Having access to the turf accountant’s swollen purse is sine qua non if you want to board the punters’ express that winds its way from North Melbourne to Flemington during the spring racing carnival.

She walked out on me after the Mackinnon Stakes last Saturday, fearing a tongue-lashing for her failure to back the winner, but returned in good working order yesterday to field the Oaks. But she had to wear the fox hat, didn’t she.