'God Of Lamp' has burned out this time
One year on from the huge move on All The Winners at a Happy Valley Sunday meeting that set the tone for last season on the betting front, the 'God Of Lamp' has not been quite as accurate this time around.
The big, late firmers with the green and brown lights on their odds will be long remembered as one of the defining characteristics of the 2010-11 season, particularly just how deadly the so-called God Of Lamp has seemed early in the season.
All The Winners got everyone excited when he won a year ago after trimming rather substantially from well over 20-1 to start at 4.3.
In 2011-12, the lights have again been flashing and the Valley meeting on Sunday featured some of the biggest firmers of the season but didn't cause as much excitement as they didn't arrive first.
Real Dragon, for example, who dropped from $250 for every $10 to run a $46 chance, was probably the best shortener of the first 13 meetings. While there would be no argument about that one qualifying, what constitutes a big shortener depends on your criteria, since it takes more money to drive odds down from, for example, $100 to $40 than to cut a $1,000 dividend to $200. Using the idea that a legitimate shortener might be a 30 per cent odds reduction for horses which start off in the market, ie $100 or less for every $10 wagered, and 50 per cent for longer odds, God Of Lamp has not been as effective this season, though it is early days.
Well over 100 horses have fit the criteria as serious shorteners, but only some 10 per cent have converted that confidence into a winning result.
As we discussed in this space many times last term, the sources of the God Of Lamp horses may have been varied but there was a strong influence from at least one illegal betting exchange operating in Asia and that illegal bookmakers reducing their commitments were playing a role.
One of the interesting aspects of the serious moves is how, overwhelmingly, they involve rides of local jockeys rather than expatriates.
That angle has been highlighted by heavy support for Alvin Ng Ka-chun's rides, which has been standard procedure on the basis of his 10-pound claim.