The Spring Racing Carnival is in full swing, and so is the betting. Whether you’re backing a horse, choosing an outfit or hoping to meet the love of your life, Spring Carnival 2012 has something for everybody. So saddle up for our A-Z Guide to getting through the Group Ones unscathed, and hopefully backing a winner or two.
Americain by name, but French by nature, he’s back to have another crack at the Melbourne Cup. Like most of the Aussie swim team, he wasn’t happy coming fourth.
Boozed up is sometimes confused for ‘a decent effort at the track’. Not recommended as the best way to get you face on the TV so that mum can see you at home.
Caulfield also has a Cup, and is a nice primer to get you match-fit for the rest of Spring Carnival.
Dapper is what passes for ordinary blokes who brave matching shoes, belts and hats.
Eat. Like running a marathon, doing the Spring Racing Carnival properly, takes stamina.
Fillies are female horses too young to be called mares. Hobbies include enjoying the company of AFL footballers at race meets.
Gai Waterhouse is a name you should drop into conversation to bolster your 2012 Spring Carnival credentials. Pretending to be a relative is a popular trick used by everybody to get VIP access at the track.
Horses, believe it or not, also head to Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
International eyes are focused on Melbourne on the first Tuesday in November for the running of the Melbourne Cup. Most foreigners are jealous that Victorians get a holiday because of a horse race.
Jockeys are to the racecourse what DJ’s are to the dance floor. Both know how to get the blood pumping and the crowd heaving.
Kings like to call horse racing their sport. Except of course the King of Pop – he preferred hanging out with Llamas.
Luck and lots of it, is what you’ll need to back a winner. Otherwise you can follow your mum’s advice and always back the grey horse in every race.
Milliners are the rockstars of Spring Carnival and attend every meet from the Caulfield Cup to Stakes Day. Then no-one hears from them until the same time next year.
Oaks Day, or Crown Oaks Day as the sponsors like to call it, is also known as Ladies Day. If you’re a fan of pastel outfits and hats with feathers, this is your Nirvana.
Punters belong to a broad category definition that includes anyone prepared to put their money where their mouth is at Spring Carnival 2012.
Quinella is a weird word that has a simple meaning: back the first and second place-getters in a race to multiply your winnings. Quinella winners have plenty of friends on race day.
Rain is talked up as much as the horses at Spring Carnival. But hey it’s Melbourne, and ponchos are readily accepted as an essential fashion accessory.
Stakes Day is the official final day of the Spring Racing Carnival. Last year 85,000 people turned up to watch a horse called Black Caviar nail her 16th win in a row.
Trifecta is code for “I just had a massive day at the races!” Involving choosing first, second and third in a race, it’s also known as betting’s Holy Grail.
United Arab Emirates is the Land of Racing’s High Rollers. Not known to do things in small measures, the Sheikhs and Princes are keen players at the track and their horses usually the ones to beat. Good go-to guys for advice on a friendly tip.
Victory is a state of mind. From the Cox Plate to the Victorian Derby, if you’ve managed to hang in there until stumps, not broken a heel or lost a tie, you’re pretty much a winner in our book.
Winning isn’t all that matters. But it feels bloody fantastic when for once, the mare you backed romps it home in front of all your mates.
X is the factor you’ll need for glory in the fashion stakes. Remember that it’s a tough field out there and don’t forget to match your socks.
Yobbo is a common term referencing lout. Spring Carnival Yobbos like to dress up in animal costumes, drink beer from tubes attached to a keg concealed in their outfit and usually pass out in Flemington’s rose garden.
Zoological displays of affection are often a common sighting at the end of each race day and best kept on hold until in the safety and comfort of the train carriage on the journey home. That goes for farting, burping and vomiting too.
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