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  • When You Should Bet 'Em

    One of the first calls of caution I received when I took an interest in horse racing was this: don’t expect to make money following jockeys.

    It’s something I’ve remembered ...

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  • Think Like a Trainer

    Following Viewed’s history-making victory in the 2008 Melbourne Cup, one irate punter, writing in another publication, had this to say: “That’s 10 unplaced runs in a row for the last two Melbourne Cup ...

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  • Weight is the Clue

    My friend and colleague Denton Jardine has been unwell of late and has asked me to provide the final part of his series on systems and form defects.This is a subject which Denton and myself have ...

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  • The Best of the Optimist (Part 6)

    This is the final month of our trip back through the history of the past 20 or so years in this series. I left you last month with the promise that we'd pick up where we left off.So where exactly were ...

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  • The Best of the Optimist (Part 5)

    This is the final article in the series. It seems to me timely that it should occur during our 20th birthday celebrations. What I've done for this month's article is to plough back through a whole lot ...

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  • The Best of the Optimist (Part 4)

    June 1986. And my goodness, what a long time ago it seems now. I suppose that a fair percentage of my readers were still in school! I pulled this copy of PPM out of my archival vault and I flicked ...

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  • The Best of the Optimist (Part 3)

    I went back to July 1990 for this month's "back to beyond" source material. The Optimist was still writing the same patter then as he is now. Fifteen years ago, give or take a few months, he was on ...

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  • The Best of the Optimist (Part 2)

    I have been lucky over the years to make many good friends in racing. Some of them are involved professionally. One of my closest friends is a top Sydney racing journalist, whilst others bet often, ...

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  • The Best of the Best (Part 1)

    This is my first article in a new series. You, the readers, will hopefully write to Equestrian, and indicate some of your favourite "Optimist" articles from the past 20 years. You will determine the ...

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  • Those Jockey Capers

    Some time ago, a friend of mine telephoned me to ask my advice about a horse he owned. It was entered in a ‘Restricted’ race at a provincial meeting in Queensland.He wanted to know how the horse ...

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