September 4, 2002 at 13:13 #4211apracingParticipant
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Hello all TRF members. As an owner and full time punter, I felt I wanted to post some thoughts about betting exchanges, given that some people seem to assume that all owners are corrupt individuals who will automatically take advantage of the opportunity to lay their own horses.
The first thing to say is that any owner and/or trainer with contacts in the betting ring has always had the option of laying their horse. All you had to do was ask an on course bookie to put up a price a little bigger than his colleagues and agree to cover his losses. There were at least half a dozen one man businesses on the rails in the 80’s and 90’s that would supply this service and others in the main ring.
Pre-Betfair, it was quite normal for many professional punters to operate with course bookies to lay horses as part of their daily business.
The second point to make is that wanting to lay a horse and actually being able to lay it are two different things. If I run a horse that I feel has little chance and it’s bigger than 10/1 in the betting for a midweek race, I’m not going to be able to take enough money to justify the risk anyway.
The third point is that nobody is putting a gun to the head of any punter and forcing him to back my horse, even if I am laying it. To argue that laying a horse because I expect it to lose is corrupt rather loses it’s force if you accept that I’m entitled to back it when I expect it to win. Of course, if I’m preventing the horse from winning, that’s a different matter, but if you think that’s easy, I can tell you it’s not. The assumption that the owner always knows exactly how his horse will run is misplaced – mostly it’s just guesswork. Is there any member of the Amelia partnership that can honestly say they predicted the Leicester win and the subsequent defeats accurately?
Like the vast majority of owners of moderate horses, I’m just desperate to win a race. I’m certainly not in the business of having horses stopped in order to boost their chances. I have no licence to lose, but I’m not going to ask my trainer and jockey to risk their livelihood just so that I can land a bet.
From personal experience, I can quote examples of a horse that won when not even slightly expected, another that disappointed when backed after three runs to get handicapped as it turned out to have no courage, something that didn’t show when it was down the field, and one that was expected to win a seller and ran into another trainer with the same plan.
The betting exchanges provide new opportunities for punters and layers and given the small margins in their markets, should be encouraged. The last thing we should be doing as punters is giving support to the scare stories being spread about by the big bookies. <br>September 4, 2002 at 13:55 #100159robert99Participant
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Some common sense and reality at last – well said.
By definition, all except one horse loses in every race – bar dead heats. "Bismarks" are easy to select Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â (you can get this right 90% of the time by sticking a pin in a list of runners – consistent winners are not so easy to find. Most punters only have to lay their "selections to win", to come into regular profits.
The off-course scare machine will not work as the Government has no stomach to risk again tax revenues lost to overseas countries. Expect off-course companies to set up their own rival P2P companies very soon. Risk free profits from world-wide customers are too good to miss out on.
Regards,<br>Robert<br>:cool:September 4, 2002 at 14:33 #100160balanceMember
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A very good post apracing, as robert says, common sense at last.
robert, would tend to disagree with Bismarks being easy to find though, well low price ones anyway.September 4, 2002 at 14:58 #100162prince regentMember
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<br> yes commonsense
before the bookies complain about exchanges they should perhaps look into some of their own dubious practiciesSeptember 4, 2002 at 15:01 #100163
Agree with all of the above.
Like you say an oncourse bookmaker is not going to refuse 7-4 about a horse that’s being offered as a 5-4 fav,it gives him the option of taking a profit.<br>If the bet was logged (which of course it would be!!) it would simply go in the book as laying the field at 4-7.
I still can’t see the differance……..the bet becomes a simple match bet with only 2 outcomes possible,when you place a bet in a match you are literally laying the other possibility…..by using the exchanges you are doing it at a fairer price!!September 4, 2002 at 17:45 #100164roryParticipant
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As part of the Amelia syndicate, I’ll respond to apracing’s question about our ability to predict when she was going to win by saying that in retrospect we believed the Leicester race was spot on, but at the time there were those among us who believed that optimism was running too high, and we’d expected he to win at Wolverhampton on her previous start only to be disappointed, and in my opinion this is typical in racehorse ownership.
I know of someone who owned a horse which won two races over two flat seasons and was told to back it on every one of its umpteen starts except the two that it won, when it started at 50/1 and 40/1!!
That shows how easily owners can be misled about the chances of their horses, either because dodgy logic dictates a good or bad run which fails to materialise- (many horses run best undercooked for example, and when they’re at peak fitness disappoint because they are over the top mentally) or they misinterpret the opinion of the trainer (or worse).September 5, 2002 at 00:31 #100165Nick HattonMember
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Excellent first post apracing. You are talking a lot of sense.
There is a scenario that deeply worries me though …… that being where a larcenous owner/trainer wants to lay one that’s ‘not off’ with a very weak on-course market, for example Wolves a/w on a freezing cold weekday. In that kind of situation Betfair is surely the obvious place to do their business ?September 5, 2002 at 06:28 #100166
NH…….Good point about Wolves.
I would say a weak oncourse market would usually equate to a weak off course market……..the owner you had in mind would need a very short priced fav to pull that one off……i doubt there would be much more than 15k volume traded on the outcome at Betfair…….furthermore,many of the punters on the exchanges can read the market and they wouldn’t get involved if they could smell a rat.
Q…..Are there any big layers at Wolves ??
Who are they ?
ThanksSeptember 5, 2002 at 07:18 #100167raymondoMember
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Would Prince Regent like to share the "Bookies" dubious practises with us.<br>I’d be most intrigued to read them.<br>Are we talking on-course, high street or internet.<br>Do enlighten us please!<br>RaySeptember 5, 2002 at 08:41 #100168apracingParticipant
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<br>Nick raises a question about the potential for an owner/trainer to lay a horse in a weak market, giving Wolverhampton as an example.
Clearly, the oportunity exists, as it always has, since I could ask a bookie at Wolves to lay a horse for me. Betfair increases the range of options, but anybody set on making a serious amount would be daft to take that route. If one or two account holders on Betfair set out to lay a short priced horse by offering prices well ahead of those in the on course market, that would show up very easily in Betfair’s records. Especially if they were not regularly laying horses to lose the same amount.
The economics indicate that if you own a favourite, even for an AW race, you are better off letting it run on it’s merits than trying to stop it and profit that way. Of course, racing has it’s share of people that would prefer to earn a bent pound than a legal tenner!
As far as the punter is concerned, there are two things you can do to help avoid being caught out – stick to better class races for your betting and beware of prices that look too good to be true. To offer an example this afternoon, consider the 6F fillies race at Salisbury (2:10). Does anybody think that Hamdam Al Maktoum is going to be on Betfair laying Khulood having told the trainer to take a pull? So bet on that, rather than any of the low grade 16 runner lotteries at Southwell (in one of which I have a runner today!).September 5, 2002 at 14:32 #100169Nick HattonMember
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Tony …….. if you ever want to get a big bet on at Wolves then Steve Allen representing Tony Morris is probably the best man to go to. He’ll stand a Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£2K bet on just about anything and will go up to about Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£5K if he thinks you’re placing a stupid bet !! Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Otherwise speak to Chris, one of the William Hill’s reps. As long as you don’t want a bet at the last second before the off I’m sure he would help you.
About a month ago there was a very strange betting pattern concerning a very ‘hot’ Prescott horse at Wolves (Jewel Of India). On-course the horse was backed in from 11/10 to 2/5 and with the horse at 2/5 and over Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£150K matched on Betfair, someone put up an offer of Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40K at evs. I’m sure this doesn’t happen very often, but when the Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40K came up on the screen I smelled a rat.September 5, 2002 at 15:20 #100170
Nick……Thanks for that.
If i saw 40K come up as a lay i would probably fall off my chair (nothing new in that i do it most days)….40K is spelling it out loud!September 5, 2002 at 16:02 #100171prince regentMember
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how about offering ante post prices on horses that connections have made quite clear will not participate in the stated event and im not talking about rank outsiders eitherSeptember 5, 2002 at 17:04 #100172
PR……I’ll be happy to lay you non runners………Ascot odds!!September 5, 2002 at 21:20 #100173WallaceParticipant
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AP’s opening post is certainly a well presented statement of the exchange activity. However, there have been a few cases where I know for certain about a short priced favourite being layed and stopped. One of these was indeed at Wolverhampton at a mid week meeting in the winter. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£110,000 was matched on a short priced favourite in a steady stream of bets from the night before right up to the time of the off. The crooks were also very greedy in laying it to the tune of Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£15,000 in the place market! The horse finished a hard ridden 4th. Owned by a bookmaker, trained by a crook and ridden by a jockey who makes more money from losers than winners!
I believe there is a small number of these cases maybe 10 per year but enough for all punters to be on the look out for unusual activity.
Punters should also be on the look out for another scam on the exchanges where connections want people to think there has been a lot of activity on a particular horse. This is done by betting and laying a horse as all bets are recorded as normal matches without any funds moving. I tested this theory a few months ago when I placed and layed a number of bets on an unraced horse which I knew had absolutely no chance of winning or even being bet by cinnections. By placing these fantom bets at prices from 33/1 down to 8/1 during the night, this horse opened on course at 8/1 before drifting to 10/1 at the off and then pulling up.
There are two significant things I think will happen in the UK exchange market.
1. The big three bookmakers will combine to form a real competitor to Betfair and provide a huge level of liquidty from day one from their own funds.
2. Attheraces will merge with BF or the new competitor and ditch its ill fated link with the Tote. If the live prices were broadcast on ATR during racing the attraction is obvious.
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