This is a boat race.
Havtime is the short-priced odds on favourite, and someone wants it to get beat.
How’s the Memory is the only horse in the race that has the ability to do so, but she needs a lot of things to go her way if she is to do so.
They do, and she does.
There is nothing like good planning and great execution when you’re playing for keeps.
Now I know the mares in this race rather well indeed. Most of them were either actual or potential rivals of Belle (of Montana) during the summer, so we spent a lot of time analysing and rating their form, and doing speed charts so that we could map any races they came up in against our mare.
I know that How’s the Memory is very quick out from the gate, and can fly her first quarter in as quick as 25.8 seconds, but I also know that Havtime can, and that while both horses can run a mile in 1.50.1, Havtime can do it in 1.50.0 too.
I know also that if How’s the Memory can’t find the lead in then first quarter, his driver will ease off and look for a trail, because that’s what the horse’s drivers always do if they don’t get to the front within 600 metres.
Havtime is drawn in barrier two, whereas How’s the Memory is out in the boondocks scraping paint in ten.
So all that Havtime’s driver needs to do is to buzz her out when the arms fly and hold the lead by holding How’s the Memory out, and from then the mare will be able to dictate the pace and, all things being equal, win the race.
That’s everything being equal.
A flood of money comes for How’s the Memory on the fixed price and then stops, Havtime blows to better than evens on Betfair, and then a torrent of cash comes for it and someone is laying it for plenty.
Suddenly this red hots follower of 45 years radar goes bing, bing, bing, bing, bing.
I jump on How’s the Memory at the $6.50. It firms another point in the next forty seconds before they jump.
The starter lets them go, and How’s the Memory pings the gate.
Havtime doesn’t. It doesn’t even contest for the front.
The plunge horse crosses.
Havtime has stayed one off the fence, and immediately shoots around and crosses her, and How’s the Memory’s driver hands up without a yelp.
I know immediately that my instinct was right, and my confidence becomes a certainty a few seconds later when Havtime’s 150-1 stablemate Elle Yeah flies over pulling like a teen boy watching Paris Hilton’s porn, and starts attacking the leader.
They run 27 seconds for the first quarter.
Elle Yeah keeps attacking Havtime like a deranged, pea-balled, peptide pump-up junkie on ice. And keeps on keeping on attacking her stablemate.
The second quarter’s run in 28.1, the third in 27.6.
This speed is too frantic for any leading koala in a restricted NR95 mares race to bear, even one who’s a Kiwi.
I start heading for the metaphorical queue.
They get to the home straight, Elle Yeah drops off, How’s the Memory pulls off Havtime’s back, and it’s Murder She Wrote.
The winner runs exactly 1.50.1.
Elle Yeah tails out 20 metres second last.
Funny that too.
Everyone’s a winner.
Everyone who was in on, or spotted, the plan anyway.
We will leave this ridiculous mess to the Stewards to sort out. It’s just too hot for the average punter to touch.
What are the odds that the Stipes will?
You can have plenty of twenties with me.