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Monday, 2 May 2011

Selling Stones To Waders...

Where's That Duck!
It's occurred to me that I notice things that many people may not see. I guess it is just being in tune with your chosen field of two-year-old horse racing. Gradually, I have built a perception for my field of specialism. To hone those skills to a niche. It's not just people: but every living organism. No two species on this planet are exactly the same. They may look the same, act the same, but you can guarantee there is something different about that duck that quacks like a duck. It's that difference which made that goat top dog! Take birds. Not sure if you know your dunnock from a hedge sparrow? What about waders?  Those birds which love mud. They have big feet, long bills, often darting about in search of food. Active blighters. Take the turnstone. Well, perhaps not. You will have the RSPB gunning for you. Pay back time for all those pheasants, wood pigeons and blackbirds in a pie. It's pretty obvious how the turnstone (yes, it's a bird) got its name. Turn. Stone. No cryptic clue. But don't take him for granted. It took millions of years to evolve to be a master stone turner. Mr Turnstone knows that under each stone - boulder if he could shift it - could be a juicy morsel.

Well, there are lots of stones to turn in this racing game. I'm not looking to find a big fat worm but a little bit on insight will do me just fine.

Unlike the turnstone, I'm looking for a few losing horses. Just one or two will punch my ticket. If they happen to be in opposition to one of my fancied horses it could well make it greater value. For that reason I always take note of selling and claiming race declarations. They are a good source of  two-year-olds of limited ability. Now, I'm not saying these juvenile can't win because they can. Good luck to them. If I had a horse running at plating class I would be hoping for that elusive win. I would be the proudest horse owner on earth. The important part is that most selling/claiming entrants win in their grade. If they fight outside their weight it's like a sumo wrestling battering that skinny kid down the road. It's not a pretty sight.

For that reason if you notice such a lowly entered juveniles running at auction level or preferably an fully-blown maiden it could well be a blessing. It's the little rotund child in the school sports day against the lanky stick insect with a stride that covers two continents. For the most part the bookmakers and layers catch on. They have eyes. Bat ears. Big brains. Mostly. But they often get carried away when a fashionable trainer - one of the biggies like Channon - pops up in a maiden. They struggle to break the mould  and put  it at a short price ''because he wins all of those type of races''. Well, he often does but it's less likely when they have been entered for a plating race, which they decide to give a miss and take a maiden instead. That's why it pays to keep a list because people forget and that can be good news for some and bad for others. That turnstone knows what he needs to know. His life depends on it.