Shocking Form

Dracula_ImageShocking Form Reversals
and How to Spot Them Before They Happen.

It’s a regular occurrence at race tracks around Australia - a despised outsider getting up and punters doing their dough. When it happens you’ll often hear two words that most of us fear - ‘Form reversal’. It’s enough to put a punter off his pie and sauce.

Such a situation usually leads to bettors reaching for their form guides to try to get some insight into the form turnaround. Here we get to the bottom of four form reversals -

Case Study 1
5/9/15 MooneeValley, Race 2 – Boogielicious wins at odds of $51.00
This was a case of the ol’ one-two and we should have seen it coming. One - the mare was a duffer in the wet and at her previous couple of runs she had raced on rain effected going. Two - back on top of the ground on a suitable surface she was always going to show improved form. On the ‘Good’ rated track at the Valley she came out and went ‘kapow’ and scored a dominant win at the big odds. Switching from unsuitable track conditions to a preferred type of going is one of the most common reasons for a form reversal and it’s something we punters should keep a look out for.

Case Study 2
26/9/15 Caulfield, Race 1Afleet Espritwins at odds of $14.00.
This Hayes - Dabernig trained galloper finished unplaced when resuming in a mid weeker at Sandown Lakeside and then came out second up and won a tougher Saturday class event at nice odds. At her first up outing the mare blew out dramatically in the betting from
$4.60 to $8.00 as she looked in need of the run. Looking at her in the parade ring there was no doubt the first up hit out would have done her the world of good and that’s how it panned out as she stepped out and scored at Caulfield. Horses improving quickly in fitness often show improved form quickly.

Case Study 3
26/9/15 Caulfield, Race 7 –Mourinhowins at odds of $18.00
This grand campaigner won first up at Caulfield, failed second up at Moonee Valley and then bounced back to take out the Group One WFA Underwood Stakes at Caulfield at top odds. After the below par
MooneeValley effort, jockey Vlad Duric reported to the stewards that the horse ‘Raced flat’. Mourinho had a gut busting run first up chasing the tear away galloper The Cleaner before eventually winning an arm wrestle with that horse to score by a nose - so it was no wonder that he was ‘flat’ racing second up. After three weeks rest and recuperation Mourinho returned to his best to take out the Underwood Stakes at good odds in a three way photo finish with Fawkner and his old ‘fighting partner’ The Cleaner. 

Case Study 4
26/9/15 Rosehill, Race 6 –Peeping wins at odds of $17.00

This 4 year old mare finished an inglorious 10 lengths last at Rosehill before coming out at her next start two weeks later at the very same track to claim a Group Two event for mares at excellent odds. After the Rosehill failure Peeping was vetted and found to be suffering from cardiac arrhythmia. Trainer Ron Quniton was requested to provide an ECG for the horse and for it to trial to the stewards’ satisfaction. ECG - tick. Satisfactory trial - tick (Won an official trial at Randwick). Passing all the required tests Peeping was ready to go and ‘go’ she did at Rosehill the second time around beating more highly fancied mares including the $1.75 hot pot Catkins.

Cardiac arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation (AF) as its called in its most common form can be complex but it basically means an irregular heartbeat. It is regularly mentioned in stewards reports. Most horses respond well to treatment via pharmaceuticals or electrical cardioversion (a therapeutic dose of electric current to the heart) and this is why horses like Peeping can bounce back quickly at their next start after an occurrence of AF.

There we have it - four examples where we found sound reasons for form reversals. So when you see a ‘duck egg’ next to a horse’s name, don't be put off - but rather try to find out the reason for the failure. Just like the egg in the old Aesop fable - it could turn out to be a golden one.   


                             October 2015