Tag Archives: fair prices

Greyhound Racing Videos

Before I get into the specifics of finding winning dogs by reading the form I want to just give a bit more background info and talk about a method I used to use when I was full time betting the greyhounds…

Finding the winning greyhound in a graded race is about a lot more than the times it has achieved in the past.

Graded racing is the greyhound equivalent of a handicap race except that greyhounds are not allocated any sort of handicap to slow them down.

Instead they selected to be as closely matched as possible.

The Racing Managers job is to put together races that are as closely matched as possible and to, if you like, create a puzzle for the punters.

On course bookmaking at greyhound tracks is notoriously hard, mainly because when money talks in a small market there are not the opportunities to balance out a book. This is the reason that on course overrounds are huge at greyhound tracks and the reason that the Racing Manager does his best to make the races as decipherable as possible.

Don’t let any of this put you off, though, because winners can be found if you are selective and if the meeting is covered by Betfair then fair prices can be obtained also.

As with any activity knowledge equals power or in this case the more you know the more profitable you can be. The ultimate level of knowledge is to have watched every race ever run by every dog in the race to hand and to know how each has been performing at home. (Many trainers these days have some sort of track at their own kennels).

It is unlikely that you can get inside info on every dog in a race but you can often get to see every race a dog has run. For some years now tracks have supplied videos of all races run to those prepared to pay for the privilege. And the backer who focuses on one particular track can, given time, watch every run of a particular animal. However this is an expensive, although ultimately profitable, approach.

I will briefly touch on the things to watch out for when race watching here and next time we'll get on to a more form based approach.

Racing Videos

When watching greyhound racing in the main what you are looking for is

• Dogs that have had a hard race (bumped and blocked) but still performed well indicating they are faster than the time recorded. They are likely faster than the bare form suggests. If you are in the bookies watching the BAGS racing and you see a dog that had a hard race make a note of it and check the results to see what tine it did and estimate what time you think it should have done,. It may be a good bet next time out.

• How a dog breaks from the traps EG do they run straight to the rail, which would cause trouble for the dog inside them but hand an advantage to the dog on their outside. This info can be useful in assessing the chances of the dog in question and other dogs.

• Are they on the bunny! IE doing everything in their power to get in front and win or did they give up easy & just follow the pack home. Chasers, who are not really up for it will win less than their share of races because they don't like to be in front.

Winning Handicap Debutants

We've had a lot of success with our lay systems and it is my view that steady and long term profit is easier to come by with laying systems.

The strike rates are higher and we've been able to find an advantage.

But backing winners is more fun and it would be nice to start building up our portfolio of winning systems.

So this weekend I've been thinking about where we should look for winners and what I realised is that the lay systems we have look at a particular angle (debutants & handicap debutants) and then focus on the trainers that perform badly with that type of horse.

So it occurred to me that the obvious thing to do is to look at the trainers that perform well with these types.

So I looked at trainers that are profitable with their horses making their handicap debut.

The headline results are…

Bets = 2008
Wins = 329
Strike Rate = 16%
Profit = 576.02
Return on Investment = 28.69%

These results are for 2010 to date.

Also keep in mind that this is profit to starting prices so we can expect a bit more at Betfair prices.

The profit from this looks good but the strike rate is low at just 16% so although profitable the losing runs can be long.

The rules are…

Horses having their first run in a Handicap
Aged 3 – 10
Horse sex = male
Trainer is one of the following

Balding, A M Barron, T D
Beckett, R M Boyle, J R
Brittain, C E Channon, M R
Charlton, R Cole, P F I
Cumani, L M Daly, H D
Dartnall, V R A Deegan, P D
Dobbin, Mrs R Dunlop, E A L
Dunlop, J L Fanshawe, J R
Flynn, Patrick J George, T R
Gosden, J H M Halford, M
Hannon, R Harrington, Mrs John
Henderson, N J Hills, B W
Hills, J W Jefferson, J M
Lyons, G M Mann, C J
Murphy, Ferdy Murphy, John Joseph
Noseda, J OGrady, E J
Oliver, Andrew OMeara, D
Osborne, J A Perrett, Mrs A J
Powell, B G Suroor, Saeed Bin
Tizzard, C L Twiston-Davies, N A
Wade, J Williams, S C

There are no qualifiers today.

Lay Handicap

14:25:00 Plumpton 5 The Informant

Today's Selection

1.35 Kempton Reverb – eachway bet – 5/1 Bet 365, Paddy Power, Bet Victor

Horse Racing Handicap Lays System

With no selections today for the Lay Debutants system, I thought that the time may be right to tell you about my Lay Handicaps system.

A Handicap by design is a race where all the runners should finish together IE there should be no winner because they are all handicapped (by weight) to have an equal chance of winning.

What this means for the layer is that if an angle is uncovered that the prices should be more reasonable, because there shouldn't be big outsiders.

In reality there are still runners that the bookies and the betting public deem to have no chance.

And of course they do win.

But when I compare this lay system with the Lay Debutants system the stand out difference is that for the Lay Debutants 49% of the selections start at over 20/1.

With this Handicap Debutants Lay system 29% start at over 20/1.

So What are the rules…

Basically we are just looking for Male horses that are 3 year olds or older who are having their first run in a Handicap.

There are of course some trainers that specialise in winning with their Handicap debutants and we have excluded any trainer that has shown a profit with such horses over the last 10 years.

The headline results are that from just over 8,000 selections in the last 10 years the win strike rate is 2.9% and the win ROI is minus 79%, so even with inflated Betfair prices there is still plenty of margin.

As with the Lay Debutants we are laying these at Betfair SP for a fixed liability.

Here are today's Handicap Lays…

16:20:00 Plumpton 2 Ballyculla (IRE)
17:20:00 Plumpton 10 Macs Grey (IRE)

Today's Selection

4.10 Pontefract Aalim – eachway bet – 6/1 Bet 365, Paddy Power, Bet Victor

Finding Value – A New Way

Today’s article has been written by Kieran Ward, professional gambler, tipster and betting blogger over at www.makeyourbettingpay.co.uk

Yesterday, I talked about the advantages and disadvantages of creating your own odds line. Today I’m going to look at a simpler way of identifying value.

I no longer create full odds for every race I want to get involved in. Of course, I still do it on the big races or any race I am particularly interested in figuring out but I stopped doing it on a daily basis quite some time ago now – when I realised something very important (and very profitable!).

Even though I think my own assessment of true probability is very good, there is a freely available tool out there that makes those assessments far more accurately than I ever could.

It’s called Betfair – and it’s considerably more accurate in the long term than the opinion of any one odds compiler, no matter how expert they are.

Numerous studies have shown that the horse racing markets on Betfair are exceptionally accurate predictors of true probability in the final few minutes before a race goes off, particularly at the head of the market (they are slightly less accurate on the outsiders because there is less liquidity on those runners).

One such piece of research was instrumental in making me realise just how accurate a tool Betfair is. If you are interested, you can read that piece of research at the link below:

http://www.probabilitytheory.info/content/item/15-the-efficiency-of-the-betting-exchange-markets

That research concludes, with some caveats, as follows:

“Betfair would appear to be a beautiful demonstration of the efficiency of a freely tradable market”

Why are Betfair horse racing markets so accurate?

It’s a good question! It can at least in part be explained by a phenomenon known as “The Wisdom of Crowds” made famous by the book of the same name.

“The Wisdom of Crowds” maintains that the averaged estimations of a group of people are likely to be more accurate than the single estimation of an expert.

For example, if you were to ask 1000 people to guess the weight of a cake then took the average of their answers, that average is likely to be very accurate – more accurate, in most cases, than the guess of any individual group member.

It appears that “group intelligence” almost always exceeds that of the most expert member of the group – even if the group is made up almost entirely of non-experts.

Betfair prices represent the averaged opinion of tens of thousands of punters, some of them experts, the majority not. As such Betfair prices are always likely to be more accurate than the opinion of any one individual.

Additionally, Betfair is a weighted average of those opinions because stronger opinions are given greater weight in the form of bet size.

The key thing to remember is this:

Betfair prices, in horse racing markets just before the off are, by far, the most accurate guide we have to the true chance of a horse winning a race.

Tomorrow, I will take a look at some practical uses of this key piece of knowledge.

Today's Selections

Kempton 5.05 Teen Ager – eachway bet – 13/2 Will Hill

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