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13/3/2010 edition

Winning Form is Good Form

Should you ignore that very bad run?

One punting lesson on the horses I learned very quickly was that when a horse has put in a really bad run, with no excuses, just pretending it didn't happen and taking short odds about the horse at its next start is fraught with danger. Here's an example of a bad run by a top horse that was ignored. It's good to look back at this example, because many bad runs since then have also been ignored by punters, with similar results.

On Derby Day 2000, at Flemington racetrack, Sky Heights was sent out as the $3.50 favourite in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes run over 2000 metres. One week earlier in the W.S.Cox Plate at Moonee Valley racetrack over 2040 metres Sky Heights started second favourite at $5.00 and finished a dismal 26 lengths behind champion mare Sunline. Don't ever forget the pre-race publicity. That was the race where Sky Heights was really going to apply the pressure to Sunline, really test her out and make sure she didn't have a cosy run in the lead. Well, Sky Heights missed the start and never got into the race, putting in an absolutely appalling run.

All sorts of theories were put forward. We even heard that the poor horse had a dizzy spell. Did the horse tell his connections that after the race? But come Derby Day there was one consistent theme from tipsters everywhere. Forget Sky Heights ever went around only seven days earlier. The true Sky Heights' form was shown by his brilliant win the start before that. 

We were discussing that theory with a very successful punter named David. Basically David couldn't help laughing. Here is a rough summary of some of the points he made.

"Isn't it amazing what theories people come up with? When a horse considered to be a champion by many  is beaten by 26 lengths then something is probably seriously amiss. It will take much more than one week for the horse to recover. You cannot possibly ignore such a terrible run. It goes against all sensible form analysis. 

Consider a horse with ordinary form that comes out and wins absolutely brilliantly. Would those same tipsters who were telling you to forgive Sky Heights' 26 lengths defeat only seven days earlier also tell you to forget that horse's brilliant last start win? Would they tell you to look for its true form the start before? Or the start before that? Or the start before that? Of course not. They'd all be pushing it next start as an absolute certainty. Well, you can't have it both ways.

If you want to give yourself a decent chance of winning at the punt then you don't go around taking short odds on horses beaten by 26 lengths

On Derby Day Sky Heights finished twelfth in the field of 16, beaten by eight lengths. At least that was an 18 lengths improvement!" 

In our opinion "bad runs" can be ignored some times, when they are not as bad as appear at first sight. For example:

1. A horse may be well beaten because it didn't it get a clear run in the straight, or it was shuffled back right through the field.

2. A horse may be well beaten because it raced on a Heavy track and didn't handle the conditions.

3. A horse may have been racing right out of its class and then is dropped right back to its proper class. It could have been racing at Weight for Age or in Group Handicaps or Listed Handicaps and then entered in an Open Handicap or even a restricted benchmark race. That is a ploy used by some trainers to get good odds about the horse when it is racing in its right class because of its previous "poor form."

This edition of Punt to Win:
Horse racing form analysis - winning form is good form
The Professional Punter's horse racing news
The Number One Winners horse racing betting system
Horse racing betting facts, tips & odds
Horse Watch betting system - future winners
Free horse racing betting package membership!
Free sports betting packages
Win betting - horse racing favourites: Newmarket Handicap Day - 6/3/2010
Win betting - horse racing favourites: Futurity Stakes Day - 27/2/2010
Win betting - horse racing favourites: Blue Diamond Stakes day - 20/2/2010
Get those betting odds
Future winners - unlucky horses
Betting favourites in small fields: 6/3/2010
Betting favourites in small fields: 27/2/2010
Betting favourites in small fields: 20/2/2010
Best odds for well bet winners - bookmaker or tote?
Betting top weights - horses carrying a weight handicap of 59kg.
Punt to Win 20/2/2010
Punt to Win index

2009 Melbourne Cup Day
Best Bookmaker Win Odds
Best Tote Odds


Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $10 bet
Strawberry Field 21.00 32.60 $116
Right Fong 13.70 17.00 $33
Majestic Music 9.80 13.00 $32
Common Interest 9.20 12.00 $28
She's Got Gears 10.00 12.60 $26
Flying Tessie 11.00 13.40 $24
Shocking 9.80 11.00 $12


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