Punt to Win
Victorian Horse Racing Bookmakers
How the bookies stop betting plunges.
How exciting it used to be to go to the races and at the track see big money come for a horse as it was plunged in the bookmakers' betting ring. Alas, those days seem to have gone in Melbourne.
Why have plunges practically disappeared from the betting ring? Now there is one thing for sure and it's not because punters have suddenly decided to stop having a big go on some horses.
Put simply, the Victorian bookmakers have changed the way they are wagering on horses. Their opening odds used to be not too different from tote odds. Tote markets are about 118%. But now the bookies are setting opening prices of about 140% to 150% and gradually easing the odds.
What is a market of 140% equivalent to? Imagine there are seven different numbered cards placed in a hat and one is going to be drawn out. You would need $7.00 about each number. But instead you are being offered only the very poor odds of $5.00. Now that's your market of 140%.
Here's an example of bookmaker opening odds from the Caulfield horse racing meeting held on Saturday, 5th. April:
Now, when you set a market with odds like that it is just about impossible to be offering generous odds about anything. It's very likely that each horse is big unders compared to its chances of winning the race.
With opening odds like that is it any wonder plunges on horses, where betting odds dramatically firm, have practically disappeared from the Melbourne bookmakers' betting ring?
This edition of Punt to Win:
2007 Melbourne Cup Carnival Winners
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