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5/9/2003 edition

Horses For Courses

Horse racing track specialists

Here's what racecaller Alan Thomas had to say about this topic as the horses were entering the barriers for race six at Doomben last Saturday with Port Call the $3.10 tote favourite:

"Interesting when you have a look at horses' race records and you say well why hasn't Port Call won a race at Doomben. He's won 10 races. His track record - he's had eight goes here for a second and a third.

"But sometimes it's just circumstance. It's like saying well, why did Chief De Beers win 20 races at Doomben and never win a race at Eagle Farm. He ran just behind them in a Stradroke; he ran second in a Sires' Produce.

"It's just sometimes the way that things pan out. It's not that it's anything to do with the track. It's just the way things pan out. So we'll see if Port Call can get home here."

There are significant differences between race tracks. Maybe Alan Thomas should have pointed out the differences between the tight turning Doomben track and the much more spacious Eagle Farm track rather than saying "It's just the way things pan out."

As a punter if you consistently ignore a horse's inferior performances at a particular track with the excuse "It's just the way things pan out," then you'll probably lose money.

The way the horse races and its statistics need to be properly examined. Is the horse a backmarker? Is it a big, striding horse? Does it usually lead or race on the speed?

1. A horse with far superior wet track form may have a poor record at a particular track because most of its races at that track have been on Good rated tracks.

2. A horse may appear to have a poor record at a particular track, but has had bad luck in many of its races at that track or just missed out on places in strong company. Put it in a weaker race and despite 0/10 it wins.

3. It is essential to know the differences between tracks. Our "Racetrack statistics" link in the menu does this for the main metropolitan tracks.

Port Call finished a reasonably close fifth, beaten by 1.6 lengths. Here's what Alan Thomas then said:

"And Port Call has missed the place. Wrong track for him isn't it? When he gets to Eagle Farm, Port Call, he rolls along. Once he got in third on the fence and he had to chase he's not the same horse. He's not a chaser. He's a horse that gets to the front, rolls and then he fights. I'll be very surprised if they bring him back here. This is not his track. If he goes to Eagle Farm his next run look out he doesn't blow them away."

As Alan Thomas knew Port Call's racing style and poor record at the track, maybe those points could have been made before the race, not after. In which case the comments before the race implying that Port Call's poor record at Doomben was "just the way that things pan out," were not needed.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Horses for courses
Spring Carnival horses - good runs, good betting odds
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Money talks - Rosehill, Caulfield betting tips from the track
Money talks - Doomben betting tips from the track
Money talks - Morphettville betting tips from the track
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 29/8/2003
Punt to Win index

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