Punt to Win
Worst Bet of the Year
The mug punter strikes!
We already have a surefire candidate for the worst bet of 2006. This one will take some beating.
At the Sandown Lakeside track the smart 5YO gelding Spark Of Life resumed from a spell of four months in the 1000 metres Group 3 Weight for Age Rubiton Stakes.
Spark Of Life had an excellent record of 10 wins, two seconds and four thirds from his eighteen starts. At his last start before a spell he led throughout to win the Group 1 Weight for Age Manikato Stakes over 1200 metres on the tight turning Moonee Valley track.
Punters thought Spark Of Life was such a certainty first up at Sandown they backed him in from $1.60 to start at the crazy, crazy odds of $1.40 in the small field of six.
Punters obviously ignored the fact that Spark Of Life had started three times over 1000 metres and only placed once. His only two unplaced runs from 18 career starts were at 1000 metres. "Don't worry about that. He's a certainty. I'll take the $1.40."
Punters obviously ignored the fact that Spark Of Life at his previous two first up runs had failed to win.
1. On February 5, 2005, Spark Of Life was backed in heavily to start at $4.00 in the Group 1 Weight for Age Lightning Stakes at Flemington and finished fourth. That race was also over 1000 metres. That race was also on a Slow rated track, and Spark Of Life has an outstanding record on rain affected tracks.
2. On July 30, 2005, Spark Of Life was backed heavily to start at $1.80 in the Group 3 Weight for Age Missile Stakes at Rosehill over 1100 metres and finished third.
"Don't worry about that. He's a certainty. I'll take the $1.40."
Punters obviously ignored the fact that Spark Of Life had never raced at Sandown which, like Moonee Valley, is very much a specialists' track. In addition, most of the other runners in the race had good Sandown track form.
"Don't worry about that. Of course Spark Of Life will handle the track. He's a certainty. I'll take the $1.40."
Spark Of Life got on his wrong foot and did not handle the track. Spark Of Life finished fifth.
With starting price odds about the other runners of $5.50, $8.50, $8.00, $16.00 and $16.00 every other runner could have been backed in the race and a nice profit made. Come to think of it, isn't that very much like laying a horse to lose on a betting exchange?
If someone "knows" a short priced favourite is definitely going to lose, you don't need a betting exchange to profit from that "inside knowledge". Those with the "inside knowledge" can arrange for bets to be placed on the other runners via a combination of bookmaker and tote bets. The proponents against betting exchanges conveniently forgot to mention that in their public spin.
This edition of Punt to Win:
2005 Melbourne Cup Carnival Winners
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