[AusRace] Mr Magoo* and the rise of the businessman punter - a system

Tony Moffat tonymoffat at bigpond.com
Sun Aug 30 00:42:41 AEST 2020

* not his real name

Quincy Magoo lived near Stewart the actuarial scientist who worked with us
on course. That's how he came to be on course often, he came with Stewart,
but up to a point he never had a bet and when he did it was with the Tote.

He was retired, perhaps wealthy, bald, short, short sighted, short tempered
and asked aloud if punting could be done differently, better, businesslike.

 Over several weeks he divulged that he would discount form, ignore it, pay
no attention to handicap weights, barriers, horse statistics, and presently
(this was then) he was studying 'the jockey aspect'. 

To this end, the jockey angle, he computed a series of values for jockeys,
based on their results up to this point in time. It wasn't a stat, a
percentage of winners to runners, or places to rides, and his list of values
showed Roy Higgins was in the upper echelon, between a money rider and those
who should leave the industry, he said that.

Higgins had a 50, lots of rides, lots of results, but the dividends were
short because he was Higgs, and he was excluded as a result. I have seen
Higgins come third at 25/1 and pay 2.25 (it should have been 7.25 off the

Paul Jarman had a 50, he had 11 win scores with runners over 9/1
Stan Aitken was an apprentice with a score of 44, 29 wins at odds with a
respectable ROI
Frank Reys, John Stocker,  Eamon Byrne (jumps) Ray Setches were others.
How he derived those scores I am unsure - it may be a ratio of all places
opposed to wins. Certainly his jockey selections were those who could kick a
long priced horse home, to the surprise of most I might add and they, the
jocks, did not seem to have an affiliation with a stable. 

Quince followed his selections on paper, for weeks, months perhaps, and
still came to the races to watch and record the results, who won what.

His first bet was a win, Setches at 7/1 (8/1 with us) and $6.50 on the Tote.
Quince was disgusted, he said that, and this highlighted an anomaly that he
strove to remove, get the best price for your selections.
His next bets lost. His third race was Byrne on a hurdler 5/1 and favorite,
5.70 on the Tote. His fourth race was a win, Byrne again on a steepler,
$12.30 but 8/1 sp (when 12/1 was readily available with 90 seconds to go) He
took a break for one or two races, which was timely for him and his 'jockey
aspect'. He won the last with Reys 6/1 and backed 4 in that race. He said he
thought he was in front on the day and later confirmed that he had won on
the day. I went to Stewarts for tea that night and Quincy was elated,
probably drunk also, and felt that he could apply his considerable business
acumen to this 'betting business' it would be a viable. For once he was
quite open in discussing what had occurred, outlays and returns, but not how
he arrived at his jockey choices. It wasn't stats, winning percentages,
because that was resulting the past, history he said. 

Next meeting he lost the first, down $30, and had three bets in the next,
including Reys second at 66/1 (which has a place sp of $17.50 in a perfect
world) $12.40 Tote. He wasn't quite disgusted because hhe felt the dividend
was reasonable. That dividend may have been his only return for the day and
his $124 return meant a loss whereas $175 was not, or minimal at most, if
that makes sense.

He continued for weeks on end. He added Allan Trevena to his list of chosen
riders and he researched T and P J Finger as possible inclusions. He began
to formulate clauses to exclude races, the first being that there were no
bets in odds on races, when his jockeys were on one priced short. When
Jarman and Setches dead heated at 5/1 and 33/1 he had to be educated by
Stewart regarding half dividends, I joined the class as well - the 5/1 paid
1.25 and the 33/1 paid 8.45. Then, the same day Mallyon got two home at 8.70
and 8.50 and that pleased him no end I heard. He was in the throes of
dropping Mallyon from his list, and including Brian Gilders who had brought
a series of long priced runners into places up until this point. Gilders
then got up at 50/1 next meeting ($109.90 tote) and I'm sure that would have
swayed it.

And on he went, certainly he was at the races when we were, betting with the
Tote though and when Abdul (Jarman) won the Cox Plate 33/1 (26.90) you would
assume he was on it, somehow. It may have been a good day actually -Trevena
40/1, Gilders 9/1, Setches 20/1, Mallyon 5/1, then Trevena 10/1, Gilders
20/1, Setches 3/1, Trevena 7/1, Trevena 10/1, Mallyon 33/1 place, Reys
8/1,Stocker 12/1, Jarman 7/1 etc. Each of those had two losses, and perhaps
add another 30 losses and he is still way in front I'd reckon.

There you have it, a punter who has rejected the constitutional thinking of
winner finding and used a niche to make a go of it. He was always angry,
which is not a criticism, just an observation.



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