Favourite colours, lucky numbers, catchy names and even a visit to your nearest fortune teller. It really can be whatever tickles your fancy when it comes to finding a winning nag at the racetrack.
For everyone, from your dedicated expert who spends hours each week with their nose in form or the fractious first-timer on the punt, the stakes are the same.
They want to win! And in most cases, more importantly, they want bragging rights.
So we’ve decided to pit our resident News Racing expert Chris Vernuccio against self-proclaimed punting mug Mick Randall in a winner-takes-all spring shootout.
Each week they will provide their best three tips.
We’ll keep a running tally until the end of Melbourne Cup Week to reveal once and for all who is the best judge.
And for those looking for a little extra guidance, we suggest you check out our premium best bets and punting analysis below. We have spring covered.
WEEKEND BEST BETS: FOUR WINNERS LAST WEEK
DERBY DAY TIPS: MYSTIC MARVEL TO WEAVE MAGIC
BRAD V GATOR: TWO STANDOUTS IN DERBY BATTLE
DAVO’S ROSHILL TIPS: STAR TO SHINE IN THE WET
RAY AND DUFF: ALL THE GOLDEN EAGLE RUNNERS
CHRIS’S CASH ACCUMULATORS
Written Beauty was scratched from the Valley last Saturday to instead run on Friday night where he blitzed his rivals. I’m counting that as a win! Prime Star didn’t handle the wet conditions as well as Peltzer in the Bondi Stakes. He was cruising in the run and if the rain had stayed away I’m confident the result would have been different. Arcadia Queen nearly fell in the Cox Plate, but then again, the tactics on her were questionable.
WILD RULER (Race 6, No. 2 — $6.50)
The colt has improved his demeanour and is now showing his abilities this prep. He goes into the Coolmore in top form after a dominant win in the Roman Consul Stakes. He looked good in a jump out at Flemington last week.
YOUNG WERTHER (Flemington, R7, No. 5 — $4)
I think only two horses can win the derby and he’s one of them. The $4 is a great price for a favourite in such a shallow race. There are no concerns about him missing last week’s run at the Valley on a very soft track.
DIAMOND EFFORT (Flemington, R9, No. 3 — $3.70)
Scratched from the Group 1 Manikato Stakes last week because of the fast track. This is an easier race for her, although it will be competitive. She won down the straight earlier this year.
ARCADIA QUEEN (Race 9, No. 9 — $5.50) 5th
WRITTEN BEAUTY (Race 10, No. 5 — $2) WINNER
PRIME STAR (Race 6, No. 2 — $4.20) 2nd
VERRY ELLEEGANT (Caulfield Cup, R9 No. 7 — $5) WINNER
GYTRASH (Randwick, The Everest R7 No. 7 — $6.50) 3rd
FITUESE (Caulfield, R6 No. 3 — $2.80) 2nd
MICK’S MUG MARAUDERS
OK, it’s time for a Derby Day Do-over.
It turns out, indeed that Kolding can’t go further than the mile and the mud turned 2000 into 2400 in the Cox Plate.
As for my other two, well they must have heard I tipped them because neither of them even made it to the gate
It means anyone who followed me into them got a refund and getting away even is just as good as a win, right?
REDWOOD SHADOW (Race 7, No. 8 — $15)
Young Werther is the obvious one here and Cherry Tortoni has the form but I keep getting drawn to Redwood Shadow. Bit of a little engine that could feel to this one. Daddy Kent gave me a tip at double digit odds on Cranny Cup Day a few years back, so I’m feeling some symmetry there, given the horse is co-trained by his son.
CROSSHAVEN (Race 1, No. 1 — $4.40)
It’s always good to start the day off with a winner. It gives you more kitty to lose later in the day. Cannot fault Crosshaven. Could be favourite, but I’ll lap up those odds. A better gate and it might have given the Guineas a real shake. Apparently he’s an angry ant, a bit like yours truly.
FARNAN (Race 6, No. 1 — $5)
I, like many punters, was on Farnan during that butchered ride in the Run To The Rose. But I’m looking at it as a positive. Had it won that race, I imagine it’s be a hell of a lot shorter here. I think this race has bounce back written all over it. If you squint hard enough, it’s almost Farnham, and who doesn’t love Whispering Jack?
Will we get a bit of John ‘Farnan’ Farnham echoing down the Flemington straight in the Coolmore Stud Stakes?Source:News Corp Australia
KOLDING (Race 9, No. 1 — $14) 10th
MINHAAJ (Race 10, No. 1 — $5.50) Scratched
PANDEMIC (Race 8 No. 6 — $4.80) Scratched
MASTER OF WINE (Caulfield Cup, R9 No. 11 — $7) 10th
BEHEMOTH (Randwick, The Everest R7 No. 5 — $9) 10th
BEST OF DAYS (RACE 8 No. 10 — $5.50) 10th
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Originally published asExpert whack: Derby Day is no place for mugs
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