Harness Racing | BigFooty

Harness Racing

Discussion in 'Punting Board' started by AvantGardener, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. AvantGardener

    AvantGardener Team Captain

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    Just thought I would see if we can get a harness racing thread up and going. Discussion of everything can go in here, bets, breeding, stories etc.

    A bit of a lull in the open class ranks with Laz retired, Soho Tribecca and Chicago Bull injured, Vincent at stud, even horses like Field Marshall and Jillby Kung Fu injured, and even though they're past their prime Lenny retired and Hectorjayjay injured/retired.

    Tiger Tara was at best the 4th stringer in the Grand Circuit last season but looks top dog now and was a great run in NZ Cup. Purdon unlikely to bring any/many across for the Inter so its basically going to be Tiger Tara taking on a glorified Vic FFA this season. San Carlo and Shadow Sax had trouble getting past Lenny last year and are the big two threats to Tiger Tara. Those two will go around tonight at Melton.
     

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  2. Bernie L

    Bernie L Norm Smith Medallist

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    San Carlo has taken the next step. Shame he was a late bloomer.
     
  3. chunkylover

    chunkylover Club Legend

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    Quick Question, at Gloucester park Gary Hall jnr looks about 65kg and some of the tubbier reinsmen look about 80kg. Simple physics tell me thats a nice advantage for a lighter driver or is there a standard weight that all pacers have to cart around the track?
     
  4. AvantGardener

    AvantGardener Team Captain

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    No standard weight. As much as larger drivers will try and tell you theres no difference, lighter drivers do seem to be at quite an advantage. I don't think its as distinct as gallops though.
     
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  5. balmainforever

    balmainforever Dibs

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  6. balmainforever

    balmainforever Dibs

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  7. AvantGardener

    AvantGardener Team Captain

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    Speeding Spur and Tornado Valley are just about how far jobs in the trotters.

    Wrappers Delight V Tiger Tara in Heat 1. He's drawn bad in this but given the lack of depth about current Grand Circuit horses Mattgregor could be one to announce himself on the scene this series.

    Heat 2 and Mach Doro should lead this on his ear. I'd expect him to hand up to Franco Nelson. Throw in San Carlo and Shadow Sax and you have yourself a F4.

    The weakest heat. Barely resembles the usual FFAs at Menangle or Melton. On his NZ FFA win Cruz Bromac should win this.
     
  8. 54Dogs

    54Dogs Norm Smith Medallist

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    Tiger Tara
    Mach Doro
    Cruz Bromac

    Balance between soft runs and enough points early in the series
     
  9. AvantGardener

    AvantGardener Team Captain

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    As expected the two short priced Trotters won convincingly. Gav Langs trotter did well to take ground off Tornado Valley in the straight and run into 2nd. Maori Law did well to run into 2nd behind Speeding Spur despite the handicap of the American driver Jameson.

    First two pacers heats were excellent competitive affairs.

    Heat 1:
    Top 5 pretty impressive in different ways. Some good runs out of this heat.

    Heat 2:
    I've seen Mach Doro and Franco Nelson both come out harder at Menangle. Shane Tritton was interviewed pre race and said Franco Nelson wasn't 100% ready so perhaps thats why Lauren Tritton didn't have the handlebars down for once. And Luke McCarthy on Mach Doro was hardly going to get into a speed dual with brother Todd on Galactic Star. Maybe Galactic Star has flown under the radar and go under everyones guard (mine included). Won a heat last year and 5th in final, and this years series is well down on class. Hard to guage where all these horses are at - nothing really stood as run of the race. San Carlo appears a good run on paper and from vision, but Motu Meteor done just as much work and stuck on his back and Motu Meteor is just making up the numbers. Mach Doro probably a bit disappointing not to make any ground in the straight. Franco Nelson good and Shadow Sax finished off good. Shadow Sax has been stood down pending Vet inspection though.

    Heat 3:
    Cruz Bromac does what would be expected of an Inter contender beating okay FFA horses. Let it Ride got shown up. At time of my opening post I reckon he was 2nd favourite for the series with most agencies but I didn't even mention him in my post in the top contenders. Overrated! That said still should have finished off better than that last night, maybe not his best.

    I'll start off some rolling power rankings. I'll go to a top 12 given 12 make the final (I believe only top 9 can win final). The 3 heats format makes it really good to dissect form as differents horses meet each other so hopefully rankings get better with each round! I have placed actual series win odds in brackets.

    1. Tiger Tara ($4.40)
    2. Cruz Bromac ($4.40)
    3. Im Pats Delight ($10)
    4. Spankem ($6)
    5. Shadow Sax ($14)
    6. San Carlo ($5.50)
    7. Galactic Star ($12)
    8. Franco Nelson ($14)
    9. Wrappers Delight ($8)
    10. My Alpha Rock ($26)
    11. Motu Meteor ($151)
    12. Maximan ($34)

    Quick glance says Ive rated the run of Pats Delight as better than Spankem but the market says otherwise. Maybe something to do with the vets certificate but I liked Shadow Sax last 400m more than the odds suggest $14.
     
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  10. AvantGardener

    AvantGardener Team Captain

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    Rd 2 fields can be found here http://www.harness.org.au/racing/fields/race-fields/?mc=BA041218

    Trotters heat 1 some of the lesser likes get a chance to get some high points and cement a birth in the final. Barrier not kind to Kyvalley Blur yet again.
    Trotters heat 2 and the two stars of the series go toe to toe. I'm probably of the opinion Speeding Spur is the better trotter but a mile may not be his best go.

    Pacers heat 1.
    Wrappers Delight going to be hard to beat over the mile drawn pole.

    Pacers heat 2.
    Not sure of Pats Delight gates speed and Joes Star of Mia and Franco Nelson need points so it might be on early. Finding the front might go a long way to winning this heat. Interesting to see what happens with Shadow Sax after pulling up lame

    Paces heat 3
    Cruz Bromac somehow manages to get the weakest heat yet again but at least drawn back row here alongside fellow heat winner Galactic Star. Given lack of depth on front row I'd like to Mattgregor push forward, Mach Doro should be able to guide him across.
     
  11. Better Loosen Up

    Better Loosen Up Norm Smith Medallist

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    Find it hard to get into harness racing these days. Too many races have ridiculously short priced favourites and the returns are too small.

    I think the whole industry needs a restructure in the way they class their races or something.
     

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  12. iluvparis

    iluvparis Premium Platinum

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    ??? I've never really followed it but it feels like even since I was a boy 90% of fields have a $1.20 shot.
     
  13. Better Loosen Up

    Better Loosen Up Norm Smith Medallist

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    Yep. Way too many of them
     
  14. HeathComeBack

    HeathComeBack Premiership Player

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    I used to love Harness Racing, but they made so many stupid decisions like putting in a sprint lane, shortening the races, getting rid of stand starts, moving to Melton and Menangle (the worst decision of them all), playing around with the format of their showpiece, the Interdom , playing around with the Miracle Mile, that i just cannot be bothered anymore.
    I actually think the death of harness racing started with the saturation of racing on Sky Channel which meant i hardly was able to watch a race without some interruption. Thats when the the dogs moved from 3rd in the pecking order to 2nd.
    They killed their own industry though. There is a no brainer to try and make it better, buy some time on Channel 78, pick Saturday night as their racing every night and just concentrate on the metrop meetings like they used to do on the old channel 38 days, Aslo **** off with Trotters races in the quaddie legs, its hard enough backing a winner without a big chance of the horse breaking.
     
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  15. Better Loosen Up

    Better Loosen Up Norm Smith Medallist

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    Why is the sprint lane a bad thing if it gives more horses a chance to win the race?
     
  16. Better Loosen Up

    Better Loosen Up Norm Smith Medallist

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    I think they need to reduce the number of meetings on the calendar.

    Move their main meeting back to Saturday nights. Channel 31 on a lazy Saturday Night used to be great!

    Change the classes of races so that you don't have so many $1.50 favourites.
     
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  17. iluvparis

    iluvparis Premium Platinum

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    Have they considered getting rid of the carts and the rule that you are not allowed to gallop?
     
  18. Better Loosen Up

    Better Loosen Up Norm Smith Medallist

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    And jumping out of barriers?
     
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  19. HeathComeBack

    HeathComeBack Premiership Player

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    it actually doesnt. it takes the horses out wide and drawn on the second row out of the race. Also changes the drivers tactics so that they don't make moves anymore because they get beaten by the "cheat lane"
     
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  20. Better Loosen Up

    Better Loosen Up Norm Smith Medallist

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    That's true. Didn't think of it that way
     
  21. AvantGardener

    AvantGardener Team Captain

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    Good points raised.

    NSW and Vic have both played around with the programming of races in recent times and continue to do. Saturday nights at Menangle has probably seen the best outcome. I think the small horse population that race each other weekly and that there is more consistency in a standardbreds performance are the two biggest hurdles to short priced favourites so any programming is still going to produce more than out fair share of shorties unfortunately.

    I agree less meetings would produce more even fields however it will never happen. Two meetings with two races with $1.50 faves will still produce more income than one meeting with one race with a $3 fave.

    Pools in standing start races consistently lower so despite being good as a handicapping tool it doesn't actually entice punters.

    I get the cheats lane sentiments but the sprint lanes definitely does bring in more chances to a race. I think we need more bigger tracks though like Menangle to give every horse a chance. No sprint lane at bigger tracks like Menangle, Newcastle and Ballarat yet every horse gets their chance. Much like I'd rather punt at Flemington than MV gallops the half mile tracks aren't as good as a 1400m track.
    Its just that these bigger tracks aren't as good as a spectacle when on course. However I think the punting dollar needs to win out over on track spectacle and as such the move to Melton and Menangle from MV and Harold Park isn't such a bad thing. The industry in NSW was financially on its knees pre the Harold Park sale.

    I think the Inter final night will be on one of the Seven channels.
     
  22. HeathComeBack

    HeathComeBack Premiership Player

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    "Hey, lets go to the harness races for a night out"
    "yeah great, where are they?"
    "Melton"
    "Melton? backwater Melton out at whoop whoop?"
    "Yep thats the place"
    "yeah not if you paid me a million bucks"

    They have taken the track away from the people. No one wants to go to Melton. I am not sure of the latest figures but i do know Harness racing's turnover has taking a big dip in the last few years, No one wants to bet on it and no one wants to go. Its a shame, they used to have a good product
    '
     
  23. Better Loosen Up

    Better Loosen Up Norm Smith Medallist

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    Agreed. If they had no option to move from MV then Cranbourne would have been a better option than Melton
     
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  24. IKnowtheDog

    IKnowtheDog Norm Smith Medallist

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    The racing pattern is the biggest issue for the trots rather than the size of the track.GP is basically first out first home and Melton or Menangle if you’re out the back you have no chance eg; Lazarus in the miracle mile.

    My interest in the trots dropped when they moved the nights of its key meeting and also the starting time.

    Abolition of standing starts was a disappointment along with reducing the distances of Victoria’s big races plus moving the calendar all the time
     
  25. AvantGardener

    AvantGardener Team Captain

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    Yes Melton is certainly not ideal for the small amount of people that do go. They did need to get their own track though rather than renting from MV. The last 5-10 years at the Valley there wasn't any crowd in attendance anyway. As a pros/cons of Valley V Melton, Melton still wins out. I'm not familiar enough with Melbourne but I'm sure there was a better location than Melton that could have been chosen. But when nobody was going to the trots anyway and the sport was declining a change to owning a track, taking the track closer to the horse population and getting a fairer racing track had to be made.

    Cranbourne isn't the answer as horse population is minimal out there, regularly only attracts meetings with 6 races with 6 horses in each race.
     
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