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30/4/2005 edition

Identifying False Favourites

Many backmarkers are risky bets

Watch out for horses at short odds that always settle near the rear of the field. Particularly if they are coming back in distance without a decent freshen up. The following racing story has happened thousands of times - with punters regularly doing their money..

"Expelled was sent out a short priced $2.80 favourite in a Fillies and Mares Class 6 over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm. Expelled was a very poor bet at the odds and clearly a false favourite. Consider these points:

1. Expelled is a backmarker. As a general rule, taking $2.80 about backmarkers is asking for trouble. In a field of 11 it looked very skinny odds.

2. Expelled also had barrier 10, with the possibility of not only being back in the field, but trapped wide.

3. Following two runs in at 1200 metres and 1350 metres, Expelled was dropping back to 1200 metres. Backing a horse at short odds dropping back in distance like that is generally asking for trouble.

4. Expelled had won dropping back in distance before. On November 10 last year she won over 1350 metres and then won over 1200 metres at her next start, on December 8. That was a break of four weeks, a genuine freshen up.

5. On June 29 this year Expelled finished second over 1350 metres, hitting the line hard after settling well back in the field. The drop back in distance on Saturday, July 13, was only two weeks after that run. That is difficult enough for an on pace/leader to manage. For a backmarker - just about forget it.

As the race panned out, Expelled settled well back, last in the field, and was about 10 lengths off the pace at the home turn. The filly made up some ground in the straight, but still finished a well beaten eighth.
Based on Punt to Win, 19th. July, 2002.

Now that's not the sort of run you want too often when taking odds of just $2.80.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Identifying false favourites
Converting strike rates to betting odds
Get those betting odds
Betting favourites in small fields
Betting tips from the track: Randwick, Rosehill and Flemington
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 16/4/2005
Punt to Win index

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