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7/12/2001 edition

"A Winner's a Winner"
"A Loser's a Loser," too!

Have you ever thought about that much bandied about cliche, "A winner's a winner"? Well, it's more than time to debunk it.

As the horses were entering the barriers before the first at Eagle Farm last Saturday, Sky Racing's Brisbane man at the track Larry Olsen was finalising his free selections.

Commenting about his top selection, Cocky Cruiser, who was showing short win odds of $3.20 on the Queensland tote in the eight horse field, he added, "We'll stick with the seven. I thought he might have been a bit better than that."

To which John Tapp added, "Never mind Larry. A winner's a winner."

As I have said in the past, John Tapp is a brilliant host who can bring pretty ordinary racing to life. But comments like the cliched "A winner's a winner" are not really helpful.

You must get fair odds about the horse you back. If you do not you are guaranteed to lose money long term. The appropriate saying is then, "A loser's a loser."

Because you are betting into markets well over 100% the chances are that most horses in a race, quite often every horse, is below its chances of winning. Of course, assessing a horse's chances of winning ultimately becomes a matter of opinion as there is no set formula which everyone agrees upon. If there was, there would also be no markets, as everyone would have the same opinion about every horse in a race!

We can all can see if you have a dice that the chances on a random throw of any number from one to six coming up is one chance in six which is 5/1 or in dollar dividends $6.00. But it is not so easy working out the fair odds for any particular horse to win a race.

But one thing is for sure - to say a horse "Can't win" or "Can't lose" are incorrect.
No horse has 100% chance of winning a race, unless it is a one horse race.
Nor has any horse a 100% chance of losing a race.

It is because punters assume that so many horses in a race "Can't win" that they end up taking very poor odds about many of the horses they do back. As a result some of the horses that "Can't win" get out to value odds where you are given much better odds than the horse's chances of winning.

You only have to check our ratings for the eighth race at Eagle Farm last Saturday to see what we mean.

In that race many punters would have said that Close To Danger "Can't win."

Based on our full-time work we had a different opinion. Our ratings gave the horse a very realistic winning chance. He was only rated four points below the top rated horse in the race. So, because many punters incorrectly said Close To Danger "Can't win" the horse paid $50.90 when he did win the race

No5
Daam Lucky
100
4th.
No1
Kulnura
99
.
No10
Sammy
98
.
No7
Close To Danger
96
. 1st. $50.90
No16
Danehill Star
96
. 2nd.
No3
HugeYear
*
. 3rd.
No2
Mallet
*
.
No6
Prince Starlight
*
. .

It is cliches like "A winner's a winner," which completely ignore the realities of betting on horses:
1. Before the race it assumes the horse "Can't lose."
2. After the race it ignores the fact that accepting poor odds about the horses you back will guarantee a winning strike rate on those horses too low to return a profit.

Next pages
Winning bets - trainers' intentions are important
Betting odds
Adelaide racing
Future winners at big odds
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Warning
Short Priced Tote Favourites

These are losing bets.
Look at the table below and see the percentages lost backing short priced tote favourites compared with the top official bookmaker betting ring prices.

It is just about impossible to get a high enough strike rate backing short priced tote favourites to make up for the big unders on the tote.
If you regularly get poor odds you must lose.

Did you back any of these winners recently?
If you did, see the minimum prices you should have received.
Make sure you do!

Horse

Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra percentage won Extra Profit $100 bet
Outside The Square 5.70 9.00 70% $330
Maguire 4.60 7.00 67% $240
Frisky Star 3.80 5.00 43% $120
Dimness 2.90 4.00 58% $110
Mighty Fine 2.90 4.00 38% $110
Latte 3.20 4.20 46% $100


Back Tote Longshots?

Horse

Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $100 bet
Silent Assassin 28.00 43.80 $1580
Brodance 42.40 52.50 $1010
Diamond Head 14.90 18.90 $400


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