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18/1/2002 edition

Feature Doubles
Are They Value?

Feature doubles are of course now being promoted for the coming big feature races such as the Guineas - Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper - Doncaster Handicap doubles. Let's see if the odds you are offered are value.

It is important to note that if one of your horses does not run in the race, your bet is lost. No refunds for scratchings. That must be taken into account when assessing whether the odds on offer for the double is any value.

Firstly the true winning chances for the total of all the combinations on offer is exactly 100%. No more. No less. The more the market prices on offer are above 100% the worse the value is for the punter. Consider this example:

There are two races with only two horses in each race. In the first race horses A and B are true even money winning chances ($2.00 or 50%). That means they both have one chance in two of winning.

In the second race horses C and D are also true even money winning chances ($2.00 or 50%). That means they also both have one chance in two of winning.

To work out the true odds for a double, say A with C you would multiply 1/2 x 1/2 which results in 1/4 which is 25%. Converted to a price that is 3/1 or $4.00. Odds calculator gives you tables.

So in the example we have used, there are four doubles, A into C and D, and B also into C and D. Each double is a 25% chance. The total market is exactly 100%.

Lets have a look at some typical feature double odds. They were on offer last Friday for the Guineas - Blue Diamond Stakes double.

In this table Moon Dragon is offered at 33/1 in a double with Bel Esprit to win the Blue Diamond Stakes and also at 33/1 with Innovation Girl to win the Blue Diamond Stakes. For space reasons these horses' names are not given in the columns - but the number of doubles are, so 2 is in the column heading.

Blue Diamond Stakes
Number of horses offered in doubles with Guineas horses
Guineas horses
2
1
1
3
7
7
3
5
Moon Dragon
33
50
66
80
100
140
160
200
Royal Code
33
50
66
80
100
140
160
200
Golden Fawn
40
66
80
100
140
160
200
250
Gordo
40
66
80
100
140
160
200
250
Ustinov
40
66
80
100
140
160
200
250
Pure Theatre
50
80
100
140
160
200
250
330
Viking Ruler
50
80
100
140
160
200
250
330
Chong Tong
66
100
140
160
200
250
330
400
Ha Ha
66
100
140
160
200
250
330
400
All Courage
80
140
200
250
330
400
500
660
Amalfi
80
140
200
250
330
400
500
660
Dash For Cash
80
140
200
250
330
400
500
660
Royal Courtship
80
140
200
250
330
400
500
660

Let's start working out the market percentage.

Moon Dragon to win the Guineas into horses to win the Blue Diamond:
two doubles at 33/1 5.88%
one double at 50/1 1.96%
one double at 66/1 1.64%
three doubles at 80/1 3.69%
seven doubles at 100/1 6.93%
seven doubles at 140/1 4.96%
three doubles at 160/1 1.83%
five doubles at 200/1 2.49%

That totals 29.38%. The same odds were on offer for Royal Code. Add another 29.38% and we already have a market of 58.76%.

The Golden Fawn, Gordo and Ustinov Guineas - Blue Diamond doubles are each 23.51%. That totals 70.53%.

The Pure Theatre and Viking Ruler Guineas - Blue Diamond doubles are each 18.80%. That is another 36.76%.

The Chong Tong and Ha Ha Guineas - Blue Diamond doubles are each 14.96%. That is another 29.92%.

Just the market for these combinations alone is 196%!! (We have also not included a swag of doubles offered at longer odds with these Guineas runners).

Conclusion:
The odds on offer for feature doubles are extremely poor. They rely upon punters' ignorance of market percentages. Punters should leave feature doubles alone.

Next pages
Beating the odds
"Hot" jockeys and stables
Gai Waterhouse - "unstoppable"
Magic Millions betting markets
Money talks
Future winners at big odds

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