Punters look at horse names to find winners

| May 3, 2020
Horse names
A great name can give a horse the edge

Punters use all types of information to find that elusive winner. Distance, weight, recent form and racing pattern are each carefully considered when going through analysis of race form. However, one element commonly overlooked is found more easily than any other. The horse’s name. This might seem frivolous at first but there is a lot of evidence to suggest that a horse’s name can indeed influence its winning chances.

Horse names as a predictor of performance

In South Australia recently, at the magnificent Morphettville racetrack, one of the races featured a winner whose chances were quite obvious to the astute punter. In a field of fairly average horses, there was one particular runner that appeared to slip under everyone‘s radar. Not the astute punter. A self-proclaimed icon of the turf, the horse started at the amazing odds of $10. How could you not bet on this turf great in such a modest field? As expected, the horse “I’m A Legend” won the race, as only legends do.

Meanwhile, in Sydney a horse widely advertised the fact that he had “something extra” in the race, and as such was easy pickings for the astute punter. Again, winning at the juicy odds of $15, the horse raced by the name of Tactical Advantage! He obviously had a heightened level of race sense, or inside knowledge, that would benefit the horse in the heat of battle. When tipping racing events, punters would be wise to consider such vital clues to racetrack performance.

Many historical examples

Other horses, in a similar vein, announced their ability before proving it to the world. I Am A Star, It’s a Dundeel, Vow and Declare were all horses that were hard to go past. Dual Melbourne Cup winner Think Big was a visionary. From his first days on a racetrack, he knew his own destiny. Can you think of more examples? Let me know so I can add to this article.

In 2017, the filly She Will Reign won the Slipper as her name decreed. Bounding Away was another horse on whom you would confidently place your money. She won the 1986 Horse of the Year and remains to this day the only juvenile to have won the award.

Who will ever forget Saintly, the horse from heaven who took all before him in the Spring of 1996. Exceed and Excel was always going to succeed, on the racetrack and as a stallion. No better word could be found to describe the flying filly Special. She was special indeed as she held the track record of 55.5s in winning the 1988 Lightning, until it was eclipsed by the briefest of margins by the undefeated Black Caviar in 2013.

The horse with the most prophetic name

Sadly, we lost a true legend last month. The Australian racing Hall of Fame champion, Might and Power, passed away after living a happy retirement at Living Legends and bringing joy to thousands of racing fans. His exploits in the late 1990’s were truly phenomenal and I personally rate his 1997 Caulfield Cup win as the most devastating victories I have even witnessed on a racetrack. He was named Australian Horse of the Year in 1997 and 1998. With a name like that, how could he not become a living legend of the Australian racing. If ever a horse lived up to his name, it was the mighty and powerful, Might and Power.

The seven letter name 

There seems little doubt that horses with seven letters in their name are destined for greatness. The serious punter would do well to get on board seven letter names before they meet their inevitable celebrated destiny. Those who took the early odds on horses such as Leilani, Saintly, Dulcify, Gunsynd, Sunline, Carbine, Phar Lap, Tulloch, Galilee, Century, Hyperno, Marscay, and Dunaden would have retired early on their winnings. Look for seven letter names, as they are often far better than they appear.

Predicting The Cup winner

The Melbourne Cup is an annual event enjoyed by folk who often never take an interest. Reasons for favouring horses are favourite colours, a popular jockey or a lucky starting gate. More often than not, these once-a year punters are attracted by the names of the horses, citing reasons such as “my grandmother lived next door to a famous opera singer, a real diva.” Or, I had an uncle who lived in Dunedin, a quaint city on the south coast of NZ, which sounds like Dunaden (2011 Melbourne Cup). This is a valid type of analysis, that more than occasionally meets with success. 

Not all are destined for glory

Not all horses carry names that you would want to bet on. Famously, a horse called Drongo failed to win in 37 starts! It was not through lack of ability as he ran second in the 1923 Derby and 1924 St Leger at Flemington and competed in two Melbourne Cups. At his 36th start he was sent out favourite in the Adelaide Cup and finished fourth. He was favourite again in the SAJC Handicap and finished second at his last race start. Zero wins, 5 seconds, 6 thirds, and 6 fourths, for £2200, not a punter’s pal was Drongo. 

Ignore the ridiculous at your peril

This strategy can give rise to winners of enormous value! This is because it disregards the traditional analysis used by the majority of punters. Punters analyse the most obvious factors, yet big winners can be had from utilising off-the-wall or left-field strategies, even the ridiculous! Remember, winners are winners, regardless of how they are derived.

So next time you’re going through the form, take a look at the horse names, they might give you the edge.

Category: Betting

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