First, the best for the New Year from Neil and I and we hope you had a safe but fun New Year. And of course hoping for a prosperous 2018 which is where we hope the ratings can help!

*** 10.40am Updated with bet of the day and lay of the day ***

And not only is it the first day of the New Year, it’s also the first Monday and that means free ratings for the Palmerston North greyhounds.

On Christmas Eve, we managed to get our Bet of the Day up without any stress at all and our lay of the day read the script to.  You can log into the dog ratings with:

user name – formpro

password – speed

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Bet of the Day – R15 – Wetchester (7)

I don’t like going back to past but I suppose I can argue that the last time Wetchester won for us was last year!

Wetchester won well at Hatrick recording the fourth best sprint closing sectional of the day.  It wasn’t a top class meeting but he’s got a bonus run in C1 class.  Amazingly, he’s a winner of NINE races from 60 starts so he knows his way to the winning post.  He struggles a little more up in class but where’s he’s been doing the bulk of his recent racing. He’s got 4 of the top 8 times at Palmerston North in the last 90 days as well.

The negative is he maps to be midfield.  There’s three slower dogs on his inside which helps.  One of the likely leaders, Nic’s Fab is drawn inside in box 6 but he tends to head to the rails which should give Wetchester room and a decent shot at the lure.  Wetchester has got a pretty decent record from the outside boxes as well.

Bookies have opened him at good value too – $3.90FF.  Rated price $2.70.

Well, what can we say after that.  So close to a great multi and so close to two long boring stories of coulda, woulda, shoulda.  The fish and chip paper will say Wetchester won and at the end of the day as we saw with George earlier in the day, it doesn’t matter how much they win by, so long as they win.  The price help up throughout the day so the $3.90 was a nice way to finish the day and start the New Year.  

Lay of the Day – R6 – Bigtime George (3)

There’s a lot to like about Bigtime George – back in October he was running around in C4 and here is running around in C2.

He’s got 3 of the best ten ratings in the last 90 days and he’s got 4 of the best at Palmerston North for the same time period.  But not one of those is a winning performance.  And to underline this point, he’s recent runs haven’t been dominate either – 2 of the runners have better best ratings in their last 6 starts and another is on par.

The explanation is that he is almost certainly to be slow away – he maps to be a clear last.  And from box 3 with even 6 runners ahead of him, it’s a lot to ask of an odds-on shot.

He certainly has the class to win but with his racing style, he will be relying on luck and the gaps to open at the right time.

So if the favourite is a risk, who could beat him?  It’s almost impossible to see George win without a swooping run so if he’s going to be beaten, let’s look to the speed map and see who’s likely to get the better runs.  Culvie Den maps to lead and is top rated.  Great value at $7.80FF.  Sasha McBell is a bit of a roughie but is drawn in box 1 with a couple of slower runners on her outside so could easily find herself out in the clear.  Another at great value at over $10 and she has run times at Palmerston North to compete with this field.

Both are worth a small outlay with perhaps an exotic with the favourite as a saver.

So so close.  Roso called it for us but the bob beat us – or rather George got up.  The race panned out pretty much as expected and while George would have been a very unluckly loser, it almost happened.  No cigar, no big multis but a close run thing.  Next time!

Back again with free ratings next Monday, 8 January.

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