HorseDon’t you love the Spring Carnival. Horses? The smell of handing over your hard earned money to bookies. Did I mention horses? This week, Crikey’s Sport tsar Leigh Josey and SmartCompany Editor James Thomson dissect the Cox Plate.

Leigh Josey: Afternoon all. It’s a beautiful Friday here in Melbourne, a stark contrast from last weekend although lesser weather is due overnight. Nonetheless, we eagerly anticipate tomorrow’s big race, the Cox Plate. And I am joined at the Jockey Wrap with SmartCompany Editor, friend of Crikey and man-about-horses James Thomson. Thommo, how have you been mate?

James Thomson: Wonderful Leigh, and very excited about attending the Cox Plate tomorrow. The Plate holds a special place in my heart. Through my best mate Tim Martin — who is the son of legendary race caller Bryan Martin — I got to share in two Cox Plate victories through their horse Fields Of Omagh. Good times!!

Leigh Josey: So you’re attending tomorrow? What’s your gut feel at this stage? So You think is becoming unbackable. SportsBet have already paid out. Then there’s the sentimental favourite Shoot Out which was to be ridden by the late Stathi Katsidis. So much has been written about this race yet I feel I wish I could blindly box 1,2,7,8 like I do with the greyhounds.

James Thomson: So You Think does look very hard to beat, but at $1.50 he is also just way too short. Our friend from Betstar, Michael Horne, likes More Joyeous, who won the Toorak very impressively last start, but I am just not sure she’s quite good enough to win it. I think So You Think wins, but there interestingly bookies are framing a market without him in the race (as in, who runs second) where Zipping is $6. That’s not a bad bet.

Leigh Josey: Betting… After last week I realised that problem with gambling is that you don’t always win. I mean Descarado? Really? It ruined my, and five of my mates, quaddie. Damn horses.

James Thomson: Yeah, the rain really stuffed things up for punters last week and that’s something to watch tomorrow too. A few showers are predicted tonight and tomorrow morning, and that may have an impact on the track, although Moonee Valley does handle rain well. Just be aware there could be swoopers running on from the back of fields as they day progresses!

Leigh Josey: Bloody swoopers. So what’s our pick here? So you Think and More Joyeous look like the smart money. Times like this I need the inane contributions of First Dog on the Moon who is currently AWOL somewhere in North Melbourne. What’s your roughie Thommo?

James Thomson: Roughie is Zipping, and the sentimental money is of course with Shoot Out!

Leigh Josey: Interesting. I like Luen Yat Forever. So Thommo, have a ball tomorrow. Anything novice race goers should know about attending the Cox Plate?

James Thomson: Moonee Valley is a funny place — if Flemington is fine dining restaurant, then Moonee Valley is a little bit like Smorgy’s — the working man’s race club.

James Thomson: But the best thing about it that pretty much from everyone around the track you are very close to the action — so it’s always a huge buzz when the field comes around the final turn.

Leigh Josey: Cheers Thommo. Hope you have a cracker tomorrow. If Luen Yat Forever salutes then it’s all you can eat at Smorgy’s on me.

James Thomson: Thanks Leigh, good luck punters!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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