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19/11/2004 edition

Beware Unraced Horses

When a horse having its first race start is in a field it makes betting very tricky.

1. It is very difficult to assess what winning chances that horse has. (We have regularly shown on this site that long term, following the money with these horses is useless.)

2. It makes knowing what is a value price for the horses with race form that much more difficult.

Last Saturday at Cheltenham the first race was a 3YO Open over 1300 metres. There were only four horses in the field. Barossa Broadway started as $2.00 favourite. Luskin's Proud was also short at $2.20. Both these horses were beaten by over three lengths. The winner was the unraced John Hawkes' trained gelding, Dinmont.

Dinmont started at $10.00. You couldn't back him on his trial form either. At his last public trial at Cranbourne on August 27 he finished ninth. But if you know your trainers it was just possible you might have had a small bet on him. The favourites were clearly no value.

1. Hawkes' trained horses generally run well first up.

2. Trial form is irrelevant.

3. Support in the betting ring also means nothing. Many Hawkes' trained horses will ease significantly and then romp in.

Just as horses are creatures of habit, so are most trainers. If you spend many hours thoroughly following and recording what trainers are doing with individual horses you will finally see clear, regular patterns emerge. This will help you immensely with your betting. You will be able to dismiss horses which are well supported favourites. You will also find horses at generous odds that have excellent winning chances.
Based on Punt to Win, 4th. January, 2002

Well supported first starters

At Cheltenham there was a restricted race for two year old colts and geldings over 1000 metres. Eight of the nine runners were all first starters.

Sure enough the Tony McEvoy, trainer, and Simon Price, jockey, combination produced another runner way under the odds. On The Steel was sent out at $2.10 and finished a well beaten seventh. If you want to back plenty of horses under the odds in Adelaide just stick with the McEvoy - Price combination.

The winner, Crystallion, ridden by Travis Creek, paid $15.40 on SuperTab. He was the only runner with race experience and was only beaten by four lengths at his first start two weeks earlier.

At Caulfield in an eight horse 2YO Open there were four unraced horses. The unraced Hairy McLairy, trained by Michael Moroney, was the $3.00 favourite. The colt never looked like winning and finished third.

The winner, Chowpie, trained by Alan Bailey, was also a first starter. Ridden by underrated jockey Andrew Findlay, Chowpie paid $10.00. So much for following the money.
Based on Punt to Win, 4th. January, 2002

This edition of Punt to Win:
Form analysis and betting strategies - unraced horses
Get those betting odds
Why your odds are nearly as important as the horse you bet
Betting favourites in small fields
Betting tips from the track - Rosehill and Sandown
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 12/11/2004
Punt to Win index

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