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Smith opens has hot favourite with TAB

Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith has been rated such a hot favourite to successfully defend the Golden Shears Open title that the TAB has also opened a pool excluding him from the options.

The pools are among eight relating to five events which will be decided at the 57th annual shearing and woolhandling championships starting in Masterton today and finishing with four the five betting event finals on Saturday night.

Smith, the 2014 World Champion, is sitting on a string of nine consecutive wins, including the Southland All Nations Open final during the World Championships in Invercargill.

The TAB was offering $1.33 on three-times Golden Shears Open winner Smith, with four-times winner and new World champion John Kirkpatrick, also from Hawke's Bay, the second favourite at $6.

In the pool excluding Smith, and payable on the second placegetter if Smith wins, Kirkpatrick was the favourite at $4. There is also betting on competitors to make the top three in the shearing final.

The TAB has taken a similar stance in the Open woolhandling, with defending champion Joel Henare, who regained the World title three weeks ago, a $1.40 favourite, as well as being a $1.40 favourite in an Henare v The Field option, with anyone to beat Henare paying $2.70.

New Zealand are a warm $1.35 favourite to beat Austtralia in Friday night's Trans-Tasman woolhandling test, but in Saturday's shearing test Australia are favoured at $1.75, with New Zealand paying $1.95.

The other pool is on New Zealand's premier multi-breeds shearing title, sometimes regarded as the Ironman event, with five-times winner and defending champion Tony Cost the favourite paying $2.75.

Punters can also take such wagers as multi-bets, such as did one punter successfully on the three favourites and eventual winners of the individual events at the World Championships, resulting in a profit of several thousand dollars.

In multi-bets, punters pre-select events in sequence, the winnings each time being automatically reinvested on the next selection and multiplying the dividend, only payable if all selections in the sequence win.

For up-to-date odds click here.