Some time back, a reader told us that he found Victorian T3 races good to bet on – presumably meaning better than normal graded races. So we thought we should run a few quick checks on the results of those races by comparison with normal Grade 5 races.
To do that we used examples over the last three months for the main distances at Ballarat and Bendigo (450m and 425m).
Both clubs run quite a lot of both types of events. (Statistically, the sample is still fairly small so treat the figures as broad indications only).
Here are the average winning times and average winning dividends (in Vic) for each.
|Track||Tier 3||Grade 5||T3 Standard|
We show two dividend figures for Ballarat – the first includes two extraordinarily high dividends (unlikely to be repeated) while the second figure excludes them.
This tells us a number of things. First, Grade 5 races are faster by three to four lengths, which is only to be expected as the T3 starters are restricted to dogs which have not previously beaten the standard. Second, however, more than half of all T3 winners do beat the standard in the actual race, suggesting that in their earlier career they may not have had the opportunity to show their best.
Third, there is a large drop in dividends when moving to the better class of race, in turn indicating that punters found it easier to make the right choices there. That’s pretty logical as the dogs will be more experienced and more consistent than the up and comers.
Fourth, there is a large difference in Ballarat’s favour in the dividend area – ie lower. Put another way, results at Bendigo are much less predictable. If there is a difference in class of dogs which contributes to this, it is not really obvious.
However, the longer Ballarat trip is a more demanding one, leading to the probability that more Bendigo races are won by flashy beginners which lack a little strength. Again, this is to be expected as the difference between the two trips is a critical one amongst the general dog population. The average greyhound’s speed peaks at about the end of the Bendigo 425m distance, after which endurance plays a bigger part.
Apart from that, the conclusion has to be that the bloke concentrating on T3 betting will be worse off at the end of the year than someone favouring graded races. Class does count.
Looking at the bigger picture, is T3 racing (or “C” Class in NSW) a good thing? Well, possibly, as the industry is then catering for a bigger proportion of the dog population. However, the scene is blurry because their introduction came at time (mid-2010) when the supply of racing opportunities began exceeding the demand from the total number of starters available, hence the increase in the number of empty boxes. In turn, this meant that a lot of moderate dogs popped up in normal Grade 5 races, not just T3 races, and so lowered standards overall.
Those mathematics worked out nicely for owners and trainers, who could split up a bigger prize money pool over the course of a year. However, punters were not so fortunate because lowering race standards makes picking winners much harder. Racing being what it is, more bolters appeared in the placings. This has to be a significant factor in the loss of serious punters and the rise of mug gamblers as a proportion of the total. The more crowded calendar has also meant a decline in the size of the average TAB pool, which simultaneously has had to withstand the diversion of cash to online bookies, who now attract perhaps a quarter of all bets .
So it has not been 2 and 2 equals 4 – it’s much more complicated than that. The trend needs to be closely watched.
We have seen no announcements from GRV about two issues we raised in connection with the form reversal by Allen Deed in its Ballarat Cup heat and, quite separately, the oddball flood of cash in the NSW TAB which distorted all the prices for its heat.
We can only hope that they are still studying the evidence. Both are significant matters which the public are entitled to hear about.
The Ballarat Cup final turned out to be a one-act affair as favourite Luca Neveelk made full use of its rails box. After jumping on level terms it streaked away from the field to record a smart 25.06. It now has the amazing record of 24 wins from 30 starts over 10 different distances at 9 tracks. By comparison, that 80% hit rate easily outpoints the 58% earned by Paw Licking in its 53 start career.
The only surprise was that Blue Giant (a brother to Nockabout Aussie) began better than usual and took a lot of ground off the winner in the run to the post. This dog is in fine form but is probably better suited to a longer trip, much like Allen Deed which was always in the ruck.
Not Just In The City
Peculiar stewards reports appear all over the country, not just in Melbourne as we have been highlighting recently. Are they getting paid by the word? Here are some examples from Ballarat last night – 3 December.
“Soho Rhythm (7) crossed to the rail soon after the start checking Xtreme Knocka (5), Connor’s Rocket (4), Pason Sander (2) Nubian (Princess) (1)”.
Any interference caused by Soho Rhythm was negligible, if that. It jumped well clear.
“Elite Diva (5) crossed to the rail soon after the start checking One Dee (4) and Matt’s Entity (3)”.
As far as I could see Elite Diva jumped well in front of these two, who were simply slow out of the boxes.
“Tammy Baxter crossed to the rail soon after the start checking Mr. Fox (5), Aston Dima (4)\ and Le Luca (3)”.
Rubbish. Tammy Baxter jumped smartly and was well clear of these three or any other dogs. The others were slow out or checked themselves.