Go you good thing
By GREG WHITE
EVER get a feeling in your bones you're on a good thing?
That's a dangerous proposition on a racecourse where fools with feelings ? and their money, are parted with monotonous regularity.
To invest money on a horse because you like the name, or your next door neighbour said to back it because she knows the third cousin of the stablehand who's having a fling on the side with the jockeys second best girlfriend, is a certain one way trip to debtor's prison.
Sure, longshots do get up at the races, especially when wet tracks are about, but to have a fighting chance of success the hard yards are a must.
Do the form and apply a little science to your considerations.
Take today's feature Coffs Coast Advocate Sprint.
Finding winners is a process of elimination followed by the use of judgement made a touch easier by looking for mudlarks.
With me so far?
First a list is drawn up containing names of horses with a liking for the sting out of the ground.
From a field of ten I'm left with six names.
Then, a little local knowledge is applied.
On wet days the horses come wide for the better going, so anything drawn close to the fence is eliminated, except for one neddy, thanks to it's reputation in the industry of being a "swimmer."
Thus, two more candidates hit the cutting room floor with four possibilities remaining.
As three final selections are all that's required the horse judged to have poor recent form gets the pencil through it's name leaving me with: Shovoot (Anthony Patillo), Frisco's Lass (Glen Colless) and Smoothe (Peter Graham).
The sports editor demands they be placed in potential finishing order so more judgement is utilised.
Shovoot loves moisture in the ground but has a fair whack of weight and jockey Tony Patillo is a novice on the track.
Frisco's Lass has a two kilo weight advantage, is racing fresh from a horsey holiday and has won "first up" at three of it's four campaigns and 'Spike' Colless knows every blade of grass on the circuit as well as he knows the back bar of the Pier Hotel.
Smoothe has the saddle services of local champ Peter Graham and while he's getting a bit long in the tooth as an eight-year-old (the horse, not 'Perfect Pete) he likes the Coffs track and the distance suits.
After all that I settled on the numbers 4, 2 and 5.
Frisco's Lass to win from Shovoot and Smoothe.
When trainer Brett Dodson was informed his mare would be carrying my $2.50 each way, he giggled a bit - in fact, he giggled a lot - before having this to say: "Frisco would prefer 1300 metres on a firmer track but she loves the course and first up from a spell, she'll run well.
"She's been in work for a while so she's fit, has a great rider in the saddle and being in barrier six will get a good run to the finish."
If Brett is right this fine specimen of equine womanhood will come hurtling down the outside so close to the crowd the 'Face of the Carnival' will be able to pick a hair from her mane as she goes scurrying by.
As they say in the (racing) classics - "May God give her strength."
Go, you good thing!