Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Value Betting - Embrace the uncertainty !!

As I said in my previous post, in races where all of the runners have form in the book, the market is likely to accurately reflect each runners chance of winning.
My solution to this is to back primarily in races where the form is not in the book, use my knowledge and judgement - and ‘embrace the uncertainty’ !!

Method 1 – The false priced favourite

My first method for value betting is to find a race where there is a false priced favourite and oppose it. Punters in general so want to back a winner, that many favourites are backed down to a price which grossly overstates their chances of winning, When this happens, there is value to be had elsewhere. Whilst an option is simply to lay the favourite – my preferred route is to select one or two against it…
An example of this kind of bet would be Centennial on Saturday. Patkai was the false priced favourite. He had shown enormous in winning a group 3 race, over half a mile further… But that was why he was a false priced favourite ‘potential’, ‘group 3’, and ‘half a mile further’. Centennial meanwhile, had been running in group 1 races over the same trip as Saturday’s race. He was the solid selection, yet I got matched at 18 on Betfair, whilst Patkai returned at 8-11.

Method 2 – The underrated performer

This is similar to method one – but works at the other end of the market…
In conditions races in particular, if a horse appears not good enough – or held on previous running - punters will often just write off it’s chances. As I said in my original value post, I am of the belief that any horse can win a particular race – especially as in reality, most trainers would be unlikely to run a horse if they felt it had no chance of winning. Therefore, when I see a horse trading at a huge price, because it doesn’t appear to be quite good enough, I get ready to play…
Examples of such horses were Supersonic Dave on Saturday and Big Robert on Monday. Taking Big Robert: he had just 3lbs to make up on the eventual winner, Many Volumes, on official ratings. Despite this, I managed to back him during the day at 70 on Betfair. His price never made it down to the level I expected (20-30) – but I did exit most of the bet at 44 – leaving a sizeable risk free profit if he had managed to bridge the gap with Many Volumes…

Method 3 - The ‘live’ maiden

In my experience, about 50% of all maiden races (flat and jumps) can be narrowed down to 5 or 6 runners and these runners will win over 95% of the time. Most of these will be at the top of the market – but not all of them….
My method is to find the horse in the race that has a chance but is at a massive price.
There is invariably one – it’s just a question of finding it. This is without doubt, my most successful method. Every 10 or so races, I get the winner – and whilst they are not all returned at 240 ! – 100 plus is not uncommon. The biggest issue I have is getting my stake on (as I mentioned, I could only get £1:83 matched on the 240 winner).
An example of such horses were the 2 that I selected for the maidens in Ireland on Sunday. I didn’t actually back one because it’s price was too short (this method is completely price driven – I back whatever the market ‘tells’ me to !). However I was matched at 60 on the other one and it finished a relatively close up fourth…

Method 4 – The drifter

If I was to ditch one method – this would be the one ! (after writing this, maybe I should !). Often I look at a race and whilst I quite fancy a horse, I feel its price doesn’t quite represent value… Sometimes, despite this, the price of the horse will actually contract – but other times, it lengthens… When this happens, my ‘value’ instincts kick in and I have to back it ! Furthermore, if it continues to drift, I will back it again and again and again ! I don’t get into many holes with my gambling – but this method accounts for just about all of them ! Worse still, knowing that I’m backing a drifter, I am invariably overly keen to exit the bet. So if it does run well, my profits aren’t what they should be –and if it doesn’t…!
An example of this kind of a horse was Linda Green on Sunday. As I mentioned, it was priced up at 12-1 all day – which I thought was a fair representation of it’s chances. Therefore, when I saw it at 20, 5 minutes before the off, the ‘value’ bells started ringing ! At 28 the noise was deafening ! Yet despite this, I got out of most of the bet far too early – and made only a reasonable profit…

Method 5 – The dark horse

This method involves backing the unknown horse in the field – the one who is different – who could be anything and is likely to finish first or last !
This method would see you backing foreign horses or horses running over markedly different trips to normal or novices competing in championship events…
Invariably, the odds on such horses are significantly bigger than they should be.
An example of such a horse (although admittedly not a particularly good one !) was Classic Remark on Sunday. It was from a small-ish stable running in a big race in France. A better example would probably be Kingsgate Native in last years Nunthorpe.

So there you have it – my value methods laid bare ! Hopefully, they will provoke some comments… I would be particularly interested in peoples thoughts on how I should deal with ‘the drifter’ (as this is the one I think I need to tame !) – but comments/questions/thoughts on any of the methods, will be most welcome (my target is to get more comments on this post than Graeme has had on any of his posts – don’t let me down !)


maggie said...

With drifters the bigger it gets compared to your tissue price the more you should put on it then exit below your price either before the off or more likely in running

markomar said...

Your drifter method is obviously technicaly sound, I suppose it`s just a matter of too much money on one horse messing with a clear head.

I figure what could solve it is some sort of routine. I figure just try to ignore the drifters until a minute before the off.

So no backing at noon at 35 only to find 45 tempting you an hour later.

Just wait until just before the off and then examine the odds to see if they satisfy you and place a small bet if they do.

Yes sometimes it will mean you missed a good bet (because the horse firmed back to his fair odds), but at least when you have a bet there will be no pressure due to overexposure.

Other times you will miss the peak price traded, but I think that would even itself out in the end since you don`t get a good average price backing a horse that is continusly drifting every half an hour either.

Anyway I like the method 5. Doesn`t look like you need to be too much of a guru for that one. :P