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6/10/2000 edition

Form Reversals

Form reversals regularly catch punters off guard when horses salute at big odds. However very often the "form reversal" is not that at all. Sometimes it is simply a case of lack of information about the horse in question. Other times it is a failure to correctly interpret the information right in front of you.

For example on Saturday September 30, 2000 the 3YO Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes over 1600 metres at Moonee Valley was easily won by Sarson Trail at 16/1. The colt was third up from a spell after two very ordinary runs over 1200 metres and then 1400 metres in weaker class. Those runs were in Slow and Heavy going. At Moonee Valley Sarson Trail was on a Dead improving track, a considerably firmer surface than what it had raced on at its two previous runs back from a spell.

Sarson Trail
had four runs before a spell for two wins and a second. Its second was a Group 2 race at Morphettville behind Happy Morning which was flying at the time. Its wins were very convincing: over four lengths at Morphettville and more than two lengths carrying 58kg. at Caulfield in Saturday class early March.

Importantly, all its runs before a spell were on Good rated tracks. The indications were that the colt did not like badly rain affected tracks. With that interpretation of the form you would ignore its two runs back from a spell and assess its chances at Moonee Valley based upon its ability on better going. Also, being third up you would know that the horse's fitness should still be on the improve.

Sarson Trails's
win is now no longer a "form reversal". At the odds, in a tough race, it was certainly worth a small wager.

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