We’re all here because we want to win some cash from betting, right?! Or at least to make the attempt to win some.
For many of us it might not be just about winning a few quid. Nothing can quite match the adrenalin that flows when your 25-1 shot is coming to the last two lengths down but full of running and gaining with every stride, or has led all the way and is still going strongly up front with two left to jump.
And nothing can give quite the same emotional engagement as horse racing either. We horse racing fans love our horses, don’t we. You’ll know the names – Kauto, Denman, Imperial Commander, Frankel, and dozens more. They – and many of those unforgettable races they ran in – will be imprinted on our memories till the day we’re pushing up daisies.
Maybe it isn’t horse racing that gets you going, and your focus is on other forms of sports betting. Or even in one of a number of real money games which give a chance of winning some cash.
Horse race betting is a game in its own right of course – a game where you’re out to beat the odds and prove you’re right – and there are few better ways than the horses of landing a big priced winner and collecting one of those type payouts that do get stored in the memory forever.
With horse racing, whether it’s betting on long shots or at lower odds, you’ll get the excitement. You’ll get the thrills. And if you stick with it long enough, learn from your wins and losses, and think carefully about what you’re doing, then alongside the exasperating times – and there will be some – you might just get a few moments of pure elation.
In this article we’ll take a look at three ways you can find longer priced winners on the horses.
Will they work for you?
Well, the point is they might!
At the very least the principles involved might get you thinking about other ways to come up with potentially lucrative betting angles.
Before we start – you won’t read anything here that’s never been heard of before.
There are a number of websites which offer great information on various aspects of finding winners, with many of them being well known, highly regarded, and easy to find. Of course horse racing is covered deeply here on BettingTools, with plenty of advice available on today’s horse racing tips, some of which suggest bets on horses in the higher odds ranges.
That said, maybe this article presents a couple of perspectives that haven’t been widely covered before or that you personally haven’t seen put in this way.
You know as well as I do that there is no secret recipe for making guaranteed winning bets and everything has already been written in one way or another. In fact the first 2 we cover here are probably well known to many readers, although maybe not to all.
That doesn’t make them any less valid though.
And the third? Well we’ll come to that in a minute.
1. Don’t Leave Money On The Table
Making the most of the long priced winners you do get.
This means that when you do get a winner, at least get the most worthwhile odds you can for it….and the concept closely ties in with that often heard term ‘seeking value in your betting’.
Most major bookies cottoned on some years back to the fact that we as punters were hunting for best odds and consequently introduced various best odds guaranteed offers.
They’re good offers and you can’t go far wrong with them if you do bet with traditional bookies (and particularly if you’ve identified a runner well before a race that’s very likely to contract in price)….but (in most circumstances) the best way to get higher odds is by betting with exchanges, particularly on those horses that land races at bigger odds.
The most well-known betting exchange is Betfair – a name which you’ll surely have already heard of and there are numerous references to it throughout bettingtools. If you are new to exchange betting then read the betfair betting guide/review here on bettingtools.
Betfair aren’t the only exchange of course, but they are the biggest. That means more money is available in their markets, which in most cases leads to better odds being available than elsewhere.
It’s almost certain you’re using or one or more of these already, but you’d be surprised to hear that there are still some punters who don’t.
There may be the occasional good reason for that, but the bottom line is that for many sporting events (and most definitely for horses at the higher odds ranges) you will be getting significantly higher (and sometimes wildly higher) odds than with traditional bookies.
About 6 months back I had a runner marked down in a late evening Irish bumper.
It had not been a particularly good day and at least one of my earlier runners was still running. Probably backwards!
15 minutes before the off and the market on Betfair was showing about a tenner available at 150 for my runner. I took it (stupidly in fact, in light of what happened next).
Over the next 10 minutes it steadily went 160 170 180…..all the way into the low 300s (where I waded in again fortunately). In the two minutes before the off, it contracted again into the 100s.
It won. By about 2 inches. After a protracted, adrenalin-inducing battle, neck and neck with the hot favourite over the last couple of hundred yards.
That winner returned an industry SP of 33-1. I’m not sure, it may have hit 50 or 66 at some point. I got an average of around 230-1 on the exchange.
Now this is clearly a fairly extreme example. But it happened and it’s happened again since. It will happen again.
Being on the right horse is a bit of a trick here of course, but we’ll see one way this type of winner might be pinpointed soon.
The main point to note here though is that (almost without exception) the odds you’ll get on an exchange are going to be higher.
If you’re betting single horses to win – and if you’re not using an exchange to do it – then in the vast majority of cases you will be leaving money on the table.
Just to note – an exception to this assertion is if you’re betting on the evening before or in the early morning of a race. In these cases, the liquidity on the exchange may not be great, and it’s possible that taking a traditional bookies BOG price may end up as being the best course of action for getting higher odds.
2. Keep a long memory
Horse racing is unpredictable. That’s part of the fun of it, and if it wasn’t then as a betting medium it wouldn’t exist. So one thing you do need to be aware of in the search for bigger priced winners is precisely that unpredictability.
And what can help here is the ability to keep a long memory….or the ability and drive to keep good notes/records.
It’s not true in every case, but taking note of the saying ‘‘if it’s happened before, it can – or might – happen again’’ can pay dividends.
Of course what we really mean here is that if a horse has performed in a certain way in the past, then provided neither age or injury has got in the way and the horse is racing within its class range and its preferred conditions, then it can/ might do the same again.
So where this can work for us in a search for longer priced horse racing winners can be in examples which might be years apart.
A perfect example….
The last day of Cheltenham 2017. The County Hurdle. The horse in question was sitting at the head of the weights – Arctic Fire.
Nearly 2 years before, Nick Mordin had written words to the effect of ”I think this horse needs a big field to run through and could be seriously classy when he gets it.’’
So Arctic Fire had subsequently proved he was close to champion hurdle class in a smallish field Champion.
Now here he is two years later in a 24 runner handicap (all be it a very competitive, high class one). Potentially perfect conditions which the horse had rarely encountered, in fact only twice before – resulting in an easy big-field novice win and a second in the 2014 County to another good horse and with some strong performers behind. At around 34-1 in the morning there was no doubt it was worth a second look.
You’d need to have taken a leap of faith of course, but the reality is you’re doing that to some extent with most bets. Arctic Fire was running off the back of a long layoff. There was every reason to suspect though that Mullins wouldn’t have been risking it unless he was fit and OK to run, plus it had a fairly obvious potential class advantage that suggested 34-1 might be worth a play.
The result is history – a great, fast pace County with some high class horses who’ve subsequently (right down to 10th position at least) won some good races since. It’ll be throwing up winners for some time yet, and not always at prohibitive odds.
Arctic Fire won it by a few inches, beating another high class horse in L’Ami Serge. You might want to take note here of Ozzie The Oscar who finished third. Now chasing, it could be that a fast run 2m handicap chase will be right up his street. Maybe the Grand Annual this year or next?
This is just an example. You’ll find dozens over the course of a season in various grade races where a horse goes in at a big price unexpectedly, even though it’ll have proved in the past it did have the ability.
Bottom line – keep an eye open for horses hitting their perfect conditions who’ve shown strong capability of winning in that class of race before, and remember there could be a long wait between drinks.
3. Know your sires
The offspring of parents often carry certain attributes from the genes of their parents, and this is seen throughout various forms of life.
So from a horse racing perspective, there’s a very good reason why the youngsters produced by certain stallions and mares can command huge sums in the sales ring. The purchasers will be looking for the next Derby or 2000 Guineas winner (or potential Gold Cup winner of course)…and if the conformity of the youngster looks good then there’s a reasonable chance they might be able to emulate their sire.
Some sire’s offspring can show a marked overall tendency to perform at their best in specific sets of conditions. This might be on the sand, in soft ground, on fast ground, early in their careers, late in their careers, over certain distance ranges either speed based or stamina based or in between, and/or anything else you can think of or any combination of those.
So how do we make use of this from the perspective of finding potential long priced winners?
Well the first point to note is that sire influence can have an impact on any class of race. It might be more prevalent at high class, but you will find horses winning lower grade races whose sire indicated they might be well suited to that type of race.
Anyone can tell you to back every Galileo offspring that runs at x distance, is trained by x, in x class of race etc. And you may well get a few winners. In the vast majority of cases though they won’t be at hefty odds
So the principle behind finding longer priced winners based on sire influence is to look beyond the obvious or well-documented, and to take note of potential improvement (or unrecognised potential) that a horse might show in a lower class race, or often in races for relatively unexperienced horses or at least those in the earlier stages of their racing careers.
How to do that?
If you’re using the same sources of information as everyone else, sure you’ll get some winners.
Almost exclusively not at the big prices we’re looking for though. So you need to carry out your own research and identify those sires which might produce an unexpected winner in a certain type of race.
I’m not going to share exact examples here (maybe that’ll be the subject of another article), but consider something we touched on earlier – ‘’ if it’s happened before, it can – or might – happen again.’’
This doesn’t necessarily apply only to specific horses, but can apply (not always, but sometimes) to specific types of horses too – and as we’ve seen, the sire can place a horse into a certain bracket/type.
So if you take notice of which sires can produce unexpected winners of certain types of races, there is a chance that a similar sired horse might be able to run unexpectedly well.
Another option is to recognise the sires of winners of good class races, and then try to apply what you’ve learned to appearances of their offspring in lower class races.
Landing a big winner this way will give you a glow that will last a long time. There’s not much better feeling than being in a minority (of one sometimes!) that lands a winner that no one else expected.
Sire analysis has great potential for landing some big winners. At the bigger prices it may only be a handful of times a season, but that handful can make a huge difference to whether you’ll end up in profit or down.
There are a number of ways of betting on horses that may help you identify potential long priced winners. The three above are examples, but ‘only’ examples. There are others.
You could focus on trainer form, for example. Or trainer profiles and how they place their horses. Or look for potential improvement based on a combination of everything we’ve covered, and look for combined factors from a number of perspectives that could alert you to an impending surprise result.
Plus if it’s big wins you want – as opposed to big odds individual winners – then there is a strategic approach to trebles betting that can occasionally result in a fair sized payout.
I’ll make some of these others the subject of another article in future, but in the meantime anyone who wants to discuss any of the points made can contact me at email@example.com. I’m always happy to hear from fellow punters, so feel free to send through anything that’s on your mind. I may even share one or two ‘secrets’ which may not be wise to put out into the open yet.
On a last note for now, it won’t have escaped your notice that any examples used here are positive ones. In any approach to betting on horses you’re going to back a lot of losers, and if you’re backing outsiders it’s almost certainly going to be a lot of losers. Hell, that’s even the case when we’re backing 3-1 shots regularly!
So it’s a given that you’ll place losing bets and this ties in with the unpredictability of the game.
Anyone who bets needs to accept this. The best you can do is just not get involved at all if the thought of losers hurts or if you’re potentially prone to addiction, keep stakes well within your comfort zone, and/or make sure you learn from losing experiences and find the positives.
At the end of the day, the target is to have more in your betting account(s) than you started with. In other words, to have backed more winners at good enough odds to outweigh any losing bets…and to have enjoyed the ride.
One thing’s for sure, landing a 100-1 plus winner is not an experience you’ll forget. Watching it while it’s happening is guaranteed to send the adrenalin levels through the roof.
Have fun trying, and be careful.