Sunday 1 August 2021

Do Betting Odds Really Tell the Chance of Your Horse Winning?

It's an interesting question. 

It often surprises me how few punters investigate facts. It's much easier to just imagine the answer to a question, hey? 

You know, if you went into an exam and didn't bother thinking about the question and just wrote something that resembled a chapter from Mills & Boon, you shouldn't be surprised when you fail miserably.

You might get lucky and Barbara Cartland is marking your exam paper!

Have you ever stopped for a moment and thought about the odds of the horse you are about to bet? 

''What do those odds mean to its chances of winning?'' 

You really should think about this. 

The choice is yours.

I spend hours researching horse trainers because I want to know the answer to a question or at least have a better understanding of horse, trainer, owner... 

What's that quote about statistics?

''There are three types of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics.''

I'm not sure who wrote that quote, but I know it wasn't someone called Barbara. 

Only teasing, of course, the quote was actually attributed to Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881). 

It's true, anyone can skew statistics. 

However, the data for each and every horse trainer does help reveal a picture of what is happening. Clearly, a sample of 1000 horses is better than just 10. Every winner, loser or something in between starts to tell a story. More than a story...

This primary source data is closer to a fact than just about anything we can find. 

Do you have any idea about, let's say, your favourite horse trainer when it comes to the price of his winning debutantes? 

Perhaps, more importantly, the price of his losing horses.

You should. You don't have to, but you should. 


Because you are probably betting on horses which have next to no chance of winning. Which is a pretty annoying. It doesn't really need to happen. Just think of all those losers you could have given the cold shoulder. 

Unsurprisingly, each trainer has their own way of working. But I can assure you of one thing, if you had a list of Mark Johnston's two-year-old debutantes, and put them in a list of the biggest priced winner to the shortest you would see a picture forming before your eyes. 

You would get to a certain Starting Price (SP) and utter these words: 

''I don't think that horse has much chance of winning. Perhaps it's a good idea I keep my money in my pocket or bet on something else in the same race.''

Now, every rule is there to be broken. Just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean it can't. 

Think back to 1969 when someone landed on the moon. 

However, if something hasn't happened in several hundred attempts it doesn't fill me with confidence it's going to change anytime soon. 

I'm trying to find a winner, not reinvent the wheel. 

I've investigated the data for just about every horse trainer you can imagine. 

They vary from one extreme to the other. 

I could tell you a few pearls of wisdom but I'm not going to simply because it's not in my interests and, unsurprisingly, I know this information because I put the time in to find it. But there's nothing stopping you from doing it yourself and actually knowing something very few people understand. All the information is waiting to be found but from my experience 99.9% of punters are lazy. If not lazy, too busy to do themselves justice.Don't fall into the trap of thinking reading the form in the Racing Post or having the data, which everyone else has at hand, is something worth knowing. 

Granted, it might be better than nothing, although I doubt it (on the value front). You want to know something that most people don't. 

You need to separate yourself from the crowd. 

''What is your insight to horse racing gambling which gives you an edge over the populous?'' 

If you don't have something in your armory you may be that old tribesman blowing your poison darts at someone who is ready to target you with an Exocet missile. 

I have seen a lot of horse trainer data and it doesn't take long to work out where the winning starts and finishes. 

With a little bit of homework you will see what I mean. 

Wouldn't you like to know that info? 

No one is stopping you but yourself. All you need is a question and with a little bit of work you will have an answer or part of the answer. 

Set yourself apart from the crowd with knowledge which makes you a wiser gambler. 

In the long run it will be a winning move. 

Author: Jason Coote 

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