Well, heavens to Houndstooth, but hasn’t March been one hell of a month. Three weeks ago, the Lighthouse was living it up in Horsham (yes, that is possible) on a golf trip and cleaning up on the Calcutta. Life was good.
Luckily for all, in a world that has jumped the outside fence and headed for the carpark, ozracing is hanging in there, which is a tribute to the leadership of the three racing codes and the previously underestimated good sense of governments across the country. (*Except the Tasmanian Government I’ve just heard, which is now blacklisted.)
Two weeks ago, when I last wrote I thought local racing was nearly cooked. I’ve since been asked by one of my more smartarse readers if that view was reflected in my tipping that day. Was I trying to gently wean punters off gambling with a bunch of dud tips? True Mum, it wasn’t a winning day as it turned out, but I will say that if 25/1 shot I Am Vinnie had just found one more millimetre in the last at Eagle Farm, you would be erecting a statue of me, rather than cutting me out of the will.
While this epidemic is causing massive hardship and stress for huge numbers, the Lighthouse is by nature someone who looks for winners rather than losers.
So, who is doing well out of this calamity? Well, Gerry Harvey says he is making more money than ever which is terrific, Auslan interpreters have never been more sought after, people who like using the expression “Petri Dish” in sentences are beyond euphoric and Australia’s dogs, even the Lighthouse’s pooch Mildred, are on peak walk settings. So not all is doom and gloom.
As most of you who keep an eye on racing will know, leading jockey Hugh Bowman copped a holiday last Saturday at Rosehill, when he clocked off a tad short of knock off time on Avilius in the Tancred and cost his mount second place.
This led to the usual outcry on racing forums from whingers, saying that his temporary absent mindedness had cost the perpetually set upon punter a fortune the size of a small Covid-19 recovery package.
Leaving aside the fact that only exotic bets on the race were affected anyway, I’ve never understood why every time a jockey weighs in light or comes out of Barrier 1 but somehow spends a race 3 wide without cover, punters collectively have supposedly been swindled.
The Lighthouse decided to investigate this common misconception and following the kind of thorough research the Lighthouse is famous for, I have determined conclusively that when one horse is robbed of certain victory by jockeys, trainers, stewards, farriers, float drivers, track bias or an Act of God, then the Tote and the Bookies pay out on another horse.
In the Tote’s case they pay out exactly the same amount to punters regardless of who wins the race. With bookies it will vary depending on how they have set their book, But I think I can be certain that Avilius being relegated to third on Saturday would have had bookies neither shouting drinks or calling a crisis meeting.
Many years ago the Lighthouse backed a winner in Adelaide, who was found after a closer examination of the photo post correct weight not to have won at all. “Punters robbed” the headlines screamed. Undoubtedly some were a touch stiff, but others like myself received an undeserved bonus. “Lucky punters reap windfall” is a headline I’m yet to see.
Then again, some people are just career moaners. I know someone who got 20/1 on Fine Cotton and still complains that punters were stitched up when he had that race taken off him at Eagle Farm.
SATURDAY TIPS FROM “BENCHMARK 64” ZORADAMUS
This week Zoradamus, with her sports forecasting work drying up elsewhere, returns to the tipping fray. Here’s hoping her psychic powers can find us that extra gnat’s tossle that often separates winners from losers.
In keeping though with wider industry prizemoney cuts and cancellation of Group races, Zoradamus has had to be downgraded from Group 1 to Benchmark 64 level. Zoradamus understands she needs to be seen to be sharing the pain in these straitened times and has reluctantly accepted this decision, but looks forward to having her Group 1 status reinstated when we’re through Corona.
The big meeting this week is at Randwick but with wet tracks and large open fields both there and at Caulfield, best stick to each way investing. I’m seeing great value and feeling positive vibes about Doomben and Morphettville though!
R4 Betcha Flying($12)
R5 Mirage Dancer($8)/Youngstar($7.50)
R6 SIRES PRODUCE Prague($8)
R8 TJ SMITH Pierata($8)
R9 DONCASTER Shared Ambition($11)/Cascadian($21) but anything could win
R2 Include Inverloch($5), Midterm($23) and Miramar($7.50) in multis. All like wet.
R4 Parmie($8.50)/Talented($11) both owe me
R6 More Than Exceed($21)/William Thomas($15) value in wide open race
R8 Royal Ace($51) has good second up and wet record
R9 Savacool($12)(Melbourne best value)/Declares War($12)
1,5,6,7,14/1,4,8,11/1,3,4,7,9/1,2,6,10,12 – Probably more runners than we need but expecting scratchings to trim this down
R6 Go Deep($8)
R9 I Am Vinnie($7)
R5 Lunar Light($8)
R7 Perfect Route($6)
R8 Oriental Lily ($14)
R9 Tahitian Dancer($16)