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Monday, 26 May 2014

What a Strange Rainbow Six

All of your mandatory payout dreams were crushed yesterday when some rich guy invested money you could never afford into the Rainbow Six and hit for $6.6 million. Sound about right? I thought so.

     It's no great shock that the winner invested a stupid amount of money to hit. It's usually like that. The thing that is surprising is that he actually managed to hit. Looking at yesterday's sequence and comparing it to the $3.6 million jackpot hit from February 22, 2013, this was a fairly easy sequence.

     There were only two longshots in yesterday's sequence, coming in the first two races. Leg #1 was a two year old race where a 16-1 shot first time starter drew off. Sure the horse was 16-1, but you expect people to cover first timers in multi race bets. A 10-1 shot won the second leg with a 4-5 favourite missing the board. I suppose that was likely a very pivotal leg. The remaining four winners paid $12.80, $10.40, $9.60, and $12.80. It should be noted that the $9.60 winner was 8-1 on the morning line. But the point is, these weren't the trickiest horses to find. Compare that to the 2013 winning sequence, where the winners paid $114, $11.40, $36.80, $17.20, $23.60 and $23.00, yesterday's races were a stroll in the park.

     Now, here's another thing that made yesterday's winner strange: due to the smaller field sizes of the Gulfstream summer meet, there were way less possible combinations to be played. Yesterday there were 142,560 possible combinations. Last year, there were 1,149,984. That's 1,007,424 more in 2013 than yesterday.

    The one thing that did make sense about yesterday's winner was that there were a lot less tickets in play. There was $438,733 in the pool when the jackpot was hit last year, which is (give or take a few because results charts don't give you pool totals with cents) 43,873 tickets at play. Remember that last year the Rainbow Six still had a dime base. Yesterday, with $352,302 in the pool, there were 17,615 tickets played. However, if we pretend that every ticket was a unique combination, yesterday's tickets would have covered 12% of the possible combos, while last year's tickets would have covered only 3.8%.

    The math behind yesterday's hit doesn't really make a lot of sense. Observation says that yesterday's Rainbow Six shouldn't have been hit. But it was, and there's nothing we can do about it. I don't get it, you probably don't get it, but it happened. Jerod summed it up well

An anomaly indeed. But stranger things have happened in racing. To all my American friends, enjoy your holiday.

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