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By Mark Oberhardt | Monday, December 31, 2012

Mark Oberhardt has been a racing and sports reporter for 40 years. He has written racing for the Courier Mail, Brisbane Telegraph, Sydney Sunday Telegraph, Sportsman, Australian Associated Press, etc. He has also written many sports columns including the Courier Mail’s The Ear. Mark has also been a regular on RadioTAB for 20 years. Mark’s personal blog, Obe Unplugged, will appear every Monday on HRO.

The New Year is upon us and it is time to once again write down the six golden rules of punting to be followed throughout 2013.

I am only writing them down to have a reference point to see how quickly I will break them.

Let's be frank, I have been punting for 50 years and have been making the same mistakes for 50 years … but at least if I have a record it will remind me of just what a Richard Cranium I can be and will continue to be.

So here we go with the Oberhardt guide - not to riches - but rather not losing too much.

Under no circumstances back any horse drawn outside barrier five from the Doomben 1110m start!

Horses can win from out wide but they either must be brilliant beginners who can cross and lead without spending too much petrol or go back horses who need a huge amount of luck to run home.

Double your bets on a runner drawn in from the start if you have chosen it before barriers are drawn … but have a cup of tea if the one you like is drawn in the car park.

Under no circumstances back anything drawn outside barrier five at the Eagle Farm 1800m!

You can basically repeat what we said about the 1110m start at Doomben. Just like the Doomben 1110m the Eagle Farm 1800m usually sees horses drawn deep caught there for the duration or having to go too far back.

Back on pace runners at the Eagle Farm 1400m!

It is amazing the number of winners at the Eagle Farm 1400m which are up on the pace the whole way. I have no reason for it, but statistics will show you they win a lot of races. They can win from back in the field but, take a tip, it’s not too often.

Do not back horses which have not won for more than 12 months!

Again there will be the occasional winner who has had a long drought but as a general rule non-winners are non-winners for life.

The exception can be horses coming from the south which can string together some wins up here but, as rule, it is cheaper to ignore non-winners.


Never be afraid to throw into exotics horses which get in under the limit weight after an apprentices claim!

It is amazing the number of roughies who bob up to win or get into the place at huge odds, even if their form is appalling. It is even more important now that the weights have been raised. A lot of horses carrying 51kgs can improve out of sight when they are opposed to others with 58kgs plus.

Do not listen to coat tuggers and stick with your own opinion!

You won't get rich but at least you can only blame yourself if something goes wrong - as it usually does.

I reckon I disobey the first five rules about 20 times a year and each time it costs me money.

Hopefully, this year will be different but I won't be betting on it.

Meanwhile, it is good to see I have a tremendous following on the tip.

Recently, on Horse Racing Only, I highlighted a horse named Isenvenger which ran third in a no race at Murwillumbah. I declared it would start $3 at its next start because the no race performance was so good.

Well it went around last Friday and won at $25 which means no one took any notice … but congratulations to Tony Glynn, Harry Pratt and Michael Byrne who have shed the unluckiest punter tag and returned it to yours truly.

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Mark Oberhardt
Mark Oberhardt
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best