the market predicted, with the two favourites streaking away, and a gap to the grey in third place. I was quite happy with $1.80 for the place with a 1.1 multiplier.

In the Guineas the Sydney horse Militarize is out early into the parade ring and has the place all to himself for a good five minutes or so. Wow! Fit! Look at those poverty lines! And relaxed too. No need to look at any more. I try to photograph the lines but fail miserably.

The horse misses the jump and runs on for fifth when it is all over. So much for overseas jockeys! I stay for the last, despite hitting 8000 steps, to check out a couple of my favourites, Pounding, Corner Pocket and Amelia’s Jewel, but it is a large field in a wide open race. And just too hard. So one out of two for the day, just exercising my money. At least it’s a start. Come on spring!