Punt to Win
2YO Golden Slipper
Two year olds - beware again
Did you see the 2YO John Hawkes' trained filly, Montmelo, firm and start as a very short priced $2.60 favourite last Saturday at Rosehill in the 2YO Fillies Group 2 Magic Knight Stakes?
She was sent out at those odds on the strength of one race start - a nice win 11 days earlier at Warwick Farm in a midweek 2YO Class 3 race! But last Saturday Montmelo did not win. She finished fourth.
Taking short odds about lightly raced two year olds, or unraced two year olds is fraught with danger.
Unraced two year olds at shortish odds are guaranteed long term losing betting propositions. Their successful barrier trial form often proves to be useless as a meaningful betting guide - there is a lot of difference between a barrier trial with no set weights and little pressure, compared to a real race.
If there is no barrier trial form then anyone backing the horse is completely in the dark. Invariably there are also plenty of other runners in the field without any disclosed form.
The usual racing media advice is to follow the betting. Why follow losing punters with big pockets and even bigger holes in their pockets who are placing substantial bets on unraced horses at short odds without any knowledge of many of the other horses in the field?
We wrote the following in Punt to Win a few years ago. It is just as relevant today.
In the same race the John Hawkes' trained Huit who had won a barrier trial 18 days earlier was sent out at the short odds of $4.20. He finished third, but at least was only beaten by a length.
There was also very solid money in the betting ring for the Gai Waterhouse trained Achievable who firmed from $5.00 to $4.00 and finished fourth, while Jack Denham's Vital Agreement met with support at $5.00 and was beaten by six lengths.
The winner? Magic Marvo, trained by Rod Craig at Warwick Farm. Magic Marvo eased from $31.00 to $71.00 in the betting ring. At his only start 13 days earlier he was comfortably beaten in a 2YO Maiden at Wyong starting at $26.00.
Magic Marvo's tote odds ranged from $51.90 to $28.50. A massive difference and well under the betting ring odds. As is usually the case, in smallish fields longshots pay better with bookmakers. Tote punters often indiscriminately back tote longshots in small fields because they "look like good odds" or for a "bit of fun" and it doesn't take much money for the tote to massacre the price of longshots.
There was a similar scenario at Victoria Park in their restricted, 13 horse 2YO race over 1000 metres. Only three horses had race experience.
Kelmark, not seen publicly in barrier trials, trained by Stuart Gower and ridden by Shayne Cahill was heavily supported on track from $7.50 into $4.20. This colt never gave a yelp and finished eighth of 13, well down the track.
The $4.00 favourite, who also firmed in the betting, was Gucci Guru, trained by Leon Macdonald and ridden by leading South Australian hoop Jason Holder. He finished seventh.
The winner Tia Jane who paid $23.20 had the benefit of two races. She was only beaten by three lengths in a similar standard race at her last start. The only other horses with race experience, Dark Horizon and Miss Vodka finished second and third respectively. The trifecta paid up to $1867."
This edition of Punt to Win:
2005 Melbourne Cup Carnival Winners
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