2014 Kentucky Derby Preview

by Admin on April 23, 2014

By guest contributor Tony Kelzenberg

As I write this article the Kentucky Derby is 11 days away. We won’t know the exact field until the barrier draw on Wednesday, April 30th, but to help prepare Australian fans for the horses to watch for I am writing a primer, with a supplement coming on April 30th with a speed map and an odds line and weather report.

Conditions of the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is a 2,000m race with a $2,000,000 purse run on dirt, going the same way as the Melbourne tracks (left handed). There is an elaborate scoring system that limits entry to no more than 20 starters. Fillies can enter, but there is a 1,800m, $1,000,000 race exclusively for 3 year old fillies called the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby, so most of the filly stars go in that race.

There will be 160,000 people on course (including the infield), and over half of them will be drunk. Horses that can stay cool and collected in front of this mass of humanity have the edge. The track, Churchill Downs, is located in a very humid river alley and rain can hit hard at any time. In this primer I will propose horses that may like it wet.

Kentucky Derby – Pace Matchups
CALIFORNIA CHROME, the heavy pre-race favorite has been meeting inferior horses in short fields in California, and he looked good crushing them. But now he must face horses near his ability from the East. The numbers I use to evaluate “On-speed” horses have him a close 4th on “Effort Rating.” That means there is a good chance he will not be able to get away from his pursuers easily and would vulnerable to horses coming from the back of the field. At 5/2 or 2/1 he is a hugely unders.

Of the top Effort horses, WICKED STRONG comes out of the hardest race and he does not really need to be on the speed, he can take a sit. Wicked Strong will probably be the 5/1 second choice but has never run well outside of New York, and his jockey is considered a second- or third-tier rider. Certainly a good horse for the Quaddie but probably a marginal win bet.

Off track/wet
Danza and Intense Holiday should handle the wet, and Wicked Strong probably will handle it. California Chrome’s sire gets 25% wet track winners from starters, and Vicar’s In Trouble and Uncle Sigh have sneaky-good wet track pedigrees.

With all the speed in the race, I will advocate betting two horses: INTENSE HOLIDAY and DANZA. They are two horses trained by Todd Pletcher, and he is infamous for scoring with lightly regarded horses in big races (in fact, Danza won the Arkansas Derby at 41/1 ten days ago). Pletcher’s record in the Kentucky Derby is very poor (1 win in 31 starters – largely because he enters at least three or four horses every year). Intense Holiday and Danza are decent animals that can run mid-pack with strong late kicks – they own the best final sectionals in the field – and with the right trip either one can get home first. Most likely Intense Holiday will be 20/1 and Danza will be 15/1.

Best “On Speed” performances, last two races (Dirt)
Horse Race Distance (m) Effort Rating
Vicar’s In Trouble Louisiana Derby 1800 218
Samraat Wood (New York) 1800 217
Wicked Strong Wood (New York) 1800 217
California Chrome Santa Anita Derby 1800 216
Intense Holiday Louisiana Derby 1800 210
California Chrome San Felipe 1700 209
Hopportunity Santa Anita Derby 1800 207
Chitu Sunland Park 1800 207
Wildcat Red Fountain of Youth 1700 206
General a Rod Fountain of Youth 1700 206
Candy Boy Santa Anita Derby 1800 205
Uncle Sigh Wood (New York) 1800 202
Danza Arkansas Derby 1800 201
Commanding Curve Louisiana Derby 1800 200
Ring Weekend Tampa Bay Derby 1700 199


Best “Final Sectional” performances, last two races (Dirt)
Horse Race Distance (m) Late Pace Rating
Intense Holiday Risen Star 1700 108
Danza Arkansas Derby 1800 106
Ride on Curlin Arkansas Derby 1800 101
Hoppertunity Rebel 1700 100
Wildcat Red Florida Derby 1800 99
Tapiture Rebel 1700 99
Candy Boy Robert B. Lewis 1700 98
California Chrome Santa Anita Derby 1800 97
General a Rod Florida Derby 1800 97
Chitu Sunland Park Derby 1800 96
Samraat Gotham 1700 95
Vinceremos Tampa Bay Derby 1700 95
Wicked Strong Allowance race 1800 94
Vicar’s in Trouble Risen Star 1700 94
Uncle Sigh Gotham 1700 94
Commanding Curve Risen Star 1700 94
Ring Weekend Tampa Bay Derby 1700 88


Highest Class Rating, last two races (Dirt and Synthetic)
E = Early leader
P = Presser (midpack)
E/P = Can lead or press
8 is highly aggressive, into the bit.
0 is nonaggressive. 4 is typically mid-pack.
Horse Race Distance (m) Class Rating
California Chrome (E/P 7) San Felipe 1700 122
Danza (E/P 5) Arkansas Derby 1800 122
Wildcat Red (E 8) Fountain of Youth 1700 122
General a Rod (E/P 8) Fountain of Youth 1700 122
Vicar’s In Trouble (E/P 5) Louisiana Derby 1800 121
Dance With Fate (P 3 synth) Blue Grass Stakes 1800 121
Wicked Strong (P 0) Wood (New York) 1800 121
Chitu (E/P 8) Sunland Park Derby 1800 121
Samraat (E/P 6) Gotham 1700 120
Hoppertunity (E/P 4) Rebel 1700 120
Intense Holiday (P 2) Risen Star 1700 120
Ring Weekend (E/P 6) Tampa Bay Derby 1700 120
Medal Count (P 3 synth) Blue Grass Stakes 1800 120
We Miss Artie (P 3 synth) Spiral 1700 119
Ride On Curlin (E/P 5) Arkansas Derby 1800 119
Tapiture (E/P 4) Rebel 1800 119
Candy Boy (E/P 4) Robert B. Lewis 1700 119
Uncle Sigh (E 5) Gotham 1700 119
Vinceremos (E/P 5) Tampa Bay Derby 1700 119
Harry’s Holiday (E 6) Spiral 1800 119
Pablo Del Monte (E 6 synth) Blue Grass Stakes 1800 119
Commanding Curve (P 1) Louisiana Derby 1800 118


Adding the ‘Bool to your bucket list

by darryn on April 23, 2014

By Todd Burmester

Next week they race again at the annual Warrnambool Jumps Carnival, and if you’ve never been, do yourself a favour and put this on your bucket list. Let’s start with the not so great – The weather is likely to be considered cool at best for anyone not from that part of the world, and its likely that you’ll strike some rain, but this is a small price to pay for the experience.

The carnival itself goes over three days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, generally with 9 or 10 races each day (it’s certainly a staying event, not a sprint). The feature races include the Brierly Steeplechase, The Galleywood Hurdle, The Warrnambool Cup, The Wangoom for the sprinters and of course, The Grand Annual Steeplechase.

The Warrnambool jumps track is unique, in the sense that they go around a figure 8 on the steeple track, and go well out into the paddocks at the back of the course. The phrase ‘uphill and down dale’ comes to mind.  It’s hard to describe the feel of being there watching them, but when you are, you just know there is something about it that makes it an experience not to be missed.

The debate will continue to rage on as to the future of jumps racing, and there is no doubt it is a dangerous sport, but lets face it, the only argument that stands true, is that jumps horses will have no future if they don’t compete in this sport, which they seemingly enjoy doing.

In terms of accommodation, if you decide not to find somewhere local to stay, my recommendation is to drive the 30km or so back to Port Fairy – A quaint little town, with as many pubs as streets, places to eat out, and a bakery to get something fresh for breakfast.  It’s only a short walk to the port itself where there will be plenty of local boats moored, if you are looking to fill some time before the first.

Whilst there you’ll obviously want to try and back a winner, and what I will say about this is that it’s generally not easy.  The betting ring however is usually quite strong, attracting a lot of the regular metropolitan bookmakers. The fields are usually big, and that often means value. My key word of advice is not to be afraid of horses at double figure odds that have run within 4 lengths of the winner at either of their last two starts.


Randwick review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st        Veuvelicious            Damien Oliver
2nd      Careless                      Kerrin McEvoy
3rd       Gouldian                   Christian Reith

The Fernhill Handicap over the mile for the two-year-olds was the first, Veuvelicious was sent out a  short priced favourite at around yours for theirs and began well on the inside, but soon after Aliyda found the front with Cyclone outside of it and Veuvelicious taking the trail in third, First Draft was on its outside.  Mid race,Khrysler was wide so went around them and sat outside Aliyda which fired it up a bit and they put a few lengths on the field as they ran past the 600m.  Around the turn, Veuvelicious was off the fence and threatening big danger.  He hit the front as they topped the rise and the race looked all over.  Careless tried to raise an effort inside the 200m, but you had to like the way the favourite dug in and ran to the line very strongly.  This looks a nice horse in the making.

Follow: Veuvelicious, Careless (Click to continue reading…)


2014 Easter Saturday Free Tips

by darryn on April 16, 2014

Here are two bets for Easter Saturday.

Best Bet – Randwick R8 N2 It’s A Dundeel

This race has been the target all a long and the writing is on the wall the way he finished last start that he is ready to produce his absolute best. He defeated Atlantic Jewel last campaign on a slow track and which highlights the level of class this horse has and he has an enormous turn of foot that will be displayed tomorrow.

Value Bet – Caulfield R2 N1 Storm Approach

Just a forgive run last start when they went at a suicide speed and this horse walked over the line. Self Sense ran second through the race last weekend and in the same race Resistant was heavily backed but missed the start. First up the horse was excellent with 60kg in Sydney behind Citations and last time at 1800m he beat Gamblin Guru (0.40L)in Adelaide and Self Sense (8.50L) in the same race. A return to that form makes the $11 look a big value price.

You can get the best prices for these two runners on this page.

Happy Easter to you and your families.

The team @Champion Picks



Betting 360 Podcast - Betting From All Angles

This week we welcome to the show an expert golf bettor and former Touring Pro, Peter Fenton . Peter uses statistics alongside his own golfing experience to come up with solid value selections. He explains the ins and outs of golf betting and shares the techniques he uses to achieve success.

Punting Insights You’ll Find

  • Reasons why golf is a good sport to bet on.
  • What is the Professional Golfers’ Competitive Index and how to use it for betting.
  • How Peter uses statistics to give him an edge over other punters.
  • The differing importance of recent form versus course form.
  • The differences between golf betting in the U.S. and Europe.
  • Betting service packages available from Swingform.

Today’s Guest:

Peter’s Parting Advice:

 Your wins get you profits, but your places get you cash flow.”

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

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Randwick review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st       Hallowed Crown               Christian Reith
2nd     Washington Heights      Brenton Avdulla
3rd      Klammer                            Josh Parr

Heavy 9 to kick things off on day one of The Championships. The most experienced runner in this field was I Am Snippety who began well from the outside barrier and took up the lead from Klammer. The leader broke down as they straightened while Hallowed Crown, who had settled 3rd last, came through the field and easily made it 2 wins from 2 starts. Washington Heights had trialled well and was very good here on debut. Finished very strongly and looks to be well worth following. The Waterhouse runner Donelle was well backed but knuckled over on jumping and could only manage 4th. Echo Gal was a forgive run (cardiac arrythmia).

Follow: Washington Heights definitely, Echo Gal if she trials well.

Race 2

1st        Gypsy Diamond          James McDonald
2nd      Casino Dancer             Glyn Schofield
3rd       Rock Sturdy                Hugh Bowman

The favourite Gypsy Diamond drifted late in betting and missed the kick but James McDonald didn’t panic, settling at the rear with the second favourite Rock SturdyO’Reillys Revenge took up the running from Liberty’s Choice. Gypsy Diamond picked up some ground in the run and then at the turn McDonald had her making good ground without needing an effort. When she found some galloping room and the best part of the track she was dominant. Gave the boys a start, weight and a beating. Casino Dancer had been specked at big prices and ran well. Rock Sturdy was up in grade and finished well without ever being a winning chance. Horses on the inside really struggled and it was already very clear that the best spot was off the speed and definitely off the rail.

Follow: hard to go past the obvious in Gypsy Diamond.

Race 3

1st       Politeness                             Craig Williams
2nd     Cosmic Endeavour           Tommy Berry
3rd      Miniature                              Kerrin McEvoy

Master ride from Craig Williams. She was well back even at the turn but wide in the straight was easily the best place to be and Williams produced her in the right lane and at just the right time. Politeness had been hard in the market at all six starts since her last win but put it all together at her first start outside of Victoria despite talk that she wasn’t fully wound up for this. Miniature was unfancied first up and should be a lot fitter for the run. Calming Influence cut the corner to hit the front a long way out but was towards the inside and first up from a spell she tired badly. Another first upper Miss Tenpins ran really well and is worth following over further. Scatcat also ran well.

Follow: Miniature definitely and (to a lesser extent) Miss Tenpins and Calming Influence.

Race 4

1st          The Offer                  Tommy Berry
2nd        Tremec                      Christian Reith
3rd         Hippopus                  Tim Clark

Fairly even start and Retort Courteous set a slow speed from Hippopus and Tremec. Despite the lack of pace there were no real moves til the 800m when Cassidy got going on Opinion. It was already clear the fence was off and all hoops avoided the inside. Once again the widest horse won and no-one would begrudge Tommy Berry the win. Hippopus and Tremec were 2nd and 3rd in the run and then reversed those positions at the finish. Sertorius is racing well below his best.

FollowThe Offer will be very hard to beat in the Sydney Cup day and it’s no surprise that Gai thinks he’ll bolt in.

Race 5

1st          Peggy Jean                        Nash Rawiller
2nd        Scratch Me Lucky          Blake Shinn
3rd         Cornrow                            Jim Cassidy

Believe Yourself, Time For War and Peggy Jean (until late) were all well backed while Kumaon was a concerning drifter. Time For War took up the running. Another great ride won the race this time from Nash Rawiller. Peggy Jean hit the line well and always looked to have the race in her keeping to continue the domination of the fillies this season. There was a huge gap to 3rd so hard to make a case for any other runners. Avdulla reported that Believe Yourself was never comfortable in the going.

Follow: Scratch Me Lucky was gallant on the inside.

Race 6

1st      Criterion                    Hugh Bowman
2nd    Tupac Amaru           Kerrin McEvoy
3rd     Hooked                      Blake Shinn

Singing Flame missed the kick and Teronado was taken back as usual. Hugh Bowman is almost always very patient and in this race he just wanted the favourite Criterion to be positioned wherever he was comfortable. He was desperate not to get caught on the inside and rode a masterful race. Criterion backed up a dominant Rosehill Guineas victory to win a real dogfight with Tupac Amaru who doesn’t have a turn of foot but just wouln’t go away. Despite being bred to be a sprinter Criterion is clearly the best staying 3yo in Australia. Gallatin had market support but isn’t up to this class and two other disappointments were Thunder Fantasy and Puccini who is a far better horse than what we’ve seen so far in Australia.

Follow: Hugh Bowman in Derbies.

Race 7

1st          Lankan Rupee         Craig Newitt
2nd        Rebel Dane               Glen Boss
3rd         Buffering                   Damian Browne

Outstanding field but Lankan Rupee made them look like second raters. Extraordinary win, just a demolition job. Newitt used the horse’s tactical speed to take up the running and from there it was never in doubt. He keeps winning at good prices but we probably won’t see decent odds about him for a while now. No other sprinter in Australia comes close and he has good claims to be the best in the world. Rebel Dane loves the wet and was excellent here first up. Buffering is forever honest. See The World looks set for a good campaign in Brisbane.

Follow: gelded horses!

Race 8

1st         Sacred Falls             Zac Purton
2nd       Royal Descent        Nash Rawiller
3rd        Weary                       Tommy Berry

Another superb field and an amazing training performance by Chris Waller to train the first four. That’s a feat that may never be repeated. Zac Purton was both brave and clever in riding Sacred Falls to back-to-back wins. Noted mudlark Royal Descent hit the front just over 200m out and looked like she was going to bolt in. But Sacred Falls had a kick left and was strong late. In just his 4th Australian run Weary was very good despite being galloped on.Hawkspur finished off OK. Messene didn’t handle the bog track at all.

Follow: Royal Descent when the rain comes and both Messene and Weary in the big mile races next season.

Race 9

1st         Arabian Gold               Blake Shinn
2nd       Missvonn                      Craig Newitt
3rd       Lady Cumquat             Nash Rawiller

Tommy Berry led on the Waterhouse runner Amanpour. The favourite Lady Cumquat didn’t begin or settle well. The topweight Arabian Gold found the front under a hold at the 300m and relished the wet ground. She’d been competitive in good grade this campaign and Blake Shinn found the right lane at the right time to bring up his 1000th career win in style. It was a dominant win especially considering how much weight she conceded to her rivals.

Follow: Lady Cumquat on better ground.


Caulfield review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Open Handicap (2400m)

1st Westsouthwest – Jackie Beriman
2nd Beliveau – Harry Coffey
3rd Beauty Perception – Jake Noonan

Basically a jumper’s, or prospective jumper’s, flat race and Montgomery was slowest out of the six. Sneak A Peek cruised across to find the lead though he would over race a bit in the middle stages. Only A Pleasure held the fence behind the leader and Westsouthwest sat up on his outside. They broke away a few lengths clear of Beliveau and Beauty Perception. Aside from bunching up a little there wasn’t much change until inside the 800m. Westsouthwest moved up to put pressure on Sneak A Peek and went straight past him. Beauty Perception ran to third as Only A Pleasure threw in the towel meekly before the turn. Beliveau didn’t get going quite as early but moved to fourth on the bend leaving Montgomery trailing. Westsouthwest went for home and held a comfortable margin before easing up in the last 50m. Beliveau finished off well ahead of Beauty Perception. Montgomery got up to beat the very disappointing imports Sneak A Peek and Only A Pleasure who you wouldn’t even back in a jumps race on their efforts.

Follow: Westsouthwest continued his build up to his return to jumping and he’s set to continue as one of our better hurdlers at present.

Race 2: Mindy Green Plate (1200m)

1st Pressing – Daniel Moor
2nd Armada – Jason Benbow
3rd Petrology – Jake Noonan

Bullpit wasted no time in offsetting his wide gate and crossed to find the lead. He had a little company though as Petrology kicked up to race handy forcing Red Casino and Selvatico to race wide. Red Casino made a bid for the front but was held out and Selvatico eased pout of the battle. Armada settled up fifth on the fence with Kodinhi outside him. Pressing was being niggled at back in the field at the 600m. Petrology loomed up on the turn and tackled Bullpit as Red Casino dropped off. Armada pulled into the clear to run on but took his time getting going. Kodinhi was wider and Pressing made some ground towards the fence. Just as it looked like Petrology was going to pull away, Pressing went into another gear and picked him up easily for a most impressive victory. Armada did his best work late for third. Bullpit showed a lot of fight and no knock on Kodinhi was was close up. The rest were well beaten.

Follow: Pressing looks a nice horse. Armada and Kodhini have some upside.

Race 3: echucamoama Handicap (1400m)

1st Tried And Tired – Mark Zahra
2nd Rugged Cross – Michael Walker
3rd Jakcorijim – Harry Coffey

Tried And Tired was first to break the line but with a few heading forward he took a trail. The New Boy worked to the front with Lord Durante handy and Laohu trapped wide and working overtime. Jakcorijim held the fence behind those and Cyclone Andy was next. A line of three behind them with Campanology on the fence, Harvey’s True Heart and White Universe. The New Boy led clearly at the 600m with Laohu under pressure after doing a power of work. Tried And Tired was bolting behind him and at the top of the straight was let go and he raced clear. Jakcorijim hd his back on the turn but couldn’t sprint with him. Campanology loomed up fleetingly and out wider Rugged Crosswas winding up from the back. On the inside Boys On Tour had a checkered massage but worked through the field. Tried And Tired had too big a break for Rugged Cross, who just gave away too much start, and Jakcorijim kept going for third. Very nice runs behind the placings from Boys On Tour and Zuma Roc, having his first run for Peter Moody.

Follow: Rugged Cross is ready to win, keep an eye on Zuma Roc next time.

Race 4: Story Landscaping Handicap (1400m)

1st Lucky Striker – Darren Gauci
2nd Self Sense – Jamie Mott
3rd I Am Titanium – Steven King

I Am Titanium had no early pace after jumping okay and tailed out a few lengths last. Lucky Striker won the early battle for the lead from Wildebeast and Self Sense who pressed on out wider and eventually took up the running.Senor Juez held fourth from Paradou and Washington Square in a strung out field. Self Sense was let run midrace and opened up a four or five length lead and forced Lucky Striker to chase a long way from home. Wildebeast looked to travel okay coming to the turn with Reldas racing greenly and the rest appeared to struggle. At the 200m Lucky Striker tackled Self Sense and they settled down to fight it out before Lucky Striker broke right away. They lined up for third with I Am Titanium flashing home from last to grab it from Resistant, who raced well off the pace, and Wildebeast. Tikitour was a nice run making up good late ground first-up and Saguaro had restricted room in the last 100m and wasn’t beaten far.

Follow: tricky form race. Best run I Am Titanium but he’s done that more than once before.

Race 5: Galilee Series Final (2400m)

1st Bring Something – Mark Zahra
2nd De Little Engine – James Winks
3rd Honey’s Steel Gold – Jake Noonan

Fairly even line out before Accord was held back and crossed to the rail behind the field from his wide gate. Bring Something also restrained to the tail. Coup Badger and Loncava came over to lead at the post the first time withDancing May slotting in third inside Family PrideCalendar Lad pushed up on the inside to be handy and Honey’s Steel Gold enjoyed a nice trail midfield. The Terricks was stranded three wide without cover and went back but couldn’t find a spot. Bring Something got onto his back 1000m out. Coup Badger had an uncontested lead from Loncava and he had them stacked up coming to the 600m. The Terricks crept around them and went up to third with Bring Something still tagging him. This saw Family Pride held up for a run and Dancing May also became crowded for room. Loncava and The Terricks claimed the lead on the turn with Bring Something still stalking. De Little Engine moved onto Bring Something’s tail and switched out to run on with Falamonte widest. Bring Something hit the lead at the 300m and looked to hit a flat spot before he dug in and beat them off. De Little Engine had his chance and Honey’s Steel Gold got up for third. 10 out of 10 ride from Mark Zahra.

Follow: Bring Something is just hitting his straps.

Race 6: 7 Eleven Pink Ribbon Cup (1200m)

1st Natuzzi – Chris Johnson
2nd Couldn’t Agreemore – Jordan Childs
3rd Nearest To Pin – Katelyn Mallyon

Plenty of competition for the early lead with Le Bonsir and Rich Jack held off the fence early by Nearest To Pin and Couldn’t Agreemore. That gave Ventic and Mandla nice trails. Le Bonsir eventually claimed the lead with Rich Jack still on his outside. Ventic kicked up on the inside of Couldn’t Agreemore and that left Nearest To Pin stranded without cover. Mandla was under pressure behind them and Natuzzi had crept up into midfield. Le Bonsir had a kick early in the straight but Couldn’t Agreemore grabbed him. Nearest To Pin was trying hard out wider and Natuzzi, who was held up around the 300m, got across heels and found room and the Kiwi finished off the race best to win quite impressively. Nearest To Pin had a tough run and battled on okay for third. Rich Jack came again to take fourth from Le Bonsir and the rest were in a different race.

Follow: Nearest To Pin had no luck, Rich Jack wants a dry track.

Race 7: Cath White Memorial (1100m)

1st Halle Rocks – Jamie Kah
2nd (dh) Elite Elle – Jackie Beriman
2nd (dh) Kneeling – Shaun Guymer

Elite Elle broke with them this time and looked for the lead with Just A Girl on her outside. It’s Poet’s Day was also up there from a wide gate. Awasita pushed up along the rail and Kneeling and Caprossa were in that bunch along with Lady Melksham and Legcut out very wide. Elite Elle slipped away on the turn about four horses off the fence. Just A Girl was doing all the chasing and Kneeling made ground back towards the inside. It’s Poet’s Day dropped off and Halle Rocks came to the centre at the 200m to run on. At the 100m Elite Elle was walking but still a couple clear. Halle Rocks stormed home to grab the lead about a stride from the line in a massive form reversal. Elite Elle had every possible chance in front and dead heated with Kneeling for second. Nice effort from Just A Girl, who came again after being outsprinted, at her first run for Chris Waller and has upside.

Follow: Just A Girl is the only one you want out of this race.

Race 8: Pavilion Plate (1700m)

1st Kitten On The Run – Jason Benbow
2nd Niblick – Billy Egan
3rd Crucial – Joseph Azzopardi

Backstedt rolled to the front as he usually does and Flying Hussler moved into second. There was a line of four right behind them with Taiyoo the widest and working hard up the hill round TwilightingCrucial and Niblick on the fence. Ruscello moved to midfield in the clear ahead of Dylanson. The field strung out before the turn when Flying Hussler pressured Backstedt. Taiyoo was gone after a tough run a long way out and Crucial loomed ominously after a gun run. Twilighting stuck on also under pressure and Niblick responded on the fence to hard riding. Most of the others appeared to be going backwards at that point. Crucial took over at the 300m but didn’t dash away and looked vulnerable. Backstedt battled back momentarily and Niblick started to run on with Dylanson before Kitten On The Run descended and finished too well. Messy race where several horses had hard runs and this could be a ‘birthday’ for Kitten On The Run who had been disappointing.

Follow: none, be wary of this form.

Specials from the meeting: Rugged Cross, Nearest To Pin, Just A Girl.


Practically useless information

by David on April 11, 2014

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival takes centre stage at this time of the year and is one of the largest in the world, but still I was surprised to see a well-known monthly punting magazine get swept up by it all and try their hand at humour.

At least I hope they were joking when two of their ‘experts’ talked about betting and staking.

The discussion of JH and MD is included below with the additional comments (3rd) had a third person been lucky enough to be in the company of two such learned fellows.

JH: I want to look at staking this time around, and of ways that punters can maximise their returns.

3rd: OK that’s a nice starting point. Let’s see what we can all learn.

MD: It’s something close to my betting heart! More and more, as time goes by, I find myself dismissing well-fancied horses out of hand, and instead going for horses at bigger prices. But in my heart of hearts, I know that somehow the key to successful betting is to find a mixture of favourites and non-favourites.

3rd: Yeah well horses are normally well-fancied for a reason so dismissing them out of hand is dumb. Try digging deeper into the form to see what you have missed. The key to successful betting isn’t simply a mix of favourites and non-favourites, it is consistently backing horses at odds that are greater than their true chance of winning. That can be at any price range but looking closely at horses that are in the market is a great place to start.

JH: Yes, we know that favourites win about one third of all races. But there is no real pattern to it. They win none on one day and several the next – or go for two or three meetings winless, then gradually claw their way back to about 30 to 35%.

3rd: Oh yes, wouldn’t it be just lovely if there was a perfect distribution and every third race the favourite got up? I’d be all for 9 race cards that’s for sure. Then we just need to get the casinos to alternate red and black on the roulette wheel and we will be rolling in it!

JH: And second favourites win about half that number, so between them they win about half the races run. But which half?

3rd: Great question. Apparently if you go somewhere near the form every now and then you can learn a lot.

MD: Yes, and backing the favourite and second favourite in every race means we will be looking at a loss of 15 to 20% every year. Not good.

3rd: Well it is possible to lose 15-20% but only if you are both dumb and lazy. You’d have to be betting exclusively on one tote and level staking to lose at anything close to that rate. Whereas if you stake proportionately and bet either best tote or shop around for the best fixed odds you will halve that loss on turnover.

JH: My own thought is that we should perhaps take the key from the handicapper. We want to get the ORDER right, so we look at handicaps and the top 2 in the market and that means the only runners to consider are numbers 1 and 2. Then we apply a couple of easy rules to obtain our selection.

3rd: Wow why didn’t I think of that first? So numbers 1 and 2 with the handicapper and 1 and 2 in the market and we’re on our winning way! I’ll just ignore races where #3 has the same weight as #2. And I don’t care what the limit weight is, or apprentice allowances, or how many starts a horse has had, or anything else really. We’ll just keep it stupidly simple.

JH: Yes, and if only one of them is then that is your automatic selection. However, I like to take things a bit further than that. We move to the prices available. If one of the pair is 3/1 or more it is the selection. If both are 3/1 or more the favourite is the selection. If they are equal in price then no selection.

3rd: Wow you really have thought of everything.

MD: You are truly looking for value with this approach, and you are of course restricting your bets to handicap races only because that’s where the handicapper comes into play.

3rd: This is fair dinkum gold.

JH: You are clearly dealing with the 2 best horses in most races, according to the handicapper and also according to the price assessors. This is a plan that will perform week in and week out. Not a huge number of bets but certainly enough to have a lot of fun.

3rd: Great. So we just rely on the rigid techniques that handicappers use to assess horses on their exposed form. We don’t even have to worry about lower weighted horses on the up. And we will ignore the fact that 1st and 2nd favourites that are TAB numbers 1 and 2 actually perform slightly worse than numbers 3+.

MD: What about staking that requires changes in bet size? People always say you should only bet level stakes but I like to move beyond that, for excitement sake alone.

3rd: Yeah I can’t stop reading about all those mega-successful punters who level stake regardless of odds or expectation. And you’re not wrong about excitement – who cares about long-term success so long as you got your blood pumping along the way?

JH: I don’t think there’s much wrong in graded staking for the average punter, as long as he keeps a lid on things and doesn’t keep going when losing runs strike.
3rd: OK so we will ignore the fact that these are independent events and instead we will chase our losses with a bank that can’t cope with a losing run. What could possibly go wrong?

MD: One of my favourites is to restrict yourself to favourites at around 2/1. To make a 3 or 4 unit profit with a 2/1 winner is the idea, so the bets would go: 2-3-5-7-10-16-24. You can have 6 losers before a winner – yes, it is risky but it can be enjoyable. You are dealing with well-fancied runners and you probably won’t get 6 bets in an afternoon.

3rd: OK so my 7th bet will only be 12 times the size of my first? And I’ll only be down 43 units when I get to place it, how good’s that? This is too easy! The poor corporates are going to have to tell head office in the UK how a couple of Aussies took them to the cleaners.

Thanks guys and I can’t wait to see what you come up with for next year’s festival.


Golden Slipper day review – April 5th

by Admin on April 7, 2014

Rosehill review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st          Bachman                                   Nash Rawiller
2nd        Scratch Me Lucky                 Blake Shinn
3rd         Veuvelicious                           Damian Oliver

There was a clump of them that all wanted to go forward in the first, with Spicy Sure eventually kicking through on the fence to lead from Double Happy and Giuliana three wide, with Tashbeeh sliding up four wide.  At the half way mark it was a line of three with Spicy Sure in front from Double Happy and Tashbeeh who was now three deep after Giuliani eased.  These three still had it as they turned for home, but once in the straight they started to weaken and it was Scratch Me Lucky on the inside and Bachman down the outside, with Khrysler in the middle.  In the run to the line Bachman came away from Scratch Me Lucky, withVeuvelicious finding the line well in third.

Follow: Veuvelicious (Click to continue reading…)


Betting 360 Podcast - Betting From All Angles

Rather than a special guest, this week I wanted to talk about some of the key information that you can find in our free Better Betting ebook that is made available to all newsletter subscribers. It is a compilation of a lot of the articles I have written over a number of years and there is a considerable amount of punting insight to help improve your results.

Punting Insights You’ll Find

  • The number one reason why most punters lose.
  • Why it is risky to put all of your eggs in one basket.
  • Identifying false favourites from true favourites.
  • Form analysis, staking and mindset.
  • A ton of valuable betting lessons that you can learn from my free e-book.

David’s Closing Tip:

 There’s a million myths out there.  A lot of what’s been passed down generation to generation doesn’t apply, it’s just repeated over and over but that doesn’t make it fact.  ”

Get the Transcript:

**Click Here to Read the Transcript**

Episode 39 : Horse Racing Tips, Ebook Highlights and Top Takeaways

Welcome to Betting 360, your number one source for horse racing and sports betting insights. Coming around the bend is your host David Duffield, with another expert view to give you the winning edge.


David Duffield: Hi, this is David Duffield, and welcome to another episode of the Betting 360 Podcast. Rather than have a special guest on today, I wanted to run through some of the key takeaways from the e-book. It’s been around for a couple of years now, and a compilation of a lot of articles I’ve written over a number of years. There’s some pretty important pointers to take away from it, so for those that don’t want to sit down and read more than 100 pages worth, maybe it’s worth a few minutes of your time to listen in.

The first article refers to the number one reason why most punters lose, and that is to only bet when you’re getting value. A lot of people are a lot more focused on trying to find the most likely winner of the race, rather than spending as much time worrying to find the best value in the race. Only bet when you’re getting value is obviously a key ingredient in winning long term.

Making every effort to get the best available odds doesn’t sound too exciting, but it’s vitally important. Also, the third thing: balancing risk versus reward in the way you manage your money. A lot of people consider the upside, how much they’d like to win on a bet, but they don’t really consider the downside.

Next was Paul Makin, a super successful multimillionaire. There’s a lot of the points he’s put out in the past that still resonate today. A few of those are: don’t count your winnings by the day; the price must be right, you just have to keep taking value; if you want to win, you’ve got to have a professional approach; there’s a whole number of punting tips he’s put out, and they’re well worth taking a closer look at.

“Avoiding an Expensive Mistake”: that’s again to do with bankroll management. It relates to the example of someone that we had where basically by their bank being too small to begin with, or they were betting too large a percentage of their bank to begin with, they missed out on a massive winner.

“Don’t overlook the T in Profit on Turnover”: a lot of people get excited if they hear say a 10% profit on turnover, or a 20%, but they don’t spend enough time worrying about the actual turnover amount. By that I mean a 10% profit on turnover sounds great, a lot of pros would be very happy with that, but if you’re having … to exaggerate, if you’re having three bets a month, 10% profit on turnover, well you’re going to have to have some exceptionally large bets to pay the bills; whereas if you’re having four bets a day and you’re doing 10% on turnover, that’s fantastic.

Then we talk about place betting: if you’re doing it on the TAB and you can … basically if you’re complacent enough, or naive enough, to just do it via the TAB, and you don’t consider the round down or the take out you’ve got to beat in the round down, then that’s why that article’s called “Place Betting for Losers.”

“There Isn’t a Holy Grail”: this if refers to people that want the fast result without necessarily doing the work. It talks about following the hype, back-fitted systems, over aggressive staking again, chasing a hot tips after an exceptional period but not understanding that bearings can work both ways, quitting during the losing run, and there’s a number of other things you can look at there.

“Diversify your Betting Portfolio”: well if you’ve got all your eggs in one basket, that can be risky, so it just discusses a few things to look at, and also to encourage diversification. Look at the amount of time, in terms of the data, and also just understand that by having a few different approaches, if one isn’t going so well, well that can be counter balanced by others doing okay.

“Better odds can double your profits”: again, if you just think of it simplistically, or over simplistically, you might think that if you can get 5% better odds, that will add 5% to your bottom line in terms of your profitability. It’s actually far greater than that, so just take a look at the calculations behind that, they’re not complex, but it’s well worth considering.

“False Favorites”: obviously, they could present opportunities either to lay, or otherwise to bet around them. “True Favorites”: on the flip side, you can have a look at some of the factors that may contribute to a horse being a genuine favorite rather than a false one.

“Stick With Your Plan”: again a lot of people have a plan, whether that’s in their head or written down, but they don’t always stick with it, which is the most important thing.

“Only Pregnant Ladies are Due”: that explains the betting gambler’s fallacy, and you see it all the time on the race track and casinos. I probably don’t need to say much more about that, but again, it’s worth reading just to explain why, in the short term, that mindset of believing you’re due, is actually false.

“Doubles Betting is Twice as Hard”: a lot of people take a while to understand that the reason bookmakers encourage multi’s is because they’ve got a really big edge on those. It just runs through why that’s the case.

“Follow the Bookie’s Lead”: some bookmakers, certainly not all, but some bookmakers have a pretty good handle on the market, and also have some pretty smart guys betting into them, so there are some circumstances where the bookmaker has a certain horse, either very, very short or at the other end, they’re very willing to lay it, you can get some good pointers from that.

“Betting for a Living” talks about the life of a professional punter and what it takes.

“The Results won’t Change unless You Do”: I speak to punters all the time that are more hopeful, rather than strategic, and they basically, they think that things will change despite them going on the way that they always have, and that’s not the case.

“Backing a Winner can be a Bad Bet:” you wouldn’t say that if you were at the ticket window collecting, but what I mean is it’s a simple explanation, but it’s very valid. If you take $1.90 about a coin toss, well, you know, every second bet you’re going to win, you’ll be pretty happy with yourself, but over the course of the night, or longer term than that, you’re going to come out behind, that’s a guarantee.

“Video Analysis”: obviously there’s plenty of opportunities now to watch video replays, so there’s some pointers there, and also some horses to avoid, or the horses that get highlighted and tend to be over-bet.

“Some Sectional Times Talk with Vince Accardi”: it feels like a while ago now that we came across Vince, and he’s been exceptional in the knowledge that he has contributed to our business, and he continues to go from strength to strength.

“Look Behind the Numbers”: it’s about not having just an overview, a helicopter view, of the form; it’s about going into a lot of depth. Some more talk about best odds, some talk about arbitrage betting, which you can try and do on the racing side if you’re backing high some of the bookmakers and laying off of Betfair. Bookmakers aren’t too keen on it.

“Horse Racing Systems”: it’s one that’s been debated for a long time, and the mechanical systems, there’s very few of those that work long term. There are some profiles of horses that can tend to have positive expected value, but a mechanical system, it’s very rare that it’d work as far as the people a while a go would say, “I want a horse that’s being placed it’s last four runs, with a win percentage over x, and it’s race within x amount of days” – they no longer work, even if they did initially.

“Level Staking versus Progressive Staking”: I’ve been banging this drum for a long time, but they say level staking is for loses and never seen anyone disprove that.

“Be Weary of Following the Smart Money”: a lot of people get in too late in following the smart money, the bird’s already flown. There’s an example there: say for a horse is being backed from $4 into $3.50, well that’s because that $4, a lot of people, potentially some smart guys, thought that was over the odds, but at $3.50, that’s not necessarily still the case, so just to be weary of that and not get in at the bottom of the market.

There’s some talk of jockeys and whether they’re underrated or overrated. The betting performance of some will definitely tell you that’s the case. Whether that continues on a longer term basis isn’t certain, but there are some jockey’s with that massive following, but their record doesn’t actually back that up.

“Small Fields and Profits”: it’s worth looking at as well.

“Smaller Prices can mean Greater Value”: it’s not new to anyone that’s been on a list for a while, but people think it needs to be double figure odds for a horse to be value. We’ve talked about the favorite long-shot vice a number of times: basically if you want your money to last, back favorites. It sounds boring, but if you’re not going to do any form, you’re money will stay with a lot longer backing favorites than it will backing outsiders.

“Bill Gates’ Punting Lessons”: probably hard to discuss those in depth here, but it’s related to the betting world, and how what he talks about in business and software, again, does actually relate back to the punting.

“The TAB Takeout,” or just the market percentages: it’s something that you really need to understand. An example of the two-horse race was given there.

“How to Avoid being Banned by your Bookmaker”: we have updated this recently. It’s pretty frustrating to have a profitable approach but to not be able to get on. There’s a number of red flags that the bookmakers have to look at, and this is some tips on how to last longer, or hopefully, last long term.

“Some Talk About Barriers”: again, I don’t mean to be repeating myself over and over, but barrier one is not the best barrier as far as profitability goes. Again, profitability is a lot more important than strike rate. You can back a lot of winners from barrier one, but you’re trying to make a profit. I’m not saying exclude barrier one by all means, but what I’m saying is that don’t give that a massive tick, in terms of whether this horse is likely to be a decent price today, it’s actually the other way: barrier one, and two and three even, are over bet, and some of the better bets you can have are drawn out wide, particularly if they have any early speed.

“Race Systems and Barriers”: that’s related to that, and just looks at the importance, or lack of importance, of barriers by race systems.

“Some Lessons from the 10,000-hour Rule”: it mentions The Beatles, Hendrix, Gates, and Obama. I do like to look outside of the betting world to see what lessons we can learn from people that … experts in what they do, so that runs through that.

“Beware of the Peak Performance”: don’t just assume that a horse is going to be able to replicate what it did last start, just like other athletics, horses can put in a peak run.

“Back at the Track”: I don’t get to the races all that often, it’s pretty exciting, pretty good times though when I do. Like so many other punters, it’s a lot easier, a lot more efficient to be based at home. Back at the track just looked at some of the strengths and weaknesses of being on course.

“Bookie Bonuses”: there’s a lot of competition out there for your betting dollar, so you can take advantage of those and basically have a lot of low risk, risk free, or highly profitable bets just by taking advantage of bookmakers trying to entice your dollar over across to their company. There’s some talk of the frustration there: are they actually bookmakers at all? Well, they’re not in the traditional sense of the word.

“Hayes Hurts the Hip Pocket”: David Hayes, massively successful early in his career, and it seems like that’s never worn off as far as the betting public goes. He can control, or have some important into his winning percentage, he doesn’t have a lot into the profit percentage, but it’s diabolical. People keep waiting for the reincarnation, he’s had occasional success since moving to Euroa, but compared to a lot of other leading trainers, he’s not a profitable one to follow.

Once again, the disclaimer is I’m not saying lay every runner, or avoid every runner, we certainly back some of his runners, but just as a general rule, Hayes hurts the hip pockets still applies.

“Is the Fairer Sex a Good Betting Proposition?”: this actually came up recently from Wayne Hawkes in the weight for age scale. It looks at mayors and how they compare to the other sex.

“Be Flexible at Flemington”: obviously it’s where a lot of the big carnival days are held, so it takes a close look at Flemington.

“Sports Betting”: It’s easily the number one and fast growing competitor racing, so it runs through a few of the reasons why that’s the case, in terms of how easy it is to follow, and value for money, and media exposure and the like.

“Gone in 60 seconds” talks about how some people spend five or 10 minutes doing the form for a race: that’s not a lot, but they might put in 10 minutes, and once the race is over, they rip up their ticket and move on. Not a great way of learning from you’ve done, so “Gone in 60 Seconds” just takes a look at how you can have a punting lesson from each race and use that to your advantage going forward.

Some mention of Hong Kong racing, just a massive market, and an unbelievable amount they turn over there, and interesting that it’s mainly Quinella and Quinella place bettings, a duet I suppose, as opposed to win and win/place, and there’s a lot of exotics as well as far as Super Six and the like.

Macau, I spent some time there, and a lot of … it’s probably low profile for a lot of people still, but it won’t be too long before it matches Las Vegas. It already far surpasses Las Vegas in terms of betting turnover, but even as a destination full of world class resorts and the like, it’s well worth visiting.

Some talk of lay betting: it’s only the last few years this has even been possible, but it takes a different mindset, different to approach to be successful to the lay better. There’s ten tips on horses to lay. It talks about the gun run last start at the end of a long prep, jockeys, barriers, wet tracks and the like about markers. It also talks about staking for lay betting: whether you’re going to later win a fixed amount, or later lose a fixed amount.

“Hope is not a Strategy”: again, more of a mindset article, and well worth reading if you need some help at times, where you’re looking to improve your results, but possibly not getting those so far.

“We’ve Never Had it this good”: as much as there’s some frustrations in the modern day, certainly there’s a number of strengths as well in terms of Betfair, Sky Channel TV at home, top fluctuation, even book makers taking phone bets. It runs into other stuff like Vince Accardi’s sectional times, extensive databases, fast internet, dynamic odds. We’ve got it pretty good, we can’t complain too much.

“It’s not Profit till it’s in your Pocket”: yeah, a lot of people come across this on the race track, but it talks about a Las Vegas example, which is sad and humorous at the same time.

“Odds on, Look on”: we touched on the favorite long-shot buyers. Again, it’s still applies today, and it applies across different industries.

“Fact or Fiction”: there’s a million myths out there. A lot of what’s been passed down generation to generation doesn’t apply, it’s just repeated as fact, but that doesn’t make it fact.

“Playing the Percentages”: again, understanding the percentage, whether that’s Betfair, TAB, or bookmakers.

“Positive Expectation”: often used by poker players, and also I suppose the quantitative side of racing and sports punters, but just understand the importance of positive expectation.

“Pre-post Betting”: I’m sure we can all recall where we’ve got set at what we think is a decent price, and for a number of reasons, it doesn’t work out that way, so just to be aware of that, and once again consider the risk not just the reward.

“Betting More on the Likely Winners”: not progressive, but proportionate staking makes common sense, mathematical sense, punting sense, whichever way you look at it. If you’re stuck with a level staking approach, it’s really worth considering adopting an approach that will smooth out your return somewhat.

Then we talk about rail position and why that’s important: talking about the width of the track, types of turns, length of the straight, seasonal conditions, and most recent rail positions.

There’s an article on Kerrin McEvoy, who for a long time there was highly overrated by the betting market. Again, it’s not personal as far as an attack on Kerrin, he doesn’t have a lot to do with the odds, not a lot of control over the odds, but it’s just some things punters undervalue and some things they overvalue.

“The teachings of Tyson”: I do like the quote, “Everyone’s got a plan until they get hit.” Applies to punting, I mentioned it previously in an earlier article.

“Wet Track Worries”: it takes a certain approach, a certain type of horse and form analysis to find horses that relish the wet tracks.

“Weight”: it’s forever been debated, and probably will continue to be, the relative importance of weight.

“Lessons from the World’s Biggest Punter”: there is a fellow that manages close to 100 billion, I think, in a hedge fund, and with that type of responsibility and pressure, he needs to be pretty certain in his approach. We run through a number of the principles he’s applied, because he’s made them public, and see how they apply on a punting basis.

There’s a chap there, Brut Wellington, who is a well known horse breaker, trainer; and we mention the gear changes with Scott Ferguson, who runs the blog, Sport is Made for Living and has a background in the bookmaking industry, other bookmaking firms; also, with a professional punter that has a fairly systematized approach, Chris Debby, I talk him over the course of a couple of years; and Nick Aurbey, who has been on the podcasts a couple of times, goes by the name of Anomaly Nick, and he calls, or describes himself as a technical punter; and finally, Dr. Jeff … I think it’s Heuston, he’s all about horse behavior and what you can learn from the mounting yard.

There’s plenty to go through, it is free, so it’s not a sales pitch. Hopefully, if you haven’t already, you can get the chance to take a look at the e book and it inspires you to do some further research on your own, and hopefully develop some profitable strategies.

Thanks for joining us for a slightly unusual version of the podcast, but we’ll be back with a special guest next week. We’ll get someone on for the U. S. Master’s Golf, and someone that’s very successful in the golf betting world. Until then, have a great time, and good luck on the punt.


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Weekend Racing Review – 29th March 2014

by Admin on March 31, 2014

Moonee Valley review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Friends Of Epworth Handicap (1000m)

1st Bullpit – James Winks
2nd Ms Mazetti – Mark Zahra
3rd Rich Enuff – Luke Currie

Fifthleg Bro and Bullpit showed good speed from wide alleys and headed to the lead ahead of Ms Mazettiand Inkulu who drove up on the fence. Rich Enuff settled around She’s Now Single, who was niggled at a long way from home. Fifthleg Bro was put under pressure on the turn as Bullpit strode alongside. Behind them Ms Mazetti was also under heavy riding to stay on their back. Bullpit claimed the lead at the 200m but couldn’t break clear. Ms Mazetti kept coming on the outside and Rich Enuff pulled across her heels and hit the line. Inkulu was being held up for a run behind the tiring Fifthleg Bro and he had to change course a couple of times. Bullpit held on to win the race but there was only about a length first to fifth with a big gap to the rest of the field, who were virtually in another race.
Follow: blanket finish but Inkulu was particularly unlucky. (Click to continue reading…)