Skip to main content

Challenge Stakes preview

As the Melbourne autumn tapers off, they are just warming up north of the Murray. The mighty Hay List, the best male sprinter in the equine form, resumes after a year off at Warwick Farm, but won't have it his own way against a handy field. Kieran Fitzgerald, @kjob85, previews the Challenge Stakes.

--------------------------

Challenge Stakes

Hay List
A champion sprinter in his own right, Hay List is so much more than simply “the best sprinter after Black Caviar”. His inclusion here is a bit of a surprise after almost a year off, but a most welcome one for racing fans. His record speaks for itself – 23 starts for 15 wins including this race two years ago. Hay List's career has sadly been dogged by injury but trainer John McNair would not enter him in this race if he was not right, and the horse looked great in his track gallop at Warwick Farm last Saturday. He is rated well above his rivals here and assuming he is fit and ready, should be hard to beat.

Temple of Boom
A highly-rated horse and often talked up as a chance, Temple of Boom usually fails to fire and has been unplaced since a third-place finish last May at Doomben. He is resuming from a spell and has pretty good first-up form so that will work to his advantage. He struggles to break through so I would prefer a place bet.

Atomic Force
Another horse resuming from a spell, Atomic Force has some strong form in the past but is also quite inconsistent. Last prep he did not show much of his previous winning form, but his first-up form is strong. Like Temple of Boom, keep him in mind for a place but also worth including in the exotics.

Decision Time
Resuming after almost a year-and-a-half and again, has strong first-up form. Such a long break of course raises questions over the horse's fitness level, however previous form was quite strong including multiple wins at black type level. Given the break, prefer to include in exotics and will probably add some value.

Tiger Tees
Also resuming after a spell and also with strong first-up form, Tiger Tees usually offers attractive odds given his past form includes black type wins and placings against quality opposition. He has drawn the inside barrier here and should jump out to the front early on. Don't rule him out.

Golden Archer
Racing second-up following a third place behind Black Caviar and Moment of Change in the sizzlingly quick Lightning Stakes, finishing ahead of subsequent Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress. While Golden Archer may be overshadowed by some of the other horses in the Moody stable, he has very solid form and usually finishes near the top of the field. He has only raced the Sydney way once for a fourth placing and has drawn the outside barrier here, but his fitness and form indicate that he should finish strongly. Worth a look, he opened well over the odds.

Second Effort
After showing some promise in winter and early spring last year, Second Effort disappointed in some higher class races and was subsequently spelled. He may receive a boost if the track is a bit wet, having proven himself on slow and heavy tracks in the past. Otherwise this is probably too much of an ask for him first-up.

Howmuchdoyouloveme
While a proven performer at black type level, Howmuchdoyouloveme's best performances have come against lesser horses than those he faces here. His first-up form is strong, but in this field and having drawn an outside barrier, he should find it too difficult.

Mrs Onassis
Coming off an impressive win against a quality field in the Oakleigh Plate a few weeks ago, Mrs Onassis deserves to be rated highly in this race. She is drawn well and has performed at Warwick Farm before. Her win in the Oakleigh Plate was one of the standout victories of the day – racing towards the front and then unleashing down the straight. Definitely one to watch and could beat the boys on the day.

Fire Thunderbolt
A lightly raced 3 year old who has shown some promise in the past, Fire Thunderbolt is probably out of his depth here. This horse certainly has potential to be a strong performer, but against the older, more seasoned horses here he will find this too difficult. He will be better for this run though and is worth keeping an eye on in the future.

Snitzerland
A quality filly who has proven herself at group level before, Snitzerland should not be underestimated here despite racing against mostly older horses. She has proven herself against horses including Driefontein and All Too Hard before, and races here fresh after a spell. A win may be difficult for her, but with just 54 kg expect a strong run at the beginning of what could be an impressive prep.

Single Style
Another lightly raced filly, Single Style showed a lot of promise early in her career before faltering in her last two starts, both at Warwick Farm and following which she was spelled. More than the other 3 year olds in this race I expect her to be outclassed, although the drop back to 1000m should suit her well. Without further runs at this level against opposition of this quality, she remains a long shot.

Suggested Bet
Hay List is the horse to beat, but has opened quite short in the market and given his long break and past history with injuries, the price may not be right. I still expect him to win, with the next best being Tiger Tees, Snitzerland and, at longer odds, Golden Archer and Mrs Onassis. I wouldn't rule out any of them. Take Hay List for the win and then roll the others into a First 4. If you feel like a saver, Mrs Onassis each-way could bring some value.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term 'Ponzi scheme' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up.

So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done.

The…

damage control when trading goals

When trades go bad, some people will say cut your losses immediately, others will recommend having a bit of patience as events tend to level out (i.e. games with two goals in the first 10 mins never end up with 18 goals in 90 minutes). This is something I like to do on certain matches.

Background:
1. You've backed Under 2.5 goals, trying to nick a few ticks at a time as the clock ticks.
2. You've been caught out by a goal.
3. The market has gone sharply against you.

On this particular match from a couple of weeks ago, there was an early goal (sixth minute) before I got involved. The period immediately after an early goal regularly shows a sharp drop in the Under price, so I was trying to capitalise on that. But Watford then scored again after 14 minutes. The Back price I took (3.95) was now out to 12 - I could close out for a big loss (not my style) or wait and wait for the price to come back to somewhere I could close out for minimal damage. But at 2-0 after 15 minutes, it w…