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1/11/2002 edition

Northerly's Cox Plate

What an outstanding win by Northerly in the Weight for Age championship of Australasia, the $3,000,000 W S Cox Plate, held at Moonee Valley last Saturday.

It was the perfect Moonee Valley ride by Patrick Payne, preferred by trainer Fred Kersley to Damien Oliver. Payne settled Northerly on the speed, never letting the leader, champion mare Sunline, who was having her last race, get a significant break.

Northerly really served it up to Sunline between the 1000 and 600 when Northerly ran the fastest sectional of the race, 23.01 seconds. That's the equivalent of 1000 metres in 57.52 seconds. To put it into perspective outstanding sprinting mare Spinning Hill won the Group 2 Weight for Age A J Moir Stakes run over 1000 metres earlier in the day in the time of 57.74 seconds.

By the home turn Northerly was closing in on Sunline and looked to have the race won. Northerly easily took the lead in the straight and won the race by a length. That was the third time Northerly met Sunline, and the third victory over Sunline.

In 10 starts beyond 1600 metres Northerly has now won eight times.

Defier, a 5YO gelding, showed yet again that he is a Group 1 Weight for Age horse of the highest order, making up late ground to finish second.

Grandera, who finished a close third, was the real wildcard in the race. Grandera was also possibly the hard-luck story as Grandera's jockey Frankie Dettori believed that he was beaten by the track, not the other horses. Dettori said he rode the best horse in the race but Grandera was not used to a tight turning track with six bends and changed its lead leg stride a number of times over the last 400 metres on the tight turning Moonee Valley circuit.

Be that as it may, it is one thing to get level with Northerly, but quite another thing to pass him.

It was very difficult, if not impossible, to assess Grandera's chances in the Cox Plate with any degree of accuracy. That turned the Cox Plate into a poor betting race for punters. Why weren't punters told that by the racing media? Instead media tipsters told punters how Grandera made the race more interesting and added to the international status of the event.

On the morning of the race on Sport 927, when talking about the Cox Plate, Keith Hillier said that "These are great horses" and concluded that "Now is your chance to get great value on whatever you bet."

Please explain how that is possible in a tote market of 120%? We'll say it's mathematically impossible. That you are incorrect. However it may have been possible that punters could get poor value on any horse they backed in the race on the tote.

Because a horse is a quality galloper and you can get a price in a race that you wouldn't normally get about it, say $5.00 or even more, does not mean that you are then automatically getting "value"?

Whether or not you get "value" is purely in relation to the horse's winning chances in the race. It has absolutely nothing to do with the odds available about the horse in previous races when it might have been clearly the standout horse in those races.

Putting a lot of class horses together in the one race does not mean they suddenly all become value bets. That is just simplistic and from an intelligent betting point of view false.

Keith Hillier appeared to be thrown off guard when one of his panel, thankfully and sensibly pointed out that Sunline would not be value, but big unders on the tote because of the sentiment factor, as it was her last race. Keith Hillier then changed tack, but was still probably incorrect when he said you'd then "get value" about whatever horse you wanted to back to beat Sunline.
Continued next page

This edition of Punt to Win:
Northerly wins the Cox Plate
Moonee Valley betting tips
Watch these horses from Moonee Valley
Betting tips - risk versus reward
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Money talks - Rosehill plunge horses
Money talks - Moonee Valley plunge horses
Money talks - Doomben plunge horses
Money talks - Morphettville plunge horses
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 25/10/2002
Punt to Win index

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