Paddock Watching

I have enlisted the services of Paddock Judge, Dee Thompson, who I interviewed recently. And what an eye opener it was – weak looking or submissive favourites, horse whispering and perceptive observation.

Read the full interview below…..

Chris: Hi Dee, thanks for agreeing to tell us a bit about your job. I believe you are known as a Paddock Judge or Watcher; what does this involve?

Dee: …..Hi Chris I observe the horses in the parade ring pre-race, make notes on their appearance and attitude and report what I see by text to people who like a bet and bookmakers.

In particular looking for horses who have obvious well being, have size and strength over the others, who have an athletic build, with a fluid walk, and most importantly have the best energy and are mentally for it. I also highlight the most fancied runners that look negative.

Chris: As a Paddock Judge, Dee, how can this service help the racegoer or punter who is thinking of placing a bet.

Dee:……Chris, I have worked as a paddock judge for over 15 years and that experience has shown me over and over again that no matter how fancied a horse is, how strong the form is, even how fit the horse is, if that runner is lethargic or feeling below par on the day of the race it will struggle to win.

So it can be valuable to someone placing a bet, to know how the horse is looking before the race and thus give a punter an edge. Equally it can flag up a poor looking short favourite that is unlikely to win.

For punters who are considering more than one horse in a race, in my texts I send a description of the positives and negatives of the runners that most catch the eye and where applicable I name a standout.

For example at a recent All Weather meeting, a 3 year old novice race – 8 runners, I reported that the Mark Johnson runner Matterhorn @5/4 and the Gosden runner Holy Heart @11/10 looked very average but I really liked the size strength and energy of the Rebecca Menzies horse Thaayer@13/2.

Thaayer won, Matterhorn 2nd, Holy Heart 3rd, so here was an opportunity to make money from a 13/2 winner and laying two fancied horses!

Another example of my notes on a novice chase at Newcastle; my notes said Debece was a big and strong proper chasing type @ 6/5 whereas Jammin Masters in comparison was very small @ 4/5f – Debece won jumping really well – Jammin Masters jumped poorly.

Chris: I expect you have had some unusual or amusing experiences at the racecourse, do any stand out in your mind?

Dee…..Well I actually did a horse whispering course to help me understand equine body language, as I thought it could be of help to me.

One thing I do observe at times in the parade ring is dominant body language and submissive body language. Most of us are aware of certain horses with ability that always finish second and never win! I was working at Hamilton park one day, there was an odds on favourite and I reported to a client that this horse was showing very submissive behaviour in the parade ring.

Long story – the horse finished a close second and my client rang me up and said watching the replay that was unbelievable! The horse was full of running but did everything it could not to pass the one in front;, it held its head sideways not to get its nose in front and even jinxed sideways to make sure it didn’t win!!

Chris: Well thanks for sharing, Dee, and we look forward to hearing more from your service in the near future. Dee….Thank you

So there we have it and I am looking forward to hearing a lot more from Dee in the coming months when she will will be sharing her skills with www.horse4course-racetips.com and horse4course- racetips.com on Facebook

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