Possibly one of the most-asked questions by anyone, to anyone, when at the races is "What are you tipping today?".
To the uninitiated, no, this does not mean what object you're considering tipping tipping over - it means which horse do you think will pass the winning post first.
With Auckland Cup Week looming, and plenty of racing newbies expected to come and enjoy New Zealand's most glamorous - and richest - racing carnival here at Ellerslie; we've helped you out with this easy guide on what to say when you're ask for a tip (and again no, this does not mean some bank notes slipped into the pocket...).
It's the first question everyone asks when you arrive on track - "what are you tipping today?"
We all hate putting our necks on the line and telling people to put their hard-earned dollars on something you really aren’t confident about, so here are a few smart responses you can use:
Mate: "What is your best tip?"
You: "Be nice to your mother."
To be fair, that's not just a tip - it's probably one of the best pieces of life advice you can give someone.
Alternatively, on a sunny day when someone asks for a tip, you can tell them:
"Don’t stare at the sun, it hurts your eyes."
If you do have a winner, but don’t want to ruin your price by telling every man and his dog, be coy like this:
"The only person I am giving a tip to today is the bartender."
But seriously, we all like to tip a winner and have your mates buy you beers and champagne for the rest of the day.
The safe way to go is to back the favourite.
On average, the favourite wins 35% of the time (as in, over a third of the races). With both days of Auckland Cup Week boasting of 10 races, you technically should be able to tip at least three winners on this percentage.
Going for the favourite is also, by far, your best chance of securing a winner.
While they're called the 'favourite' because they have the shortest odds (as oin, they'll will pay out the least amount of money if you back them and they do indeed win), the shorter the odds, the higher win percentage the horse has - $2 favourites win more races than the $3 favourites, and this carries on as odds get longer.
If you really want to be a hero though, you can take your chances and find a ‘roughie’ – a horse that is considered a rough chance as it is paying high dividends.
The Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (which is only two weeks away) is often an open betting race with good dividends and a roughie has been known to surprise.
In 2016, El Soldado won the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup at a price of $125! Now, if you tipped that, you would most definitely be reaching for the top shelf.