George Main Stakes preview

by David on September 19, 2014

George Main small

Click here to enlarge this image and open in a new window.

Filters are from August 1 2013 until now
Runs and good to dead tracks
Must have a minimum speed rating of 110
Runs between 1400 and 1700

It’s quite clear from the graph here that history shows us the best performed milers are Sacred Falls and Toydini. They dominate the top 7 spots here with very strong figures between 119 and 128

Toydini comes here off a decent first up run, it was on a heavy track though and his best runs were all two campaigns ago. He will be second up here off of that heavy run but we trust the Snowdens will have the horse right.

Sacred Falls is third up, he has had two runs on the heavy and appears ready to peak. Despite his excellent record on wet tracks he is also very capable on the dry as you can see.

Teronado is a QLD runner who has one of the biggest sprints in Australia, he gets back and hits the line very hard. Last time he was at a mile in NSW he was only 1.7L off of Dissident and was dominant last start in QLD

Royal Descent always runs well she is very genuine but at her very best at a mile looks like she will fall short here.
Some runners who didn’t appear on the chart are Lucia Valentina who was brilliant first up and returned a PB class figure, she may have just handled the wet better or could be anything.

The other is Panzer Division, he will carry 50.5kg here but despite the weight advantage doesnt appear to be quick enough to win

UPDATE: Sacred Falls was well backed from $6.50 into $4.40 and won very impressively.


Betting 360 Ep 056 – Cup Club

by David on September 18, 2014

ep56imageEvery year we all want to back the winner of the Melbourne Cup and many dream of also being the winning owner. It’s well out of the reach for almost everyone, but a new venture known as the Cup Club is looking to change that.

They were featured in the Financial Review this week Cup Club’s non-profit ownership: winners not winnings.

So this week on the podcast we have Cup Club CEO Jason Cornell to explain more about an innovative approach to the thrill of racehorse ownership.

Punting Insights You’ll Find:

  • What is the Cup Club and who is involved in the management team?
  • How is it different to a syndication company?
  • What do you get with a monthly membership?
  • Which horses in the stable are in for a big Spring?

Today’s Guest:
Jason Cornell – Cup Club

Get the Transcript:

>> Click Here to Read the Transcript

David Duffield: Thanks for joining us Jason. If you could just start by letting people know what is The Cup Club?

Jason Cornell: Yeah, thanks Dave it’s a membership club. It’s like being in the coterie group of your footy club. It’s a premium membership experience that we provide an ownership experience at the raceday and a number of exclusive events for members and our goal is to have a winner in the Melbourne Cup and have a lot of fun along the way. Obviously we’re buying staying type of horses so if they don’t make it to the Melbourne Cup there’s a lot of other staying races and prize money in Australia on offer.

David Duffield: So it’s really about the enjoyment of being a very, very small owner of the horse rather than striking it rich by winning a big race and enjoying all the prize money?

Jason Cornell: Yeah, it’s really an alternative as you and your listeners would know. The alternative is to buy, for example, a 5% share in a yearling that may or may not make it even to a country race meeting. A lot of our members are horse owners and have got shares in other horses but The Cup Club is that different type of experience. We’re very fortunate to be in some pretty exclusive syndicates with some top quality horses but the main thing about our club is definitely not about financial return. Anybody that even asks about a financial return I say, “Well this is not for you.” It’s all about the experience, it’s about the networking, it’s about creating some pretty premium racing events.

David Duffield: And what’s your background in racing and also the founder, John Wall?

Jason Cornell: Firstly, John set up The Cub Club over 12 months ago now. He had shares in a couple of horses firstly, Quest For Peace and Kelinni, through both OTI and Darren Dance last year. His aim for The Cup Club was exactly that. He was running it by himself.
My background, I’ve spent 17 years in Hong Kong, very big on the punting side but was lucky enough to work with what I call the greatest monopoly in the world. I worked for the Hong Kong Jockey Club. I was in charge of sponsorship and marketing. Came back to Australia and was looking for an opportunity in the thoroughbred world and even though some of our race clubs you’d think would need somebody from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, haven’t been able to do that. But I met John and I created a company called Owner For A Day, you might have heard. I did Owner For A Day with Fiorente, for the Australian Cup, for charity, for 4 Tracks 4 Kids. John Wall was pretty impressed with that as a marketing idea and he said he’d back Owner For A Day but in the meantime I had to run The Cup Club and I think some of our philosophies are very much the same. We’re just trying to attract a lot more people and a much broader reach of people to what we think is the best marketing that racing’s got. That is that ownership experience at the race track. At the present time I don’t know – whose responsibility is that? Is it the racing jurisdictions? Is it the race clubs? Is it the syndicators? It’s a really complex marketing field out there. We’re trying to be very innovative in that field.

David Duffield: You mentioned Fiorente there and I believe you’re two for two, Jason. There was another bit of success you guys had over our winter.

Jason Cornell: Owner For A Day, we’ve done Fiorente and Sonntag. Sonntag came about through Shane Anderson who’s on RSN and once again we raised money for riding for the disabled but Fiorente is probably a good segue into some of the other horses that we’ve got. John, our founder, as I said had got us into horses like Quest For Peace and Kelinni. I had the great experience last year, I’m very good friends and my wife actually works for a gentleman by the name of Jack Bongiorno who was one of the major part owners of Fiorente. He’s had Descarado who won the Caulfield Cup, he’s now had Fiorente, who’s run second and won a Melbourne Cup. Funnily enough he’s also part owner in The Offer who’s the current Melbourne Cup favorite. Via that connection we were able to get into some syndicates with Gai Waterhouse and two of our horses, Bonfire and Greatwood are part of those. Also I’m very good friends with Bruce Slade from Round Table Racing and we’re in with a very good four-year-old entire called Excess Knowledge who’s actually going to be having his first start in Australia next Saturday at Rosehill. They were some of the connections that I brought too and I think we – two weeks ago we had a quinella at Rosehill where we had Greatwood and Bonfire so I’m pretty sure that we’re going to be looking to go in with Gai again as she looks to go and buy some of those proven horses in both the UK and France.

David Duffield: If people are interested in being part of the ‘club’ and that’s definitely, I suppose, the feeling, the vibe that you have amongst the guys, what do you get as part of your membership? I believe it’s either monthly or annual that you can pay for that membership?

Jason Cornell: Yeah, the monthly membership is really just an entry point in regards to the cost. It’s $199 a month, 200 bucks a month. For that you’re a member and you get all the updates and everything as if you’re an owner of the horse. Get invited to all of the race days, get invited to all of the exclusive events that we have and all of the opportunities that the club provides. What we really try and sell is our annual membership which is $2330. But inclusive of that, that gets you a ticket to The Cup Club marquee, which is a marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington and the retail value of that is $900. We think that that’s outstanding value to pay your annual membership fee, get all the benefits of race horse ownership and then you can focus on having a day at the races on Melbourne Cup Day with a lot of like-minded members and that’s what we find a lot of members do. They might buy it as even with a couple of mates or they might be a partner, a husband and wife for example and especially those probably … More than 50% of our membership reside outside of Melbourne. For them, they’re able to come down to Melbourne. We have another great event on the day before the Melbourne Cup, we’ve got The Cup Club lunch. They might be able to build in a couple of events and have a- rather than just be a general nobody out in the public, they feel as if they’re really inside the ropes there at Flemington.

David Duffield: Definitely. So the annual membership gets you The Cup Club marquee. For the monthly membership, that means that if they decide for whatever reason it’s not for them, they can cancel it anytime?

Jason Cornell: Yeah, they can cancel it anytime. Also, as I said, they’re invited to all of our events. I’ll give you a good example of that. This Saturday at Caulfield we’ve got an exclusive area out the back near the pre-parade ring called The Cup Club Bar. All of our monthly members can come along to that. You can always invite a guest. Most of the events that I do I say, “If you refer a member, you can jump in for free.” It’s very warm and friendly. A lot of, I suppose, the feedback that I get from people is that the race course is not really a very friendly place even if you do have an owner’s ticket. You get put in the owner’s bar after your horse has lost and then they kick you out before the next guys come in. People are looking for a great social event when they go to the race day.

David Duffield: Definitely. All right, I appreciate your time and it’s a really interesting concept. Good luck with that and especially for all the horses running this spring.

Jason Cornell: Yeah, as I said we’ve got one of our horses, Bonfire, runs in the Naturalism this Saturday. Any of your listeners out there, if they want to follow Bonfire. We think he’s got a great chance in the Naturalism. And if anyone wants to come to The Cup Club Bar, just check us out at and also follow us on Twitter @CupClub for all the race day updates.

David Duffield: Perfect. All right, appreciate your time, thanks Jason.

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Weekend racing reviews – September 13th 2014

by darryn on September 14, 2014

Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m)

1st Afleet Esprit – Damien Oliver
2nd Lumosty – Craig Williams
3rd Sabatini – Nick Hall

Top Dolly took up the running about six horses off the fence ahead of Traveston Girl and Abesha to her inside. They held over a length to Pienkna and Sunset Rock. The rest we in a bunch led by White House Lady, Avanti was widest on the track. Top Dolly was under pressure just inside the 400m and the stablemates Traveston Girl and Pienkna were first to go out after her. Sabatini started to close and was hampered a bit by Pienkna running out, in turnLumosty had to work to hold her place between Sabatini and Afleet Esprit, who was starting her run down the outside. More Radiant couldn’t sprint with them and went back inside Pienkna. The race changed complexion quickly with Afleet Esprit and Lumosty sweeping up to head Sabatini and the weakening Top Dolly. Traveston Girl was boxing on fairly and Avanti, who was also checked just before the 200m, charged home late ahead of a slightly disappointing More Radiant. Afleet Esprit and Lumosty cleared right out and perhaps race fitness was the difference between the two. Sabatini was comfortably held by the first two but showed her Quezette win was no fluke.

Follow: Lumosty was excellent first-up and a win isn’t far off, Avanti had no luck. (Click to continue reading…)


Sportsbook Review: Pinnacle Sports

by Admin on September 12, 2014




Located on the Southern Caribbean island of Curacao, Pinnacle Sports (or just Pinnacle) was launched online in 1998 and thanks to their many draw cards they quickly became one of the worlds most popular online sportbooks. With a unique and gimmick free approach towards bookmaking they simply offer the best odds and highest bet limits whilst welcoming all bettors including professional and arbitrage punters. They provide betting markets across a solid range of internationally played sports with a strong focus on the North American region as well as covering the main betting markets for all top-line Australian sports. And because of their location and licensing they are able to provide live online betting to their Australian clients. Today they service customers in over 100 countries and are one of the most reputable and respected sportbooks within the online gambling industry. They truly are world leaders in many bookmaking aspects and serious punters will find what they have to offer is incredibly hard to beat.

The Three (well four) Big Reasons To Join:

Exceptional Betting Odds ~ Pinnacles betting odds are genuinely the best available online.

Winners Are Welcome ~ Unlike the vast majority of online sportsbooks successful punters will always have their bets accepted at Pinnacle.

High Bet Limits ~ Their betting limits are said to be the highest available online and they are always clearly stated when you place a bet.

Arbitrage betting allowed ~ They allow arbitrage betting and because they offer the best odds and highest limits any would-be Arber will need a Pinnacle account.

Not So Keen On:

Customer Service Options ~ Pinnacle provides customer support via email only. There is no phone number available in case you need any information or want to query something in person.

No Racing Available ~ Unfortunately they don’t (at this stage) cover gambling on Thoroughbred, Harness or Greyhound racing. So if you enjoy having a punt on the races you will need a separate account with someone else.

No Promotions ~ Pinnacle do not offer a new customer bonus or any regular promotions, and although i certainly agree that providing the best odds and highest limits while accepting bets from all punters far outweighs some small weekly promotion, these features are primarily aimed at bigger bettors. So if you are a casual punter who enjoys having a small bet on the Friday night Footy or Saturday racing and regular promotions are important to you, you may be better off elsewhere.

Limited Aussie Markets ~ They do offer betting on the top-line Aussie sports, however, their range of markets are quite limited compared to some of the Australian based operators.

Withdrawal Fees ~ Clients are entitled to just one free withdrawal per calender month, all additional withdrawals will attract a fee of $25 USD.

Bonuses and Promotions:

Pinnacle has a very different outlook on bonuses and promotions, in-fact they offer no new customer bonus or regular promotions such as; Bonus bets, multi-bet bonuses, extra winnings or money back specials. Instead they take a gimmick free approach to bookmaking, believing that what they do offer – The best odds, highest limits, accepting large bets, welcoming successful punters and allowing arbitrage betting while providing a solid range of international markets, is in itself a much better bonus that what any other corporate sportsbook can provide, and for the most part i tend to agree. Serious punters who bet in large amounts will have great difficulty finding a better deal than what Pinnacle have to offer, however, there is a downside. Those casual punters who place a lot importance on receiving regular bonuses and promotions will simply miss out. In short, big bettors (successful or not) will get an unbeatable deal while casual punters may be better off elsewhere.

Key Products and Features:

Exceptional Betting Odds ~ Pinnacle are able to offer the best betting odds because they have a low bookmaker margin, this margin is the bookies share and it exists on all betting markets. Also known as the “take” “vigorish” or “juice” it usually varies from 3%-11% with the industry average being 6%. Pinnacles bookmaker margin is about 2% which equates to odds of $1.96 being available on both teams in a Head-to-Head match. These odds are currently unrivalled by any other online sportsbook.

Winners Are Welcome ~ Pinnacle takes a unique approach towards winning bettors. Their theory is that by accepting wagers from successful punters it assists them in shaping their markets and sharpening their odds. This is wonderful theory for serious punters.

High, Clear Limits ~ Their betting limits vary between sports and bet types, but overall they are some of the highest limits available online. Plus when you choose a market to bet on a small window pops out clearly highlighting the maximum bet amounts which can be very helpful.

Bet Customisation ~ For many sports including; Tennis, NFL and Basketball, Pinnacle allows members to customise their bets by buying/selling points, for/against a team or player, with the odds increasing or decreasing accordingly (similar to picking your own line, totals or margins).

Dynamic Odds ~ This is an exclusive facility that enables you to track the movement of betting lines in relation to where the money is being wagered. It allows a very handy insight into the market which has the potential to provide punters a betting edge.

Overseas Betting Markets ~ Pinnacle offer an excellent range of betting markets across international sports, especially throughout the North American region. These sports include; Baseball, Basketball, Cycling, Motor Sport, Athletics, Snooker, Golf, Darts, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and much more.

Betting Articles ~ A range of useful and interesting betting articles are available on the website. These articles cover news, analysis, previews, reviews, betting strategies and tips on both recent and upcoming events.

Arbitrage Betting Ok ~ Yes arbitrage betting is allowed, but be aware it can be very complicated and contains high risks. Your bets may be rejected elsewhere or worse, you could run out of time to get all of your bets on and be left exposed.

Multiple Website Layouts ~ You are able to change the layout and language of the website to suit you needs.

The Website:

The website can be set-up in 20 separate languages while the interface can be changed between a few different layouts. It has an old school appeal and overall the site is quite different from the other online sportsbooks. Odds go to three decimal places and being an overseas operator you will find some different terminology being used including; “1×2″ instead of “Win-Draw-Win” and “Money Line” instead of “Head-to-Head” but there is a glossary available to assist you with the terms and once you know your way around it becomes a very basic system to navigate. It contains some great features like “Dynamic Lines” which allows you to follow the movements of betting lines plus the maximum bet amounts pop out whenever you place a bet which can be very helpful. And because they are located in Curacao and licensed in the Netherlands you can bet directly on live in-play markets which offers a real advantage. On the downside the customer support options are poor with no live online chat or even a phone number a call if you have any problems, however, you can contact Pinnacle 24/7 via email and the service has reputation of responding both swiftly and professionally.

The App:

Pinnacle doesn’t have an actual App but a mobile betting solution does exist meaning you will visit the mobile site automatically when you login via a Tablet or Smart Phone. The mobile site is basically identical to the main site, only smaller, and although it’s supposed to be missing some of the features i haven’t found any yet. You can still change the layout, live in-play betting is still available and of course all of the odds and bet limits are exactly the same. It works great, maybe touch slower but overall it’s a great option for mobile betting.


Sports ~ Maximum 10 legs.
Racing ~ Unavailable

General Services:

Deposit Options ~ Credit Card, Bank Transfer, Entropay, iDebit, Skrill, NETELLER, POLi
Withdrawal Options ~ Credit Card, Bank Transfer, Entropay, iDebit, Skrill, NETELLER
Minimum Deposit ~ Equivalent to $25 USD
Minimum Bet ~ Equivalent to $1 USD
Maximum Payout ~ Payout limits will depend on the bet limits which are very high.
Live Betting ~ Live in-play betting is available online.
Mobile Betting ~ No official App but the mobile site is available on Tablets and Smart Phones.

Customer Service:

Phone Support ~ Not available
Live Chat ~ Not available
Email Support 24/7 ~

Click here to open a Pinnacle Sports account.


Michael Pryde is a full-time professional sports punter focusing on major sports like baseball, basketball and football.

He has developed models that run simulations on each game to find the team most likely to win the game (or cover the spread). When those projections differ to to the market, they become value bets.

Listen to this week’s podcast or read the full transcript below for a number of valuable pointers for sports punters.

Punting Insights You’ll Find:

  • How he progressed from a keen amateur to full-time pro
  • Why it’s important to maintain a flexible mindset
  • The best betting options for maximum returns
  • Why big liquid markets present massive opportunities

Today’s Guest:
Michael Pryde – Sports Predictor Model

Get the Transcript:

>> Click Here to Read the Transcript

David Duffield: Good to have a chat with you Michael. You’ve been with us for a little while, but never been on the podcast, so it’s good to talk. Why don’t you just explain to the guys a little about your betting background and they might soon find out you’re not an old grizzly veteran, but just run us through your background as a sports punter.

Michael Pryde: I’m one of six boys, so sports and gambling’s been pretty much my childhood. Yeah, there’s always been an interest there for sure. About four years ago, my older brother Matt and myself were interested in trying to find a way to find an edge with the AFL and NRL in Australia and after trying for about a season, we found that there’s kind of like a lack of stats and fixtures to develop a long term edge. I mean, that’s not to say that there aren’t guys out there who have success, because I know there are, but using the statistical approach that we do, it wasn’t really a vital option.
Then we kind of looked into the American sports and found that the multitude of stats available and fixtures suited us perfectly. It was from there that we developed an algorithm to take on the kind of the Vegas bookies. That developed over about a period of about six months, so yeah.

David Duffield: And then amongst that period of learning and experimenting, I think you started some actuarial studies. Do you just want to explain what they are?

Michael Pryde: Do you mean personally I started it?

David Duffield: Yeah, I think it’s a fairly dry subject but it’s one that has some points in common with what you do on the sports.

Michael Pryde: Yeah, personally I was studying actuarial studies at UNSW in Sydney and I mean, they don’t really look at sport, but a lot of the foundations from that, pretty much all the foundation from that helped with this and it was kind of like a unique balance with the actuarial side and mathematical side to the sporting kind of life that this family is. It was a really good mix, kind of turned into what it is now. My older brother Matt, studied engineering as well, so he’s got a really extensive mathematical background as well.

David Duffield: Because as an actuary, you’re basically using data to access the likelihood of an event happening, often for insurance companies and the like.

Michael Pryde: Yeah, businesses and companies and models, the whole idea is to find out whether a system or model is going to work in the business world. This is kind of applying that to the sport team world. A lot of the ideas are carried right through into both kind of fields.

David Duffield: With the American sports, like you said, the bonus is there’s just so much sport played whether it’s the amount of baseball games per day or college football on a weekend, and NBA every team plays eighty odd times. So the opportunity’s there and you can also get a decent bet on so there’s a couple of big bonuses, but in finding a model that works, you’re trying to beat a fairly efficient market or very efficient market. How do you go about testing your theories and seeing if you’ve got an edge to do what you need to, which is achieve a solid profit?

Michael Pryde: Well at the start of every season, well a long way before every season, we assess every team, every team in every sport and we look at key stats, historical data, trends developing within the leagues and the individual teams. So we have a good base to every team and then from there, as the fixtures become available, we match up team vs team and we don’t look at the market before hand, we just kind of match them up and develop our own market and from there look at the real market and compare where we think we have an edge and where we don’t. We do that over a very long season with a lot of games.

David Duffield: You mentioned that there’s an algorithm, but it’s effectively a simulation program that you run where you match up the run through, I don’t know if it’s thousands of times, but just tell the guys how that works.

Michael Pryde: Yeah, so we have a simulation which spits us out a probability of an event happening, so for the basic market of head to head, it gives us a probability of team A beating team B and then in terms of the line, obviously team A to beat team B by minus three, or four or more, whatever. That’s where we kind of get a probability and from there we can compare those to the odds and obviously a two dollar market is a 50/50, so when we feel as if we’ve got an edge over the market, that’s where we take it.

David Duffield: What about even before that stage, when you’re in the research, modeling, testing phase, how do you test certain theories and then how do you put those all into one all encompassing algorithm?

Michael Pryde: That’s what our algorithm does. It does kind of amalgamate all those stats. I mean, that is our system. We have the ability to have an algorithm which can simulate the probability of something to happen vs obviously not to happen. It’s literally just gathering key stats and obviously for every sport, the stats are different and that’s a part of trying to evolve week to week, day to day and that’s how it works.

David Duffield: You’ve been doing this full time for a while? Obviously your brothers are involved on a part time basis, but you’ve been doing this full time since some period last year?

Michael Pryde: Yeah. I’ve been doing it full time for about eighteen months now and we’ve been doing it for about, coming up to about four years. Obviously at the start it was a lot of trial and error but we’ve been doing it for about four years and probably about three and a half of those years, we’ve been doing it, I mean I haven’t been full time but we’ve been doing it full time, outside of jobs and stuff.

David Duffield: It’s been your sole focus for what, 18 months?

Michael Pryde: Yeah, we’ve had it full time, I’ve been full time with this for 18 months

David Duffield: What do you consider your strengths to be? How do you, I’ve mentioned before it’s an efficient market, it’s not like a maiden race at Bendigo where there can be some cheap or softer pricing. If you’re talking about NFL head to head, the line’s pretty much bang on, so how do you find value there?

Michael Pryde: One of our strengths is literally the magnitude of betting that we have at our disposal. I mean, whilst we do respect that the markets are really efficient and tight, the fact that there’s, as you said, there’s eighty games a year per team in the NBA and there’s over 2,500 fixtures a year in the Major League Baseball, and within every game there’s three or four markets so we feel, and we’ve proven, that there’s ways to get an edge over those markets, day to day. Also, the nature of betting allows for a lot of trends to develop within the betting markets.

David Duffield: So you’ve done the research, the modeling, you’ve run through the simulations for the upcoming games, then it’s a matter of who and how you’re going to bet, so is most of your action with Pinnacle Sports, the big offshore bookmaker and Matchbook? Is that where most of your turnover goes through?

Michael Pryde: Yeah, so Matchbook’s better in terms of the odds you can get, but Pinnacle – I mean their limits are huge. I think it’s $50,000 per NBA head to head bet, so I mean I think if you’re betting that much, you’re doing pretty well. But they have the reputation of not cutting off their punters, in fact they welcome successful punters because they can use their tips to manipulate their own markets. They are two of the bookmakers we use and yeah, they’re the two best.

David Duffield: Do you just want to explain Matchbook, because a lot of guys would never have bet with them before?

Michael Pryde: Matchbook’s a company which they offer the best odds in the world I think. In a lot of the markets they do because their line betting’s $1.99 usually each. I mean, that’s pretty much spot on so they’re quite good. You won’t get the limits that you would get at Pinnacle with Matchbook, but they are very, very good.

David Duffield: It’s along the lines of Betfair as a betting exchange.

David Duffield: Obviously it varies by season, but how many bets would you have in a normal month?

Michael Pryde: We usually have about three to four a day, so about seventy to eighty a month. Obviously, depending on the season that changes, during some of baseball season there’s only the one sport whereas coming up to October, November, December there’s both college sports, NBA, NFL, European soccer, so there’s a lot going on. It varies from day to day, but about three to four bets a day.

David Duffield: Typically, the staking’s around about two and a half units, about two and a half percent of your bet?

Michael Pryde: Yeah, that’s spot on.

David Duffield: I’ve spoken to some people in the past that do the sports, the US sports and it’s just data, data, data and they do OK from data mining and number crunching. Is there any subjective input, obviously you have a passion for these sports but does that come into it at all in the way you approach the modeling and the betting?

Michael Pryde: No, not at all because I mean, that was our problem when we tried to do the NRL we were trying to back the Knights every way and that was never going to work, but the thing with the American sports, I mean, we follow them, but we don’t barrack for any teams and as such, when we’re matching up the teams day to day, it’s literally team A vs team B. We have no emotional or any sort of bias toward any team. It’s a very objective sort of system, we feel that’s the strength because we can’t be manipulated emotionally into making any bets.

David Duffield: From some analysis we’ve gotten just recently over the last 18 month period, there will be a very slight tightening of the plays in terms of the, I suppose the probability that your algorithms come up with the ones that were closest to the borderline, were only marginal, so we’ve basically eliminated those which is maybe between five to ten percent of the plays. It wasn’t a massive amount, but they weren’t contributing at all so we’ll just have it slightly tighter and that way the strike rate and the ROI will improve.

Michael Pryde: Yeah, definitely. I think that’s one of the most important things about sports, but any sort of betting, you’ve always got to be willing to change and keep up with, and be able to manipulate your, not manipulate your system but be able to change your system with the times and I think it’s very important that, we’re always looking to improve and this, right now, as you’ve said, we’ve cut down on our bets, about five or ten percent of our bets and that will increase our wire and profitability.

David Duffield: Excellent, well, it’s a pleasure to have you on board, because I do like the NFL and the NBA, I’ve even learned to like the baseball, it’s been a pretty solid season. With Foxtel and obviously all the coverage on the internet these days, it’s real easy to track the games so it’s a nice diversification outside just the pure racing, harness and dogs portfolio.

Michael Pryde: I know, it’s great. The sports are so popular, it’s really easy to get on and follow.

David Duffield: Good stuff. All right. Thanks for chatting with us today Michael. If anyone wants to ask any questions or get any more information, they can just fire in a comment on the blog and we’ll respond to that straight away.

Michael Pryde: Okay, cheers Dave.

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Make sure you don’t miss our punting tips to come! Subscribe on:

or you can directly download this episode by right-clicking, Save As Here.

What Do You Think of the Show?


Moonee Valley review – September 6th

by darryn on September 7, 2014

 by Ray Hickson

Race 1: IPrint Craig Opie Cup (2500m)

1st Mulaqen – Glen Boss
2nd Count Encosta – Damian Lane
3rd Crafty Cruiser – Ben Melham

Hippopus gathered pace to kick through and lead Mr Andre with De Fine Lago taking the box seat. Mulaqen landed in a nice spot and moved to third at the post the first time. Count Encosta and Unchain My Heart raced together and Crafty Cruiser trailed. Hippopus ran along in front and stretched them out midrace with Mr Andre doing the chasing. They bunched up coming to the 600m and Mr Andre put the pressure on with Mulaqen looming up. Crafty Cruiser made a dash from the back putting Count Encosta momentarily in a pocket, De Fine Lago also held up and Unchain My Heart dropped the bit and was pushed along. Mulaqen had the leaders covered on the turn and went for home. Crafty Cruiser and Count Encosta ran on but couldn’t match Mulaqen’s sprint. Unchain My Heart finished off okay late after struggling when the sprint went on. These horses take turns but the blinkers first time gave the winner some dash he lacked at his previous start.

Follow: give Unchain My Heart another chance back at Flemington and Count Encosta back to 2000m.
(Click to continue reading…)


Sportsbook Review: Bet365

by Admin on September 5, 2014




Although its roots date way back to 1974 when current Chairman Peter Coates began operating betting outlets in the UK, bet365 wasn’t officially founded until January 2000 when Peter’s daughter and joint CEO Denise Coates purchased the bet365 domain name. Today bet365 lays claim to being the worlds biggest online bookmaker employing around 2000 staff whilst boasting over 14 million customers worldwide, and the company is still owned almost exclusively by the England based Coates family. Since gaining a licence to operate in Australia in 2012 they quickly gained a share of the Australian betting market thanks to; Access to unique features and products, a large range of betting options across a massive array of local and international sports, plus highly competitive betting odds and excellent customer service. Bet365 truly are amongst the global leaders in the online gambling industry and one of the best from a punters point of view. The obvious disclaimer here is that they are only a great option for as long as you are allowed to maintain a full betting account. Many winning punters report account restrictions and closures.

The Three Big Reasons To Join:

1. Access to 365Best ~ If you enjoy having a punt on the horses this product is for you. It allows you to take the early fixed odds in-case your selection gets crunched in betting, but still covers you if your selection drifts out on race day, paying out at either the best of the three national totes, the starting price, or the fixed odds at the time of your bet (whichever is higher). Plus it guarantees you get paid out at the highest of the three totes on your exotic bets too, including; Quinellas, Exactas, Trifectas, First 4, Trebles and Quaddies. For betting on the ponies this product is incredibly hard to beat!

2. Claim A Double Bonus ~ If you join right now you can take advantage of two bonus offers available. Firstly get your first deposit matched by 100% up to $200, plus, if you then place your bets via your mobile or tablet you will get your biggest bet amount matched by 100% up to $100.

3. Access Live Streaming ~ This feature really does make Bet365 unique, it allows members to watch many of the worlds best football leagues, international basketball, ice hockey, plus any UK or Irish race you have placed a bet on and so much more, all for free. The picture quality is great and no other online sportsbook offers this facility.

Not So Keen On:

Limited Betting ~ Bet365 have been known to restrict the staking amounts and even suspend the accounts of successful punters.

Aussie Market Range ~ Compared to some of the other corporate sportsbooks they have limited betting markets on some of the popular Australian sports like Rugby League and Aussie Rules Football (for eg. Pick your own Line and Totals are unavailable).

Value On Some Markets ~ There are some sporting markets where they generally offer odds that are considerably less than other bookmakers(for eg. First and Any-Time Tryscorer or Goalscorer).

Streaming Local Sport ~ You may be restricted from watching some locally played sporting events via their live-streaming service.

Bonuses and Promotions:

New Customer Bonus ~ Get your first deposit matched by 100% up to $200 (available to new customers only).

On The Move Bonus ~ Place a bet via a mobile device and get your biggest stake matched by 100% up to $100 (available to both new and existing customers).

Multi-Bet Bonus ~ Receive bonuses on sports multi-bets which vary between 5%-100% depending on the type of sport and number of folds you apply to your bet.

Bore Draw Refund ~ Place a pre-match Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast bet on ANY Soccer match and if the game results in a 0-0 Draw bet365 will refund all losing bets on those markets.

Racing Value ~ When a deduction has been applied to any final race field due to scratchings bet365 will only apply the deduction to the winning portion and not the stake.

Protest Promise ~ If a result is amended following a protest bet365 will pay-out on both the original past the post result and the final official result on all Win, Place, and Exotic bets including; Trifectas, Quinellas, Exactas and First 4’s. (The Protest Promise applies to all Thoroughbred and Harness racing events throughout Australasia).

Other Offers ~ Bet365 have new betting promotions and bonus offers just about every week.

**Bonus Funds Turnover Requirements ~ You need to turnover bonus funds (including your deposit or bet amount) 3 times before making a withdrawal. So if you deposit (or bet) $100 and get a $100 matched bonus, you must turnover $600 in bets before being able to withdraw.

Key Products and Features:

Live Streaming ~ Known as bet365 Streams, bet365 members are able to live-stream over 40,000 sporting events directly to their home PC or mobile device every year. Members can also watch any UK or Irish racing event they have placed a bet on. The picture quality is excellent and it is totally free of charge. The only requirement is that your bet365 account contains funds or, that you have placed a bet within the last 24 hours.

365 Best ~ Take a Win, Place, Each-way or Exotic bet with this product including; Trifectas, Quinellas, Exactas, First 4, Trebles and Quaddies, and get paid-out at either – The best of the three national totes, the starting price or, the fixed odds at the time of your bet (whichever is greater). (Available on all Metropolitan and selected Provincial Thoroughbred races).

365 Tote ~ Similar to ‘365 Best’ however this product is only available on all non-Metropolitan Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing and Greyhounds events. Also this product will include the best of only two of the national totes of your choice (instead of three).

Best Fluctuation ~ Guarantees you get paid-out at the highest on-course fluctuation supplied by the Australian Pricing Network during the entire betting period (available on selected Metropolitan race meetings).

Form And Stats ~ A service where you can research ratings, statistics and analyse the form on sports, horses, jockeys, trainers, footy teams, soccer teams and much more.

Nag Me ~ A personalised black book which will alert you of a horses upcoming races via email.

Cover Bet ~ Its like taking out insurance on your bet, you will secure lower than market odds on your selection but get your money back if it doesn’t win. You can take out a cover 1,2,3 and 4, but of course your odds will reduce further with each option because you are covering your bet more and more.

The Website:

The bet365 website really is state-of-the-art, it’s fast, reliable, has a great user-interface and is extremely safe. I found the lay-out very easy to navigate, there are quick links set-up for all of the live-in-play betting options that are currently available, and placing a bet on just about any racing or sport event is literally a couple of clicks away. The live-stream feature is easily accessible from the main page with an easy to read guide on what sporting events are coming up and the live-chat facility is right there if you need any help.

The App:

The App is remarkably similar to the website which really helps with usability as members will be familiar with the lay-out. Navigation is quite simple with quick links to all live-in-play betting options as well as the next scheduled races to jump, and most importantly you can place your bets quickly. Live streaming is still available plus they have included a ‘live match alerts’ feature with which you can organise to receive live notifications on selected soccer matches including; Goals, substitutions, half-time results, penalty’s and more. On the downside not all of the website features are available, it does run a touch slower than the main site and you need to log in each time you exit and re-enter the Application which is a bit of a pain. Still, as far as betting Apps go this is one of (if not) the best around and with new updates always being just around the corner it will only continue to improve.


Sports ~ Maximum 14 folds
Racing ~ Maximum 14 Folds
(Plus you are to combine racing and sports into a Multi-bet)

General Services:

Deposit Options ~ Visa, Mastercard, POLi, BPAY, Bank & Wire Transfer, Entropay, Ukash, Skrill, Cheque.
Withdrawal Options ~ Credit Card (Visa & Mastercard), Bank & Wire Transfer, Neteller, Entropay, Ukash, Click2Pay, Cheque.
Minimum Deposit ~ $10.00
Minimum Bet ~ $0.01
Maximum Payout ~ Maximum payouts vary between different sports and betting options, but overall the limits are quite good.
Live Betting ~ A massive range of in-play betting options are supported, however due to Australian gambling laws you must phone Bet365 to place a live bet – 1800 365 365
Mobile Betting ~ You can download and install the Bet365 App from the iTunes or Google Play Store.

Customer Service:

24/7 Betting ~ 1800 200 365
24/7 Customer Support ~ 1800 365 365
27/7 Live Chat ~ Available online
Email Support ~

Click here to open a Bet 365 account.


Class and Speed rankings: Thursday Sept 4th 2014

by David on September 4, 2014

You can download our Class and Speed rankings for each race this afternoon at Goulburn, Mackay, Mornington and Pinjarra.

Click here for the PDF.


Click here for Excel which allows you to sort and filter according to your own parameters. For example you can exclude certain distances, or only include horses that are top 2 in all categories, or any combination of factors you like.

But you can also use the rankings to find some bigger priced horses, especially those that rank highly on Speed as the market often under-values these runners.

The rankings are based on the horse’s performance over the last 12 months and is a solid starting point for our assessments before digging deeper into other variables such as track conditions, distance, barrier, speed map, tempo, jockey, trainer and all the other things that come into serious form analysis.

The class rating is along the lines of a conventional weight/class assessment based on the level they have performed at over the last year. It is a base figure and doesn’t include potential improvement (eg. young or inexperienced horses) or potential deterioration (eg. if the horse has been up for a long time).

The speed rating is probably the most exciting development of this new format because it is very effective at finding horses that have proven themselves to be the fastest in the race. It doesn’t just include overall or par times or last 600. We can’t say much more than that, other than it is a powerful feature but one you should use in conjunction with class and other assessments.

The base rating is a blend of class and speed combined.

These ratings are particularly effective on firm tracks and at lower level meetings (but with sufficient exposed form) where there can be some soft markets since a lot of people just aren’t paying as much attention.

Good luck today.


Caulfield and Rosehill reviews – August 30th

by darryn on August 31, 2014

Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Cove Hotel Handicap (1400m)

1st Kaizaen – Craig Williams
2nd Amicus – Glyn Schofield
3rd Embrace The Rock – Nick Hall

Fair line out and Cailin Miss and Anabring were out the back early with Embrace The Rock. The other six all seemed to want to lead for a while. Eventually Cinnamon Carter held the lead on the rails from Amicus, showing a lot more pace, and Veuvelicious eased to tail a trail. Winesearch and Kaizaen were next and Miss Interiors drifted back past midfield after being up there early. Amicus took over rounding the turn and Kaizaen followed her, pushing Veuuvelicious out of the way, Winesearch dropped off noticeably and Anabring improved at her expense. Amicus shot away with 200m left as Kaizaen knuckled down to chase and they got very close as Amicus wobbled around. Embrace The Rock charged down the outside from last into third, tightening up Anabring and Miss Interiors a bit, with Veuvelicious battling on. Amicus held on to win but lost it in the stewards’ room. Cailin Miss hugged the rails and made ground to run fourth from Veuvelicious who was okay fresh.

Follow: Embrace The Rock looks a nice prospect over a bit more ground.
(Click to continue reading…)


A close look at favourites with Rick Williams

by David on August 29, 2014

Our Senior Form Analyst Rick Williams returns to the podcast this week to discuss betting on favourites.

These horses (by definition) carry more punters money than any other so it’s worth knowing the difference between a false favourite and a true one.

We’ve analysed the last two racing seasons to look at a number of scenarios where favourites are overbet and others where you can find some value. We discuss these on the podcast and you can download the accompanying pdf on backing favourites.

Punting Insights You’ll Find:

  • The best tracks and track conditions to bet on favourites
  • The best (and worst) trainers and jockeys
  • When field size is important
  • Which barriers are the most profitable
  • The importance of fitness
  • Whether unlucky runners out-perform the market

Today’s Guest:
Rick Williams

Get the Transcript:

>> Click Here to Read the Transcript

David Duffield: I’ve put together a few stats. Now I know the way you approach things it’s only a very small part of what you look at. Being data driven, it’s more about the class and the speed ratings and the sectional times and that type of data more so than just generic stats, but I thought this might be a bit of a talking point.

Looking at the record of favourites over the last 2 years I’ve broken them down by area. In a small percentage way, the metro area is underperforming or you’d lose money a little bit quicker than country or provincial. Any reason you could see behind that? This is looking at the last two years, so a full 24 months of data.

Rick Williams: Even in some of our own analysis on our information, metro versus country and provincial, there does seem to be some discrepancies in different measurements. As far as this measurement goes, I’m not quite sure exactly why the country and provincial are about equal and a little bit better than metro. Certainly the racing can be quite different. I’m not exactly sure why there’s a bit of a difference there, but from my experience it’s not a surprise to see the difference.

David Duffield: Because we had someone feed a whole heap of data we have for internal use through their pretty sophisticated software, and it did come up with the fact that the mix that you need to look at or to consider is different, metro racing versus country racing and even to provincial.

Rick Williams: Yes, if you’re looking at a variable weighting of model contributors to a rating- If you had four measurements, and you included them in your rating saying everything would be equal as a starting point, then running it through a program and asking it to give you what means more of those four in order for metro Saturdays, to metro mid-week, to provincial, to country, it changes a lot for a few of those different things and certainly the sample size is significant. This doesn’t surprise me. It goes a little bit with what we’ve experienced.

David Duffield: What about the track condition? Again, this is probably not surprising. It would confirm what a lot of people think and that is the wetter the track, the less reliable the form, or the more work you have to do.

Rick Williams: Yeah, if you’re looking at favourites, the more you or the market favours a horse, I guess the more certain you are. To be very certain, you need to have less doubt. To have less doubt, you need less variables. When you analyse the information when tracks get wet, there’s more variables. There’s just a host of different variables that come into it. I guess the market is very stats driven, so the stats do tend to probably stack up more on the better ground and deteriorate as far as their accuracy as the ground gets more rain affected.

David Duffield: What about the record of favourites by state because there’s not a lot of difference other than Victoria’s a bit of an outlier. The performance of favourites in Victoria in the last couple years has been, in relative terms, poor.

Rick Williams: It’s a significant margin, isn’t it? I don’t really know the answer, but if I had to have a quick guess, I guess we’re working on three different measurements with heavy tracks, heavy eight, heavy nine, heavy ten, and then whatever’s beyond that. Certainly they do their best to run at a lot of these different meetings even though they’re quite wet.

Whether a horse started two dollars and one while on a heavy eight, and you’d expect it to win well on a heavy ten and it doesn’t. That’s the line I’d be investigating it down. Then again, I guess the other states probably face a little bit of that also. Just knowing Victoria and how wet some of the tracks actually get, there’s a massive difference.

David Duffield: Then we looked at race number. Deane Lester on the podcast last week mentioned that, in his opinion, a lot of the early favourites are overbet. People are pretty keen to back a winner early on, and they don’t really know how the track’s going to play. Then later in the day, there’s a few people that chase the get-out stakes. The results here fit that, I’m not saying that it’s the exact reasons for it, but it’s interesting. Whereas if you’re talking in the middle of the meeting, it seems a little bit more reliable. Is there anything here that stood out for you?

Rick Williams: Just looking at this, the first thing I thought of would be, in your earlier races you’ve got generally maidens or two-year-old races or three-year-old races. There are a lot of horses that are open to significant improvement and horses that may have had a couple of good runs and would start favourite against a horse that may have been disappointing on the wet that’s back to the good or may be on debut.

If we’re looking at races one and two here, I would think that those types of races at times are hard to predict because there’s a lot of unknowns. A lot of the horses are open to improvement. That’s my theory there. I guess on the others, they’re pretty even. There’s a few that look a bit better. Three, four, and six and five, seven, and eight are pretty equal. Anything after that doesn’t look too good, does it?

David Duffield: No. What about the record by track? Because we’re not dealing with a big sample size it does bounce around a bit but you see something like Moonee Valley where it’s minus 17%. Do you approach betting at the Valley a lot differently to other tracks?

Rick Williams: Not really. I just look at the numbers and see what they spit out. I think the Valley, a lot of people are very prone to finding the horse that fits how the track should play if the rail is out this far or if it’s true. I think the market’s very driven by where the rail is at Moonee Valley. Saying if the rail’s out six metres, this horse should be favourite.

I think that that’s certainly a good way to look at things for some part, but I also think it’s important to remember who the best horse is in the race is. Possibly the best horse in the race may not be the horse that a lot of the punters think fits the profile of the track for the day. That’s where I’d be thinking.

David Duffield: On the positive, a track like Caulfield comes out pretty well here and also Sandown Hillside. Again, I’m not saying that anyone should rely on these individually but does that coincide with the way your results have been? Are you particularly excited about betting at those tracks?

Rick Williams: Not particularly the Sandowns because they’ve just redeveloped them, so I guess one’s plus thirteen and one’s minus ten. For me, I don’t really – I know they’re different tracks, but I don’t really see why there should be a 20% difference. I would think that that would probably settle as more racing goes in. They didn’t race there for a while.

Certainly with Caulfield, it’s a really good track, and it’s a great track to bet on. You get a lot of good horses go there. It’s generally, since they’ve fixed it up, raced very, very fair. I think that Caulfield is certainly a great track to bet at and a track that I like. I think that that’s a good one.

David Duffield: Yeah I mean this is just meant as a discussion point. If you’re doing deeper research, you might look at all horses under six or eight dollars, not just favourites, and see if those trends continue.

The next thing I looked at was field size. Field size of eight-plus, the results are pretty consistent but in small fields, the favourites were overbet.

Rick Williams: Yeah, I think that you can tend to think there’s a standout in a small race. Certainly, they can get rolled. Anything can get rolled. I guess when you’re looking at small fields, you’ve got is the tempo going to be right for the horse and all those different things. Not in all those races but certainly in some of them the tempo of the race can play a big part. The more horses you get in a race generally, the more truer it would be run to market expectations.

David Duffield: Then we’ve got the age of the horse. No real surprise here in that two-year-olds, there’s a lot less exposed form. Favourites don’t perform quite as well. Interesting that three- and four-year-olds are a little bit below par. Then as horses mature in some ways, or at least the stats here are indicating that they’re underappreciated by the market.

Rick Williams: Yeah, if you look at your two-year-olds, you get a lot of hype and spruik on some horses. You also get a lot of other horses that are debuting and open to improvement like we mentioned before. They’re on their own.
Then we could bracket together the three- and four-year-olds. A lot of favourites might be resuming from their two-year-old campaign or three-year-old campaign. There’s, again, horses that are open to significant improvement in both those measurements.
Then once we get to the horses that are five years and older, we tend to know quite a bit about them. We know if they’re genuine or not and if they’re in the right race. Certainly if they were a horse that’s generally pretty consistent and in the right race, whether they win or not, they’re generally not too far from the mark. I can certainly understand how that group came out like that.

David Duffield: Next up we have barriers, and this is something we’ve spoken about for years now but it’s still something the market doesn’t get quite right, and that is outside barriers are far too harshly penalized by most punters. There’s a bit of value there. The eleven-plus barrier, if you’re the favorite, I think there’s something like sixteen- or seventeen-hundred qualifiers over a couple of years. You could make money simply by following that. I’m not suggesting that you do. It’s just interesting that that’s the way it played out.

Again, you wouldn’t be overly surprised to see that outside barriers are underloved, undervalued?

Rick Williams: No, even me, when I do the form, if you find a horse you like, you’d like it to draw well. That’s one of the things that makes it a bit easier. Certainly at the same time, if you’ve got the best horse with the best jockey and a good trainer and it’s drawn a little bit wide, then do you put your faith in the jockey and the horse’s ability to overcome that obstacle? Or is eleven an advantage because it’ll go forward anyway, and there’s no pace on the inside?

I certainly think there are some computer programs out there that may, as you said, harshly penalise those outside gates, but certainly there’s probably horses that draw out that wide that aren’t favoured and ones that clearly, by this illustration, are. You clearly shouldn’t just put a line through a horse because of its barrier.

David Duffield: Then we have preparation or stage of the preparation. I was a little bit surprised by this. Not the ninth up plus because some horses, once they’re well into their campaign, they can underperform. But I was interested to see that first-up horses are the worst-performing segment.

Rick Williams: I think out of all of the measurements we’ve looked at to date, minus-eight is about the worst. You wouldn’t think they’d be that poor. Possibly some first starters might be included in that measurement. I’m not sure how much they would take up. It looks pretty even enough besides that, but yes, certainly the first-up horses that start favourite are terrible.

David Duffield: That actually fits in with the next graph which is days since the last start. Again, we’re not talking something to bet directly off or humongous sample sizes, but it’s a fairly smooth line or a clear correlation days to last start to profit performance.

Rick Williams: We’ve touched before on variables and certainty. If you’ve got a horse that’s been running with you in the last thirty days, and you know how it’s going and how it’s performing, you’ve got a level of certainty as to the horse’s fitness and its current capabilities. Now you have to ask yourself, why hasn’t the horse had a run for thirty-one days or has it been injured? As you get out more and more in time, there’s more questions that need to be asked.

I think that, again, there’s people that really like backing horses on a seven-day backup. One of the reasons is the horse must be going pretty well to be able backup within a week. It’s all about understanding how good the horse is going and how it’s performing and feeling.

David Duffield: The other thing I’ve heard about the seven-day backup is that it really takes the trainer out of the equation in a lot of ways. You’re not setting a horse for a first-up effort or anything. The horse is fit from its run, so it really just comes down to that. That’s enough about the days since last start.

What about the breeding? I don’t think it’s something you look at closely, but I thought some people might be interested so I’ve included that. Anything stand out there?

Rick Williams: Bel Esprit stands out, but I wonder how much of that would be- Would Black Caviar be in there? I don’t really look at the breeding as far as favourites go. Certainly if the track is wet, you do a bit of due diligence through the breeding history. As to where they rank on a SP, that’s generally not something that we would have a look at. Some of the sires are really good, and some are quite poor.

David Duffield: I don’t think the Black Caviar effect would be that important just because there had to be at least two hundred favourites, two hundred runners.

What about trainers? Don’t think people would be overly surprised that Waller heads the table, and Hayes is down the bottom from a punting perspective. Then again, maybe they are. Maybe the fact that even though he’s had so much success and prominence in media coverage that Chris Waller, in this period, anyway, was still underrated by the market.

Rick Williams: Waller’s just really good. I think the thing about Waller is no matter where he saddles them up, they run well. Kembla Grange or Sandown or Caulfield, they rarely waste a float ride that stable. Certainly we know that the guy’s just a gun, so he just wraps up training the winners.

David Duffield: What about jockeys? I know at times B. Rawiller can be hard to catch. He proved that at least on favourites. A lot of people would have thought Luke Nolen’s had a substantial period of time where he’s been out of form. They weren’t stunning to me on the negative side, but anything stand out there for you?

Rick Williams: Not really. I guess if we look at D. Weir back in the trainers and B. Rawiller, Weir’s trained a lot of winners recently, but he’s got a lot of horses that run in the bush that aren’t very good. They quite often start favourite and don’t win. Brad Rawiller’s one of his jockeys who probably rides most of them so I think there’s a bit of a correlation there.

I think certainly Nolen, not this last year, the year before, it was pretty well noted that him and Moody didn’t really have a great year. I’m not sure minus-20 odd is fully representative of his ability, but he does seem to not ride a lot anymore. I guess even Yendall, who’s another jockey that rides a lot for Weir out in the bush, he’s got one of the big blue lines.

Certainly when you’re looking at country racing in Victoria, Darren Weir tends to be overbet a fair bit. I’d be pretty confident that’s a good correlation with Rawiller and Yendall.

David Duffield: The weight rank handicap, there really wasn’t much there. It bounced around a bit. No real pattern.
What about the steward’s report? Horses that were written up in the steward’s report for its last start – the ones that were actually performed worse. We’ve spoken before, and people can over-rate or overreact to the unlucky runner. That was actually borne out in the figures here.

Rick Williams: It all comes down to what you think. If you think a horse has lost two lengths, then that’s just what you think. It’s not the reality because we don’t know what the reality is and what would have happened. I always try to tread on the side of caution a little bit. Certainly a lot of people are quite keen to adjust their figures. It’s probably- this samples shows that a lot of people probably adjust things a little bit too much and do give a bit too much credit for the horse that was held up or wide so it mightn’t mean as much as a lot of people think.

David Duffield: What about the going last start? The data here suggests that a heavy track run really takes it out of a horse. When you’re doing the form, have you seen that? Do you allow for that, or do you just treat each case on its merits?

Rick Williams: I treat each case on its merits, certainly. If it’s had a heavy run and then it’s favoured on a good track, you worry. When you’ve got horses mixing conditions, it’s a concern. For me, I’m just looking at how fast they run through the heavy, and how easy was the run or how taxing was the run from a times point of view, as opposed to just the run itself. There’s some you probably wouldn’t want to go near and some that you’d be happy to dig a little deeper.

David Duffield: The next thing was the same track last start. The numbers here would suggest that horses that are reappearing at the same track last start were more reliable. They can maintain that form, whereas horses facing a new track tend to struggle, relatively speaking.

Rick Williams: Some horses are trained on tracks and perform quite well at tracks. Some trainers work that out, and some don’t. Some horses like it. If we’re talking a favourite over 1200m at Flemington down on the straight. A horse that likes that and a horse at Moonee Valley around that little bend, so there’s big differences. If a horse certainly has performed well at that track before and is in good form and backs up there, then it makes a lot of sense that they should run well.

David Duffield: The last thing was just the total career starts for the horse. No major findings here other than you might say that ten to nineteenth start bracket that, as a horse has gone through its grades, it might take a little bit of time to find its level there. At least on this data, it tended to be overbet.

Rick Williams: Yeah, it’s interesting; it’s a little bit backwards to the age measurement. I guess if you’re looking at it from an age point of view. I’m not really quite sure why there’s such a big difference from ten to nineteen. I guess, like you said, if they’re working through the grades, through those first ten starts or nine starts and then they catch up to the handicapper and have to work through their grades again, it’s not easy for a lot of horses to do. Especially if they’re just an average horse and don’t have a lot of speed. Because the fast horses are the ones that can get their way through the grades.

Whereas the ones that just run at the same level from Bendigo maiden to Bendigo through the grades to Sandown to a Saturday, you see a lot of improvement in their class figures, but they don’t run any faster at Flemington than they did at Bendigo in their maiden. I think speed’s got a fair bit to do with that, and again, it’s something you can probably drill a bit further into and dodge some of those poor performance.

David Duffield: That was purely the stats. From more of a form perspective, just to finish up then because I don’t want to pretend that this is a key part of what we do. It’s more of a discussion point. What would be, when you’re looking or considering backing a favourite, are there any key criteria that you’re looking at, or does it really just come back to the class and the speed rankings and then you’ve got the tempo of the race and the fitness of the horse and the rest of it? That’s the main things you’re looking at? It’s not a tick a box approach or anything like that?

Rick Williams: No, as I said earlier we’ve got our contributors to our final ratings and they certainly mean different things at different places. I’m just looking for everything to line up well. I want it to be strong on my class. I want it to be strong on my speed. I want it strong on the jockey. I want it strong on the trainer. I want it strong in the market if it’s a favourite. I want it to get a good run. You want it to stack right up. There’s a few boxes there to tick from our personal information, but as far as a lot of other stuff goes, I try and keep it pretty simple.

David Duffield: No problems, mate. We’ll leave it there for now. Appreciate you joining us once again. Good luck for a big spring.

Rick Williams: No worries. Thank you.

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