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1/9/2000 edition

This Bet Is A Moral

I never forget what a punting friend told me about 10 years ago. I had placed a large wager on the Freedman trained champion Super Impose and told him, "It's a moral. It'll easily run over the top of them." To which he replied," Is it an odds on chance?" I told him, " Of course not, but I've priced it very short at 6/4." To which he smugly replied," Well on my understanding that means it should only win that race four out of 10 times. You should really be saying Super Impose should lose."

That was exactly correct. Unless a horse is a true odds on chance in a race it should lose simply because its chances of losing the race are greater than for winning the race. What do we really mean when we say a horse should win ? I am pretty certain we don't really mean literally that it has a better than 50% chance of winning the race. What we really mean is that it has the best winning chances in the race. It is knowing whether or not the price available for the horse is value compared to its winning chances that separates the winning punters from the losing punters.

Odds on chances
Horses that are true odds on chances are generally very short in the betting ring, often odds on. You are very lucky if you can get better than 6/4. Of course there are also plenty of true 2/1 and 3/1 chances or even worse that are offered at 6/4 in the betting ring. Punters generally take the short odds because they feel comfortable knowing plenty of money has gone on the horse. If they lose, many other punters lose along with them.

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