May 03, 2013
The Basics of the Up-and-Back Angle
By: By Ray Taulbot
The following is an angle by Ray
Taulbot, this angle has stood the test of time. Nevertheless, it will not serve
everyone with the same degree of efficiency. Those of you who know very little
about making sound selections cannot logically expect results as good as the
readers that have advanced to the point where they are thoroughly capable of
recognizing a truly good investment when they see it. So your ultimate goal
should always be to acquire a high degree of ability as a selector.
The angle is based upon the fact
that if a horse which has shown little or no form in its previous races
suddenly turns in a good race, it will bear close watching thereafter.
However, we exclude winners from
this category. When a horse suddenly wakes up and wins, the chances are that
the stable has already gotten what it wanted. How winners are usually handled
with respect to their future racing requires an entirely different line of
reasoning, angles which we hope to elaborate on in future articles.
Horses that show a good race
without winning are a different matter. When this happens, their conditioner
is, so to speak, on the spot. That is, he can never be quite sure that the
sudden improvement was not to some degree the result of racing luck. He must
decide at once whether the poor luck encountered by some of the other horses in
the field was responsible for the sudden improvement or whether the improved
race was the result of improved condition.
The distinction is highly important
to the trainer because he must base his future plans for the horse upon the
cause he deems responsible for the improved race. If he guesses wrong, the
future result will not be what he hoped for.
In most situations of this kind the
conditioner plays it safe. That is, he will step the horse up a notch or two in
class and give it a comparatively easy race. This affords him the opportunity
to observe the horse in action before sending it out to win if it can. Thus any
soreness that may have resulted from the improved race or any inclination on
the part of the horse not to extend itself due to other causes can be detected
and appropriate steps taken to correct the condition before trying for a purse.
If the horse gives any indication
that it is not yet ready for its best effort, you may be sure that next time
out the horse will be entered in a higher class than its last race. In such
cases the horse is not a sound investment.
However, if the horse’s performance
is satisfactory in its trainer’s judgment, the chances are that he will drop it
down in class next out. He will drop the horse back to the class level of its
next-to-last race where it showed the sudden improvement, or he may drop it to
a level somewhere between its entered price last out and the price for which it
was entered when it displayed improvement.
The fact that he drops the horse a
bit in class is positive evidence that, in his opinion, the horse is ready for
a top performance. Therefore, if the horse is not badly outclassed by other sharp horses in the field, it is a good
investment — provided, as always, that its odds are worthwhile.
Let’s put the salient points of
what we are looking for with this angle in proper order so that the reader will
have them firmly fixed in his mind before we take up an example race.
- The horse must
show an improved race, finishing close up without winning, after a dull
- Next out, the
horse must be hiked in class, finishing out-of-the-money in an apparently
- The horse must
be running today at a class level at or very near the one it was entered
for in its second race back.
- Today’s race
must be within 30 days of its last race.
- It must also
have a gap of 30 days or less between its top two races.
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