I HEARD the most ridiculous thing the other day. And I’m still trying to get my head around it.
A good mate of mine has decided to go to the Cox Plate meeting at Moonee Valley today, but tells me he will not be staying for the main race.
His excuse? He has to get to Etihad Stadium early so he can assure he and his lovely girlfriend get a seat in the A-League derby between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.
Of course, I thought he was kidding. I mean, who does that? It’s like ducking off from the MCG at three-quarter-time when your team is eight goals up in the grand final just so you can get to the in-laws’ house early for tea.
I’m all for him making it to the soccer, but come on. The game starts at 7.45pm, more than two hours after the running of the Cox Plate.
I may have accepted this kind of behaviour in 2011 when Black Caviar was the main attraction at this meeting and went around in race five, but not now.
And as I was about to submit this column for print on Friday afternoon, I had another mate politely decline my Manikato Stakes night hospitality because he was – wait for it – going to the movies. What is going on?!
Anyway, enough of that. Time to find some winners after a couple of tough Saturdays on the punt.
In a difficult Cox Plate meeting, I’ve gone with Trust In A Gust to continue his winning sequence in the Crystal Mile, Precedence to make it back-to-back Moonee Valley Gold Cups, little-known Kansas Sunflower to give a sight at big odds and Damien Oliver to take out the jockey challenge.
And just for the record, Fawkner will get home in the Cox Plate.
Trust In A Gust (Moonee Valley, Saturday, R6 #5)
How can you go past this guy?
The Darren Weir-trained star has won his past two starts at group 1 level, and while his only miss this preparation was a second at this track, his run was no short of enormous after being trapped wide for the majority of the race only to be pipped on the line.
He meets most of his key rivals better at the weights for having beaten them in the Toorak two weeks ago and it’s hard not to be confident.
Precedence (Moonee Valley, Saturday, R5 #1)
The old boy is lining up for his 62nd start this afternoon and I reckon he’s got a great chance of defending his crown in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
He goes great at this circuit – winning five of 10 runs here – and his effort last time was really promising behind The Cleaner, who lines up in the Cox Plate later in the afternoon.
Happy to be with him.
Kansas Sunflower (Moonee Valley, Saturday, R3 #8)
Game on pace last start at big odds and has come up at a juicy price yet again.
Not saying she will win, but keen she can give a sight, particularly if she is up on the speed and can kick down the short straight at Moonee Valley.
Damien Oliver (Moonee Valley, Saturday) $2.50
Had a bit of luck with this bet a few weeks ago when Glen Boss saluted at $7, but I’m in the corner of another three-time Melbourne Cup winner this weekend.
Damien Oliver will be mighty hard to beat in today’s jockey challenge (decided on 3-2-1 points system for each race) with rides in all nine races on the card, many of which are well fancied in the market.
Suavito looks his best of the day in the last, but hopefully he’s already got an unassailable lead by then.
ANOTHER day to forget last Saturday, with all four bets again going under to leave the kitty at $276.60.
Best bet Anatina put in a shocker, running seventh, next best Generalife made good ground, but was no match for Lucky Hussler, finishing third, while each-way gambles on Politeness and Kingdoms never threatened.
As usual, the Park Hotel in Alfredton tips in $50 to place bets this weekend, where all winnings will go to charity.
THIS WEEKEND’S BETS
* $20 – Trust In A Gust (Moonee Valley, Saturday, R6 #5) $2.40
$5 each-way – Precedence (Moonee Valley, Saturday, R5 #1) $5
$5 each-way – Kansas Sunflower (Moonee Valley, Saturday, R3 #8) $21
$10 win – Damien Oliver, jockey challenge (Moonee Valley, Saturday) $2.50
* Trust In A Gust has been found to be lame and has been scratched from the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley.
We’ll collect the $20 we outlaid and add to our kitty for charity.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.