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Fancy A Flutter?

By Alasdair McClintock on April 21, 2015 in Other

Photo: Damien Pleming

Photo: Damien Pleming

This month the carnival comes to town. Not the one with clowns and shifty blokes with explorative hands; that’s out at Homebush. The one with horses and champagne, fancy dresses and ridiculous hats, and blokes who have no business wearing suits drinking heavily before midday.

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

I am not much of a punter, but recently I have grown to enjoy the odd flutter on a Saturday. I find a small pleasure in studying the form, having a beer and watching a few races with mates. If you’re willing to lose a few bob, it’s just like buying a ticket for a day’s entertainment; a pay what you think it’s worth scenario. Like a Radiohead album, sort of.

My bets are minimal and rarely exceed fifty cents each-way, thus I never lose much. I never win too much either, but that’s no big deal, because I never win anyway (and I am also a firm believer that if you are gambling to actually win money, you should not be gambling).

I would have to be up there as one of the worst gamblers that ever was. I haven’t backed a Melbourne Cup winner since Saintly in 1996. 1996! That’s almost twenty years. I haven’t even picked the winner in a sweep. Surely, statistically, I’m due mate, as they say, but I’m not holding my breath. I am sadly not exaggerating when I say that I went about a decade without winning a single bet.

Desperate to break my slump, I recently bet on an unbackable favourite at the trots, just to taste that sweet, sweet nectar of victory. Everything was going to plan. It lead at the final turn by a few lengths and was pulling away. I was out of my seat and already celebrating victory. Sure, I only had a buck on it and stood to win about twenty cents, but I was about to make it rain (silver coins) baby! Then the unthinkable happened.

There appeared to be a malfunction of equipment – or the horse had simply had enough (or something more nefarious perhaps?) – and it was swallowed up by the field and spat out in last position. Last!

“What the hell?” I hollered to the skies as I fell to my knees. My misery providing great amusement to those around me, I must note.
You would think that would put me off for life, but I am nothing if not persistently stupid. I had another beer and changed my system. Unbelievably, it quite literally paid dividends.

I now put fifty-cent bets on mysterious long shots that I like the name of. It is the method of a simple child, but it has actually turned my luck around and I’ve won a few races. Go figure.

So if you’re going to Randwick this autumn, I highly recommend this new system of mine. It is foolproof. Until it stops working, of course.