The Punter’s Friend … The Favourite

January 30th, 2014

In a previous blog post, we highlighted the fact that the market (or “the crowd” as referenced in the blog) were extremely good at identifying the winner of a horse race and if you wanted to experience the rush of plenty of winners, then follow their advice.

However, as identified by Proform Professional be prepared to have a close relationship with your bank manager because overall you would lose money if you blindly followed the opinion of the crowd.

In the blog post, we also indicated that under the right circumstances and using the right tools i.e. Proform Professional, not all favourites are poor value and using the “wisdom of crowds” and selective handicapping on your part, you could actually profit from backing favourites by first classifying the public favourite as being either legitimate or vulnerable or false.

We also suggested some relevant handicapping factors that you should use to examine the credentials of the favourite and if at the end of the process you agree with the public’s choice, then you have a legitimate favourite.

However, if you are convinced that the favourite will not win and if you have identified the horse or the horses that will most likely finish ahead of the favourite, then you have a clear false favourite.

More often than not, it will not be so “cut and dried”. Instead, you will classify the favourite as vulnerable and you will need to make a further assessment as to just how vulnerable the favourite really is. 

Armed with this information, from a punting perspective here are some suggested bets for each favourite classification.

Vulnerable Favourites

If there are any chinks in the armour of the favourite we need to indentify them easily and this is where Proform Professional can be used to further examine the credentials of the favourite in more detail as shown in our video from one of our training modules.


Legitimate Favourites

With a 32% win strike rate and average odds of 11-10 in the last five years, backing legitimate favourites won’t get you rich quick.

However with approx. 60% win and place strike rate over the same period, backing legitimate favourites (and possibly vulnerable favourites) to place offers up opportunities to exploit the “to be placed” pool on Betfair especially when the market underestimates the chances of the favourite which happens often due to the favourite longshot bias

Another bet overlooked by many punters is the Exacta.

The exacta (or the bookies equivalent – Computer Straight Forecast CSF) is a forecast bet to predict the correct order of finishing for the first and second place horses.

Think about it for a moment.

If you handicapping aligned with the opinion of the crowd suggests that the favourite is legitimate and favourites hit the frame approx. 60% of the time, then why not really press home that knowledge by betting the Exacta!

To do so, place the favourite in the “win slot” and based on your handicapping (and NOT what you think is the second best horse in the race), couple the favourite with likely placed candidates.

There’s value in the Exacta bet I tell you as described by the table below which calculates approx. Exacta payouts at different starting prices for win and placed horses.

Per the table the CSF pay-out for a 11-10 winner and horse with of odds of 9/4 coming second (not unrealistic) plays 4/1 for a £1 stake (3 pts. profit). Look at the return for a horse priced 11-2 coming second?

Let me give you further examples, the first one from the 18:20 at Kempton (29th January), the second from the 19:50 on the same card
In the 6:20 which do you prefer, being paid £1.40 for the win bet or £2.00 for the Exacta using the legitimate favourite coupled with the most likely contender statistically?

Combined with some careful permutations or using short priced legitimate favourites you can have some fun betting the Exacta/CSF.
And using Proform Professional the right type of favourite you can exploit this knowledge for long term profit.

For now we won’t cover what bets you can use to exploit False Favourites as most approaches are the same the same old bets that every other punter is making and we all know what happens.

Following the herd is fine until they all run off the side of a cliff together.