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9/2/2001 edition

Long Shot Winners

Betting to win - which races?

Races held over distances of 1000 metres and over 2000 metres regularly produce upsets. It is important to be aware of this before you punt in these races. They need to be selected with great care.

The 1000 metres dashes are regularly filled with horses resuming from a spell primed for the race. With two and three year olds there are often so many query form factors that decent analysis of the race is next to impossible. The bigger the field, the bigger the lottery. When you throw in huge track queries like the terribly biased Flemington racetrack you are often best not even wasting your time looking at the race.

The middle distance and distance races tend to have many inconsistent gallopers as well as horses that are looking for more distance in their preparation after earlier runs at shorter distances and are gradually racing into form. That alone makes form assessment difficult. What key runs will you use for some of the horses when assessing their chances?

Barriers are also very important. An on pace horse with a wide barrier is at a terrible disadvantage. Some racing publications tell you that because of the distance of the race barriers are not important. That is absolute rubbish. There is nothing worse than being trapped three or four wide for 2000 metres.

A top jockey can often set the pace of the race and lead all the way on a bolter. Then again that same top jockey can be on an inconsistent animal that looks the best of a very ordinary field and that horse puts in a performance many lengths inferior to recent runs.

Last Saturday at Randwick, Moonee Valley and Morphettville there were three races over at least 2000 metres. There were two huge upsets.

At Randwick the 2000 metres plodders' race had only seven runners. In a blanket finish it was won by Northern Rover who paid $36.50. The five year old gelding had three wins to his credit - from 49 starts. The track was Dead. He had never won on Dead or worse going in 20 starts. Enough said. The short priced, heavily backed $2.50 favourite The Doctor's Son finished second. He now has five wins and six placings from 25 starts, hardly what you would call an overly reliable conveyance. Quite a few punters were calling for The Doctor after the race.

The race at Morphettville over 2600 metres was a very mediocre affair. Professionals we know very, very rarely bet in these low standard Adelaide affairs. They throw up different winners every race.

Sure enough the race was won by a six year old gelding, Starpro. At his previous start over 2000 metres he was beaten by 10 lengths and started at $101. He had raced 30 times for three placings and one win.

The $1.80 favourite in the race was The Rampager. He had won his previous start convincingly by over two lengths. Punters fooled themselves into thinking he'd do it again. After all, he'd had eight runs this time in for only one win and a career record of six placings and four wins from 31 starts. That made him an odds on favourite.

The three 1000 metres races run on Saturday also provided a huge upset. Pimpala Prince won at Randwick and paid $34.40. The horse was also a tip from the trainer.

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