THE jury is still out on the success of the rule changes of the Pick 6 bet in South African horse racing.
There is huge excitement in chasing big payouts now that the couplings do not count anymore. The full impact of the changes will only be clear much later.
Yes, there is excitement about the bet now, but this could quickly change. Many punters will probably soon find it too difficult to catch the Pick 6 without the couplings and will turn to the Place Accumulator or Jackpot. Some will leave their favourite bets for a while to have a crack, but if there is no immediate success they will no doubt return to what worked for them.
Then there are those who stick to their favourite bet anyway. I teamed up with award-winning racegoer Graham Larkin last Friday at Arlington to find the winners.
Graham is a trifecta and quartet man. It will take some convincing to get him to take a Pick 6, couplings or not. It is Graham's 75th birthday on Sunday and I am looking forward to seeing him compiling his bets today, involving numbers seven and five. By the way, it looks a bit silly to still keep the first timer rule for the Pick 6 bet, but that is a debate for another time.
For those of you who take a Pick 6 today at Arlington, take note of the Punters' Pal selections. We tipped you that massive payout last week and will be building today's selections around some runners of the Justin Snaith satellite yard. The decision makers in the game are certainly going full out to promote the rule changes in the Pick 6.
It is a bit worrying though that the marketing in general seems to be leaning to the betting aspect of the sport more and more. It is a very important aspect of course, but let us not forget the horse and the sporting aspect. As our champion trainer Gavin Smith reminded us at the awards evening: "We are here to celebrate the horse."
Punters' Pal tips for Arlington:
Pick 6 R1440