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Editions

And they’re off …

01 Oct 2013

And they’re off … Image

By Sean Rogasch

Ah spring – the only time of year the racetrack transforms from the domain of downtrodden gambling addicts into a sea of celebrities and wannabes.

Everyone who’s anyone takes up the pursuit of backing a winner.

If you don’t claim to be an expert yourself, you will at least have heard from an uncle, who has heard from the girl he went to school with who married a trainer’s son, and consequently, he knows who will win the Melbourne Cup.

This column isn’t going to be as definitive with winners, but hopefully it can point you in the right direction as the main races of the spring carnival approach. The racing festivities kick off at Caulfield with the time-honoured Caulfield Cup.

It is the most open of the three major races. This is both promising and problematic for punters because a $6 favourite presents value but brings unpredictability.

While Hawkspur and Royal Descent are currently the top two picks, keep an eye out for the next line of betting, namely Super Cool and Silent Achiever – particularly Super Cool, a horse that had a stand out three-year-old season and is set for greater challengers this campaign.

At value, Mr O’Ceirin and Pakal have both shown early season form, and might be worth a nibble each-way.

The roadshow will then pull into Moonee (Money) Valley for the weight-for-age championship, the Cox Plate.

The buzz horse of this spring is Atlantic Jewel. After nine straight victories, she was beaten by a nose last start and will probably jump around a $3 favourite. She currently shares favouritism with her only conqueror, New Zealand superhorse It’s a Dundeel.

If there is some rain around, the Kiwi will be heavily backed.

The horse that may be a household name by the conclusion of this carnival is Puissance De Lune. His jockey, Glen Boss has said he could be the best horse he’s ever sat on – not bad praise from the bloke who won three Melbourne cups aboard Makybe Diva.

The fortunes of this horse may come down to whether trainer Darren Weir tries to win both the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup, or hones in on the latter.

At value in the Cox Plate, keep an eye on Rekindled Interest who, after a couple of years in the wilderness, is doing as his name suggests.

The big daddy of the carnival is, as always, the Melbourne Cup. The aforementioned Puissance De Lune is favourite, but with the yearly influx of international horses coupled with a race featuring 24 horses, only the supremely confident and supremely foolish will give you an iron-clad tip.

This column suggests you pick a name, number, or (my mum’s method) the colours and have an each way bet. Come to think of it, that’s probably not a bad way to treat every race!

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