It looks like a tough day for punters for a couple of reasons so I would tread a little more carefully.

First, as we’ve noted, the change to 410m means we are still building our data on the new preferred sprint distance.  It does mean the form over the much shorter Whanganui sprint of 305m is hard to compare.

Second, with so many heats of the NZ Racing Series Novice, there’s lots of runners who haven’t previously run at Manawatu.

Bet of the Day – M3 Rugs Challenge (4)

For those of you who are regular visitors on Monday, we’ve found a bit of value with the rugs challenge in the past.  it would also seem like the ideal bet type when there’s a fair bit of uncertainty around a large number of runners having so little exposed form of their raceday conditions.

The bookies have opened box 1 (red) at $2.80 and box 4 (blue) at $3.  The predictor suggests box 4 will do to the rest of the boxes what the ABs did to the Azzurri on the weekend.  And yes, what delicious irony with “azzurri” meaning blue in Italian!

Now, if you haven’t played the rugs challenge before there is a bit more strategy that other bet types because the odds change after each race.  Based on the predictor, I would expect that both boxes 1 and 4 will drift out at least a little although box 1 looks a decent chance in race 2 (see below).  It’s quite possible box 4 won’t score any points until at least race 4.  From there, buckle in as the predictor has the blue rug as a winning chance in 5 of the next six races.

The other factor to take into account is that box 1 has two scratchings – box 4 none.

So there looks to be some great value from the outset with box 4.  I would split my bet and take some of the $3 now and then hope that the bookies give us a bit more value after the first couple of races.

The best single runner looks to be Monster Fish (M9 R5).  He’s short enough at $2 but has been racing well enough to justify that price.

Still not sure whether to laugh or cry.  If you followed this bet, you would have undoubtedly got your money worth.  And almost – again.  It was a three way tie at the top so we got 1/3 of the payouts.  If you had held off until after the first couple of races, the blue rug drifted out to $10 and then to $51!  So a third is still nice but if we’d been able to pick up a point in the first few races it would have been stupendous.  Still, unbelievably value even if we are splitting it three ways.

Lay of the Day – M3 R2 Bigtime Leads (5)

I think Bigtime Leads is too short at $1.80FF in race 2.  The main concern is the box draw – his best ratings have come from the inside boxes.  Indeed, of his 11 starts, 7 have come from box 3 or better.  So while he’s run some good times for the class, they have generally been assisted by the draw.

He’s also not the strongest dog at the end of his races and over longer distances in his last three starts he’s been run down all three times.

The ratings also suggest that he’s been finding things a lot tougher in his last races.  His “best” rating (based on his last 6 starts) is almost the worst in the field.

I suspect he will face a bit of a challenge for the lead with Americano pushing out from box 2 but she’s another dog who doesn’t have the strongest finish.  To make matters worse, Cool Wolf in box 3 will take more than a step to the right and if he picks the jump will be right in Bigtime Leads path.

So if Americano gets run down the obvious candidates are box 1 (which won’t help our rugs challenge bet!) or perhaps out wide where White Comet has the best closing sectional. Retail Mayhem (6) is another who been running consistent races over the 410m.

I think it’s the type of race where if the favourite does get beaten, there will be some nice value.   It’s also the type of race where the trifecta looks to be a good bet, especially if the even odds favourite doesn’t place.

Almost.  The favourite was lucky – or brave – and it was touch and go for a moment.  I thought Retail Mayhem had the favourite covered but the favourite just had enough.

M9 Rugs Challenge

The bookies have the green rug (6) on top based largely on its chances in the first 2 races.  It needs to pick up maximum points as there’s only 4 runners in the 5 races and the last 2 don’t look particularly strong.

It looks an open challenge so perhaps the best approach is to see if there’s some early upsets and then follow boxes with stronger chances in the last 3 or so races – box 3 and box 8 look like they will pick up the most points in the last couple of races.

Box 6 does look strong in the first couple of races although both runners are having their first raceday start at Manawatu.

No recommended bet and will update after Race 1.  That said, if you can find a box to beat the green rug in the first or second, then get on as the odds will crash if that does happen.

After race 1 – pretty much to script with the green rug getting three points.  Green looks good for another 3 points in the next race 2.  The Predictor has the white rug getting 5 points across the next 4 races so it could still be on – and more importantly, the white rug has a couple of top chances in the last 2 races.

After race 5 – the green rug was never in it after the favourite missed out in race 2.  Box 8 was rated second equal so some of you may have got on.

Back again next Monday.




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