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SuperCoach Racing: Dan Batten shows you don’t have to be a racing expert to succeed

Are you a SuperCoach Racing player who doesn’t know the difference between a filly and a colt?

I was one of them (until I searched their definitions while writing this article), but knowing the ins and outs of racing and having an intimate knowledge of the form isn’t a prerequisite for success in this format.

I discovered this when my stable ‘Batten for Glory’ managed to scored 305 points in the opening round of the spring edition, rocketing to 22nd in the overall rankings.

This is my best weekly/overall ranking across all SuperCoach formats, despite playing SuperCoach AFL for over a decade and joining Herald Sun experts Al Paton, Tim Michell and Dan Begala on their podcast this year.

My racing knowledge has been founded by the occasional trip to Flemington where lucky numbers, colours (particularly the yellow and black variety) and “gut feel” become reasonable factors in the decision making process.

Needless to say, my wallet is generally far lighter upon leaving Victoria’s home of racing.

Was there plenty of luck involved in my SuperCoach Racing feat? Absolutely.

But the fact a racing novice can find himself nearing the weekly winner should be a source of hope for all players of SuperCoach Racing.

There was some strategy behind my unlikely score that is worth noting for those unfamiliar to the sport of kings – like yours truly.

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Probabeel (left) scored maximum Group 1 points in the Epsom Handicap and was priced under $400k. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

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BEST TEAM WITHIN THE SALARY CAP

Keeping it simple was my priority for my SuperCoach Racing team and getting as many Group 1 horses – that can score your stable the most points – within the allotted salary cap. It meant avoiding more expensive choices like Nature Strip ($500,000), who scored just 14 points. My most expensive horse in my stable was Probabeel at $375,000, who saluted after being priced around $6 to take out the TAB Epsom. I looked to ignore horses over the $400,000 mark, especially expensive picks who weren’t running in G1 races.

LOAD UP ON SMALLER FIELDS

This was arguably my most effective move. I tried to play it smart in Round 1 by loading up on the Darley Stakes G1 meet, which had a smaller field and much cheaper horses than the other Gr1 races last Saturday. It paid off with Montefilia (40 points), Hungry Heart (32 – 64 as captain), Dame Giselle (18) and Miravalle (12) producing a fantastic return – especially considering the quartet were all priced below $225,000. As previously mentioned, Group 1 races are where the big points are in this game and I saw an increased likelihood of solid scores in a smaller field. It is very basic logic and it certainly won’t pay off every time, but the odds should be stacked in your favour if you target well backed horses – like Hungry Heart in Round 1 – when they have less opposition to overcome.

Flight Stakes quinella Montefilia (right) and Hungry Heart were in Dan’s team. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

LET THE ODDS GUIDE YOU

During the autumn edition – my first season playing SuperCoach racing – I made a habit of checking the odds in each race before selecting my side. Most of my selections in Round 1 were short-priced favourites in their respective races. A $2 favourite for under $200,000 in a Gr2, Gr3 or Listed race is generally too good to pass up. It is likely to give you a better return on investment than a $350,000 horse that is an outside chance of winning.

GUT FEEL

Back to one of the cornerstones of my punting misfortune. With unlimited trades it is easy to agonise over moves, especially if you don’t know the difference between the horses – I couldn’t have told you a handful of the horses I selected without checking my team … That’s why it is best as a racing tyro to back yourself in, rather than getting overwhelmed by the thoughts of a million different racing experts.

ROUND 2 MOVES

While my ranking is likely to change, my strategy will largely stay the same. I’ll be looking to fit as many Gr1 runners and cheap favourites in as I can. My stable will likely be dominated by those running at Caulfield – which will host four Gr1 races in Round 2 – with Hungry Heart to remain in my side as the current favourite for the Caulfield Guineas. Dirt cheap duo Instant Celebrity ($150,000) and Ole Kirk ($200,000) are also likely to be popular selections, with the potential to provide monster returns. There is plenty of value in the Champion Stakes Gr1 meet at Randwick, with the likes of Love Tap ($125,000), Bucharest ($100,000) and my Round 1 hero Montefilia (now $225,000) set to appeal.

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Originally published asProof that SuperCoach isn’t just for racing experts

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