Expert horse race selections and exclusive sectionals and reviews from New Zealand

Expert horse race selections and exclusive sectionals and reviews from New Zealand

Nathan Berry's passing very sad Print

It was very sad to hear about the passing of Nathan Berry. He always seemed to be so positive and happy and had a great career ahead of him.

Tomorrow at Te Aroha we have some open races and I have most of them difficult to sort out. There are two main bets for subscribers in the early preview here.

David Walsh has six rides tomorrow and looks to have one strong chance of winning and maybe one or two upset chances.

Race 1 9.Happy Days did nothing fresh up. Has the blinkers going on but place chances look best.

Race 3 4.Western Warrior almost stole it last start and from the good draw, in a harder field, is probably a place chance again.

Race 5 13.Rose Tattoo was caught wide last start and faded out. She has rated well enough to beat these and is an outside chance at good odds.

Race 6 Ormond Road would need it wet to be a realistic chance but can palce with a good run.

Race 7 13.Satay ran some nice races last campaign. Needed her fresh run. May find a few of these too good though.

Race 8 9.Rohaise ran a solid third last start and has increased her rating by a couple of lengths or so at each of her last four starts. Drawn to get every chance and is David's best chance of the day.

A good way to finish a day at the races Print



Kelly Myers returns to the birdacge on bet of the day, Osmunda

It was such a nice day today, I thought it would be good to spend a day away from the computer at Otaki races. It wasn't the biggest crowd you would see at a racecourse but it was great to just take in a good day of racing. They soon started to get off the rail which has been the norm there when Dead or worse. I wasn't too unhappy to see that with our main bet for the day on Osmunda in the last. It was worth the wait as she got back with nice cover and came with a well timed finish to get up comfortably. The opening odds of $4.20 with bookies got a good going over as she closed at $3. She was also the Bank bet for the day and made a nice profit of 15.2 units, so hopefully we can build on that this week.

As mentioned in yesterday's post, the Formpro Ratings told us that only two horses could possibly win the sixth race, Lady Platinum or Pearls, as they just had clearly the best ratings over the distance on a Fast to Dead track. Lady Platinum bolted in and was well backed with the weight advantage.

Tomorrow we have six races to do the form on at Ruakaka. Good to see the bookies have some odds up on some races for Saturday already. I will post Early Saturday previews on Friday at 8.45 a.m., noon and 6.00 p.m.

How the ratings help identify the value in a race Print

Today we had a well backed favourite, Fiftyshadesofgrey that was backed in late to $2.60. According to the Formpro Ratings, was just no value for the reasons outlined below in the preview of the race.


5.Fiftyshadesofgrey has rated 105.2 and 105.6 at her last two starts which are her best two ratings. She needs to rate around 106.4 to win this. She is the type of horse that gets back off the pace and winds up and gets over them. She got that last start and just about got up after being squeezed out of a gap and won it on protest. In her last race the pace was good and she was able to get up late. She won't get that same good tempo here. She is up against three others that have rated better than her in their careers: 2-3-4 and all three map to be in front of her on the turn. So taking in the tempo and the quality of horses that will be in front of her, she is around a 20% chance of winning, so is rated a $5 chance. Opened $3.00 so is no value.

But for the $10 winner Gendarme, the ratings showed that he was way over the odds. The preview comment about him was: 4.Gendarme should get a nice sit outside the leader and the slow tempo will give him an edge as well has his fitness. Has the best rating of 109 over the distance and on the track ( 106 ) and rates on top after weight adjustments. Negative is he doesn't win very often.

So it was a classic case of the Formpro Ratings steering us into the value in the race and proving spot on. It obviously doesn't work out like that but the information provided is exclusive to Formpro users just gives punters a proven tool to help with selections.

The tempo did beat Fiftyshadesofgrey but he had his chance to get past Bronte Lass but couldn't. Rory Hutchings, who is riding with excellent judgement, summed it up quicker than others and took the initiative and pushed the button and led and dictated. He just held on from Bronte Lass and Fiftyshadesofgrey, which both came from the back for second and third. I don't agree with where the 600 metre marker is at Matamata. The official last 600m was 35.81, but I got around a second faster than that as I did with all last 600 metres there .

Tomorrow at Otaki, the sixth race isn't the strongest midweek R75 field we will ever see, but with a little help from the ratings, we may be able to find some value. In fact, if users of the Ratings use the Filter function and search for the best rated runners over the distance of 2100m + or - 200 metres over the last year, only two horses can possibly win it! They dominate the top ten ratings in the field. But is it that clear cut. I'll comment about that in my preview tomorrow morning.

Formpro Ratings are a key ingredient Print

A Formpro Ratings user finds them to be a very useful tool. A long time subscriber from Nelson emailed me and said amongst other things, " 'The Formpro Ratings are a key ingredient for me in helping select for each race. I managed to pick Soriano and Rose Of Virginia as my winners by considering the history of Formpro Ratings for each horse in the race. Although I did not get any part of the TTT, these wins more than covered my other bets."

Even though she rated clearly on top after weight adjustments, her winning pattern had shown that she usually needs a fresh run as she has won twice second up. But she is stronger now and I have the utmost respect for Lance Noble and his team, so with such a strong Rating indicator, she had to go into calculations which is why she was in selections with an 'Upset chance.'

I spend a lot of time analysing the strength of each field to get an accurate a rating as possible, so it's always nice to get emails like that showing that the effort is paying off. Unlike most serious Australian punters, many New Zealand punters just don't bother with Ratings. The main reason I started up the Formpro Ratings as it was very time consuming going back through most horses' runs in a race trying to assess the strength of the field it raced against. But now, with a simple glance, you can see that at a glance. For example in the Open Handicap at Awapuni, I wanted to see if Pussy O'Reilly had rated well enough to beat that field. She needed to rate around 111 on that 53kgs to win and she had done that at WFA twice in November and December. I knew she had no chance last start off the slow tempo, so was confidently put her into selections. She rated 111.3 on Saturday to win that race with a pearler of a ride from Noel Harris.

For subscribers, I'll mention how I use the Formpro ratings to sort out Race 7 at Matamata on Wednesday, to see if probable favourite, Fiftyshadesofgrey is likely to go back to back up in grade.

Did the $40,000 bet go west? Print

On Saturday the talk on Trackside early on was the $40,000 bet on Angelica Hall at $1.70. But later in the morning, another $18,000 was put on Kawi at $3.40. That $18,000 amount does make it sound like it was the same punter as it would have ensured a nice profit whichever horse won. Maybe that punter heard the trainer of Kawi, Allan Sharrock, talking on Radio Trackside on Saturday morning sounding confident he could really give the hotty a fright. Or maybe it was a connection in the stable putting the bet on. It sure made for an interesting race though. Angelica Hall certainly was no value in red figures which did make Kawi excellent value at around the $3.40 and more with bookies. Kawi really impressed in his last start at Trentham when he settled better and showed class to keep finding when looking in trouble 50 metres out. But on Saturday, rider Jonathan Riddell, was able to get the perfect run 4th outer with Angelica Hall getting a soft lead. Just after turning, you could see Angelica Hall was going to be in trouble over the last bit and with Riddell winding Kawi up for a final burst 300 metres out, it soon became very likely he was going to gather in the filly.

After the race, trainer Allan Sharrock mentioned he was going to can plans to go to Brisbane and turn him out. Exactly the right thing to do. He will mature into a brutal four year old and it is hard to put a cap on just how good he will be. He has been a very good horse to us, as he has been bet of the day when downing Recites colours at Trentham and yesterday as well.

Isn't Stephen McKee a top trainer. He trained the first two over the line in the Sires and the fourth horse as well. His involvement with Sunline for all those wonderful years certainly gave him the real confidence to know how to set a horse for a race and also how to keep them up and performing without bottoming them out.

The Bank Bets made a tidy profit and it would have been even tidier if the Speed Map Special Cartell had won. He got annoyed by the horse on the outside which left him vulnerable late. Lady Cumquat looked a very good bet and won with a top ride from Rory Hutchings.

Puccini raced too hard and according to the stewards report, the saddle moved early on as a result of that over-racing. It will be interesting to see where he goes to from here. I'd do a Kawi and put him out and bring him back for the Spring and just see how he goes from there.

It's always good to get the good and constructive feedback. A couple of Formpro Ratings users cleaned up off top rated Rose Of Virginia at Ellerslie when she was rated 4 lengths clear of the rest and won very well after covering extra ground. The $11.80 win price and $2026 Quaddie was a nice way to end the day of punting in New Zealand.

There are no races until Wednesday, which will give me plenty of time to analyse the previous week's races. Matamata have some nice horses going round and I can see maybe one or two Bank bets there, depending on the odds on offer.

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