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22/3/2002 edition

Betting Tips and Strategies

59.5kg. in the Melbourne Cup?

Would you confidently back a horse handicapped with 59.5kg. in the Melbourne Cup? The answer is probably, "No."

So why was Soldier Blue sent around at Flemington racetrack last Saturday in the 3200 metres Listed Duke of Norfolk Stakes as $3.20 favourite?

Of course, the seven year old gelding had the class, having won the Group 2 New Zealand Cup over 3200 metres back in November last year. But then he only carried 54kg., two kilos above the minimum weight.

The 59.5kg. he carried last Saturday, three kilos above the next highest handicapped horse and 8.5kg. above the minimum weight ensured that he was brought back to the level of the other runners. If that's the case, did the horse really have the class anymore?

Soldier Blue looked the winner at the 400 as he started to make his run. However he was anchored by his weight and could not catch Cavallo Bruno who only carried 54kg. and paid $17.90 on the tote.

Considering the weights and distance of the race, it was long odds on that there'd be at least one horse that would upset Soldier Blue and his army of betting supporters.

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