It’s Monday and we all know the drill.  Free ratings – hurrah!

We’ve been knocking on the door with our bet of the day for a few weeks now although we’ve managed to find some nice value with the lay of the day and lately the rugs challenge.

Back again later Monday morning with our recommended bets.

First race is 12.15pm.  Don’t forget there’s now two meetings at Palmerston – M3 and M9.

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Bet of the Day – M3 R4 – Allegro Gun (2)/Big Time Crackem (1)

Over the last year or so, we’ve been treated to some really competitive C5 races at Palmerston North.  This C5 race doesn’t look anywhere near as competitive.

The ratings show that three dogs stand out – Allegro Gun (2), Bigtime Crackem (1) and Benny Burrito (4).  The speed map shows that the top two dogs should also be the first away.  And unless the trip each other up, then the only question should be the order they cross the line.

Allegro Gun has come back in outstanding order and was simply beaten by the draw last start.  He maps today to lead or be on the pace.

Bigtime Crackem will also appreciate the kinder draw.  He has a great record from box 1 and that was the only thing that prevented me from selecting the Gun on his own.

There’s a couple of ways to play this – back the Gun and save on Crackem or anchor the two in trifectas or first 4s. The $1.55 top 3 option for Crackem could help with multis too.

It started so well!  Crackem jumped well but to be fair was disappointing – he had every chance.  Sadly something wrong for Allegro Gun and you can’t factor that in.  All interest now on the rugs challenge – I suspect the bookies had 3 points in the bag for box 2.

Lay of the Day – M3 R2 – Bigtime Reece (8)

It’s quite possible you may think I’ve lost my marbles.  Bigtime Reece has been in winning form recently and his top ratings have been superior.

But if you dig a little deeper, you will find a significant flag, one that I think is often overlooked in dog racing.

In his last two starts, Reece has won well rating 38 and 54.  However, both ratings were generated from box 1 and we consistently see large numbers of dogs run better times in the red rug than from other boxes.  Another flag is that albeit in a short career, he has had just one race from outside box 4 and he didn’t place.

Box 8 should suit to some extent but he is not the fastest away and tends to make ground after the initial few strides so he is at least vulnerable from box 8.

As we saw last week, $1.70 is very short in a dog race.  I can still find reasons why Reece can win but I wouldn’t be backing him at $1.70.

There doesn’t appear to be a standout runner with a number of dogs having cases.  Bigtime Boy (7) has been running consistent races and has the opportunity to keep the favourite on his outside.  I’ll Be Loyal (5) looks the likely early leader while Cawbourne Muzza (1) will appreciate the inside alley.  Cawbourne Frost (2) has the best track and distance stats and also will appreciate the inside draw.

The value could be in a trifecta or first 4 – if the favourite doesn’t win or place, then you should get significant overs.

Never looked like winning – slow away in the first few strides got a check and that was it.  Easiest lay yet and the bookies will be celebrating that one.  The only downside is that it impacts on our value box in the rugs challenge but still 8 races to go.  The winner actually slipped through the cracks – it rated strongly although it had a terrible record at Palmerston North over the 375m (1 placing from 10 starts).

M3 Rugs Challenge

Based on the raw Predictor rankings, the top 2 boxes are box 2 (currently favourite at $3.20) and box 8 (at $14).  it’s interesting the bookies have priced box 8 so generously given they have a dog at $1.70 in race 2.  The predictor shows there’s a few dogs that look to have better chances than their odds so a little at $14 could make for an interesting day, especially if Allegro Gun doesn’t win.

The bookies adjust the odds after each race so you could expect to see the odds on box 2 drift out a little if it doesn’t pick up any points in the first couple of races.  Based on their prices, the bookies aren’t working on this basis although dog 2 in race one has some early speed while dog 2 in race two we noted has the best track and distance ratings.

With a minimum $1 bet, it’s a cheap way to have an interest in a lot of races and with a little luck pick up a return too.  A reminder that there is a separate rugs challenge for the five races on meeting M9.

Update at 11.50 – perhaps the bookies have had a coffee but the price for the pink rug has come into $9 already.

Update after race 1 – the speed map cleaned up with the two outsiders who mapped to lead picking up the first two places.  So BOTH rug 2 and rug 8 pick up unexpected points – will be interested to see how the bookies react.  Stripes (2) is now paying just $1.45 while box 8 which opened at $14 is now paying $6.

Update after race 2 – wow, the bookies did think Reece would win – after that race, the pink rug is now out to $21s while box 2 is at $1.25!

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