I have to admit, I have been disappointed with my Australian touts (and bets) since I started writing this column in August. Few horses featured in the column have come in on top, which *I SWEAR* is atypical for my Australian play. Perhaps the most bitter defeat this Fall was when my long shot Happy Trails was over-confidently ridden in the Cox Plate and his narrow loss cost me a $2,300 payoff in the North American pick 3 pool (on $60 bet).
But I’m moving onward! What I am going to try this week is feature an Melbourne, Australia two year old maiden race (blasphemy!!) at Flemington. I guess the way I look at it, I can’t do much worse and I did spend 30 minutes breaking this race down. Over the years I have had good success betting horses in the 5f, 5.5f and 6f “down the straight” races at Flemington. Remember, at Flemington their shorter sprints are run in a straight line (no turn).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: The most important attribute a horse needs to win down the straight (all races, not just maidens) is a HIGH CRUISING SPEED. By that I mean a horse who can run, under control, as fast as the early leader wants to go. If a horse can’t track a fast tempo – especially a young horse – it is doomed. Also, unless a horse leaving from one of the first three posts (the posts nearest the inner rail) has a ton of speed, or the rail is the best part of the track, it usually gets “swallowed up” by swoopers rallying five or six wide. A horse with good speed in one of the widest 3 to 5 posts is a preferred selection (note: It is possible for a down the straight race to have 24 runners).
Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, 8:50 pm EST – Race 1A (Flemington) – 9 runners
1st pick: #8 2nd pick: #4 3rd pick: #3
Generally leading trainers win these races with good horses, and the horses that have run look pretty untalented. Going with the first-timers, that leaves 3,4,5,8,9. I am going to try to beat the #5 on the rail. There is some risk there, as Peter Snowden is having a great record with his 2 year olds this season, but this one doesn’t seem to be bred as well as a typical Darley runner.
I did some involved pedigree research because there were so many good-looking firsters, and the #8 For Lulu jumped off the page, as she has inbreeding to Danzig, Northern Dancer, Halo and Natalma. The inbreeding to Halo is especially rare in the Southern Hemisphere. I also like that the Dosage Index (D.I.) of the #8 is 3.00. The higher the D.I., the more likely a new runner will show speed.
#4 Chivalry is bred to be any kind (Street Cry out of a Danehill mare) and goes for the tough Kavanagh/Rodd team (and Kav’s wife is listed as co-owner: the future is now). Drew post 2 but seems to have the most upside of this bunch long term. It’s D.I. = 3.00.
#3 Armageddon On It turned in a 46.40 second barrier trial – anything 47 seconds or faster is excellent. It also drew post 7, which will help its chances.