What happened when an ordinary punter took $20,000 to the spring racing carnival - a unique insight into the world of racing.
We win because we persevered, because we stay loyal; we win because we just knew. And sometimes that's true. We really do know. Most of the time, of course, we nearly do. Our horse almost gets there. They're just about to get to the post in time when something happens, something goes amiss which is precisely the reason we keep coming back. To try again.
Does a winning horse really stand out in the mounting yard? Will life-long punting loyalty to an equine family, a trainer, or jockey, ever be repaid? Is there any such thing as a foolproof betting system, a hot tip or a sure thing? Is punting the biggest mug's game in existence, or can you win big, even make a living from it? And could you ever find a publisher who'd let you loose with a purse of $20,000 so you could find out?
Diehard punter Helen Thomas attempts to answer these questions by accepting the dream challenge of betting with someone else's money, and spending every day of the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival on the punt . That's 42 days of getting up at down for track work before following the turf convoy out of town for country meetings in the extraordinary lead-up to Australia's really big racing events: the Holy Grail for punters and owners alike: the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
The result is an engaging, funny, terrifying, exhilarating, fascinating account of life on the punt and at the track - the consequences-free betting spree we all wish we could have! Never more than a gallop away from a windfall or a nightmare, Helen Thomas' story of living every punter's dream is as vivid and fast-paced as a big race itself. As the horses thunder into the straight, will she cross the line in front?
Helen Thomas is the author of Past the Post and A Horse Called Mighty, a celebration of Might and Power (July 2007). She also manages a couple of young racehorses and ABC NewsRadio.
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format
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Sports & outdoor recreation