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

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

Clear top raters are worth serious consideration Print

Subscribers who are sticking with runners rated 2 or more rating points clear of the field after weight adjustments nailed another two great value winners today at Timaru. Night Life rated 2 lengths clear after weight adjustments and bolted in as the rank outsider paying $18, then in the very next race, Lady Pompallier rated on top by 2 lengths after weight adjustments and paid $20.50, plus the trifectas with the next two rated runners which dead heated for second of $300.  The first leg of the quaddie was won by equal top rater Cloudy Pete $3 and with Lisa Allpress riding the second leg winner Flying Storm, it made at least two ratings followers happy with a slice of the $9387 quaddie.

Quaddies are hardly ever easy to strike, especially at this time of the year, but the Formpro Ratings are consistently indicating which runners most punters are overlooking but ratings followers know are realistic chances. I must say, I used to hardly ever back dogs as I didn't have the time to do the form, but with the dog ratings making it very easy to find the fastest dogs, if you can find false favourites and bet around them, you can pick up some very good value prices, especially in the trifectas.

In the Parliamentary at Trentham tomorrow, the ratings tell us Indikator, Intransigent and Rising Tide should fight this out as they all rate 110 after weight adjustments. Below, I've outlined why I feel Intransigent can win it.

Race 5

Confidence: average

2.Intransigent had a three week break before Awapuni last week and ran a solid 4th. After the race he was blowing harder than anything else so will definitely have improved with it. Most of his wins have come within 14 days of his last start. He drops to 55.5kgs and he looked terrific at Awapuni. So he looks well placed for a peak effort here. RP $3.80

Dangers: 1.Indikator should be at peak fitness now and has to be in the first three. 3.Rising Tide fought hard last week but meets a fitter Intransigent 3kgs worse off. 4.Brompton bolted in here last year on a similar track.

Box Speed Rating proves a vital form factor Print

The Box Speed Rating continues to amaze me how often it can help pinpoint the main chances in a race. Today at Wanganui, there were some excellent examples of how some of the winners could have been used by analysing that vital form factor, as well as the other types of ratings.

Even though the Trackside commentator said favourite Bigtime Surprise had the 'Horror draw of 6' in the fifth race today, ratings followers would have known it was the ideal draw for her. A study of the Box Speed factor showed she was clearly the fastest out averaging 2.1 to the first bend. The 7 and 8 dog were 4.9 and 5.8 so were very likely not to bother her wider early and the 4 and 5 boxed dogs both averaged 5.8 to the first bend. She also had the fastest last start rating and the fastest of the last 6 ratings from the 'Best' Column'. So Bigtime Surprise could not have been better placed to get a clear run at the lead with an even getaway, which she got and soon led and won easily. She only paid $2 but was an excellent example of a perfectly boxed dog according to the Box Speed factor.

The first three races were all maiden races, and there was not enough form in the race to get a reliable Box Speed Rating so are best ignored for this factor. In race 4, Kinetic Rio, was a hot favourite and clearly had the fastest box speed figure and 'Best' overall - it won well. In race 6 the Box Speed told us it was going to be a very even run to the first bend and so it proved with 5 dogs locked together across the track going into the first bend. The best 5 rated 4.2 to 4.8. But somehow the two fastest rated dogs from the box surged to the lead with the fastest won paying $4.50 and the two formed the $4.90 quinella.

Then in race 7, Jimmy The Buck had the fastest box speed with 3.0 and drew 8. The 6 and 7 dog had 5.0 and 5.9 box speed figures so were likely to give Jimmy a clear run early on and that is exactly what happened. He jumped evenly but by the first bend had put 5 lengths on them and although he ran wide on the turn, was able to hold on well at nice odds of $6.70

In race 9, the first leg of the quaddie, the best Box Speed was 4.0 and the next three 5.0 or less so it was a bit of a raffle to work out what would lead. But the 3rd fastest dog won paying $13 in an open race. Race 10 was much the same with favourite Kazillion with a 3.8 box speed rating. The dog that won rated 5th fastest out but had the best of 6 rating with 71 paying $5.00. In the third leg the winner Run Alan rated 3rd fastest out and in the last leg Cawbourne Ellen rated fifth fastest out but had the best last two ratings and paid $5 to form the $1783 quaddie.

Ideally, if you had the time to analyse the replays and know which runners enjoyed the inside draws or wider draws, or ran in or out early in the running,  it would only enhance your chances. But most of us don't have that time ,so to have the  the statistics tell us most of the time, which runners are going to lead, it makes the job of finding those winners so much easier.

I have posted Luke's preview of tonight's Stage 10 here. It should be a very interesting stage and looks open to an upset. Luke has given some good reasons why some of them are very good value.

It was another tough day at Counties on a biased heavy track with even fields. I didn't post any bets of the day and I'm glad I didn't.

Tomorrow we have Wanganui racing on a slow track. It is a track that tends to have repeat performers because of the different texture of the soil, so using the Race Filter could find us a nice value winner or two. In the third race, 9.Lucky We Leica has rated 99 twice there on Slow tracks. She only has to rate 98 to win this and from the handy draw should get every chance to do that from the in-form Lisa Latta stable.

Decent track makes the form easier to analyse Print

I don't normally preview South Island meetings but with the good track it meant the form would be easier to work out and it paid off. The $1850 quaddie was struck which made a few subscribers very happy after Saturday's downer. I was quite keen on Kunte Kinte in the first leg od the quaddie which looked like a good galloper at the trials. But the blowout came in the last leg with Our Premonition at $11.70 and backed in late. The main reason I put him in was because of his equal top Formpro Rating after weight adjustments, so it was another example of the ratings finding those value winners. A reader has been having very good success with the second to last start in the ratings so asked if we could add a sort arrow for that column which David has done. It makes a lot of sense as often horses rate well two starts back then may strike bad luck or unsuitable track conditions next start and rate poorly. The dog ratings also continue to find some excellent value winners which I have highlighted here. They sure made the Pick 6 easier to strike for our syndicate yesterday. We were a bit stiff not to get a big payout having two favourites come in for the last two legs when we had nearly every dog covered. That's racing and with patience and a lot of luck, we could crack a big one again soon.

I also had a couple of queries about the times posted at Oamaru as they ran 1.20.69 for the Open 1400m which according to, is the fastest time there by nearly a second since January 1st 2000. Well, after checking them all, they are all correct BUT, as they trigger the times from the starters button there, you can actually deduct 0.48 seconds to compare them to most other times in new Zealand, which are triggered when the gates are fully open. So it was a top effort by Vincitore, Sandfly and Conscious Mistake, which was giving significant weight to the other two and did a little more work. I will post a sectional review of the meeting by tomorrow morning.

I posted Luke's detailed preview of Stage 8 of the tour here for subscribers. No races tomorrow but there are some big fields for Counties. I will post a full preview of the quaddie and any 'Good ' Confidence bets.

Apologies for a shocker of a Saturday Print

Firstly, apologies for a shocker of a day yesterday. It was one of those days where I felt confident of a few runners but they just didn’t fire. Whether it was the track conditions or they just had a bad hair day, I don’t know. I didn’t take a Pick 6 for our syndicate at Te Awamutu as it is a very tough course to back anything with confidence with that dummy straight when it is heavy. I’m glad I didn’t as we wouldn’t have struck it.

 I spent some time going through how we could have got onto some of those winners at Awapuni yesterday. Authentic Paddy looked close to a win after two good seconds and if you were prepared to gamble on him overcoming a wide draw, which he did early in the race, you could have backed him. Hayley’s Comet looked home for us, but just came to the end of it 100 metres out but fought back well – a definite improver. Fastfoot made up very good ground late.

I was impressed with Gold’N’Casino’s second two back but he only battled at Trentham last start, but Sir Ferrari and Micken had since won out of it, so he was good value at $13 if you liked him.

The Dolphin found the line well for fourth last start and Aymon was just alongside in third place and he won an hour before at Te Awamutu.

Princess Lincoln won easily in maiden class last time and ran a time slightly faster than the R65 race on the same day. She had a 4kg allowance which was the difference between her and Mr McLoud. And of course, top trainer Lisa Latta loves to win on her home course.

Rising Tide just won but dropped nicely in the weights from its last start and was fourth up and fitter.

Dubai Belle ran a good sixth fresh up when caught 3 wide in the open and battled well for a 2.3 L sixth. Four horses that finished just in front of her had won since. Last start she only battled after sharing the pace but may have been a little flat after that tough fresh run.

I Am Sam found the weight relief and blinkers going on made all the difference. He was a bit slow away but drove through to lead along with King Victor. The inside proved to be okay as the first two cleared out from the rest.

Safe Access ran a game second three back at Ellerslie and a nice fourth last start beaten by Monkey Rock which came out and won earlier in the day.

So there you are. Valid reasons how we could have backed all eight winners. But as we know, you could find many reasons to back other horses on the day with just bas much confidence. But the main thing is to learn from it and I will be working very hard to get it right over the next week. This week, we have Counties on Wednesday and Wanganui Thursday in the North Island, culminating with one of the best Winter days of racing at Trentham on Saturday. I'll do a preview of the Oamaru quaddie tomorrow for subscribers as we have a 'Good' track there tomorrow.

For those in the Tauranga Pick 6 syndicate, I will probably have a bet in the $100,000 Terminating Pick 6 today. If I do I will post it by 4.00 p.m.

Bulk discount couselling available for Blues fans Print

It always makes for good conversation when the people you are watching a big game with are going for the  team you don't support. Such was the case last night when the odds were stacked against me three to one. The borax flowed strongly when the Blues were up by eight points early on, but having 30,000 home town supporters cheering you on always meant that they were going to come back hard, and they sure did. As long as they stick with Ricky Stuart, they will keep coming an excellent second. The three I watched the game with are all getting counselling next week, so if you are a Blues supporter, let me know if you need some, as you could all get it together at a special group rate.

The Formpro Ratings said Te Horo Bling could win today at her 29th start and she did it comfortably leading all the way. She rated 4 lengths clear of the rest. It will be interesting to see when she wins her next one. Occasionally, horses like her go on and win a couple more soon after, so we will see. In the very next race, Wotabuzz rated 8 lengths clear, which doesn't happen very often, and he bolted in paying good money at $2.70. He was one of two horses I was confident about winning for subscribers today. The other, Stormin Norman, charged home late wide to miss by 0.6 lengths. But for those who saw the head on replay, you are probably asking the same question I am - why did the rider follow the outside rail down the straight, which goes out half way down then back in, and lose any chance he had of winning? At time of writing, the stewards report wasn't up, so I, along with a few of you, will be interested to see what the stewards said about the ride.

Luke has mentioned that it is not a very exciting stage tonight in the Tour. I won't be having a bet but I may have if there were a couple of head to heads on offer as Luke suggested yesterday. Come on bookies, give us at least one head to head so we can get some of that mid-Winter Xmas bonus off you?

Tomorrow I will post selections for the Auckland harness meeting. We have had a very good run of winners since I began previewing them there. I spend a lot of time analysing the replays and sectionals there. I really do feel that the trick to winning there is to eliminate undervalue value runners and stick to the best one, two or three best placed bets. Jessie's Cullen made many of us a lot money last week when backed in from $7 to $3.20 with bookies along with the bet of the night, Irish Whisper. They were the only two horses selected on the night. That won't happen every night, but it has happened often enough since selections started there for most to be a long way ahead.

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