Monday, April 20, 2009

Bookmaking School

Okay class, today we are going to learn what could be a very valuable lesson to you all. The theme for today is "never write off a champion". The example we will use is Saturday's TJ Smith Stks. Let's say you open your market with Apache Cat at $2.80. Seven time Group 1 winner, that's fair enough I'd say. You have a bit of interest from punters in Nicconi so you open him up at $4.50. Even though there is no evidence whatsoever that he will do anything in a WFA race at this point in time. If you've been drinking whisky all morning, and it's a really hot day, you could be forgiven for starting the superstar Takeover Target at $4. The rest of the field are $8.50 plus and you don't get much interest throughout betting for those runners. In this example, the booky wound Nicconi into $4, then into $3.80 and finally to $3.60. Why? Anyone? You there..."because he won the Galaxy with 51 kg last start?". Fuck no son. The correct answer is "I have no fucking idea". And can anyone tell me why you'd drift a champion out from $4, all the way to $6? You again..."because he's a rising 10.y.o.?". No, fuck no my boy. The correct answer is "because you are a very fucking stupid bookie". I can't even remember the Target starting at odds that juicy in international races. So class, never write off a champion. Never offer $6 on the Target. Ever. Well that's all for today class, a very valuable lesson for you all...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doncaster Mile Preview!

Getting cocky after the last horse I said I'd nude up for if it somehow won, Zikmann, ran a distant last in the Golden Slipper, I'm offering a triple treat for our WHAB readership. There are three (3) horses below that, if they somehow win, I will nude up for (whilst trackside for the Doncaster!). It's a great field for one of the toughest mile races in the world, so let's get into it.

1. THESEO (2) $13

Captain: The Professor asked me if I could find a single reason to not bet on Theseo in this race at such attractive odds...I could not find one, or even make one up. This is a star racehorse, a contender for Horse Of The Year, and a horse that is bombproof. That's right, in the wake of a nuclear holocaust, we'll all be gone, but Theseo will still be there churning out laps of Royal Randwick.

Weather: Overcast, Track: Nuclear

So him dropping back from 2400m to 1600m, to me, only makes it tougher to beat him at the mile. Not too harshly weighted here either for mine. Get on people.

Professor: Super fit. Loves the mile. Loves the track. Has an undeniable quality that most of these lack. I love Theseo for this. And the best thing about backing Theseo is that it thrives in all track conditions. I have a $50 free bet, courtesy of Centrebet this weekend, and this guy gets it.

JB: You know when you get a free bet for $50 that has to be placed in a single bet, well this is my free bet horse. At $13 you can set yourself up for a solid win on the back of a free bet. If, however, you have already expired the free bets on the plethora of betting agencies ala Cap-i-tan then a bet on this horse from your own pocket still stacks up but will find it tough to monopolize your Doncaster cash.

2. ALAMOSA (18) $26

Captain: If this was a mile at Caulfield or Flemington on a dry track, I'd be very keen. Like Theseo, don't think he is too badly weighted in relation to every other horse in the field, except All Silent. I'm not sure how Alamosa's Toorak victory outweighs All Silent's Emirates victory by 2kg but we'll leave that to the handicapper to explain. He is a chance in this race, but some horses you'd just prefer to see in Melbourne. I'm going to have to leave him out.

Professor: At hard and fast group one level, I'd prefer this horse over 1500 metres. I think a mile (even though it's 8-5-1-1 over the mile!) is the very edge of its comfort zone and at this level I don't know if I want to be on it. Any give out of the ground just about ends this horses chances as well.

JB: Good horses like Alamosa deserve flattering pre-race commentary, but when it comes down to it I'm not betting on it and although worthy of a place in your multiples I will be leaving out of even those.

3. KING MUFHASA (10) $15

Captain: Has changed his name by Deed Poll, in NZ is known simply as Mufhasa. My take on his George Ryder run is that he left it all on the track. Connections think he'll improve on that. If they are right, he's right in this. They are also praying for the track to dry out as he holds numerous track records in NZ. Thet's just choice bro'. A bug chance un this.

Professor: I'll probably shop around for significantly more than $15 on the day, and if I get it, I will have a little crack at this one. I think it wants the surface no worse than dead though.

JB: King Mufhasa sounds like an afircan american tranie or chick-with-a-dick for those with a clasical education. Not sure how you all feel with those sort of encounters but for mind the discounted price is never worth it. Even at longer odds I will be letting this was one go through to the professor.

4. TRIPLE HONOUR (1) $17

Captain: Last year's winner but up in weights and not looking like he's in the same vein of form. One that is probably needing rain to win. Despite drawing well, I'm going to need more than the $17 on offer here. You're taking him on trust these days and I don't trust him.

Professor: Not for me. The connections seem to think that it is going better than last year, though this horse has looked like one of those who benefited from handicap conditions and a purple patch of form. A La Montagna type, never to win anything that big again.

JB: Long time between drinks. The quality of the horses here has grown, the Honour has not. Triple Honour isn't the name you will find on my betting slips.

5. ALL SILENT (16) $6

Captain: Favourite for the race and if not for the presence of Theseo and Musket, I'd be plonking on him. In fact, I'll still likely plonk on him, as well as Theseo and Musket. I get a little crazy when there's a big Group 1 on but for good reason. He ticks just about every box for a Doncaster Mile; weighted to win (and how!), is already a Group 1 winner, has a blistering finish, sits back anyway (taking the wide gate out of the equation), and is always in the finish. I can't remember him running a bad race...oh fuck I've probably just jinxed him with the Captain's Curse and he'll run last! Nah, this fella always turns up and is the best weighted horse in the field. Only knock is that he's not as blistering on the heavy and slow. Dead or better, he's getting home with Musket trying to nail Theseo on the line.

Professor: He and Theseo have slipped under the handicappers radar for me. In a sane world, the two of them would be duking it out with 60 kgs and still be right in this. As it stands, with a less weight than Alamosa (As 80's video game legend QBert would say: #$^&#!) he is entitled to favouritism and yeah, I'm signing up.

JB: My money is on Theseo at the front and this guy hot on his heels. My money at this stage is split pretty evenly between these two and will wait to see what the track is like on the day (yes, thats right because I will be there bitches) and give my final support accordingly.


Captain: It's a shame really that he's had such a disjointed campaign with injury and races that just have not suited. Now he draws gate 19, which had the emotional rollercoaster that is Mark Kavanagh in agony at the barrier draw. He's having no luck at all, but I still wonder if he has come back the same horse this prep. I think he'll be back strong for the Spring. I just don't see him winning the Doncaster tomorrow.

Professor: As good a horse as he is, be wary of the three year old wunderkind backing up for another prep. Had a mixed preparation, but in saying that I think he has been a rung below his spring form. That being said, a rung below his spring form is still very good, so I hate to leave him out. The only real reason to do so for me is that a three year old horse is carrying the same amount of weight as All Silent.

JB: Great horse, bad campaign. When he does recapture some form - look out. I'm not betting that he will find his feet in the Doncaster.

7. HOT DANISH (7) $7

Captain: Apparently she's Sydney's favourite mare, but while I respect her, she just doesn't do it for me. Not sure what it is; maybe I just prefer strudel. Sometimes it's that simple. The thing to like about her here is that she always gets forward and should be able to make her own luck from the handy gate of 7. Whilst not writing her off, I don't think she can beat All Silent at a mile with only a 0.5 kg pull in the weights on a dead track or better. A wetter surface and she falls into the mudlark clutches of Neroli and Vision And Power. So by process of elimination, I won't be on her, though she'll be thereabouts at the finish.

Professor: Though a winner of 2 of 3 at the mile, I think that this mares best shot at a group one is over 1200 metres. Gets the mile, but will probably find one or two better. Given a likely slow track on Saturday, I'd back this in the T.J. Smith, but not in the Doncaster.

JB: A bloody good horse, had a great campaign last spring, hasn't quite dominated like last year but with plenty of class about her I'm not going to be agaff if she takes this one. Having said that you can't bet on everything and sometimes you just have to call it. My money won't find a home here but if these horses come together in the spring then I reserve my right to change my preference.

8. SIR SLICK (15) $151

Captain: Another Kiwi horse who has two different names, depending on which country he's in. Back home he is Sir Slick. In Oz, he is Sir Plod. You know what I'm going to do if Sir Plod gets up?!?

The Captain, following an unlikely victory...

Sir Slick for me is one that I am giving a small chance to. Enough of a chance for a $3 win/$5 place kind of ticket. Why? It's career line in NZ is more than a little impressive. But for its ill-fated Melbourne tilt of 2008, it would be worth some discussion. Maybe it travelled poorly, maybe it had a bug. Maybe like many-a-gay-english horse, it wasn't the same without its sodomy pony. Whatever. There's enough potential here to make me interested at $151.

JB: If some heavy rain comes in then I still won't have money on this guy.

9. SOLO FLYER (9) $15

Captain: After his first start as a 2.y.o in 2006, which he won, the Flyer developed amnesia and forgot how to win. Following years of revolutionary therapy from the AJ Cummings stable's resident horse whisperer, he finally remembered how to win again in March 2009. Now he can't stop winning. It's an old cliche, but I'll bust it out again; winning form is good form. He has risen through the grades nicely this campaign and is a good chance here.

Professor: It's hard to fault this guys form this preparation. Could be the most ill-equipped of this group when there is give in the ground, so I'm going to take the easy option and suggest that you wait for a guide from the market.

JB: One can easily get carried away in quality Grp 1 races and end up with a multitude of bets on any and every thing that takes one's fancy. Not to say the Flyer shouldn't catch your eye, but you can't be taken seriously when you have money on 5+ horses. Something has to give and the Flyer for me will be found wanting when all is said and done.

10. VISION AND POWER (12) $10

Captain: Has surprised everyone this campaign, not least his trainer. Always was an honest horse but now he's busting out G1's. You would think however, that he needs it rather wet to win a Doncaster. I can't have him at the $8-$10 that I'm seeing around the traps unless I'm told by the course manager, face to face, that without question, the track will be heavy. I don't know the course manager and I'm pretty sure if I rang him, he wouldn't talk to me for fear of being subject to WHAB's scrutiny. On that basis, I'm leaving him out of my calculations.

Professor: Can this horses purple patch of form continue? To me, it had its ideal surface in its last start, got a perfect rails ride and only beat Black Piranha by a neck. I'd look for the Piranha to be snapping (Pun!!) at its heels and turning the table on anything slow or better.

JB: I think this guy's form indicates either that he has been primed to perfection for this one or he has spent all his lollies. You won't hear me at the top of my voice declaring that this horse can't do it, but at the end of the day my money won't be riding with the vision or the power.

11. NEROLI (3) $9

Captain: I'll boldly say right now that if the track is heavy, she wins. She eats mud for breakfast. Her stable is made of mud. A stable spy tells me she even shits mud. Even without a heavy track, she is some chance on her ability. But if you get wind of a stormfront on Doncaster morning, even if it's 6am, go directly to the TAB. Do not pass Go but definitely collect $200, more if you have it. With any luck, you'll be the first punter there. Wait till the TAB opens, and be the first to plunge on her.

Professor: I'm pooping the Neroli party. If the track is heavy, the Professor thinks that you should look ⇓⇓⇓. They ran a comparable time in the Ryder and Coolmore and the track was even more chopped up in the Ryder. Neroli is a big chance in the heavy, but I'd play it safe.

JB: I wouldn't go as far as to call this gal a mudlark per se, but if the rain keeps coming then all bets are off and this gal is for me.

12. GALLANT TESS (13) $41

Captain: Unfortunately, being gallant doesn't guarantee you a Group 1 win. Think she probably had her shot at these big mile races 12-18 months ago and that the moment has passed her by.

Professor: Confidently putting a line here. Will beat home a lot of more fancied runners. Will likely find at least 4 better. That's the Gallant Tess way. Unexciting but a great little cash cow for her owners.

JB: Not sure if people would call you gallant or tess for putting your money on this. Play it safe, keep your money for something with a chance.

13. LARGO LAD (5) $11

Captain: This guy is the most massive horse I've seen. He is a monster. He hasn't always run accordingly however. That said, it would not shock me if he was the knockout in this. His last run was better than it looks on paper; though I do tend to find myself saying that a lot about this big bastard. I am going to leave him and accept the egg on my face if he knocks 'em out.

Professor: Hayes: Check. Boss: Check. Look, this horse is always whopping unders. Ask any of the clowns who jump on this thing in early markets for the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup etc... In fact, if you play your cards right you can get $15 on this to win "So you think you can dance" at Sportingbet. Get on while the getting is good.

JB: Not for me, if you want a big horse, I don't know maybe your into that kinda thing?? Then Orca in Race 3 is more likely to make you a return.

14. PINNACLES (4) $34

Captain: Pinnacles can turn up with seemingly no form and win a nice race or run 3rd in a Doncaster, like he did last year. You should never take him lightly because his form is littered with bad gates and sloppy rides. An innocuous looking 8th for this horse in the form guide, is invariably a bad barrier, immediately followed by a sloppy ride; a double whammy which leaves him absolutely no chance. With a nice draw here and no weight on his back, I reckon he's worth a nibble at each way odds. Let's just hope Munce doesn't slop him up...

Professor: Has the ability to frustrate with its inconsistency like no other. I do like your chances of getting silly odds of $70 or so on the day. Once it ticks past that, you have my permission to get stupid.

JB: No one likes an inconsistent horse, ipso facto I won't be trackside screaming out for this guy. If you get nervous either put a hedge in for this guy or buy yourself a scotch and coke, I recommend the latter.

15. BLACK PIRANHA (11) $14

Captain: Looks like this one is on the up. His form is good and he keeps improving. Not sure if he has improved to the level of winning the Doncaster Mile but it's worth a shot. My issue with the Piranha is that he has only two runs leading into this. I would say that you need at least three. Especially when the mile might test you. And any trainer will tell you, this is the toughest mile race in the land. If he draws up to a horse like Theseo and looks the tiger in the eye, he'll see that it's going to take even more to beat him. I don't think he'll be fit enough or tough enough in the final furlong so it's a no for me.

Professor: If you like Neroli or Vision and Power at $10, you should love this one at $20. They ran a similar time on an even more chopped up surface in the Ryder. This carried 59 kgs in the Ryder, and boomed home. Regardless of conditions, I'm including this one with no weight as a real knockout.

JB: A horse that has fans, I'm not one of them and will not include in my straight up bets. Could find a place in the multiples for the Piranha but will see how much I have drunk by that stage.

16. RAGS TO RICHES (8) $67

Captain: Hehehehehehe! Makes me giggle that this old boy is having a crack at a Doncaster, especially when I'm used to him in more moderate Open Hcps in Brisbane. No form that makes me want to get a little crazy on him, although he won't have the likes of Pay Me, Nellie Got There and co. to contend with. Hehehehehehe! You know what I'm going to do if RTR gets up?!?

Professor: Yeah, on a genuine bog this thing could sneak into the first 4. That's as big a vote of confidence it'll get from me. And I'm its biggest defender.

JB: I'm not going to have any part of this, but will be interested to see the Professor and the Capitan fight for slopping rights.


Captain: I've talked her up before only to be let down, not with terrible runs, just with unprofitable runs. Class wise, I think that on her day she could possibly win a Group fillies & mares company. Just can't have her sober, but if the drink gets to my head, who knows what I'll be saying come 3.30 Saturday.

Professor: At this stage in her career, the Rose has been crying out for this trip. I was shocked to see that it had never run more than 1500 metres in her career. Interestingly enough, in her last two starts she has been ridden much more forward than usual. If you are backing her, with 51.5 kgs I think you would like her to be ridden cold and you just never know. She may just tickle 100-1 somewhere on the day and could run a really cheeky race. As it has matured, I think the rose has been crying out for 1600-2000 metres and I will have a little flutter.

JB: The Rose has quality in there somewhere, just not one to bring it out when it counts. I like this horse but this is not going to be her race.

18. MUSKET (14) $26

Captain: In a word...yes. This guy can win this. I get the feeling he's been building up to a race like the Doncaster since he started racing. His last run was the run of the day on the heavy in the Parma. He has no weight here. The mile looks perfect.'ll be shootin' home down the centre of the on him at a crazy $26 when he does.

Professor: His run in the Parma was terrific. And on a side note, how wonderful is it that Randwick has a listed race to celebrate the godly combination of snitzel, cheese, ham and tomato. Don't get me started about the bastardised hawaiian parma that Melbournians crave:

Believe it or not, this is Parma...possibly bastardised.

They love Simon O'Donnell. Musket is absolutely dependent on a cracking tempo up front - which he is highly likely to see here. With the likes of Sir Slick and Theseo in this race, Musket with 51.5 is an obvious beneficiary. I've got him down as the best of the genuine swoopers and at $26, you have to be interested.

JB: At $26 he is a solid roughie that you should have at least something on. Not going to be the horse that I want to win but will hopefully pay for a few more rounds when the race has come and gone.

19. RHYNO CHASER (17) $67

Captain: Do connections realise that there is another 1600m Handicap on the card that he might actually have a chance in?! You know what I'm going to do if the Chaser gets up?!?

Professor: It's your money.

JB: Look, nobody wants to see Captain peewee so lets all just move on, and if all the other horses come down with anthrax and somehow the Chaser gets up then I'm happy to just say it didn't and spare my retinas.


Captain: Theseo and All Silent are the best horses in this field in my humble First-Four-In-The-Golden-Slipper opinion. All Silent will need some luck and is susceptible to bombs, so on that basis, I make the bombproof Theseo my top pick. Musket should be flying home with the light weight and this could well be his time. But can a Musket defend you against a bomb? Solo Flyer can't stop winning, but hasn't been tested under a mushroom cloud. So;

1. Theseo
2. All Silent
3. Musket
4. Solo Flyer

"Then came, Hot Danish, King Mufhasa, Neroli, followed by Pinnacles and Largo Lad, next was Vision And Power, Alamosa and Whobegotyou had no luck, behind them Triple Honour, Black Piranha, didn't see it out, Chinchilla Rose and Gallant Tess, and a line of three have knocked up at the back, Sir Plod, Rags To Riches and Rhyno Chaser." Should have been a race caller!

Unless of course it pours and the track is heavy...then it is all Neroli!

Professor: Unbelievably, I'm almost seeing eye to eye with my first four. That may be what happens when you've been shooting emails back and forth about this race for 2 months. Or, this could be a race that makes sense. Anyway for the likely surface of a 5-7 on the double (peno)trometre:

1. Theseo
2. All Silent
3. Musket
4. Black Piranha.

At large odds, I see no reason why a dollar each way on Sir Slick and Chinchilla Rose would hurt. If it's no worse than a dead four, include Solo Flyer and Mufhasa at the expense of Musket and Black Piranha. If it's a genuine bog; my first four is Theseo - Black Piranha - Neroli - Musket.

JB: No prizes for guessing my picks if you have read the above but staying pretty firm on:
  1. Theseo
  2. All Silent
  3. Musket
  4. Largo Lad
Ok so I get a bit undone locking in a fourth, for me Boss is always a good hedge to the bullshit he carries on with. Looks like a great card with plenty of races that will be worth every penny of the entry fee. Keep an eye out for your WHAB team, they'll be drunk (possibly nude at some stage!), they'll be in the DOSA, and they will be talking it up!

Monday, April 13, 2009


You're down by 14 with less than 10 minutes to go in a Super 14 match. You get a penalty 35-40 metres from the sticks. You go for goal. Why? Because you are fuck-tarded. I am sick of seeing this. It's driving me fucking crazy. And now my team, the Waratahs, are waving the white flag like all the other fuck-tarded teams that do this. There is no positive to come out of this option. You kick it, you're still down by 11 and another penalty won't be enough for a bonus point. You miss, like Kurtley Beale nearly always does, you waste time that would have been better spent trying to score a fucking try! You're 11 need tries for fuck's sake! This from a team who sacked their coach because they didn't score enough tries, even though he took them to the Super 14 final. Fuck me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Professor & The Captain Talk Derby Day

Derby day tomorrow will hopefully be another cash cow for our team of punters here at WHAB. The Derby itself doesn't look nearly as exciting as The Galaxy, a high charged sprint over 1100m, in which many runners will become hurdles as they drift back through the field, the realisation hitting connections that they are way out of depth at Group 1 level. Two alleged Group 2 races and an alleged Group 3 on the card as well so we'll just stick to the features here.


Captain: I'm not entirely convinced of the staying credentials of many runners here, so am inclined to actually steer clear of the Rosehill Guineas form and look a bit rougher. I think there is a very real possibility that horses coming from interstate and across the ditch are in this up to their pricked ears. I particularly liked the run of Harris Tweed ($8.50) last week. Has run a decent 4th at the trip in NZ eh cuz, and looks like the run last week might have topped him off nicely for this bro'. Coniston Bluebird ($12) is the NZ Derby winner which is just choice form for this race cuzzy bro'. I reckon he'll improve on his run in the Guineas as he hadn't run for nearly a month. The spruiking of Big Col ($21) by Roy and HG was a concern as, whilst they are entertaining, they are the last two people that any sane and serious punter would want a tip off. But I do like the big fella in this. Comes into this after winning over 2000m at Caulfield when he and the horse that ran 2nd gapped the rest. I'm also a sucker for a son of Reset. So I'll go with Harris Tweed from Coniston Bluebird and Big Col.

Professor: I'm not looking too dissimilar in my picks here. I have grave doubts on the quality of the Guineas form. Big Col is my top pick, has quality stayer written all over him. Had a nibble last night and have seen the price roll in since, so I am clearly not alone. Unless of course $5 Each way has the potential to move a market. The Rosehill form from last week is a little tough to match up due to the wet. Harris Tweed and Doctor Doutes are my favourites based on that race. Harris Tweed put in a great run, and Doctor Doutes could have a bit of class over this trip. Will consider Coniston Bluebird as well. The Metal Bender/Rock Kingdom/Sousa group? Pass. I don't see the Guineas form holding up. Think it's a coincidence that front runners have dominated both Guineas? Both were won in a walk. If anything from that race gets up, for me it'd be Pre Eminence - it boomed home against the aforementioned slow tempo.

So yeah, work around 1,5, 7, 9 & 10. But mostly 10.


Captain: When I had my first run down of the The Galaxy field I thought to myself, "Gamble Me ($7) can win this". Then my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw she had only 51kg! I am loading up on her, think she is very underrated and definitely has a big race in her. Probably tomorrow. Not too many of these are genuine Group 1 horses and a lot of them prefer a slightly longer trip. Olonana ($8) has only ever won first up. She is a first up merchant. Maybe she can figure 2nd up with only 51kg as well. Kaphero is a Moonee Valley merchant, happy to leave him out. At first glimpse, Swiss Ace ($7) as topweight in a Group 1 is not appealing...until you read further. Right in this, with "Tooth-Rot" Kenny Pope on board. The Professor has been following Kenny's cigarette-smoke trail from Caulfield to Flemington and now here.

Yeah, yeah, another Group where's the fucking DOSA?!

The other horse I must include is Black Prince. I cannot think of any reason other than injury why The Jackal isn't running tomorrow. He is in career best form, like hot right now. And Black Prince ($7) ran a good second to him in the Star Kingdom. Last week Mount Verde (3rd in Star Kingdom) franked that form with a staunch win. So I will go Gamble Me, from Swiss Ace, Olonana and Black Prince to try and nail back to back First Fours!

Professor: Even with the big weight, Swiss Ace is the pick here. The form from the Oakleigh and Newmarket stacks up in a big way. Swiss Ace runs these off their legs tomorrow. The biggest danger is Gamble Me. I am yet to back this horse, I think that it has something to do with Simon O'Donnell tipping it one day. I couldn't back it. It won. It has had a dirty feel to me since. Maybe tomorrow is the day. El Cambio is my pick of the swoopers. If I go rough, Keen Commander has the ability to put in a run of such immense quality from time to time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Last year's Golden Slipper was bittersweet for me; as well as backing the third-placed Portillo, I ended up backing the winner Sebring, but like everybody else, had to endure another fist-pumpin', whip crackin', yahooin', Group 1 Boss-a-thon. Oh the humanity...

This year, you should prepare yourself just in case Headway gets up. I can't stress this enough: be prepared. The man wins a lot of Group 1's so don't get caught off guard by a screenful of over-excited Boss:

Professor's Trackwatch: I'd assume a dead to slow surface. The rain has likely stopped, but there was a lot of it!

Without further ado, here's a look at the 2009 Golden Slipper field.

1. Real Saga (13) $3.50

Captain: If he gets a clear run and a heads up ride from Oliver, I think he wins. In the Blue Diamond, Oliver sat miles back and let Reward For Effort stroll to victory up front, on a track clearly favouring leaders. Apparently the horse "does not have early speed". That's all well and good, but you can't tell me he couldn't have had him closer at the turn. The BD 2nd placing was his only defeat in his 5 starts. I love the fact that he has had a run between the BD and Slipper. Can he handle it if it's wet? I reckon 3/3 on the dead says he can. Don't think Oliver will be caught napping again and I think he'll be too good.

Professor: If I was going to take either of the two hype horses in this, Real Saga would most certainly be the one. But there are a lot of reasons to look a little deeper in this field. For one, I am always loathe to back a drop out horse in a Golden Slipper. But most importantly to me, in its first start in the wet against elite opposition and paying $3.50, you've got to have faith I guess.

JB: Plenty of class, plenty of people with their wallets riding on this horse. Bookies will be upset if this gets up and you too if you're stuck behind some dumbshit blonde with $2 place bet who has no idea what she's doing and the dueshebag shes with in his grey pinstrip suit with a pink shirt is waving his $3 win ticket in the air talking like he's the fucking king of the track, while you're trying to get your next bet on for the Kembla - we've all been there. If you want to take this horse put your balls out there so your not mistaken for the blonde or the dueshebag.

2. Reward For Effort (3) $11

Captain: Showed a nice turn of foot in the Blue Diamond, but I see Real Saga turning the tables on him here. Not just because Reward For Effort was helped by a typical Caulfield track favouring leaders all day, but I'm always wary of a horse coming to Sydney for the first time right after a BD win. There have been some spectacular failures in recent years from BD winners such as Undoubtedly, Sleek Chassis and Reaan, all of which were trained specifically to win the BD. Combined, they beat home two horses in the Slipper. Is the Slipper an afterthought for this guy as well? That's what concerns me.

Professor: It will go to the front, which is never a bad thing. It has shown the class to win this kind of race. This is also good. But yeah, the Blue Diamond is a pretty poor guide to this race and I'll be looking elsewhere.

JB: I'm not going to say that this horse will come last but I don't think the travelled punter will like any horse first time going to Sydney for something like the Golden Slipper. Not expecting the rewards for effort this weekend.

3. Manhattan Rain (5) $11

Captain: The Professor is all over this one because of an extremely vague connection to "Chubby Rain" (see Bowfinger). For those of you who haven't seen it, the rain is "chubby" because aliens are in the raindrops. I'm more of a Fake Purse Ninja fan myself. Has flown under the radar with More Joyous also in the Waterhouse camp. Has good speed and looks like he's in with a shot, and on closer reflection I have a favourite and roughies...I need something around the $11 mark for the multiples.

Professor: There is more to this love affair than the enjoyment I get calling for Chubby Rain. To me, this horse fits the Slipper winning profile better than most. When I look at the profile of recent winners, a couple of things jump out. 5 of the last 7 winners have turned in the top four. The two outliers, pretty special horses in Sebring and Miss Finland. For the Gents, the Skyline Stakes (3 weeks before the Slipper) has been the Bellweather race and like Dance Hero, Manhattan Rain lead in it from pillar to post. To me, it's not just the best value in the field but the best horse. I see Dance Hero upside in this colt.

JB: Multiples, for sure, sole win ticket with this guys name on it, not likely. If you listen to the Prof then this guy is at least a good hedge for many of you. I probably won't be tempted by this guy but not to say you shouldn't and if anything probably worth a few bob on it so as not to have to let the professor be alone when shouting out for some chubby rain.

4. Delago Bolt (1) $21

Captain: Don't think he'll be good enough. Winning in 1 min 13.1 on a good track, at this venue and over 1200m two starts back leaves me less than enthusiastic. I'm also inclined to leave out Black Opal form. Unable to place on a dead track. Ol' jailbird Munce on board. 1 min 13.1. Do I need to go on? $21, triple that and I'll have a look.

Professor: I am only worried about times when a horse is an on-pace type. Winning from the back in 1:13:1 is a pretty tough ask considering how cheap the on-pacers were clearly doing it.
In saying that, probably not at $21 but at $40 yes. So, we'll see if $40 is available on Saturday.

JB: The call is in, look for large odds. Probably wouldn't even have a taste at even the longer odds.

5. Wanted (8) $51

Captain: It would be hard to see him turning the tables on Real Saga. And there are other chances in the race besides Real Saga. So that's a no for him winning but: "I'm a cowboy...on a steel horse I ride...I'm Wanted...dead or alive...". I'll leave this one for all the Bon Jovi diehards out Rosehill way.

Professor: When I saw the run in the Kindergarten Stakes I was massively impressed with this one. Maybe something went wrong in the Tod-man. I'd give it a chance in the dry, but we've seen in the wet, and it couldn't swim.

JB: Not wanted in this direction. But like a midget at a urinal you have to stay on your toes, watch for this clown to sink about 600 to go blocking the run for a few behind it.

6. Phelan Ready (18) $26

Captain: I have a bit of time for this guy. Stormed home to win the Magic Millions over a filly who had been trouncing all comers (including himself) in Paprika. That's 2.y.o racing I guess. Ran on okay behind Real Saga in the Todman at his first start since the Millions, so there is likely some improvement there. He is presumably being set for the Sires/Champagne, so at the very least, he'll be strong at the line. Outside gate won't help, but if the pace is hot, expect him to be storming home at good odds.

Professor: I was quite astounded watching this thing storm home in the Magic Millions. I put a whopping bet on Paprika that day. That is the last time I take a 2 y.o. in a big race at under $5. Basically that's why I'm not touching the top two here.

JB: At $26 plenty to nibble on. Look to place and make you a few quid on the sly.

7. Zikmann (15) $301

Captain: I won't be trackside to nude up if this guy somehow wins, but I will run nude from Brisbane to Rosehill for charity. The Captain's Brisbane to Rosehill Nude Charity Run for Kids Who Can't Read Good and I'll even pull the whip down the Rosehill straight!

Professor: I'll be trackside to watch the Captain get molested by half of the Sydney Western Suburbs. Fantastic.

JB: I'll be far far far away from any Captain nude run, but not as far away as I am from betting on this horse.

8. More Joyous (12) $3.80

Captain: "Boom Boom, Shake Shake the Room...Tick Tick Tick Tick Boom!". Your annual Slipper boom horse. Certainly not saying she can't win but I'd choose Real Saga over her without thinking twice. Think she is still a massive risk of doing something wrong. An outside draw probably not ideal for her either. I'm going to boldly leave her out.

Professor: I'm with the Captain on this one - I'm leaving this one out. It's quite a tough call though, it was a pretty solid run in the Ilasik. Has never run a time that suggest that she is as good as the press clippings. I wouldn't be surprised if it comes third out of the Waterhouse tilt.

JB: See comments for Real Saga but if this is your style of betting then listen up and just put your money on Real Saga already.

9. Rostova (9) $7

Captain: I would suggest that she is looking for further than the 1200m. Obviously being aimed at the Sires/Champagne double as well, I think she is way too short here. Not convinced of what she's beat at her wins and was soundly beaten in the BD. $7... I am definitely looking elsewhere.

Professor: Has the unmistakable hype about her as the best Victorian horse in the field. Undeniable quality but not the best value in this field.

JB: Will be a horse to look out for. The $7 odds are more of a turn off than a he-she with bad breath and a moustache - although the Professor has been caught out before, don't be fooled here!

10. Melito (11) $21

Captain: Really had every chance to beat More Joyous in the Ilisak but was found wanting. Considering I'm not sold on More Joyous, I will be saving my cash for others.

Professor: This one failed to impress me in the Ilasik. I'll pass as I think there are better horses at better prices.

JB: Not too many races leave you thinking that no matter the rub of the green this horse had nothing to say that it could do better. Melito is one of these horses, it stared destiny down the straight and was found wanting.

11. Indian Ocean (2) $26

Captain: The first of the runners trying to win this off a one week backup. Horses that are running one week out from the Slipper are horses who need to win to guarantee a start. It is not an ideal preparation. Don't think she's up to it, but in saying that, her form is hard to gauge. I'll leave her out.

Professor: I prefer Marquardt, Headway and Horizons at better odds. It's had a win on the slow, so that's a plus.

JB: Inside barrier and at $26. Has the makings of a loose bet come 5min to jump. Stay strong, trust your instinct and leave this in multiples at best.

12. Headway (6) $31

Captain: "But it's Headway, well clear for Boss, and Headway wins the Golden Slipper!". You can smell the salty smell of Bossy's tears already. You can feel the jubilation in every fist pump and whip crack. Cop that you asshole Sydney trainers and owners! Considering that the Bossman wins a fuckload of Group 1's and Headway has won three on the trot, what are you waiting for? Get on that $31, get on that shit. The form looks alright and that price is oh so fine. Just remember to be prepared; Boss had to move to Melbourne recently to get rides after repeated snubbings from Sydney trainers, so expect an emotional rollercoaster as he gets his revenge!

Who's the Boss, bitches?

Professor: Yep, what the Captain said. You know, this is a BIG chance. I haven't seen this horse do anything but run brilliantly. Look, it fell in a bit in the Sweet Embrace. But the win prior to that had a bit of quality. I personally think that Horizons is better, particularly with a little sting out of the ground, but I'm looking pretty hard at this one.

JB: $31, a real chance take it and buy yourself a bottle of track bubbly to drown out whatever dribble Boss goes on with.

13. Our Joan Of Arc (14) $41

Captain: This horse seems to have been around since her namesake. I thought she was at least a 4.y.o already. Anyway, I'm not sure how this bookmaking thing works, but she was comfortably beaten by Wanted, drew a wider gate for this, but is $10 shorter. It doesn't make sense people. Pass.

Professor: Conspiracy theory: I've watched all of this horses races on the internet in the last hour (I have a kickass job!). Since qualifying for the Slipper in December with some utterly fantastic runs, this horse has not been whipped, prodded or nudged. It has been given back-rubs and sat around eating ice cream. Clarrie Connors, racing genius may have a devious and cunning plan here.

JB: Earlier form would give this horse much more of your time, either you believe the conspiracy / Bart Cummings M Cup theory or you're happy to let this one pass right on by. I'm inclined to do the later.

14. Horizons (17) $61

Captain: She will likely look the winner before they turn after shooting across from a wide gate early. Then she will either be swamped, devoured by the pack, and spat out the back door if they've gone too hard, or she will be thereabouts. Think the barrier might have killed her chances but there are a few shorter than her that seem to present far less value. Form is alright and has a slow track win (over Melito who is $21). Definitely not the worst, so if a schooner is say $4.50, 16 x $0.5 change= $8, that's $4 each way for Horizons.

Professor: Could well be the best roughie in this field. Put in a powerful win in the Widden (mudlark!), but couldn't follow it up in the Sweet Embrace. Upon review, Horizons was a sitting duck in the Sweet Embrace on an inner part of the course that looked pretty ugly (in fact, the next race was the Skyline won by Manhattan Rain and ALL of the horses looked to be five or more off the fence!). At the price, you have to have a look. The barrier is no worries in this weather either. YES, YES, ONE MILLION TIMES YES!

JB: You know you will have something on it, just do the math. You don't need much at $61 to have some fun with it.

15. Marquardt (16) $41

Captain: A tough filly. Has had a few setbacks and some bad luck in races but I find myself making a lot of excuses for her. Backs up here after making some good ground on Indian Ocean last week but this is harder. Not the worst though, and I'd include her in multiples before Indian Ocean personally.

Professor: Impressive run on the weekend in a less than impressive race. The barrier is not a big drama in this weather, and if they fly out in front, it's as good a chance as any. I will have a look at this one.

JB: I like the type of horse she represents. Sort of like a more modern day Fields Of Omagh only two thirds the size and hasn't come back from the dead. Would like to see it preform well but head is saying - go away, not today.

16. So Anyway (7) $81

Captain: So Anyway, I'll be leaving her alone. Not enough form against horses who are actually in the Slipper, even if she is a dead track merchant.

Professor: No, but the connections should be pretty excited... Although they seem like they let their 14 year old daughters name their horse so...

JB: anyway.

17. Sunday Rose (1st Em) (10) $81

18. Stryker (2nd Em) (4) $151


Captain: I will likely smash Real Saga because I think he's gonna be a star, whilst playing around with these and trying to nail a massive first four so I can take the next year or so off work:

1. Real Saga
2. Headway
3. Manhattan Rain
4. Phelan Ready
5. Horizons

Professor: I like Manhattan "Chubby" Rain, from Real Saga and Horizons. Given $20 to play with I'd put $10 on the Rain and $5 Each way on Horizons. Decent place chances for Headway, Marquardt and Phelan Ready. Obviously, one of the favourites could blow them out of the water.

JB: First I want to tell you a little something about Mr Tipsy in the BMW. First off, its a grey mudlark - say no more. Second, colours: Pink not chartrouse, pink. Third, M.Rodd. Fourth, it's paying $12. It might not really have the class of Viewed or Theseo but I like it! Roughie of choice has to be Newport who I hope, more from sentiment then form, also does well. But back to the Slipper, my money is all over the outside chances to make a return even in the places. All the cash to be split between Headway, Horizons and Phelan Ready. Won't be surprised if Real Saga and More Joyous battle it out down the straight but not betting on it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bryan Pape is an enormous douche

While not directly related to Sport, this could have a sizable impact on Bowl fest '09 (i.e. The Captain, JB and my trip to the Doncaster in two weeks) and needs to be mentioned. I am of course referring to the High Court challenge to the $900 stimulus package which is currently being debated.

Bryan Pape, Law lecturer at UNE and Nationals party member is trying to stop the payments through arguing that the Federal stimulus payments are unconstitutional. First, let me clarify something, as an economist I could never argue that these stimulus payments were the BEST way to inject life into the economy. However, in a world where political constraints make the best option hard to come by, these payments are as good an outcome as one could hope for. And actually, as an unreconstructed Keynseian I kind of love this blunt approach of throwing a big wad of cash at a problem. Sure, there may be some long term inflationary pressures but fuck the long term and give me some cash.

Anyway, this is where the douchebaggery of Bryan Pape enters. Look I am not going to go into his reasons (which beyond making himself semi-famous are unfathomable to me), but here is the deal: This is an economic issue. Lawyers, be they Bryan Pape or the High Court have no reason to be involved in this. This is an issue about injecting much needed funds into the economy. There is a benefit to doing this quickly. This is not the time to go off on a rant about the rights of the states and the dangers of unfettered federalism. In order to grab his moment in the spotlight, Bryan Pape is prepared to say a massive fuck-you to Australia. Every single one of us. Call it a vested interest if you will, but there is also the issue of MY cash.

I guess you could always send him an email.
Or if you're bored, you could help out with a caption for this picture.... leave yours in the comments.