Punt to Win
Melbourne Cup Carnival
Horses dropping back in distance
When horses drop back sharply in distance without a good freshen up they are generally very risky bets. It pays to be aware that at this time of the year leading into big races such as the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup, horses will sometimes be dropped back significantly in distance to be given a freshen up for a race a few weeks later with more prize money and at a more suitable distance.
Let's have a look at an example from a few years ago. At a Moonee Valley night meeting Piavonic was dropped back in distance from her fine second to Sunline over 1400 metres at Caulfield 19 days earlier to only 1000 metres.
Piavonic had an outstanding record at the specialist Moonee Valley track - four wins and four placings from only nine starts. She also had a top record at the distance, 1000 metres - five wins and three placings from 12 starts.
But Piavonic was a six year old mare. She also got back in her races. The Moonee Valley rail was out five metres. Combine that with the short straight and good leaders and on pace runners are usually favoured.
It was expecting too much of the six year old mare after only 19 days to drop back from 1400 metres to a 1000 metres sprint against a field of quality sprinters set for the race. Five of the 11 runners were also first up from a spell!
The "wealthy mug money" came for Piavonic and she was backed in on track from $6.00 to $4.20. She never got into the race, and was not helped by being inconvenienced shortly after the start. Considering the circumstances it was a top run by Piavonic to finish seventh, beaten a little over two lengths. But not what her backers wanted.
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