Framing the bets

by John Kingsmill

My new Adelaide Review editor only gave me 250 words on the Melbourne Cup this year.
I filed this last week when there were still 39 hats in the ring:

Alcopop took SA country form to Melbourne, won the JRA and Herbert Power and went straight to the Cup. Skip the premarket 6/1 odds. Lay against that on Betfair and look for 10/1 in the ring. If he wins, I’m stupid but you will profit. But he won’t win and you will get your money back.

Efficient was scary in the Turnbull. Freedman was set up with Speed Gifted after the Metropolitan until Bart turned the Cox Plate upside down. Bart has the season in his palm; he could clean sweep with Viewed. Put a saver on him, even a chicken-liver place on the tote. Bart could have five runners after the Mackinnon and the Quality this Saturday. Don’t panic about the northern invaders – Cima De Triomphe dudded at Caulfield although Kirklees did better and might place. The New Zealand horses are a bigger threat. And Bart. Did I mention Bart? I liked Daffodil’s fast finishing fourth in the Caulfield Cup.

Forget about David Hayes except that he’ll win some loose thing on the day, possibly at Morphettville.

Only bet as much as you can lose. Box these for the trifecta for $6: DaffodilRoman Emperor and Viewed; throw in Vigor for a boxed first-four ($24). Good roughie: Leica Ding. Watch the betting for ZippingThink Money and Spin Around.

And remember the other golden rule: if you win, send 10% of your collect to this writer in used notes. Wisdom can’t survive in a vacuum.

Now its Sunday night with two sleeps to go and only 24 to be saddled. After the first look at the Sunday form guides, I can’t find anything that I think will beat Viewed. On the other hand, there are eighteen who I think are capable of placing. I don’t know whether this means that the Melbourne Cup field is shallow this year, or whether there is more depth than usual.

So. First thoughts.

Viewed to win, 18 horses to place for a $306 trifecta. Lay Viewed for $300 at 5/1 and you’ll need the trifecta to pay more than $1506 to make a profit. That’s always possible in the big Cup pool but it’s a lot of effort to avoid a loss.

Second thought. Two nights left. Cut those 18 horses down to ten to placefor a $90 trifecta. Forget the lay.

Then Viewed, with five to come second, and ten to come third and fourthfor a $360 pick four. Maybe only have half or a quarter stake in that one.

And then always a saver bet. Construct a trifecta that allows the favourite to be unplaced… which is a form of a lay that doesn’t expose you to a payout.Viewed plus three others to come first and second, those plus ten others to come third. That’s 4x4x14 or $144. Take a full or half unit in that.

And then a ridiculous bet: 1x1x1x1 ten times for $10 in a pick four. That’s a pensioner in the pub bet. I’m old enough to start thinking like this. Win that one and you can just about buy Fiji and reinstore democracy.

Thus, there is still some work to do.

Just one thing. I am not convinced about Alcopop. It has everything going for it to win the Melbourne Cup in 2010 as a 6YO with a lot more condition in its engine, especially being a son of Jeune, but this year it’s one run short for the gruelling two miles.
Connections didn’t get its Caulfield Cup nomination in in time and since then have been putting a brave face on that appalling blunder, by boldly marching straight through to the Melbourne Cup. I don’t believe in fairy tales. I don’t believe in this campaign. A more seasoned trainer should have advised the owners to skip the Melbourne Cup after missing the Caulfield Cup and, instead set a path through the Lexus Quality to be cherry ripe for the Sandown Cup. Maybe he did and maybe the owners couldn’t help themselves.
I hope their enthusiasm for the Big One doesn’t flatten this under-raced horse’s immense desire to hit the line. And I hope his suspensory ligaments survive the pounding they will receive on the long Flemington straight, under sustained duress. I hope their rude dream doesn’t shorten this spirited horse’s career.

Just one more thing. The depth of the Australian horses has been hit hard with no Excellent, Zipping or Vigor. That brings Master O’Reilly, Roman Emperor and Shocking into contention, but also many of the New Zealand horses and some of the enduring British mystery runners.

Just one last thing. I can’t believe that Spin Around is still 200/1. I mean, it won the Group 1 million dollar 3200m Auckland Cup in March this year. It’s better credentialed than a few that are running around Flemington this Tuesday. I have it at $15,000 for $50 on Betfair for a win and $2600 for $40 for a place. That’s one I can forget about in the ring. I don’t care that it is a 9yo and only wins at 3200 metres these days. I’ve never bet on it before and I will probably never bet on it again. One bet only, with this one, will be enough.

If it wins, I will buy a full page ad in Footy Almanac 2010 and spend a year deciding what to put in it.


  1. John, your as silly as I am, horses don’t win the cup having won over 3200 at the start of the year, be that the Perth or Adelaide etc cups. But I can’t talk I’ve backed Kibbutz, hoping for that one last great run with nothing on its back and the sting out of the ground, and finally seeing him run over the 3200. But for our sakes I’ll take spin around winning and kibbutz running second as I’ll throw him in my quinella, it would have to pay a grand!!!!!!!

  2. John Kingsmill says

    I’ve had a sign!
    I woke at early this morning and the digital clock said 4.44am.
    Of course! There is one that can beat Viewed and that’s Master O’Reilly.

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