Reinswoman Sofia Arvidsson – dead set, how good is Matt Craven going?
Wanna a see a very suss looking race? Just to see how coincidence can intersect with reality and create false impressions?
No, I’m not talking about how far the talented young trainer Matt Craven punches above his weight.
I’m referring to Race 6 at Terang tonight.
Watch it and weep, when you get the replay.*
There are six starters in the race after the scratchings, but according to the betting market it is really just a two horse race.
Crime Writer drawn the cherry is the 2-1 on ($1.50) favourite, and so it should be for the now 4-year-old competed at the elite level all the way through the juvenile and 3yo ranks. and has the notched of good horses like Major Exclusive, Brevity, Always Fast, Out to Play, Fourbigmen, Struve and even the multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi colt Jesse Duke in his belt.
That’s good enough form to win a New Rating (NR) 68 to 79 race every day of the year, and although Crime Writer had a setback at the end of his Derby season, he’s had two starts back and won the most recent in a breeze. He looks the bet of the century.
One man’s bird is another man’s bunny in a punters world though, and plenty of non-believers have piled into the horse drawn on Crime Writer’s back, Im Shadow Boxer.
The logic is of course that the Boxer will sit on Crime Writer’s back, and if the fave goes too fast or gets tanked he might rush by, or if he goes too slow the Boxer might be able to crouch and ping him.
Both are not unreasonable assumptions, but things would have to really fall the sprint lane’s way for the dream to come true. Nevertheless they hoe in, and at the jump the pair go off at $1.55 and $2.50 respectively, with none of the other four under double figures, and only the mid-drawn pacers Yankee Lincoln at $12 and Onthecrestofawave at $19 even given a sixth of a show.
It’s a tough life the punt.
Crime Writer comes out of the gate like a crab, and within 100 metres his inside wheel starts wobbling like a jelly shake, and everyone bar the caller knows that he’s punctured a tyre or buckled a wheel.
Driver Sofia Arvidsson – who is, apropos of nothing but an old man’s dreams, the second most beautiful woman in harness racing, a short half head behind Kima – immediately knows that there is a problem too, and pulls Crime Writer up immediately.
The favourite is gonzo, and they haven’t even gone a furlong.
Things haven’t gone quite to plan for Im Shadow Boxer at the start; far from in fact. He’s missed out on the sweet seat, and he’s copped a bit of a prat from Crime Writer as the wheel goes, but all’s not lost, for he didn’t gallop and rising star young gun driver James Herbertson manages to pop into the one-one sit before another half-furlong passes.
Ho ho ho, the plungers who have backed the Boxer are thinking.
The favourite is out, he’s got two and a half seconds in speed on Onthecrestofawave on their best times, and Yankee Lincoln is first up for ten months and is bound to be only three-quarters fit.
The Boxer’s a certainty.
No he wasn’t.
Rather than doing what even the dumbest Indian would do and taking off around them to the lead, or in a worst case scenario the death, after Crime Writer retires from the race, Herberston decides instead to have a snooze.
He sits, and sits, and sits, and sits, and sits until he can sit no more without getting arrested, but by the time he goes wide from the back the leaders have turned the crawl into a sprint, and unless he can run a 54.4 second last half – which he can’t – the race is over. Dead, buried and cremated, just like the two faves tickets.
Despite the 2’s on fave being knocked out and the 6-4 shot only running third, some smart cookie gets the trifecta 20 times, and an even smarter bicky muncher nails the First 4 for four units.
I wish I knew what they knew.
I’m not suggesting that the race was red hot, nothing of the sort. I’m just saying is that when things like this happen, you struggle to keep the faith, that’s all.
What are you backing in the next?
* For some reason the replays and results for Terang are not going up in real time on the harness.org.au website tonight. I will post the replay of the race when it does.