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19/3/2004 edition

Night Horse Racing

Should you bet on it?

In an effort to increase their profits, which of course means bettors losing more money, an increased number of night races are being held this year, particularly at Moonee Valley.

Last Saturday night at Canterbury boom million dollar 3YO colt Keep The Faith was sent out as $2.00 favourite in the 3YO Group 1 $400,000 Canterbury Guineas. Keep The Faith had won his last three starts by a combined total of over 15 lengths.

But on Saturday night Keep The Faith finished fourth, 6.9 lengths away from the winner, the John Hawkes' trained Niello. So what happened?

Jockey Patrick Payne reported that the colt baulked at the lights and also overraced. As Patrick Payne reported, the colt may have been "overawed by the big occasion". Now Keep The Faith did not know that he was racing in a $400,000 race. Let's just keep things simple. The colt was overawed by the night racing environment.

If you haven't attended a night racing meeting, once you do you will realise why betting on night racing is a risky affair and probably should be avoided. The racing environment with the glaring lights is completely different to the horses' normal racing environment. Betting on horses is tough enough without the additional betting risk factor of the night racing environment. Just ask the punters who took even money about Keep The Faith. How pleased do you think they would be to know that they threw their money away because the colt would not handle the lights?

This edition of Punt to Win:
Are betting exchanges doomed in Australia?
Night horse racing - should you bet on it?
Betting favourites in small fields
Money talks - Canterbury, Flemington betting tips from the track
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 12/3/2004
Punt to Win index

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