[AusRace] The sailor failure and the sly drool - a system (seriously)

Tony Moffat tonymoffat at bigpond.com
Thu Dec 24 13:38:40 AEDT 2020

The sailor failure and the sly drool. (From the papers in a private
collection - 'The World from the IoM' - the adventures of some who came from
the Isle of Man)
David Taggart* was surprised he was not swinging from the gallows - that is
how deserters (from the Navy) were dealt with, and I thought they would walk
the plank or something (keel hauled?). The Army shot you, and the Air Force
gave you over to the Army to be imprisoned, or shot perhaps.
Anyway, it seems that young David was conscripted but decamped (the official
word for deserting) and was chased through Sydney by the British Navy and he
ran off up the tunnel between St James and Museum and stayed there for a day
or more until he walked up to Central and boarded a train and sat in the
toilet room for several hours until the conductor talked him out. David
played dumb, he acted as though he was mentally deficient, he had a repaired
cleft palate and lip anyway, and he had become deaf also. He just acted on
these, he was sensible and normal underneath, except him playing the
simpleton was working. Nobody asked where he was from, where he was going,
just who was he and how did he feel. He got tea, toast and tobacco. He also
got put off the train when it stopped for water somewhere. That night and
the next day he rode on trucks up into the hills and ended up in the late
afternoon in Bonalbo where there was a large forest fire burning close to
the town. A farmer asked him to help him with moving stock, 7 cows, away
from the oncoming fire, and he stayed on this property for the next 7 years.
He went into town for essentials only, the doctor or dentist, and once to
the hospital when he got kicked by a horse. He just worked, and read, and
wrote, and stayed away from the ocean, and the Navy. He never voted, or got
included in a census, there were two, or did a tax return, although he told
his employer he did all of this. The farmer died and he worked for the new
owner for a while until in the late 50's he ventured off the place and went
to Brisbane for a while and worked for Evans Deakin under the Story Bridge. 
David went to the races at Eagle Farm and Doomben. These tracks are near
each other on the coastal plain between the city and the coast. They seem to
be similar, aligned east -west as they are, one is larger than the other,
with longer, larger turns and longer finishing straight.
He was a system player and used 4, at least, to sort runners into selections
for backing. This system, shown below, may have been compiled by him. It
seeks to find a runner at odds and back that runner to place. David's work
at Evans Deakin exposed him to using a slide rule (the sly drool reference)
and he was able to add, multiply, and divide numbers of varying complexity.
The transistor and the electronic calculator were yet to be invented. He
worked on Friday evening in the engineering office, but not for his employer
that much, no, he and his FaberCastell slide rule worked on the following
days race form - dividing and multiplying until he had selections in each
race, then it was off to the Kangaroo Point pub for the remainder of the
David converted the distance of the form race ( eg the qualifying run) into
yards then divided that figure by the time of the race - all of that
information was in his race form paper, the race book? He had drawn, and
xerox'd, sheets of paper specific to his method of calculation, with columns
and rows, and it seems there was a flurry of industry those Friday evenings
which nearly always ended with him walking to the Kangaroo Point hotel
before his shift ended.
With his calculator (the slide rule) he multiplied the distance of the race
in furlongs by 220 (yards in a furlong) then divided this result by the
timed value of the race (hand timed in this era, wonky) and the result gave
him a value (bigger is best) for this runner. David scored all the field,
all runners, but his bets for this method were applied to longer priced
runners only, and then only on the Tote and for a place. He wrote that it
was 'worthwhile' although no results are mentioned or tabulated.
Summary: multiply distance of qualifying race (QR) in furlongs by 220 to
obtain a distance value in yards. Divide this value (the product) by the
time value for this run. Rank the results, bigger values are best.
(a)	All runners must have won a race - then modified to run in a race of
similar distance (win/place irrelevant)
(b)	No wet tracks - modified to track condition then to track condition
now must be the same/similar
(c)	Preference - same distance, same jockey, same barrier - senior rider
this time unless the junior rider has experience with the runner.
(d)	No old form, he mentions 'this preparation' then writes about QR
within 60 days.
(e)	Your selection is the runner with a high value and a long price
after considering all runners, their values, and their available price.
(f)	David writes he modified his rules to score only longer priced
runners irrespective of those favoured with better values - he meant he only
worked out on runners with longer prices, so 5 runners say, from 14 overall.
This was expeditious but doesn't seem to hold up in practice. Good scores,
long prices means the market has missed something, and you haven't, and also
means you  excluded races where system selections ran, and lost.
It seems a run in a fast race is one of the pre-requisites of a winning
(placed) bet when the odds are outside the field numbers.
David discusses the use of values from races of different distances (6f
then, 7f now) and concludes that a fast run in a race less than todays
distance is acceptable for several reasons:
(i)	The fast run is a component of todays race, it shows this runner is
capable of a sustained sprint of a distance equal to that of it's QR at
least, and this will be quicker than the calculation which was off a
standing start, whereas the distance component within todays race is off a
mobile start. It makes sense when read that way.
(ii)	The fast run over a distance greater than todays race is self
explanatory, he writes.
(iii)	Often, nearly always, a longer priced horse has no, or none, form
element to recommend it except this time value. He believes that all runners
finish 'on their merits' if allowed. This is contentious, he writes, as
runners often finish in a 'group' well behind the winner. Another of his
systems deals with these as though they finished no less than 3 lengths from
the winner - I may write about that next time - and in any event it involves
more calculations using the rule.
David had columns of figures to speed up his methods of calculations - the
end columns showed his Logs from which he completed his summations
Today we would divide the race distance in metres by the electronic timed
score of the runner in a QR - and use a Canon F604 (and that's a skite!) to
calculate a value.
Does it work - maybe, and often enough to keep you interested. There is no
bet in every race (yawn - because you quickly get sick of watching $9 place
runners nearly getting in)
When Jordan Childs steered one home at $151/$21 the runner was selected off
these rules, it had little else to recommend it. Kate Walters also. Jamie
Kah at $4.50 yesterday, then $5 although another had a higher value and an
apprentice, Laura Lafferty $3.80 when three runners all had apprentices,
another race had 10 runners over $3 place- the 'best' of these placed, and a
close second value came fourth (it lost) at $101/20, when Black Beau Tie
(2nd pick) came in at $9 I was on All Hard Wood, but it proves the rules
somewhat - apprentices, then $5 win(place) in the last. Don't expect that
result every time.
(A)	Divide the race distance by the time of the race amd record the
result - runners paying more than $3 place are considered - only $3 place
runners are scored (worked out). Rank the result, highest is best. No
betting recommendation is made, most of us are grateful for a small
dividend, and often.
Cheers - and a very merry Xmas everyone
PS - most my collection of systems has been moved/translocated. I have
photocopies of some of interest, and duplicates and triplicates of others
which I will list here for free dispersal soon (necks cheer). Heading up to
Perth and kids soon - I missed touring this year but so did everyone else
Cheers again
 Sorry to destroy the quietness of December on Ausrace but
* not his correct name - I don't know that either. David left Australia and
went to New Zealand when he could without a passport and after that we don't
know. He left the British Navy because of sickness on board/bullying because
of his appearance/some other justifiable reason known only to him. His
papers came into possession of an avid historian/collector and her husband
knew of my unhealthy fascination with things on the punt and I read them 22
years ago today.

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