Outside The Box - Punters round the turn in spring carnival competition

By Alex Mitchell

With one winning wager between them on Melbourne Cup Day, the punting reputation of the Shepparton News Sports team is in tatters.

Only sub-editor Ashleigh Williamson troubled the bookies on Tuesday, finding Sure Knee in the third race for a nice $40 collect.

Outside of that, doughnuts were the cuisine of choice, with a fair bit of cash handed over to the great Jaimee Rogers and the team at the TAB.

But the wounds have been well and truly licked and the team is fronting up for Ladies Day — or as we are calling it, Moving Day, as this might well be the card that separates the pack.

Alex Mitchell ($124.50 in the kitty)

When your biggest collect of the day is cash back on a scratching, you know it hasn’t been ideal. Melbourne Cup Day might not have gone my way, but the punt giveth and the punt taketh and it is time we did the bookies some damage. While an all-in push appeals, saving a bullet or two for the final day of the carnival is in the works.

Bet one: Flemington R1, #8 Impi and R8, #1 Miami Bound — $34 all-up @ $5.94

Impi is going to bolt in the first; he has shown phenomenal ability in his career to date and this will be a cakewalk. In the Oaks, I simply cannot go past the form of Miami Bound. The Wakeful win encourages me it will be winning this and getting my carnival back on track.

Bet two: Flemington R5, #1 Ball Of Muscle — $20 win at $3.30

With two placings in Group races this preparation, I think the top weight here has enough to hang on.

Bet three: Flemington R7, #7 Quick Thinker — $20 win at $5

Quick Thinker — named after yours truly — has been showing great signs in Sydney Group races and will fly back at the Listed level here. Damian Lane will bring this baby home.

Ronnie Anderson ($240)

Following the KISS principle today as it appears to be an ordinary punting card, so I’m taking a two-leg win multi.

Bet one: Flemington R6, #1 Harbour Views and R8, #1 Miami Bound — $40 @ 8.64 for a return of $345.60

Ashleigh ‘‘Punter’s Pal’’ Williamson ($230)

Sure Knee made sure Melbourne Cup was not a complete strip out, so I have $230 to play with across the last two days. Oaks Day is a bit quieter, but I have found a couple to offer some interest during the afternoon.

Bet one: Flemington R4, #15 Nudge — $10 win @ $6

The dynamic Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman combination teams up with this filly. Seems remarkable we are getting $6 about a horse that finished third at Group Two level on Cox Plate Day last start and is carrying the same weight of 57kg in a Benchmark 70 race. Looks a nice play.

Bet two: Flemington R8, #1 Miami Bound — $50 win @ $3.60

I am 0-2 in my bigger $50 bets this week, but confident Miami Bound can turn that trend around. This filly impressively won Saturday’s Group Two Wakeful Stakes – the traditional Oaks lead-up race. The “King of Kyabram” Danny O’Brien has already won the big one in the Melbourne Cup – I am tipping he will help himself to seconds with victory in the Oaks.

Bet three: Flemington quaddie, $40 for 50 per cent

Leg 1 (race 6): 1, 4

Leg 2: 1, 3, 4, 7, 10

Leg 3: 1, 2, 3, 4

Leg 4: 2, 9

Happy to go skinny in the first and last legs, with only two main winning chances in each race. Miami Bound was a potential one-out job in the Oaks, but I went with three other runners as insurance. The second leg appears the trickiest, so I have gone with five runners looking for some value.

Aydin Payne ($140)

Bet one: Flemington, R2, #2 Boom Daddy — $20 place @ $3.50

After a brilliant start to Melbourne Cup Day in race one on the Lindsay Park stable, we have stuck to the big guns and looked for the Euroa boys to provide some return in race two. This two-year-old colt has the most race experience of the group and even though he is in a higher grade then his last start win, I expect him to fly home among the placings.

Bet two: Flemington R5, #1 Ball of Muscle — $10 win @ $3.30

Just missed out on last start at Caulfield, running second behind Trekking and I expect the nine-year-old gelding to go one better here. Has form down the straight and should add to his third-up record.

Bet three: Flemington R6, #6 Starspangled Rodeo — $20 win @ $10

On Seymour Cup day, this gelding came second in a BM70 over 1600m and will relish the 4.5kg weight drop. His previous two runs have brought runner-up finishes and expect him to find the rail from the midfield.

Bet four: Flemington R8, #1 Miami Bound — $20 win @ $3.60

A great win on Derby Day over 2000m after being challenged late in the piece and I expect this filly to go the extra journey again and I like seeing D.Oliver in the saddle.

Bet five: Flemington R9, #14 The Mobot — $10 each way @ $35 and $9

Unbeaten from four attempts is this Maher and Eustace-trained three-year-old filly. I have followed her since watching her roar home in the flesh and win at Tatura two wins back. The Mobot ended up more than 10 lengths in front of News’ sports editor Tyler Maher’s former galloper Cheeky Reward and we know the class of Cheeky. At $35 and $9 you would be silly to miss out on her going five zip.

Tyler Maher ($80)

The great Kenny Rogers once sang about knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, but after the week this columnist has had in this competition it would be also pertinent to admit when you know nothing. Luckily, Oaks Day is where this columnist has done his best work in the past, and there’s nothing like good form at the track and distance to help predict a winner. While Derby Day was a forgive run, Melbourne Cup Day was like watching a $1.10 favourite get stuck on the fence on a heavy 10, only to get out and snatch the lead a metre after the winning post — in other words, sickening. Time to go chips-in and either hit the front or sit up in the saddle and watch the rest of the team battle it out.

Bet one: Flemington R3, #7 Sir Simon — $20 win @ $7.50

Everyone loves the Greys race on Oaks Day and we think we've found the winner. Sir Simon has to navigate a fair jump in class after tearing tracks of the Apple Isle to shreds, but winning form has to be respected. Has already been wheeled in from a double-figure opening price to $7.50, so get on before it's skinnier than your mate's ‘'sure thing” quaddie.

Bet two: Flemington R5, #3 Thermal Current — $5 win @ $34 and $15 place @ $8

Likes it up the Flemington straight and should flash home. The juicy odds look too good to pass up for a split play.

Bet three: Flemington R8, #4 Vegas Jewel — $40 win @ $4

We’ll be on Vegas Jewel in the main event and we’re keeping it simple. $40 the win at $4 to get us back in the game. You will note everyone else in this column is on Miami Bound, but if I'm going to catch up I have to get out of the slipstream and run my own race. With not even a sniff of a collect to speak of for the carnival though, it might take a miracle.

More on the Outside The Box spring carnival competition

Derby Day

Melbourne Cup