1. When a horse gets withdrawn, what happens to the prices of other horses?

Let’s look at BFCharts graphs to see what happens to horses’ prices when one of them is withdrawn from a race.

Since the winning probabilities of other horses will thus increase, their cumulative price (book %) will naturally decrease (otherwise we would be having an overround).

However, for some horses, the prices drop truly dramatically, which is obvious from the price graphs (the dashed lines denote a withdrawn runner).

To be clear, the prices of other horses will therefore soar at the same moment (which makes sense, as they need to compensate for the lowering of other prices). Those horses we can ignore.

What we want to focus on is the horses who see the biggest price drop. Their prices will eventually climb back up, so you will have a good opportunity for a green-up.

2. Which horse Silks data are worth considering?

When placing bets on horses, many bettors rely on various facts about the horse, trainer, jockey, weather, race conditions, etc.

BetFair offers a limited set of horse background data, the so-called Silks, but even that limited information can come in handy if you are using automated bets as part of your strategy.

Everything that I listed below can be checked in trigger conditions, for example:

Selection’s Days since last run is between 1 and 20
And Selection’s Form does not contain sequence [x0]
And Selection’s Age is less than 8

Try the triggers yourself

In terms of triggers, here are the parameters I would try to leverage:

  • Days since last run. There is a prevailing opinion that horses lose shape if they haven’t run for more than a month;
  • Horse’s performance in the previous races (horse’s form). If you want to check the result of the last race the horse participated in, check the variable silk_form_1; for the race before the last one, check silk_form_2, and so forth. You can combine this condition with the previous one, e.g. you can try laying on a horse if it came first in the previous race but then had a long period without running. Laying such horse if it is among the first N favourites may turn out profitable if the prices are low enough;

    By the way, we have prepared a P/L forecast for betting on horses with certain numbers in their form:

    Horse Form: Dutching on horses with a specific number in their Silks form

  • Horse’s weight is not as important as you would think it was, especially in handicap races where chances for winning are evened out with additional weights attached to horses. However, you can still use this parameter in triggers;
  • Age. Horses start their racing career at the age of 2 to 3 years, and, according to various relevant sources, their racing shape peaks between the 4th and 5th years of their life.

I don’t usually consider the rest of Silks parameters, as they may not be available for all markets (and even the Form will sometimes be empty for some horses).

Horse silks will be loaded into the program by default, but if you accidentally turned them off, you can re-enable them by going to Settings -> Monitoring Options -> Horse Racing -> Download Horse Racing Silks data.

The screenshot shows the market viewing Race Mode in which you can browse horse silks data:

3. What is special about the price of 2.0?

Amongst the ladder of digital prices available for betting on an online exchange, the price 2.0 has a special meaning.

That meaning stems from the way prices are calculated: the selection’s probability of winning must be divided by 100.

Therefore, the probability of winning an event for a selection with a price of 2.0 makes 100/2 = 50%!

That’s why the distance between the lowest price, 1.01, and 2.0 is a whopping 99 ticks – the same as between 2.0 and 7.8! After all, in terms of chances for winning, the difference between 1.01 and 2.0 is almost 50%. Every tick counts!

In other words, if in a race of 10 horses one is priced below 2.0, that very horse has a higher chance for winning than the rest nine horses combined.

This explains why two selections will never have their prices below 2.0 simultaneously: in that case, their combined winning probability would be over 100%.

That’s why a characteristic feature of markets with a low-priced favourite is a wide gap between the prices of the first and second favourites. For example, 1.8 and 5.5, but never 1.8 and 2.2, otherwise there will be no space left to “squeeze in” the chances of all other selections.

Oh wait, what about Place markets where the prices are normally very low?

Let’s not forget that these markets feature the probability of two (three, four, etc.) horses taking the winning places together. E.g. the screenshot shows a market with three winning places, therefore if you add up the chances of individual horses (100 divided by their price), you should get a result of around 300%. 

That is why a Place market can have several selections with a price below 2.0, essentially their number can never exceed the number of winning places declared for that market.

Here’s a tricky question: is it profitable to back favourites with low prices? Since its chances for winning are over 50%, does it mean it is bound to come first?

Not quite! They do come first frequently. You can witness this by observing Australian races: they often feature apparent favourites with prices as low as 1.4! Yet in the long run, you can quickly hit the red simply because a low price is bad for backing and does not always reflect the real picture of how often such selections win.

To make this decision easier, we have prepared two stats-based reports in which we have already calculated how much you can win by BACKING or LAYING low-priced favourites:

Horse racing: Betting on the favourite priced below 2.0

Greyhound racing: Betting on the favourite priced below 2.0

4. Dutching on “0 – 0”, “0 – 1” and “0 – 1” in Half Time Score, then backing on Over 2.5 if the first three bets lost

I have come across an illustrative trigger request, and I am going to lay it down in front of you step by step, so you get a chance to learn to design triggers.

Back on “0 – 0”, “0 – 1” and “1 – 0” in Half Time Score, with an aim to trade out with a 10% profit before the first goal is scored. If all three bets are lost and we could not green them up, back on Over 2.5 in Under/Over 2.5 goals to compensate the loss.

If you are immediately puzzled as to how to approach this problem, don’t worry, let’s break it down into simple tasks.

Read and watch the trigger example

5. How to determine the number of a missing trap in a Greyhound race?

Here is a set of triggers that will help you determine a missing Trap number in a Greyhound race where a runner was withdrawn.

You can add this block of triggers to your trigger file and use the missing_trap variable in your triggers. The variable missing_trap will contain the number of the withdrawn runner's Trap.

Download triggers from here.

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