Dr. Geoffrey Hutson's breakthrough book Watching Racehorses is out now! Learn about behavioural handicapping: how head tossing, pawing, salivating and other behaviours provide telltale clues about a horse's readiness to run.
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Flemington Green Fields Raceday

May 8th, 2010 2 comments

I’m a bit fearful as there has been rain about overnight and I’m not allowed to bet on Slow tracks. And apparently they have been putting water on the track as well. I hate that – why can’t they just leave it be! The track is rated a Dead 4 but the word from the jockeys is that it’s at least a Dead 5. I check my par times for a Slow track at Flemington compiled by the late and great EJ Minnis and find a figure of 85.95 seconds for 1400 metres. In the first race they run a time of 86.26 for 1410 metres. If I allow 0.5 seconds for the extra distance of 10 metres it still looks like a Slow 6 track. CAUTION!! DO NOT BET!!

But in the third race I’m still quite keen to back The Comedian, very relaxed, head in towards the strapper. And the favourite Undeniably looks a risk, a bit sweaty and bulky. There’s a fall in the race. Luckily The Comedian misses the trouble but he gives up in the straight and compounds quickly to finish seventh. What a joke! He couldn’t pick up his feet! Whenever I lose I look for someone or something to blame apart from myself, and in this case it is quite clear that the track is at fault. I had better shut up shop! I probably should have laid the favourite who finished ninth at $1.10 the place. The punter’s lament – should’ve, should’ve.

What to do at the races when your hands are tied? Photograph some horses, of course. And today everywhere I look I see a pony. A plethora of ponies. When I wrote Watching Racehorses it was quite uncommon to see a pony. Of the more than 10,000 horses that I observed only 176 were accompanied by a pony, about one every meeting. It was the most positive of all the variables that I scored. Now that everyone has read the book they all bring a pony to the races, and the advantage, while still positive, has been much reduced.

 Today I saw nine  ponies. Two could not be identified because they were occupying the wrong stall and three were over 14 hands, and didn’t fit in the photo,  and so should really be called horses. Here are the best six.

And the winner is …… Golden Charmer, don’t you think? How could you resist it? I broke all my rules and backed it for a place on the tote at $2.70. I watched the race on the TV and the horse was so far behind the first and second horses that it was out of the picture when they hit the line. But it survived for third. And the final result for the seven horses identified with ponies was two placings and five unplaced runs. Not too bad, but not what it once was.

2 Responses to “ Flemington Green Fields Raceday ”

  1. marco says:

    Are you going to write a Watching Racehorses 2? Reading your posts suggests to me that you have refined some of the variables.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    A lot of people ask me this question. I ask them – what do you want me to write about? And they say – more of the same – exploits, anecdotes, science, statistics, jokes. Some want more on humans, some want more on money management. And mostly they would like to know how I have got on. Well, the sequel, Watching Racehorses Rides Again, is half-written, but it was half-written over a year ago. I’ve been held up trying to master laying horses on Betfair. Writing the blog has put me back in the mood again and hopefully I’ll have something half decent in about 18 months time.

    And yes I have refined some variables and I have been recording a few new ones as well.

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