10 tips on avoiding false favourites

by David on October 22, 2014

This week David Duffield chatted with RSN’s Nadia Horne about how to identify false favourites.

Dave discusses the perfect run, stage of preparation, jockeys, trainers, times, horse profiles, barriers and track conditions.

Click here to listen in.

rsn-dd

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(Free) Cox Plate Carnival Webinar

by David on October 21, 2014

Our Senior Form Analyst Rick Williams will host a special online event this Thursday night.

It’s a live presentation that will be well worth watching if you want to enjoy a big Cox Plate Carnival.

We’re going to discuss:
* The best value runners in Friday night’s Manikato Stakes and Saturday’s Cox Plate
* Our early selections for the Melbourne Cup
* Any questions that you have about the Spring carnival

A webinar is simply an online seminar where you can watch and listen to a live presentation and type your questions via a chat feature. All you need is an internet connection and either speakers or a headset.

It’s free to attend and will have some great information as we head towards a sensational spring carnival.

>>> Register now as numbers are limited.

Please note the 8pm start time is AEST (Melb/Syd) so adjust for your local time if necessary.

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Horses for courses – Moonee Valley

by David on October 21, 2014

With two fantastic Moonee Valley meetings to look forward to this weekend, let’s take a look at the long-term results at this track to assess how well the form holds up.mv-aerial

The following analysis is based on the best of the three totes and the on course Starting Price in all Moonee Valley races since 2008.

Using that criteria makes our benchmark profit on turnover figure -10%.

So the following tables list the differential to that -10% mark.

For example a ‘vs. benchmark’ figure of +10 means that group actually broke even from a punting perspective, while -10 represents a loss on turnover of 20%.

Favourites and second favourites performed above expectations, while the favourite/longshot bias is alive and well:

mv-sp-rank

Inside barriers were the best performing barrier group (relative to market expectations), while middle barriers were clearly overbet.

mv-barrier

Higher weighted horses were slightly disappointing:

mv-weight-rank

Big names like Boss, Rodd, Oliver, Nolen, Rawiller and Dunn feature in the best performing jockeys who had at least 100 rides at the Moonee Valley track:

mv-trainers

The list of most profitable trainers (once again minimum 100 rides) features both larger and mid-level stables:

mv-trainer

Experience at the track appears to be of only minor importance:

mv-starts

It’s interesting to note that runners coming off a Moonee Valley night run struggled next time out:

mv-ls-track

Runners from north of the border exceeded market expectations while SA raiders disappointed:

mv-ls-state

There are many aspects to doing the form and those stats above are just one tiny piece of the pie, but they can be a good starting point for further research and hopefully they have given you some insights into the unique Moonee Valley track.

Good punting
David Duffield

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2014 Melbourne Cup preview

by David on October 21, 2014

By Todd Burmester

Last year’s Melbourne Cup contained one stand out selection. It was obvious many weeks before the race that Fiorente was the likely winner, and that was further confirmed by its excellent effort in The Cox Plate. He got the job done for us 10 days later in The Cup.

I’m not sure this year is quite as black and white as last year, but I don’t think it is that far off.

If you have read other reviews of mine, you’ll know that I was keen on Lucia Valentina winning the Caulfield Cup. Kris Lees has described it as “the one that got away”, Kerrin McEvoy says he wasn’t sure how far Admire Rakti was going to take him into the race, so he went around it and ended up “a bit wide”. All in all, those comments are simply nice ways of saying, pilot error cost the horse the race.

I’ve written previously about my less than favourable opinion of McEvoy. Somehow, he ended up three wide the whole way and back near the tail of the field for a good part of the race. Coming around the turn, he decided to come around Admire Rakti, which then caused Lucia Valentina to be baulked and lose ground at about the 300m mark. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but those are the two crucial parts to the race that I believe cost the horse victory.

The campaign of Lucia Valentina has been faultless the whole way through. Her Tramway stakes win was mind blowing, her second up run was very unlucky when she was caught back on the fence and made late ground, and her Turnbull Stakes win was again top class.

I’ve read a school of thought that doubted her over the 2400m of yesterdays race, which then would infer a doubt over the 3200m at Flemington. I presume this comes from the fact that she was beaten in the Oaks as a three-year-old over the 2400m trip, when set an impossible task of coming from so far back on a wet track. Again that day, she made ground all the way to the line. As for the 3200m in The Melbourne Cup – she just about ran that far in The Caulfield Cup given the run she had!

Four-year-olds have won The Melbourne Cup on 43 occasions. This year, it seems we have a vintage crop of four-year-olds on our hands. Have a look at the deeds so far of Dissident, Trust In A Gust, Sweet Idea and the horse I am focusing on in this piece, Lucia Valentina and you get a feel for what I mean.

It’s pretty clear what I thought of the ride in The Caulfield Cup on Lucia Valentina. The good news is I think there is less chance of that happening in The Melbourne Cup.

I’ve never sat upon a racehorse, but I certainly have watched a race or two and in my observation its less likely that you’ll land a tough run around the bigger Flemington circuit over the 3200m given the long run to the first turn, and less likely that you’ll need to find yourself scouting the outside fence to get a crack at them in the straight. Realistically, the biggest concern in The Melbourne Cup for Lucia Valentina won’t be whether she runs out the trip, but it might be whether she runs into traffic of tired horses falling back through the field that are unable to cope with the 3200m themselves. I’ll let Kerrin McEvoy sort that out, and hope that he does a better job of it than he did in The Caulfield Cup.

Looking at those that may also line up on the first Tuesday of November, I really cannot see a lot of depth this year.

Admire Rakti was obviously impressive in The Caulfield Cup, in particular given that he carried 58kg and also was wide throughout and around the turn.

The Offer is a horse that I think has gotten out past its true odds in the market. He has been good throughout this campaign without winning. His closing sectionals have often been the strongest part of his race, and that was definitely the case in The Caulfield Cup. The types of races he is running and the positions he is finishing in, remind me of Viewed before he won The Cup.

Also out of The Caulfield Cup, Araldo was finishing off nicely. I wouldn’t think he is near the class of the likes of Lucia Valentina or Admire Rakti, but if he ends up in the field with a light weight, he could well be coming good at the right time.

The final chance I can see at this stage is Contributor. Although listed as unlikely at the moment, he could not have been more impressive in The David Jones Cup on Caulfield Cup day, and I would suggest there is a chance he will run in The Lexus Stakes on Derby day, win that race, gain automatic entry to The Cup and be the big betting firmer.

To sum up – The only negative I can find for Lucia Valentina is the jockey, but given the number of positives for the horse I think she can overcome that and win The Cup. Admire Rakti, The Offer, Araldo and Contributor go in for the multiples.

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Caulfield and Randwick reviews – October 18th

by darryn on October 20, 2014

Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Yellowglen Plate (1400m)

1st Sea Spray – Damian Lane
2nd Azkadellia – Michelle Payne
3rd Shacarde – Michael Walker

Sea Spray and Tender were a shade slow but Sea Spray quickly improved to midfield. Devon Princess darted across to lead from an outside alley and Kansas Sunflower moved to second. They kicked away from Shacarde and Bella Capri. Berimbau was next around Sea Spray. Azkadellia jumped okay but was taken back to a clear last. As the field bunched a little and started to fan nearing the turn Azkadellia was taken out where there was a pocket while there was a gaping run towards the inside and behind the eventual winner. Kansas Sunflower challenged Devon Princess on the turn and Shacarde came across their heels to run on. Sea Spray ran up behind the leaders and took an inside run at the 200m. Berimbau loomed up but didn’t go on and Akzadellia was climbing over their backs. Sea Spray hit the lead soon after and it wasn’t until the 100m when Akzadellia finally found a gap and she sprinted very hard to go down narrowly. Shacarde battled on well to grab third from a game Kansas Sunflower while the rest of the field were well beaten. Berimbau was particularly ordinary given the run she had.

Follow: Azkadellia should have romped in. (Click to continue reading…)

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Caulfield Cup Day tips

by David on October 17, 2014

Value – Caulfield R2 N3 Liberation

Highly talented 3yo with form in Sydney around Scissor Kick, Panzer Division and Amicus. Ran off the track up there which cost it and was forced to trial to stewards satisfaction. Was 36 days between runs into the Caulfield Guineas Prelude when a $10 chance and blew up on a fast pace.

Can bounce back here at  a big price and deserves a chance to repeat best ratings which has him well clear of this field.

 Best – Caulfield R6 N3 Sweet Idea

Looks very well placed here and comes through strong form lines. Should be able to roll along up front here and won’t have horses like Trust In  A Gust or Dissident breathing down her neck.  You can also back or save here on Catkins.

Caulfield Cup  – Listen below for a quick summary of each horse and we highlight some value runners.

Bande has since been scratched from the Caulfield Cup and you can hear the reasons why from Racing Victoria’s head vet Dr Brian Stewart.

For full coverage of Caulfield Cup day with our best bets Australia-wide take a look at our tips or ratings membership packages.

 

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Caulfield and Randwick reviews – October 11th

by darryn on October 13, 2014

Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Debutant Stakes (1000m)

1st Of The Brave – Stephen Baster
2nd Miss Idyllic – Michael Walker
3rd Miss Loren – Steven King

Trench Fighter stood there at the start and missed it by a couple of lengths. Miss Idyllic sprung out and went looking for the lead. Reemah and Miss Loren showed pace and Of The Brave gathered pace along the rail and found the front. Cullemy’s Diamond and Stylish Assassin were around midfield and Helford River improved along the fence. Of The Brave was cruising along in front coming to the turn and was held together as Miss Idyllic and Miss Loren loomed up. They kicked away from Cullemy’s Diamond at the top of the straight. Of The Brave responded when asked inside the 200m and drew clear in the closing stages. Miss Idyllic tried hard in second but was no match and Miss Loren held on for third ahead of Cullemy’s Diamond. The latter filly wasn’t a bad effort considering she was very fizzed up behind the gates. Trench Fighter was the only one to make any significant ground charging home and was just touched out of fifth by Schopenhauer who appeared to have every chance. Winner is a half brother to Eloping and looks just as professional.

Follow: Trench Fighter should have finished a lot closer.

Race 2: Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m)

1st Earthquake – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Tawteen – Stephen Baster
3rd More Radiant – Craig Newitt

Tawteen broke cleanly while Earthquake next to her seemed to just knuckle a little, though didn’t lose any ground. They headed to the lead together with Ygrittestuck out three wide. Cristalina Lago landed in the box seat withLondon Lolly on her outside and More Radiant three deep with cover. A couple of lengths to Silversands and Aimee. Tawteen had control and Earthquake was being stoked up well before the turn to stay with her. Ygritte was beaten off and Cristalina Lago couldn’t do any better on the fence. More Radiant peeled out to run on but was giving away a decent start. Tawteen was giving a bit sight and Earthquake only joined her about 150m out before edging away for her first win since the Blue Diamond. Tawteen stuck on well and More Radiant didn’t get any favours in the race but she still made a heap of ground to be close up. London Lolly had every chance and Ygritte battled on after having a tough run. Earthquake did have 59kg and you should never knock a win but she doesn’t look the same horse that she did at two. Perhaps they have caught up to her a bit. Nice effort More Radiant.

Follow: More Radiant is ready to win a similar race.

Race 3: Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m)

1st Hosting – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Taddei Tondo – Patrick Moloney
3rd Tango’s Daughter – Craig Newitt

Hosting went straight back to last out of the gates. Turquoise King jumped well from the inside gate and went forward. Alma’s Fury showed gate speed and then Sistine Demon started to roll across but was kept working by Turquoise King. Club Command whipped up to second after being trapped wide and in the leading bunch was Loot ‘N’ Run. Alma’s Fury wound up three deep outside him. Eximius and Tango’s Daughter raced in the clear. Sistine Demon was kept busy in the lead by Club Command and Alma’s Fury crept up three wide to try and join them. Tango’s Daughter got onto his back and Turquoise King had to wait in behind them. Taddei Tondo was tracking Tango’s Daughter and in turn Hosting had his back on the bend. Sistine Demon and Club Command were swallowed up at the 200m by Tango’s Daughter and Alma’s Fury. Turquoise King was badly checked and lost ground. Taddei Tondo and Hosting stormed down the outside and Hosting finished just a bit the better. Tango’s Daughter carted them into the race and her third was a nice improvement second-up. Alma’s Fury was brave after sitting wide. Forget Turquoise King went around, he should have been right in the finish.

Follow: Tango’s Daughter, Turquoise King

Race 4: Schillaci Stakes (1000m)

1st Rubick – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Platelet – Ben Melham
3rd Overreach – Tommy Berry

Iconic seemed to stumble slightly out of the gates and Rubick was only fair to begin but mustered quickly. Overreach jumped well and showed pace but couldn’t hold Rubick out. Gregers and Platelet were handy while Not Listenin’tome eased to avoid being caught wide. Sessions over raced a bit in second last and Iconic trailed them. Rubick railed through the hold Overreach out and he slipped away on the turn as Overreach was shaken up. Gregers loomed up but didn’t look likely and Platelet was looking for runs between the leaders. Wider Not Listenin’tome couldn’t sprint with them, Sessions was in reverse and Iconic weaved through and started to hit the line well. Rubick was there to be beaten at the 100m but got stronger as the race went on and he was getting away on the line. Too brilliant first-up. Platelet pushed through to grab second from Overreach and the fast-finishing Iconic. Gregers whacked away. Not Listenin’tome wasn’t entirely disgraced as he also made some late ground, assess him next time at 1200m. Sessions disappointed greatly.

Follow: the first three were all resuming and are all open to improvement.

Race 5: Herbert Power Stakes (2400m)

1st Big Memory – Tommy Berry
2nd Signoff – Glen Boss
3rd Let’s Make Adeal – Dwayne Dunn

Fair line out bar Unchain My Heart who was slow and crossed to the fence at the tail. Bonfire had little trouble in finding the lead. Signoff did some work to get up in second place around Sangster and Big Memory. The importRenew raced handy with Waltzing To Win. Protectionist settled midfield on the fence inside Let’s Make Adeal. Lord Van Percy was in the second half. Renew continued his run forward after being caught wide and went up to sit outside Bonfire on the speed and giving Signoff a trail. Not a lot of change in the middle stages though Masked Marvel slid around them to about third at the 1000m. Protectionist was one of the first off the bit back midfield on the fence but at the same time Bonfire was being asked to go in the lead. Big Memory got up on his inside at the 600m. Masked Marvel dropped off and Signoff started his run around him. Waltzing To Win stayed on the fence. Sangster was one paced on the turn and Let’s Make Adeal went around him. Protectionist was badly held up and looking for runs but tended to find the backs of horses going backwards. Big Memory hung on the turn and took Bonfire to the centre of the track and Signoff also had to shift wider. Let’s Make Adeal loomed strongly at the 200m. Big Memory was wayward but kept fighting and he held on from Signoff and Let’s Make Adeal. Protectionist was storming home on the inside once he finally got out and a nice run also from Lord Van Percy. Protest Signoff vs Big Memory for interference in the straight was dismissed.

Follow: Protectionist’s run was huge, should have won easily. He’s a big Melbourne Cup chance.

Race 6: Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m)

1st Fawkner – Nicholas Hall
2nd Criterion – Hugh Bowman
3rd Side Glance – Jamie Spencer

Reasonable line out but Crackerjack King didn’t show any early pace as he did in the Underwood and Sacred Falls was dragged back to last from the outside alley. Dissident and Side Glance were among the best to begin andFawkner made use of a good gate to be handy. Sertorius, Happy Trails and Dear Demi were in the first six before Crackerjack King started to get going around them. Criterion and Foreteller were worse than midfield. Side Glance was allowed to run a bit in the middle stages and he had a couple of lengths over Dissident in the clear. Fawkner had the run of the race. Crackerjack King continued to move forward and made it to third at the 600m before he started to feel the pinch. Fawkner pushed him out of the way to get clear on the turn. Dear Demi stayed on the fence and Happy Trails came around them. Sertorius seemed to lose his position and any chance. Side Glance was taken on by Dissident at the 300m but Fawkner had them covered soon after. Criterion had worked his way through the field and he hit the line very hard, making it tough for Dear Demi to get out from behind Fawkner. Happy Trails and Sacred Falls were down the outside. Fawkner, aided by a perfect run, held off Criterion and Side Glance was game in third. Sacred Falls had a nice trial for the Cox Plate running on for fourth. Happy Trails was okay and Dissident’s run was a lot better than it looked as he bled. Dear Demi gets a pass mark as well.

Follow: Side Glance would take beating in the Mackinnon and Sacred Falls was excellent from a Cox Plate point of view.

Race 7: Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m)

1st Trust In A Gust – Brad Rawiller
2nd Speediness – Hugh Bowman
3rd Desert Jeuney – James Winks

Solicit headed straight for the front from her wide alley and got there pretty comfortably. Trust In A Gust landed in a nice spot second with Escadoinside him. Arabian Gold was also able to find a trail. Desert Jeuney, Tristram’s Sun and Akavoroun, who was a bit slow but worked around them, were next. Solicit rolled along in the lead and Trust In A Gust stayed in her slipstream. Akavoroun moved up third three wide around Arabian Gold and Escado. No moves from the back and many were being ridden along before the turn. Trust In A Gust loomed alongside Solicit on the turn and went for home a long way out. Akavoroun was under pressure but responding and Desert Jeuney came off his back to run on. Escado battled and Speediness was weaving through the pack. Behind them Arabian Gold dropped off, she pulled up with a problem, and Rhythm To Spare and Guest Of Honour were running on fairly. Trust In A Gust was a sitting shot but he kept going and posted yet another courageous win. Speediness continues to be denied a good win but he ran well again and Desert Jeuney ran out of his skin for third just ahead of a luckless Akavoroun. Rhythm To Spare charged late to be in that bunch and Bull Point and Escado weren’t far away. Solicit weakened and Guest Of Honour wasn’t a bad run after getting way too far back.

Follow: there’s a win in Speediness and Akavoroun through the carnival.

Race 8: Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m)

1st Amicus – Hugh Bowman
2nd Traveston Girl – Damian Browne
3rd Sabatini – James McDonald

Lumosty and Go Indy Go were taken back to the tail and that was pretty much the end of their chances. Amicus crossed to the fence quickly then allowed Traveston Girl to take up the running. Sabatini had the box seat withPickin’ Time outside her. Bring Me The Maid and Afleet Esprit were the next pair. Traveston Girl led clearly midrace with Amicus left to do the chasing. Pickin’ Time moved to third around Sabatini and Bring Me The Maid had every chance. Traveston Girl tried to kick away around the turn but Amicus was closing in and they were a couple clear of Sabatini getting off the fence. Bring Me The Maid made a dash while Tahni Dancer made some ground from well back. Amicus got to the front at the 100m and just edged away to score from a gallant Traveston Girl. Sabatini had her chance but also ran well for third ahead of Bring Me The Maid. Even effort Tahni Dancer as nothing made ground. Go Indy Go had no hope back there with the race dominated on the speed.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 9: Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m)

1st Shooting To Win – James McDonald
2nd Rich Enuff – Michael Rodd
3rd Wandjina – Dwayne Dunn

Rich Enuff jumped well and crossed to lead after about 200m. Almalad, who was away well but took time to gather speed, booted forward to sit outside him and Stingray and Moonovermanhattan trailed them. Shooting To Winsplit Zebulon and Looks Like The Cat in midfield. Lucky Tom and Zululand were followed by Kumaon inside Merion. Wandjina was second last and Chivalry trailed them. Rich Enuff was kept at it by Almalad and Looks Like The Cat made a line of three a fair way out. Shooting To Win had his back as Stingray struggled to go with them. Merion went very wide on the turn and Kumaon got a dream run through the middle. Rich Enuff sprinted away from Almalad on the corner but he’d worked very hard and Shooting To Win was setting out after him. Moonovermanhattan was very one paced and Kumaon and Wandjina were running on out wide. Shooting To Win stuck the head in front at the 100m and while Rich Enuff tried hard to kick back the tough run told on him and he was narrowly denied. Wandjina continued his inconsistent form to finish third ahead of Kumaon. Chivalry and Merion were next but were never in the race. Game win by Shooting To Win but all the figures will show Rich Enuff’s run was enormous.

Follow: none in particular

Race 10: Sprint Series Final (1200m)

1st Griante – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Girl Guide – Craig Williams
3rd Shamal Wind – Nick Hall

Griante showed speed from a wide gate but couldn’t cross as Chiquada, Danestroem and Brilliant Bisc kicked up inside her. Girl Guide was away with them. Soosa Rama, Fare Well and Coronation Shallan were in a bunch behind the speed with Double Dee, Gig eased back after jumping nicely and Shamal Wind settled last. Brilliant Bisc was running them along in front and Danestroem was first under pressure before the turn. Chiquada moved up to challenge but also hit a wall early in the straight. Fare Well ran up behind the leader and Girl Guide was stuck behind a tiring horse. Griante, who tracked Chiquada, peeled out and she sprinted quickly. Shamal Wind also started her usual sharp sprint from the back. Griante took over from Brilliant Bisc inside the 200m as Girl Guide got clear to chase her. Shamal Wind kept coming and Fare Well had her chance on the rails and Danestroem found a second wind and battled on. Griante had the momentum up and was able to stave off Girl Guide and Shamal Wind for a solid win. Danestroem wasn’t bad but not quite up to the class. Coronation Shallan was okay late first-up.

Follow: stick with Girl Guide.

Specials from the meeting: Protectionist, More Radiant, Turquoise King, Sacred Falls.

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Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st Pierrette Winona Costin
2nd Sebring Sun Brenton Avdulla
3rd Flamboyant Lass Tim Clark

The two-year-olds were first to kick off the card and Sebring Son and Feast For Eyes were bad to begin and went back to the rear of the field, and Sebring Sun was also slow to begin. Pierrette was away well and led them up from Flamboyant Lass and Ideal Express out three wide. They turned with Pierrette in front and as they topped the rise it still led, with Sebring Sun having made up a lot of ground after its bad start. They went to the line fighting it out, with Pierrette holding on but Sebring Sun was clearly the run of the race, getting close at the end, even after racing greenly in the straight and running out.

Follow: Sebring Sun

Race 2

1st Order Of The Sun Thomas Huet
2nd Grand Marshall Glyn Schofield
3rd Best Case Brenton Avdulla

Foreign Prince was the best to begin and Best Case was hunted up to try and go with him. Grand Marshall went around Foreign Prince and then Order Of The Sun went around it to take up the front running position. Order Of The Sun took it up by a couple into the back from Grand Marshall with the same break back to Foreign Prince back in third, with Best Case ending up fourth back on the fence. Order Of The Sun set a decent pace throughout and had a break as the turned for home. When they topped the rise he was still in front and kicked away from Grand Marshall, and Best Case was struggling to make up ground out wide. Order Of The Sun stretched its lead in the run to the line and won by about three from Grand Marshall with Best Case working its way into third about the same margin away but never looking like a winning chance.

Follow: None to follow

Race 3

1st Slightly Sweet Kathy O’Hara
2nd Wine Tales Tim Clark
3rd Careless Winona Costin

Super Willie was best to begin and leg from Careless with Good Project caught out wide. Super Willie slowed up in front with Careless moving up outside of it, and that meant Good Project was caught three wide and trying to restrain back to find a position, but it failed to do so. Sunforce was getting a nice run in behind the leader. When they came around the turn and up the rise, Super Willie still had it, with Careless trying to get on terms, and Slightly Sweet was putting in a run. Inside the furlong marker Slightly Sweet tackled them and went home the better to win from Wine Tales that finished very well down the outside and Careless that kept battling on for third.

Follow: Wine Tales

Race 4

1st Pythagorean Blake Shinn
2nd Black Revolver Ty Angland
3rd Paederos Kathy O’Hara

Glacial Age and Landlocked were both slow to begin. Paederos led from Shout To The Top early on until Pythagorean moved up to sit outside the leader, which mean Pythagorean took a sit in third. Golden Aro was caught wide behind them. Around the turn Paederos and Pythagorean still had it and they put a couple of lengths on them as they came up the rise. Inside the 200m mark these two were still well in front and Pythagorean got the better of Paederos and it was left to Black Revolver to flash late, but it was too late and Pythagorean held on for the win. Landlocked also finished well.

Follow: Landlocked

Race 5

1st Aomen Blake Shinn
2nd Monton Taylor Marshall
3rd Charlie Boy Josh Parr

Riva De Lago was slow to begin, and Disciple also went back at the start. Aomen went to the front early with Charlie Boy moving up out wide. Up to the 800m mark Aomen still had it, with Charlie Boy happy to sit a length off it. Monton and Whittington were getting nice runs behind the speed. Up to the turn, Charlie Boy moved as bit closer to Aomen and the field packed up behind them. As they topped the rise Aomen kicked away from them. In behind them Whittington was trying to work into the clear but perhaps not going well enough. In the run to the line Monton did well to chase the leader, but realistically nothing was going to catch Aomen who did well to win by just under a length from Monton who ran a good race as he often does. Sysmo came to the line nicely and might be worth following.

Follow: Sysmo

Race 6

1st Hampton Court Josh Parr
2nd First Seal Jason Collett
3rd Sweynesse Blake Shinn

Panzer Division was ridden to lead and did so with Valentia working up outside of it as they went to the back straight, which mean Press Report settled third. First Seal was then in fourth and that meant Sweynesse was able to follow up behind it. The pace seemed to slow a bit mide race, so then when they came to the 600m mark Swaynesse was off around them and First Seal tried to go with it. As they came around the turn Panzer Division was still in front but Sweynesse looked to have run past First Seal. Up the rise those two looked to have the race between them, and were still it front at the 200m mark, but Hampton Court was starting to run on behind them. With 100m to go, Hampton Court hit the front and was coming home by far the better and ran away from the two fancied runners for an impressive win. First Seal managed to fight back and beat Sweynesse to the line and they gapped Press Report who finished fourth.

Follow: First Seal

Race 7

1st Neena Rock Ty Angland
2nd Estonian Princess Brenton Avdulla
3rd Danesiri Taylor Marshall

A pretty average start with Gypsy Diamond missing it and going back to last of all and then beind pushed to try and make up ground. Estonian Princess led pretty easily with Bouzy Rouge moving up into second. Chintz was caught out wide and then moved out outside of the leader, which gave Bouzy Rouge the sit along with Soapy Star. The favourite Neena Rock got a nice run in fifth. Up to the turn, Estonian Princess who had support in betting still had it from Chintz with Neena Rock striding up three wide and as it did so, got into a bumping duel with Bouzy Rouge. Up the rise, Estonian Princess had it but Neena Rock looked the obvious danger on the outside. Inside the furlong Neena Rock hit the front, but Estonian Princess wouldn’t be done with and fought all the way to the line, but Neena Rock was too strong and got a deserved win after running very well recently. These two put a gap in the rest of the field. Danesiri at big odds came from the back of the field between horses to finish third, which was a good effort.

Follow: Danesiri

Race 8

1st Boss Lane Taylor Marshall
2nd Telepathic Sam Clipperton
3rd Atmospherical Tim Clark

Timeless Prince was slow to begin and went back to the rear in the last. Boss Lane was quick to begin along with Atmospherical and these two ran to the front early. Atmospherical crossed, and then Boss Lane moved up outside of it at the half way mark, which mean Maximilian and Law got nice runs behind the speed. Around the turn and up the rise Atmospherical had it, but Boss Lane looked to be traveling the better and at the furlong mark he was asked for the effort and took the lead and then did enough in the run to the line to win by a length. Telepathic worked its way through on the inside and kept coming to the line for second and should be followed.

Follow: Telepathic

Specials from the meeting: Sebring Sun, Wine Tales, Telepathic

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Champion trainer Darren Weir saddled up his first Melbourne Group 1 winner last month when Trust In A Gust took out the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

Like so many other Weir runners he was a cheap buy at just $45,000, yet he took out the Melbourne trainer’s premiership last season.

He’s on the podcast this week to talk about his success so far and what he’s most looking forward to this Spring.

Punting Insights You’ll Find:

  • The benefits of beach work, country training and jumping
  • How he tries to improve horses transferred from other stables
  • A key member of his staff who’s proven to be an invaluable addition
  • Whether he still likes to pull off a plunge
  • A key runner to follow this Spring

Today’s Guest:
Darren Weir

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David Duffield: I’d like to welcome Melbourne’s leading trainer, Darren Weir, to the show. It’s a pretty exciting time of year and congratulations on your career so far, I’m sure there’s been a lot of cold mornings and hard work along the way. How satisfying was it to get your first Melbourne Group 1 winner recently with Trust in a Gust?

Darren Weir: Yeah, we’ve been trying for a while so it was a great thrill, great thrill for the stable and everyone involved. They’re a great bunch of owners and we ended up having a great night as well so it was good fun.

David Duffield: Was it a horse that you thought had that potential all along?

Darren Weir: To be honest, I’d have to say no. He was just a good honest horse as a younger horse and each preparation he just got better, and he’s made another step again this preparation. A good sound tough horse and just keeps improving, so hopefully he’s still got a bit more to come.

David Duffield: How do you run the operation having dual stables in Ballarat and Warrnambool?

Darren Weir: I’m based at Ballarat and that’s where most of the galloping work’s done so I spend most of my time there, but then get to Warrnambool as often as I can. We just have a policy that if the horses go to Warrnambool they don’t go to the track, they all go to the beach and the sand dunes and it’s very limited galloping down there. You gallop them at the sand dunes so it’s very easy to run down there and it works well.

David Duffield: With a team as big as yours, is your role a little bit like a football coach in that it’s actually more of a management role rather than hands on with the athletes, or in this case the horses?

Darren Weir: Obviously the bigger we got, yeah, it has been. I certainly enjoy the hands on side of it, don’t mind riding the horse and that sort of stuff, but as we’ve got bigger you don’t get as much time to do that sort of stuff and you’re just sort of more watching than anything.

David Duffield: We had Deane Lester on the show recently and he spoke very highly of your training operation and mentioned that he’s really enjoyed seeing you rise through the ranks, but one thing he said was that you had a real willingness to innovate. Is that something you’ve really focused on? Are you always trying to find a better way of doing things?

Darren Weir: Well, yeah. We were happy to try, obviously, different methods and that sort of stuff at the time to win and get them fit I guess, and now we’ve got not only that but we’re fortunate enough to get this new straight 1400m training track. That’s been the key, I think, to our success. We can gallop horses 365 days a year here and you don’t have to change the worksheet due to weather or anything like that, plus opening up the Warrnambool stable as well. Yeah, we’re willing to try something all the time.

David Duffield: What do horses get out of the beach work? What makes you such a believer in it? Obviously the results are there but why did you go that way?

Darren Weir: It’s a complete different training regime to training on the tracks so I guess when you get a new horse from a good stable, if they come to our Ballarat stable we can only do the same thing as what they were doing so that was the reason in opening the beach stable and that’s why I think it’s been so successful. It’s just a different training regime and it was fairly quite good for horses that have had soundness issues.

David Duffield: Is it generally older horses or do you think any horse can benefit from it?

Darren Weir: I think once the horse has had a run, I think any horse can benefit from it, but it’s very hard to train an unraced horse from the beach because, obviously, you need running rails and jumping out of barriers and all that sort of stuff to educate them but once they’ve had a run or two you can train on any sort of horse at the beach. It’s sort of more just to try and … You get the older horse just to try and get his will back to win again and get him sound and well and when you go to the sand it’s actually quite a good ride as well. It’s an enjoyable ride for yourself and the horse, so I think all that stuff is a part of why the beach works for us.

David Duffield: What about jumping? When would you school a horse over the hurdles?

Darren Weir: We school the horses all the time. We’ve actually got a little arena at our Ballarat stable with 12 hooks in it so all our horses jump at some stage throughout their preparation. Probably, to be honest, they jump over the logs at least once or twice a week, every horse in the stable.

David Duffield: Then it comes on to placing your horses and again it’s a big thing, it’s a job in itself. What’s your process in trying to place horses to their best advantage?

Darren Weir: When we get a new horse, unless it’s a good horse and it’s obviously going to target the good races, and you’ve got to plan out your preparation for the horses like for the spring and the autumn and those sort of horses. When you just get a maiden horse, we don’t plan anything out. Once we get them up to trial stage and we’re happy with the way that they trial and they’re ready to go to the races, then we pick out a race and then just from then on just follow the process of finding the next suitable race that suits the horse.

David Duffield: I mentioned the football coach comparison before, it sounds like you take it one start at a time.

Darren Weir: Yeah, we do. Unless they’re a horse that’s been set for a carnival and then you try to map out a program with them. When they’re just a young horse that hasn’t raced much yet, we just trial them, pick out a race and then depending on how they race is where you go their next start and what sort of race you go to.

David Duffield: As far as the race planning goes, do you have a general default preference as far as wanting to be up on the speed or getting cover midfield or is every horse and every race different?

Darren Weir: Well just in the last 12-16 months we’ve actually got help on that side of it because we thought we were sort of … We didn’t have our race preparations right and it’s very important, speed maps and following the right horses and where to go on the different tracks and we’ve employed a fellow called Peter Ellis and that’s what he does for us. He does speed maps and walks tracks and all that sort of stuff. He’s a big part in where we ride our horses in races and what part of the track we go to. There’s no doubt that since he’s been working for us it’s helped us an enormous amount. I reckon last year we probably won somewhere between 15-20 more races in Melbourne than what we would have if we hadn’t had him working for us. He’s been a great help.

David Duffield: You can’t say that, he’s going to want a pay raise.

Darren Weir: Nah he enjoys it as well so that’s a good … It’s a big team effort, I’m just a name behind a heap of good people working for me.

David Duffield: With the work that Peter does, obviously you’ve got a plan going into the race, but how flexible do you need to be depending on, say after he’s walked the track or even if you’re one of the later races in the day, if there’s a noticeable bias there, how do you then change your plans?

Darren Weir: Yeah. He’ll walk the tracks often two or three times throughout the meeting. He watches it carefully, and we can change things throughout the day. He obviously sends us what he thinks at the start of the day and the night before we get that and then we have a read of it. Then we can obviously change it if the pattern of racing is not suiting or is a bit of a bias to go somewhere else, we change that on the day. It works really well.

David Duffield: What about choosing a jockey? What’s the process there?

Darren Weir: We just have people … The main jockeys we use are the people that help us out at home. If you ride work and you help the stable out, you’ll get rewarded with race rides and that’s how I’ve been from day one, and it’s working really well. Now we have obviously Brad Rawiller, Dean Yendall, Michelle Payne, Damian Lane, Harry Coffey. They’re always riding work so they get the majority of their rides.

David Duffield: With a young progressive horse, is it your preference to have it work through its grades, or are you happy to throw it in the deep end and see how much talent they really have?

Darren Weir: I think it’s important to put them in the right races so that they can build confidence and if you’ve got one that’s just got a little bit better that you can raise the bar a bit higher and that can work as well but I’m a bit more in favour of just putting their horses in the right races and then hopefully, at the end of the preparation, end up in a good race.

David Duffield: What’s more important, do you think, in a horse? Is it talent or competitiveness, a real will to win?

Darren Weir: They got to be able to gallop obviously but attitude is a big part of it and soundness. I think if you’ve got a horse that can gallop a bit and he’s got a great attitude and he’s sound you can certainly bring him on a lot more than a horse that doesn’t want to help or that’s got a few soundness issues.

David Duffield: How and when would you use barrier trials as part of the preparation for a horse?

Darren Weir: We use trials quite a lot. We’re very big on trialling horses. We can trial up our hill track every day of the year so we use that quite a bit and we take horses to places, especially our Warrnambool horses, to places like Camperdown, Terang, Mortlake, those sort of places just to give them jump outs, and it works really well. We trial horses quite a lot.

David Duffield: In terms of horses that have raced wide, it’s always interesting when we’re doing the videos how much of a bonus you’d give that horse for how hard it worked. I’ve spoken to other trainers before who’ve said that the recovery for horses like that can be a little bit slower because of the hardness of the run, but then that can be a springboard for their next start. How do you find horses recovering and then performing next start after racing three or four wide?

Darren Weir: Since we’ve had Pete Ellis involved with us in race tactics, sometimes he’ll say sit wide in a race and it can often be the right move to obviously finishing closer to the placings. If the track’s racing fair and then your horse races wide, well often he has a tough enough run and you might want to wait a few more days before you target him again, but normally the jockey’s got a bit of common sense. If you can’t win, you look after the horse anyway if he’s had a torrid run.

David Duffield: Do you find next start that they’ll improve or they’ve actually taken a bit of damage from the run and then they can’t produce next time out?

Darren Weir: Often a horse after he has a tough run it can take probably an extra week to get over it so you just sort of monitor your horse and they tell you at home whether they’ve recovered quick or whether they need a little bit longer. It obviously would affect an odd one but not as much as what people think.

David Duffield: In terms of training skills, what’s required to be a successful trainer and whhy do you think you’re a better trainer now than you were a few years ago.

Darren Weir: Obviously opportunity is a big thing I think. There’s a lot of good horse trainers out there that don’t get the opportunity and we’ve worked pretty hard at it and now getting a few better opportunities of better bred horses, and also it was a building process in getting our facilities right at home. It’s been a 10 year thing, and we’ve got great facilities now. It would be as good as anywhere with the tracks and the stabling and all the facilities that we have. I think those things play a big part in it, but it’s pretty easy to train one that can gallop. It’s the ones that need a few things tinkered with, they’re the ones that test you out a bit.

David Duffield: Because you’ve got such a good record of improving horses from other stables, and I know you wouldn’t really talk yourself up too much or talk other trainers down, but why do you think that’s the case?

Darren Weir: Look, a lot of it’s facility wise, I got a horse called Akzar, the horse come to be in great order. He was brought into the Ballarat stables, had him there four or five days, he just wasn’t enjoying it. Thought I’m just going to get the same result here and then he went to the beach and he just thrived and loved it. It often can be as simple as that, just following where the horse is happy and hopefully they repay you for putting them in the right spot.

David Duffield: I’ll ask you about one in particular, a horse this week Proven Faith at Swan Hill, hadn’t beaten a runner home in three starts before it was transferred to you. I think it had been beaten 60 odd lengths in those three starts. How do you turn a horse like that around?

Darren Weir: Well, he’s just come to us a fit well horse and he just got put into our Ballarat system. He just got a lot of work. He was a very fit horse going into Swan Hill and he’d had two or three jump outs and his last jump out was quite good, he hit the line well so we were happy enough to take him to the races without huge expectations, and he might have found the right race. It was a pretty weak race but he was fit and well on the day so it was a good result for the owners.

David Duffield: What about on the betting side. You’ve pulled off the occasional plunge in the past, but do you still like a bet these days?

Darren Weir: I only have a bet if they’re over the odds. It’s too hard to be backing them all, but every now and then I have a bet, but I’m not that fussed about it to be honest.

David Duffield: Busy enough with everything else.

Darren Weir: Yeah.

David Duffield: Just before I let you go, Darren, can you give the listeners one horse that you’re really excited about for this spring?

Darren Weir: I think a horse like Signoff will win a good race at some stage through the spring. What race that is I’m not sure but he’d be certainly a good horse to follow later on in the spring once he gets up in distance.

David Duffield: Excellent. All right, appreciate your time today and best of luck for the rest of the spring.

Darren Weir: All right. Thanks a lot, David.

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The importance of positioning in punting

by David on October 7, 2014

By pro punter and Greyhound Guru analyst Greg Lethe

The greyhound members live page has raised a few requests on how to get the most from the service. The major focus with these requests is the spectrum of bookmakers to use. Due to the complexity of the answer the live page isn’t the ideal medium as it is designed for a rapid response. I will attempt to address the situation below:

With any situation in life the more choices a client has, the better the result. Therefore with any punting position the best result will be gained by using as many bookmakers as possible including Betfair. It is imperative to understand that each position is working to an individual cycle. The more bookmakers used the unit outlay will increase, the spikes and troughs will be steeper, the global cash position will be larger and the balancing effect will take longer.

To not accept the cycle is a flawed position. Each individual bet, race and meeting is nothing more than part of the cycle. The only result a punter should look at is the global position. The global position includes ALL bets with no start or end point.

The global position eliminates the effect of luck. Luck exists but has no effect on performance as over time it balances itself out. Luck only has an effect on snapshots. Any serious punter makes considered decisions and luck isn’t considered in those decisions. Why? Because they know it won’t effect them.

Another critical consideration is understanding yourself. Punting can be profitable and enjoyable but will only be so when stress levels are controlled. Every punter needs to find a position that suits their personality profile. I was once told by a very successful punter of the roller coaster analogy. Imagine a number of roller coasters. They all have a different degree of danger in their design. Now imagine the most dangerous and most popular. It maybe widely acclaimed but the waiting time exceeds every other ride and doesn’t suit clients with health issues. So choosing to use it will mean a longer wait to get any enjoyment and clients with health issues may not get any enjoyment. That doesn’t make it a bad ride just the wrong choice for the individual.

Let’s look at the greyhound service official results which use Tabcorp and Tatts as the price source. With a starting punting bank of $10,000 after eleven weeks the balance would be $14,916. The lowest balance has been $9572 and the highest $15,188. Which shows a 10.54% POT extends out to 49.16% return on initial investment. To fund and maintain accounts with the full spectrum including Betfair would raise the POT but significantly reduce the return on initial investment. Even if the starting punting bank remained at $10,000 increasing the spectrum does not see it simply divided across the spectrum because each account requires a minimum balance to capitalize on price opportunities.

In summary when considering what position to take every punter should assess:

1. Their individual punting personality. Understand how they cope with risk and what outlays they can be comfortable with.
2. Understand and accept the cycle, understand spikes and troughs WILL occur. Absolutely accept luck doesn’t play a part in the long term result.
3. Evaluate what cash position is required to fund accounts with the chosen number of bookmakers. In other words what is the cost of having a full spectrum of choice. It is imperative when comparing returns on investment it’s NOT profit on turnover alone. It is profit on all cash used to fund all accounts.
4. Learn to TRACK performance over reasonable time frames and ignore snapshots. No successful punter I have known counts their money whilst in battle. The famous saying “never count your money when you’re sitting at the table” is so true.
5. Find a position and stick to it. Don’t be concerned about missing a price or getting a price due to the spectrum, it’s simply irrelevant to you. Imagine if professional punters worried about not getting on with the corporates they’re banned with. It would do your head in.

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Weekend Racing reviews – October 4th

by darryn on October 5, 2014

Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Maribyrnong Trial (1000m)

1st Mihalic – Mark Zahra
2nd Iceflow – Damian Lane
3rd Lake Jackson – Michael Walker

Not a bad line for unraced two-year-olds. Our Red Dog speared across from the outside to lead one off the fence over Royalic and Drill Master sat handy. Only about a length or so between the first eight with Dagny, Apoloboom,Mali Rose and Mihalic all in a line. A couple of lengths back was Iceflow out wider with Lake Jackson on his inside and Results tracked them on the fence. The race changed quickly about 300m out when Maihalic sprinted fast and took over from Our Red Dog who stopped sharply. Dagny was racing very greenly and hampered Drill Master. Mali Rose couldn’t match Mihalic and it was left to Iceflow who started to run on very strongly out wide to chase. Lake Jackson made his run at the same time and Results had worked off the fence and was squeezing through too. Mihalic had too big a break and held on for a professional win. Iceflow was the eye-catcher into second. Lake Jackson just held third from Results, who looked quite a bit unlucky, and Dagny battled on. The rest were well beaten.

Follow: Iceflow and Results have the most upside. (Click to continue reading…)

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