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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Sandown Cup

November 12th, 2011 5 comments

When I was a boy back in 1971 – oh my gosh, 40 years ago – the Sandown Cup was a big deal. A crowd of 40 or 50,000, over 200 bookmakers, and the great Goondiwindi Grey, Gunsynd, carrying 9 stone 1 pound to victory over a mile and a half. Those were the good old days. Everything seemed bigger and better back then. Today the race is a low class affair over 3200 metres. The top weight is Norsqui with 57 kilograms. The ratings experts tell me that Norsqui is a lay, because of the step up in distance from last start and the rise in weight of 3 kgs. And they proved to be correct, with Norsqui feeling the pinch over the last 200 metres, but just hanging on for third.

I didn’t back the horse, but there was a lot to like about his mounting yard behaviour. He was prancing around, head in towards the strapper, with a slightly arched neck. These are all good signs. The only thing you need to forgive him for are the red winkers!

5 Responses to “ Sandown Cup ”

  1. Andrew Ayers says:

    I agree, Sandown used to be a great venue, I remember Taj Rossi winning its first start at 6/1 in front of a crowd of punters and full betting ring! Now its very much the “other” venue of the VATC (Is it still called that?) I just purchased your book and am keen to get started on using at at Fannie Bay in Darwin. I know a large number of the horse community up here (Trainers, Owners, Bookmakers, stablehands, jockeys) and am going to lend some friends your book which I read cover to cover in one sitting yesterday. I expecting Darwin will be a great place to use it since very few here have access to a decent formguide and its a price sensitive ring that often throws up plunges (which win or lose). Thoroughly enjoyed the book needless to say, any plans for a update to include your new factors? Rgds Andrew Ayers

  2. Nick Pinkerton says:

    Really enjoyed your blogs over this Spring Carnival! Will you/would you do it on a more permanent/commercial basis?

  3. geoffrey says:


  4. Paul says:

    Loved the little video, really useful in showing us what your talking about. Sometimes the signs are easily represent by a description and photo, but a short video is very useful in seeing the more technical ones come to life. I would love to see the particular nuances of head movements. Its the closest I can get to standing next to you.

    Love the blog

  5. Nick Pinkerton says:

    If you are interested please send me an email to pinkertonn@internode.on.net & I would be only too pleased to discuss ways in which we might be able to explore some possibilities.

    Nick Pinkerton

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