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28/12/2001 edition

Disappearing Betting Value

As the horses were going into the barriers for the fourth race at Cheltenham last Saturday racecaller Hilton Donaldson said:

"...very big go on number five Devil In Disguise, heavily backed on course...Devil In Disguise will continue to firm as those that have missed the odds on course rush to take up the value on the TAB."

Can you visualise a possible scenario from Donaldson's comment?

Vast numbers of punters on track just stood back watching the entire betting ring action while Devil In Disguise kept firming in front of them. Finally tempted, just before the race was due to be run, they saw the SuperTab price at $4.60 compared to $3.50 with the bookmakers. So all those punters, with seconds left to the race, stampeded off to the on course TABs to all try and get the "value" on offer, conveniently forgetting that the tote was not fixed odds.

Meanwhile all those thousands of off course punters were just sitting back doing nothing. Noone had told them the horse had been plunged in the betting ring? All the totes around the country must have also stopped flashing Devil In Disguise's "firming" tote odds at them.

Of course, you cannot plunge the tote. Devil In Disguise started at $3.50 in the bookmakers' betting ring on track. On SuperTab the price ended up at $3.20.

The correct comment by Hilton Donalson was:

"...very big go on number five Devil In Disguise, heavily backed on course...Devil In Disguise will continue to firm as off course punters see the price flash at them and firm dramatically on the tote. They will have either been told by the media or will have guessed about the on course betting movements and will rush to back the horse on the totes in a last minute attempt to get in on the action. They'll most likely end up with no value whatsoever and poorer odds than the plunged betting ring price. You can't win long term betting like that."

There seems to be an illusion that punters actually take a set price on the tote when they bet. There is also a myth that chasing short priced tote firmers is the successful way to bet.

A farce of a race

What can you possibly say about the 2040 metres Open Handicap at Moonee Valley? At the 1000 metres mark three horses, L'Avenir, Federation and White Shadow led the remaining six runners by 10 lengths. These three horses ended up being beaten between 11 and 14 lengths.

Punters can thank their lucky stars that well supported favourite Imax won the race. When the field is broken up you will invariably get upset results and irrelevant formlines for future races.

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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!


Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra percentage won Extra Profit $100 bet
Heritiere 4.00 6.00 67% $200
Summer Alice 2.50 4.20 113% $170
Carael Boy 4.80 6.00 32% $120
Coupe 3.00 4.20 60% $120
Imax 2.90 3.50 32% $60

Back Tote Longshots?


Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $100 bet
Simply Magical 35.80 49.20 $1340
Viking Spirit 24.60 33.70 $910
King Lotto 21.40 27.10 $570
Goldgift 10.30 13.40 $310
Like Aleshia 11.90 15.00 $310

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