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Headlines Today is 03/09/2014
66.66% AND NOT 10% A RARE ONE-OFF EVENT [ More Items ]  
It's no wonder racing websites are popular. I admit to nearly choking on my Sanitarium Hi-Bran Weet-Bix, chia seeds, kiwi fruit and banana this morning when I read this in today's paper. Apparently being able to run "54.57" over 800m on a track "in the slow range" is a "brilliant trackwork gallop". I reckon I could run that quickly on heavy 10 ground. And then after I tried to get my head around that one, I was informed that Peggy Jean which has won two of six starts, including one by a wart - and Washington Heights, which is so good that it hasn't actually won a race yet, meaning as at today, it's a Maiden, are both "star three-year-olds".

I personally think that there are far too few educational stories written on the racing industry. Many people attempt to write articles to help educate punters, but I’m not sure that many of them hit the mark, as they are probably poorly researched. And so it came to pass that during 2013 I presented two fully researched articles each month, firstly on horses resuming from a spell in Saturday city races and secondly on “long term losers” in Saturday city racing. A “long term loser” is defined as a horse that hasn’t won anywhere for 365 days or more. That research showed about 6% of “long term losers” win another Saturday city race and only about 10% of horses resuming from a spell win Saturday city races. So those 12-monthly articles conclusively proved that if you – as a punter – oppose every long term loser you’ll be proven right about 94% of the time and similarly if you oppose every horse resuming in Saturday metropolitan races you’ll be spot on about 90% of the time.

I accept “long term losers” like Bingo Rose and Avaladyluck won last Saturday at Doomben, at $4.20 and $7 respectively, but you’d have gone broke backing both of them prior to that day as Avaladyluck hadn’t won for 14 months before last Saturday, whilst Bingo Rose hadn’t seen the winners circle for 19 months.

Avaladyluck became a “long term loser” on 12/6/14, which was 365 days after her Eagle Farm win on 12/6/13. Since joining the ranks of the long term losers on 12/6/14 she’d started five times getting rolled each time at odds as short as 3/1 ($4) on 28/6/14.

For her part Bingo Rose became a “long term loser” on 16/1/14, which was 365 days after a Doomben win on 16/1/13 at the skinny odds of 9/4. Since 16/1/14 Bingo Rose got beaten at seven starts before last Saturday at odds of $5, $6, $3.80, $3.80, $14, $4.80 and $5.50.

So when they both won last Saturday, including Bingo Rose winning by half a furlong, that’s not enough reason to throw the baby out with the bath water in terms of the long term strategy of avoiding backing long term losers. In racing if you can be “90%” or “94%” right in any strategy you invoke, then you are indeed in rarefied air.

Whilst two long term losers won at Doomben the “long term losers” that didn’t win, in race order, were Lee Ho Fook (hadn’t won for 13 months prior to last Saturday), Around The World (14), Turnitup (25), Saluter (19), Black Magic (16), Sister Emma (23), Rothera (21), War Ends (13), The Ringmaster (25), Del Palio (14), Baron Douro (18) and Aashiq (18). For the record, of that list of 12 horses that didn’t win - Saluter ran the shortest price at $4.60.

Then down at Caulfield, Dissident won the Group 1 Memsie Stakes resuming from 20 weeks off, so he was one of the 10% that win a Saturday city race resuming from a spell. Such is life – you’ll never be right 100% of the time on any strategy you decide to invoke.

Whilst last Saturday’s Caulfield meeting consisted of nine races, amazingly six of the nine winners were resuming, so on that one occasion those six of nine (66.66%) blew the 10% theory out of the water. Again that’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water on that avoiding backing resuming horses strategy as over any year of Saturday metropolitan racing that you care to research, about 90% will get beaten.

Apart from Dissident, the other five that won when resuming were Suavito, Late Change and Chivalry, which all won in a photo finish, as well as Flamberge and Stipulate which both won quite easily. But the 32 horses resuming at Caulfield, in racebook order, that didn’t win were Veuvelicious (5th), Cailen Miss (4th), Keep De Rose (5th), Count of Limondade (12th), Excluded (11th), Prince of Penzance (8th), Commanding Time (3rd), Signoff (10th), Bass Straight (7th), Petrify (8th), By The Grace (5th), Final Jest (15th), Richie’s Vibe (7th), British General (6th), Pago Rock (9th), Uate (12th), Moonovermanhattan (11th), Awesome Rock (3rd), Dear Demi (5th), Commanding Jewel (3rd), A Time For Julia (2nd), Real Surreal (7th), Hazard (6th), Forever Loved (4th), Super Cool (10th), Sertorius (6th), Silent Achiever (4th), Ibicenco (8th), Masked Marvel (12th), Araldo (7th), Let’s Make Adeal (6th) and Goldoni (15th).

So when you have an extremely rare day like happened last Saturday when six of the nine races (66.66%) of the races are won by horses resuming, go one step further and see who trained them, as it’s handy to know when you are punting who can train a horse to win first-up. So in race order the trainers who won with horses resuming were Nigel Blackiston (Suavito won by a nose), Wendy Kelly (Late Charge won by a long head), Peter Moody (Flamberge), Mark Kavanagh (Chivalry won by a head), Peter Moody (Dissident) and David Hayes (Stipulate). Interestingly Peter Moody also trains A Time For Julia, which went down by only a long neck resuming in Race 7 to Gregers, so give Moody’s horses that are resuming in the next few weeks more than a cursory glance, as obviously his pre-trainers, trackwork riders and foremen, etcetera, are all obviously flying.

Interesting also is the fact that all six horses that won when resuming at Caulfield all had dynamic first-up form prior to last Saturday, as in cumulatively 15 first-up runs (Suavito 2, Late Charge 2, Flamberge 3, Chivalry 1, Dissident 3 and Stipulate 4) they had only missed running a place once (Stipulate). How amazing is that?

So forthwith we need to understand to be wary of “horses resuming in Carnivals that have never missed a place when resuming in their career-to-date”.

Today on there’s the first of three montages of photos from Doomben last Saturday plus others of interest from last week as wild weather hit northern New South Wales and the Gold Coast. On David Clarkson writes on the talented Irish galloper Jamesie, which recently beat 2014 Sydney winner Gordon Lord Byron, whilst on Victorian racing is perused.

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