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Derby Day 2015

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Turf Deli Racing News

The Grand Old Stand

This is likely to be the last Cup Week for the grand old Members Stand at Flemington which is pending approvals and funding to be demolished and replaced.

The historic Members Grandstand was built in 1924, and has seen close to one hundred Melbourne Cup winners sail by, whilst comfortably seating several generations of hopeful race goers, including several members of the Royal Family.

Rumour has it there is even still a PC 4 LD engraved into the back of one of the seats, left over from the recently married royal visit in 1985.

Unfortunately, there were structural issues identified with the stand in 2013 which required sections to be closed and raised questions about whether it had reached the end of its life span.

The new entertainment venue proposed to replace the grandstand will have restaurants, bars and a roof top garden. Everything will of course, be bold, modern, daring, swish, exciting, and state of the art - and probably totally stale again in about ten years' time.

That's the good thing about old grandstands. They are for sitting in - and therefore they are actually rather useful even one hundred years later, long after the 1920's fads have faded away.

We have very mixed feelings about such developments.

We guess you cannot stand in the way of progress (unless you have an awful lot of very large and very scary looking friends). And fair enough, racecourses need to re-invent themselves to stay modern and relevant.

But there are already heaps of bars and restaurants and event centres at Flemington. You can do that stuff anywhere in Melbourne. Something new will pop up that is shinier and newer within a few years.

What there isn't is another grand old large grandstand that you can sit in and watch the best racehorses in the country compete at one of the most famous tracks in the world.

So when an lovely grand old grandstand is proposed to get demolished, to be replaced by more of the same, with seating dropped from 4000 down to just 1500, it makes us write long reminiscent stories instead of making lame jokes in our weekly newsletter.

Even in more recent times, the old grandstand has been an integral part of some of the history making events at Flemington.

- In 2010, when BLACK CAVIAR was going for her perfect 10th win in the Newmarket Handicap the old Members Grandstand was jam packed with people wanting to watch. People went and got seats twenty minutes before the race even jumped, just to get in a good position. When they jumped the crowd went silent, totally silent, everyone was focussed on the race instead of yakking away and playing with their phones. We had never seen that on a racecourse before - even for the Melbourne Cup. When she was let loose about the 300M mark there was an audible gasp from the crowd. It was quite surreal and really something to behold.

- In 2013, when Gai Waterhouse won her first Melbourne Cup with FIORENTE, she held court at the top of the old grandstand as she went to return to the Mounting Yard. Spontaneously, the crowds on the lawn, both members and public, turned around and cheered her as one as she descended regally down the stairs.

Neither of these memorable moments could have happened in a slick and boldly daring, architecturally inspired events centre. Trapped behind glass walls, the fish bowl world is blocked out from the sounds of the track and the rest of the course. There is just no atmosphere at all. Watch during Cup Week and see the excited owners jumping up and down in the old grandstand. That is what racing is about.

The old grandstands are set up to actually watch the races. You can leave the lawns and quickly get a seat to watch the race without having to negotiate your way through doorways and escalators and bar queues. They have atmosphere. You can hear the crowd. You can see the horses. You can hear the horses as they thunder past. Your horse always, always wins.

We feel that many race clubs are losing their way badly. Attendances are falling, and not just during the off season, with spring carnival crowds well down as well in the last few years. You can promote the wining and dining and bands and entertainment and dance floors all you like, but you can do those things anywhere. The horse racing itself seems to have actually become largely a secondary event, but in our opinion is to get people back to the races, you actually need to get them interested in the racing.

And that means having somewhere to sit and watch and experience the races.

Because that is what the product is - the racecourse experience.

Missed a newsletter?

Spend a productive afternoon at work browsing through years and years of old content and cheap laughs in our newsletter archive.

Plus fifteen years worth of feature race previews in our form guide archive.

Relive the form analysis of Cups past. Such sweet memories.


Having a bet over Cup Week?

If you are going to have a bet over Cup Week it is worth checking out what the bookmakers have on offer.

You don't have to bet with the TAB!

You can open up an account online and be up and running in a few minutes, place all the same bets as the TAB, and often getting better odds and lots of additional bonus offers.

Which means you can make your punting dollar last even longer.

Sportsbet are offering:

Matching the value of your first bet up to $150
- New accounts (ACT, QLD, TAS, NT only)

* Residents of other states. Don't be scared away by the asterisks. Once you open an account you are eligible for all the rest of the bonuses on offer. There are always plenty of additional bonus bets going around.

Top Tote Plus
- best price out of the three TABs and Starting Price so you are always going to get better odds.

Weekly money back refunds

Power Prices
- better odds between Saturday 10am and 11am. We do much of our punting shopping in bulk through this offer.

The weekly money refund specials are especially good. It means you can just back a horse straight out to win and go for glory, with an insurance return if it gets beaten and runs a place. These are real money back offers too, not bonus bets like some betting agencies.

Money back on the VRC Derby if your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th .

Click here to open a Sportsbet account.

Last Week's Results

Follow The Leader - and Turf Deli

When doing the form, it is important to categorise all runners into complex algorithms considering distance, fitness, race record, jockey, barrier, and weight and a multitude of other factors.

When doing the form for Moonee Valley races you then carefully weigh up all these factors - and then totally ignore them and back whatever horses lead.

Moonee Valley loves to cater for all sorts of racehorses. Those who lead. And those who follow the leader on the rails. So it was great racing, but most of the runners had no chance what so ever.

We tipped up a storm early on at Moonee Valley last week, in small fields we managed to find 4 winners on top and 6 winners in the selections - and they were all from the first 6 races covered.

Race 2: 6-TAWTEEN 1st W=$3.80 - top pick
Race 3: 1-MY POPPETTE 1st W=$2.70
Race 4: 1-HOLLER 1st W=$3.20 - top pick
Race 5: 5-LAKE GENEVA 1st W=$8.80 - top pick
Race 6: 7-THE UNITED STATES 1st W=$3.20
Race 7: 11-JAMEKA 1st W=$4.30 - top pick

Early Quad = $482

We have actually picked up the Early Quaddie a few times so far this season and we seem to be going better in the early races for some reason.

The Best Bet of the Day saluted on Cox Plate Day, but it still wasn't enough to put the Betting Portfolio into profit. Though on Friday night at the Manikato Stakes the tips went awful, and we struggled to even find a place getter - but the Betting Portfolio made a profit!

Which means overall we went pretty much nowhere over the weekend and are still well into the red heading into the tough four days of Cup Week.

BEST BET: Race 7: 11-JAMEKA 1st W=$4.30

QUINELLA: Race 6: 11-TUDOR, 9-RELDAS Quinella = $35.10

2015 Spring Campaign: 14 weeks - 5 profits - 8 returns - 1 wipe out. Net: $-252.70

View last week's Cox Plate 2015 results.

View last week's Manikato Stakes 2015 results.

See how the tips and Betting Portfolio are going at the Bottom Line. Updated 29/10/2015

Check out the horses to follow this spring in our Black Book. Updated 29/10/2015.
There was quite a few black book winners last week including GRANE 1st W=$7.50 at Moonee Valley on Friday night and ALMOONIQITH 1st W=$10.00 in the Geelong Cup.

This Week's Free Form Guide

Flemington - Derby Day - 31st Oct 2015


Follow the link for this week's form guide: Derby Day 2015

With our unique, detailed and critical form analysis for the feature race.

The form guide for the Melbourne Cup will be out early Monday afternoon.

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If Turf Deli is blocked at your work, you can receive this week's form guide in a text email, via auto response by sending an email to text@turfdeli.com.au once you receive this email.

Cleverly Disguised Ads


Sadly this will be the first Cup Week without racing legend Bart Cummings who passed away earlier this year.

The most photographed item during Cup Week has never been the Melbourne Cup winner, nor the latest Hollywood celebrity jetting in to pose in a fancy marquee- it has always been the Bart statue.

Wander past at any time during Cup Week and you will find madly grinning punters posing with Bart for a photo opportunity.

We are pretty sure, that if you read the fine print on your entry ticket, you will find it is actually one of the compulsory Terms and Conditions of entry to get your photo taken with the Bart statue.

Even now he has passed on, the legend and the icon that was Bart will surely live on and the statue will be more popular than ever.


Expert punters know how important it is to check out the condition of your horse in the Mounting Yard before the race.


Study this closely. Look for muscle definition, tone and fat around the stomach area to show what sort of condition the horse is in.

Then look downwards and repeat the same process on yourself.


If you are heading out to races during Cup Week check out our Flemington Track Guide.

Handy hints with associated nonsense about where to meet, where to hang out and how to avoid the queues on course.

Getting There
- The train is the only way to go - don't even think about driving. Trains leave Flinders St and Southern Cross every few minutes during Cup week and will take you straight there. Enjoy the scenic ride as you go through the Flemington industrial estate and past the large pie in the sky in the Showgrounds. Remember to touch on and that you need to pre-book tickets during Cup Week as there are no tickets for sale on the gate

- It always pays to know where the sturdy, spacious permanent toilet blocks are. If you go out the back of the course, towards the main car park, past the book makers ring, just near the Flemington Heritage centre there is a major, solid, permanent and very under utilised toilet block. No frustrating lines for the ladies in their race day finest.

Charge Up:
- Between Facebook check ins, numerous selfies, messaging back and forth to catch up with people and browsing all your different betting accounts it is a long tiring day for your poor mobile phone. So make sure you are fully charged before you leave home, and find out where the re-charging booths are on course. Because once you are off the air you are going to miss out on all the fun!

Know Your Tote Operator
The TAB always wheels out a lot of short term, very inexperienced casual staff during Cup Week, many of whom have not even set foot on a racecourse before - yet alone had a bet, and have had minimal training. If you bet on course and bet in cash be patient and understanding. But also watch out for the experienced tote operators who can quickly and accurately enter your bet. You will know instantly which tote operators are on the ball and which ones just give you a confused look like you are speaking in a foreign language.

Train Safety
- Please check the circumference of your extravagant headwear. Wing span is the key term here. Just for the safety of the eye balls of other commuters.


We obviously get some revenue from Sportsbet which helps keep everything on Turf Deli free.

So if you enjoy what we do, or have had a win following our tips and can help us out by opening an Sportsbet account - it would be greatly appreciated.

If you are going to have a bet over Cup Week it is worth checking out what the bookmakers have on offer.

You can open up an Sportsbet account online and be up and running in a few minutes, place all the same bets as the TAB, and often getting better odds and lots of additional bonus offers.

Sportsbet are offering money back on the VRC Derby if your horse runs 2nd, 3rd or 4th

Click here to open a Sportsbet account.

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