Sunday, November 05, 2006

Maybe banking on a winner

By Hardluck Harry,
Former Crikey racing analyst*

Picking the Melbourne Cup winner is easy. Just take your formguide and run a line through the 18 horses that can't win.

Then take a box trifecta with the rest.

Picking the past three winners has been easier than usual - the Mighty Mare Makybe Diva picked herself, and the great odds on offer in 2003-05 were like robbing the bookies.

This year, the six horse who can win select themselves. They are, in order:

No 23 Maybe Better,
No 4 Tawqeet (or Torquay, as Bruce MacAveney insists on calling him. What is this, a thoroughbred or a beach house?)
No 24 Efficient
No 12 Pop Rock
No 13 Zipping
No 1 Yeats

All the rest are running for second place.

The Brian Mayfield-Smith four year-old Maybe Better showed with his past two slashing victories that he is ready to win the Cup. Maybe Better ticks all the boxes. He is:

*A lightweight horse who's beaten the handicapper and is coming into the race in great form;
*Drawn barrier three
*Trained by a master who won't run him unless he's 100% happy with him;
*Unlike the foreign raiders, we *know* he's in form and not backing up from a hard Caulfield Cup run like the Japanese raiders, or a 3-month spell like the Europeans;
*Drops a massive seven kilos from his impressive SAAB Quality win on Saturday;

And most importantly: he has great *tactical speed*.

The Cup is now a quality handicap. No longer can you just front up with a two-mile grinders and hope to outstay them all.

A Cup winner now has to have both stamina and speed.

Go onto the Net and check out Maybe Better's Coongy Handicap win at Caulfied three weeks ago. It was awesome. He came from near last and had them beaten in a flash.
He went past that highly-rated Kiwi King of Ashford like he was standing still.

Which is why I also rate Lloyd Williams' 3 y-o, Efficient, the best Derby winner in the past 20 years. A galloper with a paralysing burst of speed at the end; he will be gobbling up the leaders at the clock tower, with 49kg on his back. He drops 6.5 kilos tomorrow from his effortless Derby win on Saturday.

If he gets a cheap run form his great barrier, he can nearly win.

The Times Tell All:

My raceday clocker, Maurice the Magician, tells me that on Saturday, Maybe Better ran the 2500m three seconds faster than Efficent in the Derby. But Efficient, with a slower overall time, ran home faster in all sectionals except one - so it's hard to separate the two.

You are just about guaranteed to get an outsider running a placing. My longshot outsiders are:

*The lightly raced European horse Glistening;
*The two Kiwi horses No 16 Kerry O'Reilly and No 21 Mandela - both ran slashing Cup trials last week in the Geelong Cup;
*The second Japanese horse, No 2 Delta Blues
*And Lloyd William's third horse, No 8 Activation.
Lloyd's a battler - a bit short of a buck - and wouldn't it be lovely if he cornered the market and got himself the Cup trifecta?


History says that Lloyd's Derby winner Efficient can't win - but he looks very mature and runs on easily.

He will run well - but he won't beat the winner.

And the final plank in the Maybe Better chain of evidence?

The past four Cup winners have had two names, and started with the letter 'M'...

2002: Media Puzzle
2003: Makybe Diva
2004: Makybe Diva
2005: Makybe Diva
2006: Maybe Better.

It just fits!

*Wow, that's quite a comprehensive analysis there from Hardluck, who was sacked by pleasant-but-conservative new Crikey owner Eric Beecher in February for "putting noses out of joint" in the Federal Parliament. Good luck tomorrow!


Blogger Rebekka said...

The starting-with-M-theory has me convinced. But I'm still going to put $3 on Poprock cause he's so glossy.

9:23 pm  
Blogger VMeister said...

hmm...I can't see much beating Torquay actually - it has all teh fornm you need. I drew "Geordie land" in a sweep conducted in the Fed Parliament this week, so let's hope that roughies in a for a place (and I get my five bucks back!) but I really don't know why everyone gets so worked up about the "foreign raiders" - other than Vintage Crop and At Talaq, is there anything else (non-NZ) that has won from overseas (especially with no racing for months ..go figure!)

Good luck with the Vision thing Hugo, all the best mate


10:50 pm  
Blogger Hugo said...

Good luck with your horses Bek & Vinnie! I'm with you mate - bring in the foreign raiders, aren't we all for fair trade and open borders :-)

11:58 pm  
Blogger VMeister said...

ahh, apparently Media Puzzle and Vinnie Roe also overseas horses my "source" tells me.

some crusty old bastard told me once (when I was burning cash on horses at the age of eighteen &c &c) the only way to make money from horses is walk behind them with a trailer and a spade, shovel it into bags and sell it.

"Fair trade"...?! argh - have you been captured by the Socialist Alliance nutzos Hugo ..?

Anne-Marie always puts a couple of dolars on things with a interseting name (and invariably wins or gets a place) - so maybe you're onto something there Bek.

12:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it amusing that he never mentioned Delta Blues..........maybe I won't look for his tips in the future LOL.

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