After a long nerve-wracking week at work, I came home last night, took a nap and then got up ready to bet some races. Unfortunately, on a Friday night your choices are pretty limited: Delta Downs, Charles Town, and a bunch of harness tracks where the snows were a blowin’. My local cable company airs HRTV on Friday and Saturday nights (and sometimes on Tuesdays) and Australian racing is often on. All turf, sometimes running clockwise, sometimes counter-clockwise, with conditions rated “good”, “dead”, “slow”, “heavy”…what’s the difference? Completely a fish out of water, I logged on to my Twinspires account and waded right in. Thankfully they provide free past performances, but they look nothing like our Brisnet or DRF so it takes me awhile to get used to how to read it. There are no workout times or dates, just “barrier trials”? No Beyers or Bris numbers, but something called OzeSpeed figures. And their numbers almost never match their post positions. Well, let me tell you, completely winging it I had the most enjoying wagering experience ever!
They were running at Caulfield (“good”) and Rosehill (“heavy”), and I hit a winner on my very first try, Vision and Power in race 4 at Rosehill. Feeling pretty good about that, I tried an ambitious WPS bet on a longshot, Wave the Dollar, in race 5 at Rosehill…and he came in a winner! I also had some money at Caulfield on Lucky Diva who won race 6, Rubiscent who showed in the 7th, and El Mandon who finished third in race 8. Hey, this is pretty addictive! The on-air personalities were extremely knowledgeable, and their insights on the horses based on the track conditions were right on, which made my choices a little easier.
I had so much fun that I took a second shot at racing Down Under again tonight, this time at Gosford (“heavy”) and Bathurst (“dead”). Boom bada boom! At Bathurst, I had Istimaid for the win in race 2. At Gosford, I hit The Squawker to show in race 3, and Cassie’s Dream to place in race 4; in race 5, I won a modest show bet when Walking or Dancing slid into the third spot, but on my little yellow pad (I swear to God) I had listed Crown Willie, High Papa, Walking or Dancing, and Gairloch (6-10-2-13)…and they finished exactly that way for a $1 superfecta payout of $3,456.45 (would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, I know).
I still have virtually no idea how to interpret those Aussie pp’s, and have yet to discover if the tracks I bet on were the equivalent of Saratoga or Mountaineer, but my interest is definitely peaked. For a night owl like me, Australia racing is brilliant!