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25/2/2012 edition

Understanding Horse Racing Value Bets

If you can consistently recognise what is a bad value bet in horse racing, combine that with discipline and you are well on your way to making money.

Here is probably one of the the
worst value bets of 2006 and for that matter, any year. It will take some beating.

At the Sandown Lakeside track the smart 5YO gelding Spark Of Life resumed from a spell of four months in the 1000 metres Group 3 Weight for Age Rubiton Stakes.

Spark Of Life had an excellent record of 10 wins, two seconds and four thirds from his eighteen starts. At his last start before a spell he led throughout to win the Group 1 Weight for Age Manikato Stakes over 1200 metres on the tight turning Moonee Valley track.

Punters thought Spark Of Life was such a certainty first up at Sandown they backed him in from $1.60 to start at the crazy, crazy odds of $1.40 in the small field of six.

Punters obviously ignored the fact that Spark Of Life had started three times over 1000 metres and only placed once. His only two unplaced runs from 18 career starts were at 1000 metres. "Don't worry about that. He's a certainty. I'll take the $1.40."

Punters obviously ignored the fact that Spark Of Life at his previous two first up runs had failed to win.

1. On February 5, 2005, Spark Of Life was backed in heavily to start at $4.00 in the Group 1 Weight for Age Lightning Stakes at Flemington and finished fourth. That race was also over 1000 metres. That race was also on a Slow rated track, and Spark Of Life has an outstanding record on rain affected tracks.

2. On July 30, 2005, Spark Of Life was backed heavily to start at $1.80 in the Group 3 Weight for Age Missile Stakes at Rosehill over 1100 metres and finished third.

"Don't worry about that. He's a certainty. I'll take the $1.40."

Punters obviously ignored the fact that Spark Of Life had never raced at Sandown which, like Moonee Valley, is very much a specialists' track. In addition, most of the other runners in the race had good Sandown track form.

"Don't worry about that. Of course Spark Of Life will handle the track. He's a certainty. I'll take the $1.40."

Spark Of Life got on its wrong foot and did not handle the track. Spark Of Life finished fifth.

With starting price odds about the other runners of $5.50, $8.50, $8.00, $16.00 and $16.00 every other runner could have been backed in the race and a nice profit made. Come to think of it, isn't that very much like laying a horse to lose on a betting exchange?

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This edition of Punt to Win:
Understanding horse racing value betting
The Professional Punter's horse racing news
The In Form Race Fit horse racing betting system
Horse racing form analysis and betting system tips
Horse Watch betting system - future winners
Free horse racing betting tips package membership!
Get those betting odds
Betting favourites in small fields: 18/2/2012
Betting favourites in small fields: 11/2/2012 & 4/2/2012
Best odds for well bet winners - bookmaker or tote?
Betting top weights - horses carrying a weight handicap of 60kg.
Punt to Win 4/2/2012
Punt to Win index

2011 Melbourne Cup Day
Winners under $10.00
Best Bookmaker Win Odds
Best Tote Odds


Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $30 bet
Applegate 6.50 7.90 $42
Foxstar 4.00 5.00 $30
Dunaden 8.20 9.10 $27
Under The Eiffel 3.70 4.40 $21
Lamasery 4.50 5.00 $15
African Pulse 5.40 5.60 $6
Combat Kitty 3.50 3.70 $6


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