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20/2/2004 edition

Horse Racing Strategies
and
Betting Tips

Worst horse racing bet of the century

What odds would you expect a horse to start in a 2YO Open at Doomben on a Saturday with the following form at its only two races?

September 27, 2003 - 13th of 16, beaten by 16.5 lengths in a 2YO Open at Toowoomba.
January 31, 2004 - last of 11, beaten by 21.7 lengths in a 2YO Open at Eagle Farm.

I think it should be pretty obvious. It's got no chance.

But Star Of The Galaxy had that shocking form and started at the crazy odds of $4.40 second favourite last Saturday, February 14, at Doomben. Here is what race caller Alan Thomas had to say about Star Of The Galaxy after the race:

"You see, it doesn't add up, does it. The day the bookmakers want to bet you $4.00 or $4.60 about a horse that everyone's going to tell you's going to win by six to ten. Ahh...nah. It just doesn't add up. Now Star Of The Galaxy, if the bookmakers put him up at $1.80 and everyone tells you he'll win by six or ten, you bet your life he does.

But when the bookies want to bet you $4.60 about a horse that's supposed to win somewhere by six to ten lengths they don't run a drum. He hasn't run a place. Bookies win again. Just have a look at the mercs in the car park."

It added up to us. If you paid attention to race form you had to dismiss Star Of The Galaxy as having virtually no hope of winning.

Star Of The Galaxy had some excellent winning trial form. But the colt had already shown that its winning trial form was not reproduced in the real races. How could you ignore both of Star Of The Galaxy's race results? If you did, then it's just as bad as trying to back winners on hunches, whispers and voodoo.

We wonder whether the trainer and owners dismissed Star Of The Galaxy's two previous race results? We wonder whether they lost money backing the colt?

The bookies got it more than right. Their starting price odds of $4.40 were not generous. In our opinion punters who took $4.40 about a horse with Star Of Galaxy's form were basically throwing their money away. We thought Alan Thomas could have referred to the colt's previous poor raceform in his summary after the race.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Worst horse racing bet of the century
Watch those jockey/horse combinations
Betting favourites in small fields
Money talks - Randwick Inner, Flemington betting tips from the track
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 13/2/2004
Punt to Win index


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Silver Canon 30.90 39.90 $900
Sure Bet 15.50 23.90 $840
Starbucks 11.80 20.10 $830


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