There will be many seasoned punters at Burrandowan on Saturday doing their best to declutter the bookmakers’ bags, and just as many patrons who will be novices or once-in-a-while racegoers.
So this week, I’d like to enhance the experience for the latter category.
Firstly, do not take notice of anyone else when sorting out your selection.
Therapists will probably say you will feel better losing on your own merits than losing because you switched away from your own thoughts and followed supposed wisdom.
The downside to this approach is that the would-be tipping owl may gloat incessantly should their pick prevail.
The experts are in for challenging time because no acceptor has been to Burrandowan more than once before.
The maiden horse Ringo’s Magic, a well-named gelding by Drumbeats, is the only horse to be placed at the venue.
While where a horse has finished at its previous starts is important, the distance it was away from the winner often sheds a good deal of light on the performance.
The track and standard of the previous race is also a vital consideration.
For example, a horse that ended up midfield at a Brisbane city meeting warrants more consideration than a country winner.
The form guide, available by clicking on the button on this page, gives the prize money value of the respective race.
If it is around $15,000 it is above the bush grade, and that horse faces an easier task in rural company.
The barrier draw is also a strong factor.
If it is a high number, the contender has many horses inside it at the start and the risk is that it will be trapped wide.
Another complication is the vast range of places at which the aspirants last raced.
For Burrandowan, those courses include Charleville, Augathella, Murwillumbah, Caloundra, Bundaberg and Rockhampton.
If you get a chance, do watch the pre-race parade in the mounting yard and engage in conversation.
Most old timers love to answer questions posed by newcomers.
And if you want to sound knowledgeable, you can inform others that the red earmuffs worn by horses to keep them relaxed are taken off at the starting barriers.
First timers may strike beginner’s luck by simply sticking to omens.
At the corresponding fixture in 2015, Arma De Fuego, prepared by Jennifer Williams, and the Mark Goodwin trained Red Beretta both saluted.
Their names have a link to pistols and shotguns, a connection that tied in well with Burrandowan’s morning clay target shoot.
On Saturday, Red Beretta’s silks will be worn by Jordan’s Swan, Mr Opurrtunist, Olivia’N’Me, a trio that will be saddled up by Goodwin’s daughter Jemimah Forde.
Williams’s runner is Taminick Gap, a gelding named after a spot in Ned Kelly country near Glenrowan.
An omen around racing colours prevailed at Nanango on Easter Saturday when the punters cashed in on Machu Picchu.
Trainer Brian “Bunny” Laherty incorporated a large rabbit on his jockey’s jacket design.
If you feel ducks are lucky, check out what the jockey is wearing on Donald “Duck” Baker’s string.
Greys are often popular. The colour category will be represented by Your My Boy Blue and The Irons this weekend.
Back in 1978, a highly serious punter was grumbling over his losses when Grey Affair landed the Brisbane Cup at 40/1.
His disposition was not helped when by an elderly lady sitting nearby admitted she only backed the winner because of her hair.
Sports followers may like to check out the Burrandowan entries Golfing, Kastanos (a Cypriot soccer star) and Golovkin (a Kazakhstani boxer).
Some may prefer to put their faith into well-named cuddies.
Examples include the locally trained Danish Diction, a son of Wordsmith and Queen of Denmark, and Aklavik, the bay whose dam is North to Alaska (the word corresponds with a place north east of Anchorage).
Party Punters Pool is ideal for folk from couples to groups who want a simple, inexpensive interest in all five races.
The routine is that each participant puts a few dollars into the kitty and makes two choices per event.
Points are awarded on, say, a five, three, two basis for first, second and third.
The top scorer at day’s end scoops the pool.
Have fun under the anticipated clear sunny, skies on Saturday.
Don’t forget that there are neither ATMS nor general mobile phone reception at Burrandowan.
So you’ll need to bring cash, and either buy a race book at the track or study the form guide to make your selections in advance of making the trip.