February 29, 2008 at 08:58 #6894CavParticipant
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I’ve just lifted this from the BF forum, its a very good read. Perhaps Paul Nicholls will read it and think about it. As an aside I downloaded the Fracsoft data on the 4.30 at Taunton yesterday, the betting patterns on the race involved are frightening to say the least. Anyway here it is…..
Been following the racing game for a long time, love the sport and love having a few wagers. Go through good and bad patches like most people. Nothing serious either way.
But I have been becoming increasingly disillusioned by the sport and its authenticity. It’s difficult enough to open a formbook and pick out the best horse, it’s difficult enough to keep luck on your side so you don’t get hit by falls, broken legs, interference etc. But I can stomach all that, it’s part of the game.
But what has really, really been getting to me more and more lately is the elements of this game that you can’t compete with. The elements of this sport that just ensure in the long run that the dice is loaded against you. The knowledge (or ironically the lack thereof!) that your money is really just fodder for those that shape and control the events you are gambling on.
It’s not like studying the 32 teams in the soccer world cup, picking what you feel is the best team and hoping you get your fair share of luck. It’s not like trying to decide between the big 4 in the Premier League and who will win it, being able to lay out all the facts in front of you and one sure fire thing you don’t need to concern yourself with is whether or not all of those teams will be trying their best.
No this is a different game altogether. This is more and more becoming a sport where its not about picking the best horse in a race, it’s about picking the ‘right’ horse in a race. More and more often the best horse doesn’t win. Or making the decision on what is the best horse on paper is increasingly being clouded (yes, I know if it were that easy we’d all be backing every winner, I don’t mean it like that).
Some will point out that this has always been happening. Yes – there has always been cases of it. But I feel it is just getting worse and worse. Pockets of racing people EVERYWHERE just manipulating races for their own gain. The all-weather has been a huge boost to this sort of behaviour. Soooo easy to get a horse beaten. Multiple subtle ways. The exchanges have helped racing in many ways, but they have hurt in others. But, for me at least, it’s easy to tell myself that I don’t have any kind of insider ‘edge’ when it comes to all-weather racing (and an insider ‘edge’ is pretty much a necessity long-term on the all-weather) so I can sit it out.
It’s when you see events such as today at Taunton that you really question the worth of gambling on racing at all. Sure, if you are waiting till a few minutes before the off you may make the right decision. But I was at work all day and placed a double before racing based on the knowledge I had to hand at that time. I watched a recording of the days racing this evening with a numb feeling. The integrity of racing was dented badly yet again today. There really is very little that can be taken at face value in this game. Those involved should hang their heads in shame. Not that they care. And do not justify this as being Robin Hood taking money off the rich bookies etc. Ordinary punters get steamrollered by this too. The best horse may have won the race, but that is not the point at all. This was deceitful.
Anyway, it really is time for me to hang up my punting boots in this sport and just punt elsewhere, where I have a chance and don’t need to constantly weigh up what connections are involved. That may be part of the challenge to some people, some people may feel they can read that stuff perfectly, some are able to wait right up until the off. Unfortunately for me, I’m one of those who has to take things on trust a little and I’m afraid that well is now dry.February 29, 2008 at 09:06 #147305Andrew HughesMember
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Whether or not racing is becoming more crooked, it is the perception that is damaging because these days there are so many alternative sports to bet on. The person who wrote that was illustrating the danger that faces the sport if it is continually associated with the wrong sort of publicity.February 29, 2008 at 09:11 #147307davidjohnsonMember
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Link the betting patterns in with the tender ride given to the winner on his previous start and the whole affair looks unsatisfactory.February 29, 2008 at 09:37 #147314MDeeringMember
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Racing is crooked. Always has been crooked. You just have to negotiate your way around it and hope for some luck of your own.
Most sports would be the same. Match fixing, drug scandals … you name it. Money talks.
He should stop punting altogether and take up knitting.February 29, 2008 at 09:49 #147317thedarkknightParticipant
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Interesting to see whether Nicholls has anything to say on teh matter tomorrow.February 29, 2008 at 10:10 #147320AnzumMember
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Can somebody explain the controversy or alleged controversy that has taken place? Obviously concerning Nicholls 1-2 in the 4.30 at Taunton.February 29, 2008 at 11:02 #147334bluechariotMember
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Seems the stable won with a punted supposed second string as Ruby was on the runner up. Don’t know why there is a fuss as I do not think there is any suggestion that the runner up was a non trier.February 29, 2008 at 11:05 #147335carvillshillParticipant
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I’m with our Aussie mate here- these things happen and will always happen. Good punters see them coming….February 29, 2008 at 12:12 #147344% MANParticipant
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To echo a point I made in one of the Cheltenham threads.
If I was training both Kauto Star and Denman for the Gold Cup I know full well which one I would have fitter on the day – the one going for the Â£1m bonus!!! I wouldn’t care which was the "better" horse.
I would say most trainers with two horses in a race would, where there is an option, go for the more "profitable" one.February 29, 2008 at 12:28 #147345HimselfParticipant
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It would be quite naive to believe that where money is perceived as king ; whether it be in business or professional sport, that no jigger-pokery exists.
Corruption (in whatever shape or form ) will always exist where money is involved – whether we choose to accept it or not.
Gambling Only Pays When You're WinningFebruary 29, 2008 at 13:05 #147358ScribblesMember
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I’m with the aussie POV also. My needlecraft is coming on quite well nowadays, and I have recently finished a rather nice woolie jumper with a big rabbit on the front. Trouble is that the arms are twice the length they should be
I ‘gave up’ gambling when I realised that racing has nothing to do with picking the best horse and everything to do with who the triers are on the day.
I only ever punt on races with a value of Â£50k or more nowadays, which is usually the day that 95% of the field are trying. The playing surface, I find, is slightly less in need of a spirit level on those days.
I wouldn’t say that racing is crooked. I would say that it does have elements of crookedness, as does any sport where the insider can make lots of money for no effort. Money talks louder than form.February 29, 2008 at 13:41 #147375HimselfParticipant
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I am sure that the celebrated Mr Van Der Wheil advocated sticking to those races (on the day) which offered the most or good prize money. The reasoning : that most of the runners and riders would be trying.
Gambling Only Pays When You're WinningFebruary 29, 2008 at 14:09 #147381clivexMember
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No this is a different game altogether. This is more and more becoming a sport where its not about picking the best horse in a race, it’s about picking the ‘right’ horse in a race. More and more often the best horse doesn’t win
Very true, but without wishing to rush to PN’s defence, how do we really know that was not the case yesterday? Both inexperienced horses with some indifferent form.
Didnt see the race, but was there anything dubious about the tactics?February 29, 2008 at 14:21 #147387Sean RuaMember
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Apparently, it wasn’t one of the champion jockey’s better rides, but the previous race of the winner may be instructive.
However, what i’ve come on here for is to point out that the betfair forum thread goes on to show figures from a well-respected internet data source (AM) that seem to indicate that
better class races do NOT have better strike rates for the favourite than lower class stuff.
Just wanted to point that out, in case it’s true.February 29, 2008 at 14:26 #147388Fist of Fury 2k8Member
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The only thing to say that Sam’s mount was the second string was the fact Ruby rode the other horse and bookies made him fav.
It doesn’t mean that Paul Nicholls didn’t think Sam was on the better horse. He may well have told the owner of the fav that he thought her’s might not win and she has suggested the horse run anyway.
I just can’t see PN puting his neck on the line to go for a touch at lowly Tauton.
He has fifty horses he could stop at anytime and set up a real touch with.
The fav was after all beaten out of sight last time and is no great shakes whereas Sam’s mount could have improved bundles since his last run.
He may not have been knocked about behind Stellino but what was?. They were spreadout all over the county and lots of jockeys just cruised home in that race if you watch it……..not that you can see what Sam was doing as he was out of the picture half of the time
Just because we weren’t told the horse might win doesn’t make the man crook.
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