Home' Breeding and Racing : Issue 112 October-November 2013 Contents 20 FOR DAILY INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES VISIT WWW.BREEDINGRACING.COM
and Vinnie Roe are racing into the breeze and
serving as wind breakers. Significantly, the
heavily favoured Vinnie Roe, who is sitting a
length in front, and on the outside of Media
Puzzle and Damien Oliver, makes his move
three and four deep, and continues to drive
forward for the entire turn without cover.
Meanwhile, Oliver on Media Puzzle, chooses to
ease and wait closer to the rail with cover.
At the 800m mark, and now lengths
behind Vinnie Roe, Oliver finally decides to
gradually move forward, but critically, he
does this between slowing runners, and with
cover while tracking others moving forward,
including Vinnie Roe. And I say critically,
because moving forward compounds the effect
of the breeze if done without cover. The field
straightens, and at the 300m mark Oliver takes
the unfancied Media Puzzle to the lead from
Vinnie Roe and the internationals, and never
looks back, leaving the field in his wake.
Horse And Jockey Conflicts Of Interest
We have now figured that the best chance to
winning a Melbourne Cup is racing close to the
rail with cover. But we all know that picking the
Cup winner is a challenge, and with the rails
tactic comes two contradictions, that can’t be
• In North America, when a wild mustang
is at the rear of its herd and wants to move
forward, it does not burst through the pack’s
tight openings. Rather it goes around the
pack. This is due to it not wanting to risk
injuring itself or another herd-mate, because
if a horse gets injured on the western plains,
it slows, loses the protection of the herd, and
risks being culled by mountain lions, grizzly
bears or wolves.
• For the highly-strung racehorse galloping
at speed in a tightly bunched pack, under
pressure with its adrenaline pumping, it
generally reverts to this herd instinct. This
means it is most likely to move forward
when taken to the outside of the field.
Race riding is unlike any sport in the world.
The jockeys are not always riding to win,
tactically anyway. This is because they are also
obligated to ride to instructions. Trainers and
owners go to great lengths to set their horse
to win the Melbourne Cup. This preparation
may have taken the whole year, or even longer.
Consequently, the one thing the jockey feels
that he must do, is to give his horse a clear run,
so it appears to get every chance to win the
race. Therefore, usually the horses that stick to
the rails are the ones that are struggling, with
little prospects of moving forward, even if given
clear running. This means for the jockey on a
winning chance, she/he will be unlikely to risk
being held up on the rails behind these tiring
runners. As evidence, the Cup field generally
fans wide as it turns into the straight in the
Melbourne Cup. The jockeys are ensuring that
their horses have a clear run for the final sprint.
Len ‘Mick’ Dittman and Gurner’s Lane
took advantage of this phenomenon, by freely
shirting and along the rails saving lengths, to
run down the champion Kingston Town, in a
dramatic 1983 finish. You’re probably thinking,
“How frustrating is this?” We want horses that
race close to the rails, but it seems that both
the horses and jockeys want to race wide. No
wonder the experts have so much trouble
tipping the winner. How can a punter ever
reliably back a ‘live chance’ with these kamikaze
tactics? For the urban armchair expert, it’s now
time to open the curtains, get some fresh air
and sun, and to take the blinkers off!
The ‘Makybe Diva’ Solution
Returning to the wild’s western plains, there is
also the rare mustang that is bold and brave.
Unlike its herd mates, when this type wants to
move forward, it will bulldoze and bullock its
way through the pack, without fear. This type
of horse can also be found on the racetrack.
A great example was Secretariat. At one of his
early starts, coming into the home straight
he was sitting third. He then went for a run
between the two leaders, but they saw him
coming, and attempted to sandwich him.
However, Secretariat puffed out his barrel, and
with vigour brushed them aside. One stumbled
to the rail, and the other floundered towards
the middle of the track. In the meantime,
Secretariat went whoosh, and without missing a
stride, won as he liked.
It is no coincidence that an Australian
thoroughbred with this mentality, Makybe
Diva, won three successive Melbourne Cups.
Watch her wins on video. From the barrier
she eases back and towards the rail, relaxes,
and waits until the start of the long home
turn. Then she then starts her move forward
through the field, while saving ground close
to the rail and with cover. It’s not until around
the 300m mark that she is eased into the
clear, and promptly shoots to the line. Like a
Spartan warrior marching forward in a wedge
formation, Makybe Diva had the bravado to
tear her way through opposition lines. Not to
be underestimated, this also gave her jockey,
Glen Boss, the confidence to ride for the win!
Ideal Melbourne Cup Types
When looking for the Cup winner, discount
those that need to lead, or the common types
that need to be taken wide and clear before
moving forward. Instead, search for the bold
athlete that can divide the pack, and you may
well be on the way to a good collect!
2013 Cup Follows The Pattern
This year’s Cup was eerily reminiscent of the
Damien Oliver and Media Puzzle victory in
From barrier five Oliver and Fiorente settled
a little worse than mid-field, one off the rail.
At the 1000m mark Olivier started to patiently
work into the race – two and three wide – while
ensuring he kept cover. This was a key point as
he deliberately allowed Simenon and Ethiopia
to momentarily pocket him, as they keenly
raced past him on the outside.
Oliver continued to bide his time with cover
until around the 600m mark, where he moved
out wide, and now used Simenon and Ethiopia
as cover, just as he had used Vinnie Roe in 2002.
Into the straight and Oliver pulled Fiorente
into the clear to face the breeze for the first
time. The brave Red Cadeaux, runner-up in
2011, was in front, however his long sustained
run was taking its toll.
Favoured Fiorente, with a large percentage
of the crowd urging him on, ranged up at the
300m, and the race was won. •
In a class of its own...
www.horserail.com.au / Ben Duncan
Freecall 1800 259 365 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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HRI8109_OnlyChceAd_210x297_v1_JWI6378_88x128_NZ1.qxd 5/2/13 11:41 AM Page 1
“This [kilometer long] turn can also undo
leading international jockeys that are not
familiar with Flemington...”
Green Moon had a copy-book ride in 2012
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6/11/13 12:02 PM
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