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Pace... Speed Figures... and The Bet

betting south africa

“The effect of pace in a race as well as speed figures are important considerations punters need to take into account before placing their bets and all professional punters will have their opinions on these two factors.”

David ThiseltonDavid Thiselton
Gold Circle
Alan Potts, a respected professional punter in Britain, said in his book “The Inside Track” that he tries to avoid betting in any race of seven furlongs (1400m) and further in which he cannot find at least one probable pacesetter. He added that in general, sprints and most two-year-old races were run at a proper pace but also said that any field of eight runners or less should ring alarm bells in all other races.

When equating this to South African betting, either punters should look at going wide in the races which concern Potts or they should look for a top jockey who is on a horse that could possibly dictate. Anton Marcus is the king in the latter instance and it is in fact quite frustrating for the greats of yesteryear like Michael Roberts to see how the less experienced riders allow him to dictate, for there is no simpler race to win than the one in which a horse is allowed an easy lead. The latter scenario is highlighted by Potts, who said that he looks for races in which there is just one regular front-runner with the form to win, as a horse in this category that is able to set an average or a slow pace will have a tactical advantage.

Potts has a very interesting theory on speed. He has used the theories of a well known USA speed figure man Andy Beyer, who believed that his personal speed figures enabled him to identify horses that could successfully step up in class. Potts believes that a Timeform rating of 100 indicates a horse capable of racing off a handicap mark of 100. He consequently began looking for horses that had run significantly higher than their current handicap mark, because if the speed figure was an accurate measure of the merit, they should be able to win again next time out in a handicap. It soon became apparent that the method did highlight future winners and often at big prices.

Extract from Gold Circle


Keep A Lid On Your Levies

summerhill stud officeSummerhill Stud Office / Leigh Willson (p)


KwaZulu-Natal is the only place that pays people to breed their horses here, courtesy of our local premium scheme. Which means you can keep your mares and foals at the nation’s leading stud farm at a significant saving to yourself.

summerhill stud, south africa

Enquiries :
Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081
or email


Wise Dan Wins Bernard Baruch Comeback

Saratoga, Turf, 1710m
30 August 2014

The consummate professional, two-time reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan (Wiseman’s Ferry) was a bit ornery prior to the start of Saturday’s GII Bernard Baruch Handicap, tossing John Velazquez in the gates and delaying the start momentarily. But the chestnut, having his first run in 119 days, was all business in the race, stuck his neck out in the waning strides and got his nose down just ahead of the upset-minded Optimizer (English Channel).

Morton Fink’s homebred came into the event with victories in 12 of his last 13 races and 17 from his last 20. Winner of the 2012 and 2013 runnings of this tracks GII Fourstardave Handicap - with a 129-impost last term, he landed a second consecutive renewal of the GI Woodbine Mile in track record-setting fashion September 15.

He suffered his lone defeat during this most recent stretch at the hands of Silver Max (Badge of Silver) in the rained-off GI Shadwell ‘Turf’ Mile over the Keeneland Poly October 5, but atoned with a 3/4-length success in defense of his title in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile November 2. Given five months off, Wise Dan resumed by winning Keeneland’s GI Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes for a second straight season April 11 and looked in deep trouble when last seen in the GI Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 3, as Seek Again (Speightstown) tried him up the rail, but the champ would not be denied and scored by a head.

Less than two weeks later, the-7-year-old found himself undergoing emergency colic surgery and was brought back slowly by Charlie LoPresti, who considered the Fourstardave as the comeback spot, but ultimately decided not to tempt fate and landed here.

Spotting his rivals anywhere from eight to 13 pounds, Wise Dan jumped well enough after being reloaded and settled by his lonesome in fourth, as Five Iron (Sharp Humor) scampered through seemingly unsustainable splits of :23.26 and :46.32 while pressed along by Sayaad (Street Sense) and Bio Pro (War Front) not far behind. Velazquez had his charge in the slipstream of Sayaad down the backstretch and continuously kept checking the rear-view mirror and waiting for the right moment to pull his mount to the outside.

That moment came at about the three-eighths marker, and Wise Dan rolled up three wide to bid at the head of the lane. He drove past Sayaad and Five Iron inside the final furlong, but soon had Optimizer, ground-saving for most of the trip, breathing down his neck. Wise Dan led narrowly into the final 100 yards and willed himself to the victory while spotting the runner-up 11 pounds. The final time was 0.17 seconds off the 23-year-old track record of Fourstardave.

While duly pleased with the outcome, LoPresti was prepared for a loss. “I knew he was training good and I knew he was going to run good,” the conditioner stated. “I wouldn’t have been disappointed if he was beat today; it would have been something to build on. He showed today why he is the two-time Horse of the Year.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News


The Duke's Story

Danehill - Love Me True

European Champion Older Horse of 2008, Duke Of Marmalade, is a 5 time Group 1 winning son of the late Champion Sire, Danehill, out of the Group placed Love Me True.

Group placed at both two and three years of age in the very best of company, including 2nd to European Champion Dylan Thomas in the Irish Champion Stakes Gr.1, Duke Of Marmalade would go on to record 5 consecutive Group 1 victories culminating in the defeat of European Champion 3 year old New Approach in the Juddmonte International Stakes Gr.1.

Timeform would rate Duke Of Marmalade at 132 lbs after his 4 year old season.

Duke Of Marmalade has subsequently had runners of his own, was European Champion 2nd Crop sire by Stakes winners in 2013, and is currently the leading 3rd crop sire in the Northern Hemisphere by stakes winners, which include the exciting Venus De Milo Gr.3 winner and multiple Gr.1 placed.

Duke Of Marmalade currently has 25 stakes horses from his first 2 crops to race in Europe and now stands in South Africa at Gaynor Rupert’s Drakenstein Stud.


Nisa's Machine... A 'Decent Type' for Charles Laird

nisa's machine alesh naidooNisa’s Machine - 2013 Summerhill Ready To Run Graduate / Gold Circle (p)


Hussonet (USA) - Get Around (AUS)
3 Year-Old Brown Colt

Owners : The Fire Racing Trust (Nom: Mr Alesh Naidoo)
Trainer : Charles Laird
Jockey : Anton Marcus
Breeder : RV8 Thoroughbreds

NISA’S MACHINE is a graduate from the Summerhill draft
of the 2013 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale.

For Maiden 3 Year Olds
Greyville, Polytrack, 1400m
26 August 2014

# Horse Jockey Trainer Kg Draw Lengths
1 NISA’S MACHINE A Marcus Charles Laird 58.0 2 0.0
2 RUMBULLION A Mgudlwa Garth Puller 58.0 7 0.1
3 BRACHETTO B Lerena Garth Puller 58.0 6 1.6
4 MILITARY LEADER * D Dillon Doug Campbell 58.0 4 2.8
5 DE LA RIO S Veale Duncan Howells 58.0 1 3.0
6 DUKE FLIES S Cormack Dennis Drier 58.0 5 4.2
7 BUSTER BROWN A Delpech Craig Eudey 58.0 8 6.4
8 BRIGHTNUMBERTHREE I Sturgeon Des Egdes 58.0 3 7.7

summerhill stud

Enquiries :
Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982
or email

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