This is the 306th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.
Back with a bang from holiday when my only selection yesterday – posted on Betting League – won!
The winner was DRAGONERA in the 7:50 at Ripon and when I posted-up the selection on Betting League at about 3:30pm it was available at odds of 4/1 with several bookmakers. As a result of the market leaders Lady Amakhala and King Of The Celts withdrawing from the race, DRAGONERA started the 5/4 fav and the result was never in any doubt.
Any selections that I make will be posted on Betting League (see the adjacent link or go direct via http://www.bettingleague.co.uk/) . There is no financial advantage to me in doing this as you will be able to view my selections when I post them there for free. If I have a selection for today, then I will make it known further down in the blog.
There is an intelligent article written by Greg Wood of The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2011/jul/04/betfair-charge-hike-coin-flip) which is well worth a read. Now, I have had an account with Betfair since December 2001 and have always been a supporter of the betting exchanges. However, I have noticed in recent years (probably from 2009 onwards) that the horse-racing markets are “driven” by forces that do not appear human. This has resulted in race fav’s starting at shorter odds than is reasonable ie. 5/4 (2.30) rather than an expected 7/4 (2.80) with the majority of the contraction occurring in the final few minutes before the race starts. This contraction also affects (in my opinion) the odds of the 2nd and 3rd fav but not to such a degree. Of course, the “upside” for punters who oppose the market leaders is that the 4th fav may be available at 8/1 (9.20) rather than the expected 13/2 (7.60). This is a simplified view for the benefit of illustration.
Generally, I now only use Betfair for “laying” (usually place-laying) and when I spot an opportunity to back-to-lay, but even back-to-lay opportunities are getting scarce now as the “bots” used by professional punters manipulate the in-running market to the point that it is not possible to make anything but the smallest of margins (I used to endeavour to obtain 100% on B2L, but now I have reduced my margin target to 40%). For straight “win-only” wagers, I have been using traditional bookmakers more and more over the past 18 months.
Just the one flat (turf) meeting today at Pontefract and one I lost a few quid on last season run’s today – Hidden Glory – in the 3:00. A look at the formbook suggests todays conditions are perfect for him, as he was a close 3rd to Beachfire at Sandown on 03Jul10 off OR78. Beachfire won again NTO, and is now rated OR107 so that was a good effort from Hidden Glory on GF going over 10f. However, since then his form has been unpredictable and that promise has not been followed up so today he runs off OR74. All his 4 wins have been on the AW, but his 2 best performances on turf have been on GF going over today’s trip.
The class 3 King Richard III handicap at 4:30 over 6f looks a very tight event, and one that I was going to swerve. But now I have looked at the race, I reckon there’s one that could represent a bit of value. Find out what by visiting Betting League (http://www.bettingleague.co.uk/).
The Listed race at 4:00 for fillies over a mile looks a good event with some progressive types involved. I think I have found a bit of value in this race too. Find out what by visiting Betting League (http://www.bettingleague.co.uk/).
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