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8/12/2000 edition

Win on Longshots

How often do punters immediately go for their form guides when a horse wins at incredibly juicy odds to look for clues? Sometimes the answer is found, more often it remains a mystery. Punters also tend to only concentrate on the main horses in the betting market, dismissing the others - "They can't win". 

I will look at just six of the many horses which have won recently at $11.00 or better. You will see from what emerges that there was every reason to expect the horses to run bold races. They should all have been at much shorter odds. If punters spend the time to look at horses like these in a positive light, asking "What are they capable of doing?" then they may well back big winners in the future instead of putting their money on the short priced tote favourites or those flashing "tote firmers".

Eagle Farm, October 21
Open handicap. 1400 metres.
Glint Of Heart
won at $58.90. The six year old had 11 wins from 45 starts, a handy strike rate. He also handled the track with one win and two placings from six starts and the distance with a win and placing from four starts. He was also race fit and in form, having run a close third behind Huge Year and Anthems 10 days earlier, his fourth run in from a two months break. In the 10 horse field he was certainly not hopeless. 

Doomben, October 28
Fillies and Mares Class 6 handicap. 1200 metres.
won first up from a spell at $23.60. She had a good strike rate with three wins and three placings from 11 starts. Her only start at Doomben was a second. She also had one win from two first up runs. In her last preparation she was unlucky not to win a Fillies and Mares Open, but did win a quality three year old event, the Sunshine Coast Guineas over 1600 metres. She had a leading trainer in Alan Bailey who produces first up winners and top jockey Glen Colless was aboard. Down in class in a restricted mares race Sunset was way over the odds.

Moonee Valley, October 28
Open handicap. 1200 metres. 

The Shiner won at $17.40.  On August 19 after a four weeks freshen up he was beaten by a bob of the head at Moonee Valley starting at $16.00. On September 30 over a less suitable distance, 1000 metres at Moonee Valley, he was only beaten by a couple of lengths after being checked at the start. He was then freshened up for his October 28 run. The field was no stronger and he was racing at his favourite distance. He had an excellent winning strike rate of nine wins from 38 starts, however importantly he had seven wins and seven placings from 21 starts at 1200 metres. Also importantly he liked Moonee Valley with three wins and five placings from 12 starts at the track. For a horse who races right on the speed he had drawn well with barrier three. He also had his regular jockey in Kerrin McEvoy. When you consider all this he does not appear so difficult to find.

Flemington, November 4
3YO Group 1. Victoria Derby. 2500 metres.
Hit The Roof
who won at $15.30 was way over the odds. He had two wins from two starts at the track. At his previous start on October 21 in the Group 2 Norman Robinson Stakes at Caulfield over 2000 metres he finished very strongly, missing out by a head. He also had an outstanding jockey in Glenn Boss and for an on pace horse drew perfectly with barrier two. 

Morphettville, November 4
4YO and upwards handicap. Restricted to no metropolitan wins. 1600 metres.
Star Of Spies,
a lightly raced seven year old with only 16 starts won this very weak race at $21.80. Why was he at those odds? In March last year he started at only $8.00 and stormed home to be just beaten in a photo finish at Cheltenham over 1450 metres in a better class event, a handicap restricted to one metropolitan win. There was nothing wrong with his form since that race either. He was certainly fit with five runs in from a spell and at his previous start had only been beaten a couple of lengths by a handy horse in Marron Cheval who also ran in this race and finished second starting at $3.50. Star Of Spies had placed at his only start at Morphettville and also had a win and a placing from three starts at the distance.   

Rosehill, December 2
Welter handicap. 2000 metres.
Zanetta won this race at $25.50. Talk about markets getting it completely wrong. We top rated Zanetta. This five year old mare trained by Gai Waterhouse had top form on rain affected tracks with four wins and three placings from 11 starts. Rosehill was rated Slow and upgraded to Dead halfway through the meeting. She also had one win from one start at the distance. That was a welter at the same track, Rosehill, on November 27 last year on a Good rated surface, not her favourite conditions. She also won the Group 3 Summer Cup at Randwick on December 26 last year defeating classy performer Pasta Express.

So how could she be $25.50?
Maybe because she was second up. But her second up record was fine - a win and two placings from three starts! There was nothing special about her first up run over 1400 metres in a strong $61,000 Open during the Hawkesbury Cup Carnival on November 22 but she has never performed first up and she was now dropping down in class. 

Was there concern about her jumping from 1400 metres to 2000 metres second up? If you follow trainers carefully you would have no concerns about Gai Waterhouse running Zanetta over the 2000 metres second up. 

Was there a worry about her coming up again? For on the surface, during the autumn, after a two and a half months break she ran four ordinary races, never finishing closer than seventh. These included  being beaten by four lengths in a $100,000 Mares quality over 1900 metres at Canterbury, after being heavily  supported  in the betting ring from $3.80 to $3.00. But she was laboured with 58 kilos. She either had very poor barriers or a lot of weight in those races. 

Well. There you have it. For punters doing their own form the clues were all there.
All you had to do was unravel them. 

Next: Punt to Win 1/12/2000

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