Just 12 races today but some very competitive racing today.  We’re used to seeing a few short-priced runners going around but the bookies are having the same challenge.  While the very top class dogs were at Auckland yesterday, the Golden Chase means we still see a few nice dogs going around today.

Bet of the Day – M3 R3 Retail Mayhem (1)

Last week, Retail Mayhem drew inside Bigtime Marley with Retail Mayhem finishing second and Bigtime Marley finishing third.

Today, Retail Mayhem has drawn the ace and Bigtime Marley will be jamming out of box 7.  Interestingly, neither dog has won from their respective boxes although Mayhem has been placed 6 from 8 times in the red rug.

Retail Mayhem maps to hold the rail – even if he does wander off the rails a bit, Van Jack is a reliable slow beginner.  Conversely, Bigtime Marley maps to be midfield as best as was last with Hurricane Al on his inside and Al maps to be on the early pace.

The way the race maps out, the $5.50 on offer for Retail Mayhem looks pretty good value.

Retail Mayhem jumped OK but the two outside dogs jumped better than expected.  Never really a chance from there.  A bit of a nothing run – never really looked like a winning chance.

Lay of the Day – M3 R9 – Bigtime Alfie (6)

I got burnt by making Alfie the lay of the day last week and to be fair it could happen again today.

He’s in great form and he’ll go out a short favourite.  However, he’s still climbing the rungs of dog racing and as we’ve seen many times in the past, it gets tougher as you climb up the grades. This is his first crack at C2 and there’s dogs here that have been running around C3/4 races in the last month or two.

The main concern is that he’s won just 1 from 6 attempts over today’s distance.  He shows up on the speed map but coming up in grade tends to flatter some dogs – the sectionals tell us he will need to be at his best. And of the six dogs with runs over the course and distance, just one has a slower best time. Box 6 is not going to be a major problem but it does make him a little more vulnerable.

I think there’s value around Tommy the Jett and Tuff Knight and the bolter could be Bigtime Chris.

It will be a pretty good test of the Alfie’s ability but at $2.10FF I think he’s too short with the flags above.

Almost the perfect race to illustrate the value in finding short-priced runners who could lose.  Alfie is a good dog but at Palmerston he’s not the same dog as at Hatrick.  The bolter won and paid $17 on the tote but you could have got more from the bookies.  Our three selections filled three of the F4 and all finished ahead of Alfie who was in to $1.90 with the bookies.

Rugs Challenge

The bookies have boxes 2 ($2.70) and 1 ($3.80) the favourites and so too does the Predictor.  So not a lot of value today.  As always, it’s a market that’s worth reviewing after a couple of races as the prices can change dramatically.  However, the bookies look to have the market pretty well covered.