Hoping to turn it around

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.

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