Day At The Track

Auckland punter on high ride - Fred Donovan

06:36 PM 24 Sep 2011 NZST
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When Auckland punter Fred Donovan took a 10-leg multi in May on the harness racing Jewels, for just $5, he couldn't have imagined the ride it would take him on. Incredibly, Donovan managed to link all nine winners on Harness Jewels day at Ashburton into an All Blacks win in the Rugby World Cup final.

But while Donovan thought the way the All Blacks were playing at the time, no team would get close to them in the cup, he's understandably a bit nervous with a $24,160 collect on the line. "I still think it's their cup to lose but I might as well hedge now to make sure I come out with something," Donovan said.

In the last few weeks, all his betting has been aimed at setting up sizeable collects on other teams, and he hasn't had to spend much more than $30 or $40 on multis with horses he's liked to have potential wins of $9000 on South Africa, $6000 on Australia and $4500 on England, Ireland, Argentina and France.

"I'm also considering putting straight $1000 bets on four teams to guarantee collects of $10,000. But I don't want to spend too much - the beauty of this is I can get a big collect from a small bet."

The Sunday Star-Times approached a number of experts on Donovan's behalf, asking what they'd do if they held his ticket, and their answers varied widely.

TAB bookie Steve Richardson

"If it was my ticket I would bet $10,000 on any other team to win the cup at $2.25 to return $22,500 minus $10,000 stake, equals profit of $12,500. If he loses that bet he collects $24,160 minus $10,000, equals $14,160. So whoever wins he collects $12,500 or $14,160.

"Or, if he has faith in NZ to get to the final, back the opposing team with a points start. If it's say, South Africa, and they get 5.5 points, he could put 10k on and if NZ wins by less than 5.5 points, he will collect not only the $24,160 but also his 10k bet on South Africa plus points. That way he gets a double collect [another $8700 profit]. At worst, if South Africa thrashes NZ he still profts by $8700. [Points start should open at $1.87]."

Successful sports punter Phillip Kucenko

"I wouldn't lay off one cent. The All Blacks are over the line, they should be $1.20, not $1.60. They're head and shoulders above the other teams. The only danger is if a couple of key players get injured.

"But if he wanted to play safe he could put $3000 on Australia at $6.50 [$19,500 collect] and $2000 on South Africa at $8 [$16,000 collect]. That would still see him collect $19,160 if the ABs win."

Anonymous big punter

"I'd lay New Zealand to win the final on an overseas betting exchange like Betfair."

By laying NZ (acting as bookmaker) to win the final, $14,913 at $1.62, he would have to pay out $9246 if NZ wins. Subtract that from his $24,160 collect and his total collect is $14,914. If the All Blacks lose, he still collects $14,913 from Betfair punters.

Racing Editor Barry Lichter

"I'd spend $6872 hedging for a collect of 17K if either NZ, Australia or South Africa wins, and 10K if either England, France or Ireland wins. You'd put $2615 on Australia at $6.50, $2125 on South Africa at $8, $909 on England at $11, $769 on France at $13 and $454 on Ireland at $22. It would mean your collect on an All Black win would come down from $24,160 to $17,288 but it would take a lot of the angst out of the next few weeks."


1. Flying Isa $1.50

2. Cowgirls N Indians $3.50

3. Fly Like An Eagle $2.50

4. Paramount Geegee $2.50

5. Carabella $1.25

6. Gold Ace $3.50

7. Vulcan $3.50

8. Lancome $2.20

9. Franco Emirate $3.00

10. NZ to win Rugby World Cup $1.70

$5 wager Collect: $24,160

Courtesy of Barry Lichter and the Sunday Star Times

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