We often use the phrase “box speed is gold” in relation to the dogs – and it is a fundamental principle of betting on the dogs that box speed makes a huge difference.

At the same time, we’re starting to see speed maps become a feature of form analysis in other NZ codes.

You can file this under Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but we started a series of posts on racing speed maps on Christmas Day.

Then on Boxing Day the big race of the Christmas period turned into speed map gold.  You couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried!

Zabeel Classic – Speed Map

Here’s what Neil had to say based on the speed map for the Group One on Boxing Day:

The speed map shows not a lot of early on-pace runners. Authentic Paddy can lead with Lizzie, Endean Rose and Chance To Dance looking to land handy. Consensus, with a better beginning can trail or be 3 back inner. Hi Flyer maps to settle 8th inner off a moderate tempo so will need the breaks at the right time.

As Neil got exactly right, the speed map showed a couple of standouts:

  • First, Authentic Paddy was almost certain to get an uncontested lead
  • Second, the lack of pace meant than unless a jockey decided to push the buttons early, it would likely be a sit and sprint race

Yes, it’s easy to say these things after the race but as Neil’s comments highlighted before the race, it made it even tougher for back markers such as Hiflyer.  And if you had dug deeper into the ratings, Paddy consistently shows up in these types of scenarios – for example his second in the Captain Cook Stakes two years ago which was an almost identically run race.

The speed map isn’t going to get everything right every time but this is a perfect example of how a speed map can help narrow down the likely winners and also highlight runners others might overlook.

The 20’s on the tote was nice but the 34’s on fixed odds even better.

Speed Map Posts

If you haven’t read the series, then here’s the links.

Post 1 – introduction

Post 2 – understanding the language of speed maps

Post 3 – speed maps by the numbers – let the data tell the story


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