The Leading Outlier At Pakenham

Michael Kruse 11 December 2019 Last Updated: 29 December 2022

In Victoria, the Saturday meeting was Pakenham Cup Day, and that provides the topic for this week’s newsletter with research via Vince’s IVR platform.

Why did only one leader win?

And given the fence was poison – if you disagree/are sceptical a simple viewing of the stewards vision of each race will give you clarity.

Pakenham Results

The real question isn’t why did only one leader win, but how did even one winner manage to win?!?!

As with most aspects of this endlessly fascinating caper, there isn’t a definitive way of approaching the topic.

Some like fence off racing and some don’t.

I absolutely prefer the latter option!

Pakenham Cup Day

So via Vince’s IVR let’s compare lead speeds (800 metre mark) and mid race (400 metre mark):

800m         400m           Finished     Odds
R1: Ponga               -0.3            +0.1              Last          $6:00
R2: Royal Thunder  -2.8            -1.1               Last         $16:00
R3: The Stylist         +4.0           +3.0              5th           $4:20

Draw a line there because they stuck to the rails, and the first two clearly weren’t right.

However the latter was only $4:20 coming off terrific wins in the country, and was the “give up” for all riders to avoid the rails for the rest of the day.

Note though that THE STYLIST was ridden by Jarrod Fry, and as with YULONG JANUARY later he rode a fast horse how it should be – fast!

R4: Annunciate        +10.7        -12.9             Last          $4:60
R5: Al Passem         +2.1          -0.4               3rd           $10:00
R6: Our Luca            +6.3          +2.0              2nd last    $7:00
R7: Runaway            +1.0          -3.6               3rd last    $26:00
R8: Yulong January  +2.5          +2.7              Winner     $3:60
R9: Our Gladiator     +1.8          +2.9               4th last    $4:20

So firstly you’ve got to be good enough to win, but what’s clear in the data is YULONG JANUARY was solid speed without going too fast, but then virtually matching it in the mid race was the winning tactics, meaning all those behind had to increase their speed while already going fast.

Race 8 Results

That meant by the time they got out wide into the superior lanes, they were too fatigued to take advantage of it.

A similar occurrence happened in the Cup won by bolter ETAH JAMES who sat 2nd to RUNAWAY that dropped out:

Race 7 Results

At the 800 she was going +0.4 then in the mid race -2.6, so only a minor deterioration, and given her deep fitness and staying capacity having had a 2800 and a 3200 race in November, was able under pressure to go -1.7 over the last 400.

Compare that to the $2:20 favourite SECRET BLAZE who at -10.3 to the 800 was 11 lengths from the lead, but then had to improve 13.6 lengths in the mid race at the 400.

With on pacer ETAH JAMES plodding along at the same speed, he was gassed trying to get close enough.

The moral of the story is solid even speed is the best and often the only way to overcome track bias.

The other moral of the story is to be very wary playing at Pakenham!

Thankfully we’re back in the city on Saturday at Flemington!

Have a great week!

“Racetrack” Ralphy Horowitz provides independent form analysis via He uses Vince Accardi’s IVR benchmarking service and together they do the Year Round Carnival podcast review of the weekend’s main races every Monday”

Check out our Pakenham racing tips here.

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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