The mission was to spend every day of Victoria's Spring Carnival - including the Melbourne Cup - "on the punt". Forty-two days of living on hunches, tips, and cunning. Could it be done, and, more importantly, would she be able to make her fortune?
Starting with $20,000 was a big help, of course, but that added pressure. The habit of a lifetime of betting a few dollars here and there would not cut it in this new environment. No, only the big money would really make an impression on the purse.
As a punter a little bit of faith helps, too: faith in your own abilities and in the four-legged athletes doing their job out on the track. This was a valuable lesson - don't stay on a horse all season and then jump ship. Keep the faith. Gut feeling's a biggie.
Unfortunately Thomas made the odd jump off a horse at the wrong time - but them's the breaks.
Generally, the writer successfully drew on her racing and breeding knowledge when following the ponies, but was sometimes swayed by "expert" advice.
Swayed in a good way, or bad? You'll have to read the book to find out the end financial result.