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Flemington Black Caviar: The Great Horse Race Day

February 15th, 2020 2 comments

The weather is bleak with a miserable drizzle blanketing the track. The misty rain doesn’t even register on the Melbourne radar but it registers on my race book. What a shame! Too wet to bet!

The weather clears enough for me to venture outside from the comfort of my lobby chair and check out the three-year-old colts and geldings. I normally don’t bet on these races as the testosterone interferes with my judgement, but gosh, look at that gelding Alligator Blood. I recall my own advice from the second book and decide to crawl across broken glass to back it. The place price of $1.30 is a bit short and even the win at $1.80 is skimpy. So I go for the win on Betfair at $2.00. I never go the back on Betfair as my brain can get confused. Keep it simple – back on the Tote, lay on the Fair. But rules are meant to be broken, aren’t they? The poker player jumps to the lead but the Kiwi champion goes with him. They thunder head to head down the straight and in a stirring finish Alligator Blood prevails over Catalyst by a nose. What a race! I’ve won! But I’ve broken three or is it four rules: betting on a wet track (Soft 5), backing on Betfair, betting to win, and betting on three-year-old males!

Black Caviar paraded before the Lightning Stakes. The crowd were lined up four deep to get a glimpse of the great mare looking in great condition. Has she really had five foals? That backside looks much the same! I like Redzel and Loving Gaby in the race but keep my powder dry.

In the Vanity for three-year-old fillies Pretty Brazen is pretty relaxed but at $1.50 for the place is too short for me. But generous Tabcorp offered me a 1.2 times multiplier taking it to $1.80. Well within my rules! The horse didn’t disappoint with an even run for second. The day turned out to be not so bleak after all.

2 Responses to “ Flemington Black Caviar: The Great Horse Race Day ”

  1. Trevor says:

    Dear Geoffrey,

    This is picking up on your aversion to three year races confined to colts and geldings.

    In Figure 13.1 of Watching Racehorses (page 200) the behavioural handicaps for winners and all horses are quite similar for three year old colts & geldings (3M) whereas for three year olds (3Y) winners on average have lower behavioural handicaps than all horses. Are these races (3Y) open to fillies, colts & geldings? The same question applies to two year old races labelled 2Y.

    Does the testosterone factor diminish once a male horse reaches four years of age?

    Do the categories 2F, 2M, 2Y, 3F, 3M, 3Y, 4Y+ include both non-handicap and handicap races?

    And finally why are you no longer backing on Betfair?

  2. Geoffrey says:

    1. Yes. 2Y and 3Y races are open to both males and females.
    2. Testosterone and age. I don’t know the answer to this question. You would have to ask a reproductive biologist. Certainly as they age horses are more likely to get the unkind cut if their behaviour interferes with performance. It can still interfere with performance in older horses as evidenced by Mirage Dancer. And Sir Tristram was still serving mares at over 20 years of age and he was well known for being so difficult to handle that protective gear was required!
    3. Yes
    4. As I said, to keep it simple. In that last frantic minute I don’t want to worry about being matched. And I don’t have to think about what bet I am making. And I like to have two separate banks. And the TAB offers both fixed and pari-mutuel odds. And I have shares in TABCORP.
    5. And Fig. 13.1. Two-year-olds and mares are still my main betting races, some 18 years later!

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