Daylight savings – gone!  April gone!  Easter eggs … we can guess!

At least you’ll always have the Formpro Ratings every Monday – regardless of daylight saving, the month or indeed the supply of chocolate.

Just 12 races at Palmerston North today along with an earlier start – race 1 is at 12.14.  And there’s a bonus today with free ratings to the Rotorua and Riverton races.  Take that Easter Bunny!

I’ll be back later this morning with my best bet and lay of the day.  We were back in business last week with two from two and we’ll be trying to do the same again this week.


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Bet of the Day – Race 3 – Winevara (5)

This week, I’m keen on a runner that looks great each way value.  There’s a couple of dogs running around today that will be paying less than $2 to WIN when they race but Winevara is currently paying $1.80 FF to come in the top 3.

It’s not often that a dog (or horse for that matter) has all the “red ink” – that is, it has the top ratings across all the different categories.  Winevara is top of all the ratings in this race apart from box speed and he’s second rated in that category.  We’ve made the point plenty of times in the past how important it is to be in the first couple of dogs to the first bend so he ticks that criteria. Also, he’s drawn inside the dog with the best box speed and with a bit of luck from box 5 he can get a look at the rail.

We’ve seen in recent months dogs in C1/C2 hit a bit of form.  Whether it is confidence or they have reached a physical peak or they’ve discovered mindfulness, we’ve seen a number of dogs string strong performances together.  In four of his last 5 races, he’s recorded ratings of 40 or better.  Twice he’s rated over 50 and – no other dog topped 50 in their last 6 starts.

It is an open race with the bookies having the favourite as Cawbourne Symsy (4).  He looks to be a real risk from box 4 the way the races maps out and has yet to place from four starts in the blue.  Second favourite Bigtime Lady (6) is likely to show up in the early rush but struggles to see the race through.  Cawbourne Web (7) is definitely overs at $12FF and could bump up exotics.  The other runners who would be worth consideration for exotics are Opehu Express (3) who’s got early speed and Cawbourne Owen who has the benefit of box 1 but is likely to be slow away.

The $5FF is very nice for Winevara as is the $1.80 top 3 – a $10 multi on Winevara to place and Cawbourne Assist to place would return a very healthy $31.

As we say, miss the start and you miss out.  After the big write up about his consistency, Winevara simply bombed the start and while he was making ground at the end was never in it.  Cawbourne Web was definitely overs and went out to $14s.  Back again after race 8.

Lay of the Day – Race 8 – Cawbourne Taylor (5)

For those of you who are knew to this column, a quick primer on this section.  While we can’t lay runners on the NZ TAB, it is still find runners that are false favourites or at the very least paying shorter than we think they should.


If some dogs or horses are paying less than we think they should, then logically others will be paying overs.  So finding a false favourite is a proxy for finding some value.

As is usually the case, the best option for finding a false favourite or a dog that is paying less than it should is to look at the speed map and find dogs look like they could run into problems.

In race 8, Cawbourne Taylor is drawn in the middle of the field and that could be the issue.  He’s started pretty well in his last couple of starts but seems to take a few strides to get into gear.  The wider draws have also likely helped him as well.  So coming out of box 5, he is definitely a risk if he misses away.  While he’s lightly raced, in his 5 career starts, he’s never been first to the first bend and only once in the top two and that was from box 2 in a C0.

The likely pacesetter is Cawbourne Assist in box 7 and the speed map shows that the favourite is likely to get a fair bit of pressure from the dogs on his outside.  Cawbourne Assist is also the top rated runner in the race and has the best last start rating and the best rating over the last 6 races.  The other runner that rates well is Bigtime Mike (6) and he also maps to be on the pace.

For the exotics, Cawbourne Ridge could spice things up in box 3 especially as he might find some clear air on the inside.  He downgrades also which is another plus.  Apricity in box 1 is one of those dogs who always have next start written about them – he gets back and generally storms home.  One day he will jump and it will be a different story.  Worth noting that this is his first start in the red rug (box 1) and he is 1 from 2 in box 2.

For me, the favourite is too short and I would mark Cawbourne Assist around $2.80 so there is value with Cawbourne Assist and also Bigtime Mike.  If the favourite misses the places, then the trifectas and first fours will also likely pay over.

Speed map for race 8:

It’s all or nothing round here – glory or bust.  Sadly today, everything we predicted got turned on its head.  Cawbourne Taylor jumped – as did Cawbourne Ridge from box 3.  Cawbourne Assist definitely needed a help but third was the best he could do.  It wouldn’t have been that bad if Winevara hadn’t also missed the jump and missed a placing – but that’s racing.  The only saving grace was the trifecta of $190 which paid significant overs with the assistance (boom!) of Cawbourne Ridge.

Back again next week and we have a big of ground to make up.


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