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10/10/2009 edition

Betting on Horses Ridden
Apprentice Jockeys

Horse racing handicapping:
Is a horse better handicapped with an apprentice jockey who has a claim compared to having a senior jockey without a claim?

There is a good reason why apprentice jockeys are able to claim up to three kilos. They are usually not as competent as experienced senior jockeys. With the occasional really outstanding apprentice, of course anything they can claim is a luxury. But apprentice jockeys are still learning their trade, just like apprentices everywhere else. The difference is you don't stand to lose a lot of money if say the apprentice butcher makes poor steak cuts. We all know apprentices make mistakes and should learn from their mistakes. Most apprentice jockeys need the claim to help them compete on more equal terms with good experienced jockeys.

It follows then that it is a mistake when doing form to assume that a horse "comes in well at the weights" just because it has a three kilos claiming youngster aboard. Nothing beats experience. Here's an example:

Madame Plume appeared to come in very well on the weights at 55 kilos in a Mares Open at Caulfield after allowing for Dale Smith's three kilos claim. But she would probably have done better carrying the full 58 kilos with a top senior hoop aboard.

Dale Smith led on Madame Plume and set too slow a pace for too long. The first things experienced jockeys tell you about leading is to go just fast enough so that no one is prepared to take you on. That was not the case with Dale Smith. Well before the home turn some of the experienced jockeys, fed up with the slow pace, simultaneously made a move and the sprint home was on. Dale Smith was probably surprised.

Top jockeys like Patrick Payne and John Marshall were not going to lose the race by letting Dale Smith continue to control it at a very slow tempo. Before he knew it, Dale Smith found himself no longer leading, but on the rails behind the leading horses, surrounded by horseflesh and unable to get a run the entire straight.

The race was a very fast sprint home. The last 600 of the 1600 metres race was run in 33.62 seconds. That was 1.28 seconds faster or approximately eight lengths faster than the last 600 in the Group 1 handicap won by Testa Rossa over a shorter distance, 1400 metres. That is indicative of how slow a pace had been set.

Madame Plume
the $3.80 favourite was the best of good things beaten. Dale Smith will learn from the race if he is going to make a top career for himself. As for the punters on Madame Plume, they can just lament about their bad luck and tear up their tickets. They were on the best horse in the race. It was just unfortunate that on that day the inexperienced jockey put in a very average ride. But that is after all why they have three kilos claims.

Based on an article in Punt to Win, September 29, 2000

This edition of Punt to Win:
Wagering on horses ridden by apprentice jockeys
The Professional Punter's horse racing news
The Consistent Winners horse racing betting system
Horse racing betting facts, tips & odds
Horse Watch betting system - future winners
Free horse racing betting package membership!
Free sports betting packages
Win betting - horse racing favourites: 3/10/2009
Win betting - horse racing favourites: 26/9/2009 & 19/9/2009
Get those betting odds
Future winners - unlucky horses
Betting favourites in small fields: 3/10/2009
Betting favourites in small fields: 26/9/2009
Betting favourites in small fields: 19/9/2009
Best odds for well bet winners - bookmaker or tote?
Betting top weights - horses carrying a weight handicap of 59kg.
Punt to Win 19/9/2009
Punt to Win index

2008 Melbourne Cup Day
Best Bookmaker Win Odds
Best Tote Odds


Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $10 bet
Juggle The Books 26.00 37.70 $117
Viewed 37.10 46.50 $94
Origami Miss 13.80 20.30 $65
Hips Don't Lie 12.20 17.00 $48
Danzylum 14.20 17.00 $28


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