C F Orr Stakes – Was bolter Manuel findable?

Michael Kruse / 14 February 2019

Owning errors after zigging when zagging

After seeing them ok at Moonee Valley Friday night – endured a frustrating poor results day at Caulfield and probably in the most frustrating of ways.

I effectively got 6 of the 9 races right, (which you’d normally take any Saturday of the year) but had a losing day – no other metric really matters – in the 3 races I was keenest on

The starting point is while this caper can have unlucky days, often it is the decision making that was wrong and that’s the case here, so the hand is up.

On reflection – and I’ve addressed this previously – I tumbled into a “Caulfield Guineas” or “Derby” day mindset which is find the likely fastest horse set to peak in their respective grand finals, and if they do and have luck in running it will be a good day. (They both were last year fortunately!)

Saturday was a good stakes class meeting, but what was it really? Lead ups

Orr Stakes – yeah a Group 1, but what were most of the runners set for? $5 million All Star Mile and/or Group 1’s deep into Sydney’s autumn

Blue Diamond Preludes? Self explanatory!

Rubiton Stakes – Oakleigh Plate lead in

Carlyon Cup? Lead in to Australian Cup etc with 8 of the 10 runners first or 2nd up

And so on

My main mistake to focus on for this week’s newsletter was the main race:

1/ Manuel – Orr Stakes

He was $31 into $21 and both post the result and the – very plain – data coming through, I’d argue that price was absolutely spot on. In other words something like 3 to 5 times out of every 100 times they ran that race he’d win.

But there are big odds horses/days/circumstances to have against you (slow time wins, bad jockeys, little ability etc) and there are horses/days/circumstances and in this case predicted race shape and more importantly INTENT from the opposition that means you should consider at big odds to keep on side.

Obviously from a “Monday’s Expert” perspective Manuel should have been on side because he won, but smart players – not a blind squirrel finding an acorn – specked him from $31 to $21 for a reason.


* Position in running – how was he not going to lead?

Here’s what I wrote:

Had a tough on speed run before tapering first up at $41 strongly suggesting he wasn’t wound up. Ran super time beating FIFTY STARS this track/distance last October but 3rd up and still near certain below what’s required here. Goes forward though and makes his own luck taking on quite a few who’ll be ridden conservatively. Value player for multis with expected fitness improvement and the right run

Caulfield. Rail True. Fence on. Position in running. That’s a fair start at big odds

* He’s won this track/distance

I’ve previously written the “box ticker” is often worth taking on in the market, but as you can see (above) when we sizzled him from his October win Caulfield 1400, Manuel was a “box ticker” that had real substance. +3.8 lengths above benchmark best of the day isn’t Group 1 standard, but it’s very good and good enough to win a Group 3 type race or a moderate standard Group 2


* Ready to play or more to come? Or both?

The lack of intent (due to so many runners being a month or so from peak fitness) had to be a factor and it was

The hunch? Those who were first up and/or set for the future were Kementari, Land of Plenty, Brave Smash, Best of Days, Material Man, Redkirk Warrior, D’Argento, Shillelagh and Moss ‘n’ Dale – 9 of the 14!

The reality? Just +0.7 lengths above IVR benchmark not only was 3 lengths inferior to his October time same track/distance but will probably end up being the slowest Group 1 race for Australian season 18/19 on Vince Accardi’s data

* Good jockey in form/confident

Luke Currie is a good jockey. Not Oliver, Lane nor Williams, but a good jockey and like any sportsman, when things are “rolling” for him, he’s worth extra respect.

He had 10 single odds city rides in his previous 3 weeks of riding – for 5 winners! 50% v 22.7% market expectations

In summary IF Kementari positions a pair closer he probably wins, IF Material Man was ridden positively to use his early speed he probably wins or IF the probably not fit D’argento who had Betfairitis brought his Sydney best and picked off Manuel he probably would have won

But they didn’t. I didn’t and lesson learnt.


“Racetrack” Ralphy Horowitz provides independent form analysis via racetrackralphy.com.au. He uses Vince Accardi’s dailysectionals.com.au IVR benchmarking service and together they do the Year Round Carnival podcast https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/year-round-carnival-by-vince-accardi-racetrack-ralphy/id1272190424?mt=2 review of the weekend’s main races every Monday”

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Michael Kruse
Michael loves all things all horse racing and has been in the game for quite some time. His knowledge in the betting space is second... [Read full bio]

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