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Punt to Win
Horse racing handicapping:
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. 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.
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