I’ve had a couple of bets today and one of them is in race 5 at Grafton.
His name is Kalks (Epaulette-Loving New) and he is currently listed at $17 on Ladbrokes and a few others.
But I’m writing this to show you just how useless pulling the stick in a race actually is – for the most part.
Some horses do take fright at the whack and the sound and increase speed, but by and large they don’t and Kalk’s debut run at Grafton a few weeks back is a classic example.
To set the scene he was back on the fence behind the speed when his rider that day, Matty McGuren pulled the stick to improve his position with about 800m left to travel.
The horse was shocked. And somewhat confused.
Here he was galloping boldly running near top speed, doing what rider wanted, and a couple of really hard hits over his rump came from nowhere.
So he reacted, screwed himself sideways, nearly dislodged Matty and raced scared from that point on, losing ground during the ordeal.
He turned for home about 12 lengths behind the leaders Fearnley and Plonka.
McGuren got him into clear air and raised his whip again, this time Kalks saw it coming and lost interest in racing, trying to get away from the cane. McGuren put it away then but the fired up horse raced greenly all the way down the running.
He wound up 4th.
The leaders fought it out and both subsequently won their next outings.
Kalks made ground but stewards wanted him to trial to their satisfaction after that and he has.
I’m suggesting, if lessons are learned, that he improves about 6 lengths between that run and this. I also feel it was a very slick maiden and that that accounted for about 5 lengths.
So equation unpacked: Kalks at $17 or better flashes down the outside, under a strong hands and heels ride and claims the chocolates.
Let’s just see.