Last Saturday at Flemington was a great reminder of the “wisdom of crowds”.
In a non racing fashion that term was brilliantly addressed by Dan Gardner and Phillip Tetlock in their sensational “Superforecasting” book. (And audio book!)
The best stuff I’ve heard on the topic was Sydney form analyst Marc Lambourne on his Business of Betting podcast appearance. “It’s real information…”
In simple terms the collective intelligence of the opinion of many is better than the opinion of a singular person regardless of how smart, and of course in markets when people of risking their own money/reputation be it financial, property or betting then particularly so.
With racing there’s information either side of the stable door.
How fast did/can it run v how fit/forward/healthy is it and what tactics should occur with ordinary logic, but will those tactics be used?
Mine or anyone else’s price ratings who do it seriously on a Saturday morning – opinions expressed as a % assuming it’s to a 100 – are reflective of a personal forecast once data and maps are lined up, and I and assume most line up their own work with the available prices for a “2nd opinion”.
Personally I avoid looking at markets until I’ve done all my work on the race.
Santa Ana Lane Under Sunlight
So when SUNLIGHT and SANTA ANA LANE were both high 2’s/borderline $3 Saturday morning, my strong opinion was SUNLIGHT was value as listed her as $2:65 (above) while SANTA ANA LANE I had much longer than the market $4:75 writing; – Arguably the best sprinter in the country, but with a clear profile of being better with a run before exploding 2nd up, which he did last prep when 5th in the Newmarket before winning the TJ Smith and previous campaign when 5th at Caulfield before busting the clock over IN HER TIME Randwick 1200. Given he’s set for the Everest next start and that he looks in good order at the trials/jump outs, would think the pattern remains. For clarity his two first up wins were debut Bendigo maiden September 2015 and Caulfield by a nose February 2016. – I was “out on a limb”.
However come start time SUNLIGHT was $2:20 and SANTA ANA LANE was $3:75, because the “real” wisdom of crowds by then had kicked in with liquidity from the big players who can’t get set properly earlier.
Some schools of thought would say I should have to avoided SUNLIGHT because she was “unders” from my original $2:65 assessment.
I once heard someone I respect – hence not naming the person! – saying because a horse he was very keen on had been heavily backed into $2 and he only had it at $2:40 he was looking for value elsewhere, because the “price was gone”.
It bolted in by 4 lengths.
I can’t buy that.
I’d much rather see “the tidal wave” come, with “everyone” thinking this was (in SUNLIGHT’S case) her race which it ended up being, and as you can read in the just-launched October Sizzlers, the data screams the margin should have been greater.
Conversely there was the “Betfairitis” of MYSTIC JOURNEY who blew from $3:00 to $4:50 at the minimum.
All my pre-race confidence evaporated as that was the collective intelligence of the market saying the price was wrong.
Ridden completely negatively unlike in the Australian Guineas and the All Star Mile?
Amusingly some apologists have since said that riding a top class horse back last in a race where the forecast slow pace eventuated because apparently the trainer said things on social media and elsewhere about being conservative.
Rules of Racing 100
Here’s a cut and paste of Rules of Racing 100:
AR 100 Notifications in relation to changed riding instructions (1) A trainer or the trainer’s authorised representative: (a) must notify the Stewards of any instruction or arrangement to the effect that a horse is to be ridden in a manner different to how the horse was ridden at its most recent start or starts;
And the trainer didn’t notify the stewards, so doing form it is my firm belief that they had no right to ride the mare dead cold as it was a clear change of (non officially notified) tactics.
And then there’s the over-riding rule of AR135 which is:
AR 135 (a) Every horse shall be run on its merits. (b) The rider of every horse shall take all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to ensure that his horse is given full opportunity
Regardless of intent – and for absolutely clarity I aren’t suggesting anything nefarious – those tactics with that lack of speed did not give the horse the full opportunity on the day, and the significant market drift was due to (correct) negative tactics assumption.
As has already been communicated they’re intending to settle closer in the Cox Plate.
But to round off the race and for clarity, it was my fault for not keeping KINGS WILL DREAM on side, as documented below. Cost me a wider quaddy too with SUNLIGHT one out in the first and plenty in the last.
Other “wisdom of crowds” for mine included TARAAYEF (below right) who was mid teens Saturday morning, but “came to play” at single figure odds, HAUT BRION HER in Race 4 that the market wanted to keep backing and got a very soft lead, while conversely KING OF LEOGRANCE who had absolute Betfairitis in SURPRISE BABY’S race and not only ran accordingly, but has since been spelled, and the last race huge odds winner MOONLIGHT MAID (below right) who the market told you at Bendigo wasn’t far off short favourite MIAMI BOUND despite the big margin on the day.
“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 review of the weekend’s main races every Monday”