Thoroughbred Horse Racing is a Funny Game!

Racing is a funny game.

We had excellent start to the season, before hitting the rocks about 2 ½ weeks ago, commencing a forgettable run, betting-wise. Losing runs are an inevitable fact of punting. There are times when bad luck, bad rides, or just plain getting it wrong conspires to damage your betting bank.

The silver lining of a losing run is that it checks your over-confidence (ie. you pull your head in). When you think punting is easy – a big fall is usually just around the corner. They also place a good punter into retrenchment mode, reducing the size and, more importantly, frequency and amount of bets. Also a time to check calculations, analysing processes, etc.

I spoke with a good friend about 3 weeks ago who was on a losing run. He said he wasn’t spending much but losing week after week. His error was extremely common, going for the big result off a small investment – trifectas and the like. Boxing 4 horses for 50 cents comes to $12. Seems insignificant enough, but it is 24 combinations and thus 24 bets on the race – too many, especially when the probability of striking a trifecta in a 12 horse race is 1320-1. Thus, on normal probability a 1.8% chance of a winning bet.

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid. I use this virtually everyday.

I advised my friend to spend the majority of his weekend betting bank on the “Best Bet, Next Best and Value Bets”. And then play around with a small amount.

I rarely take trifectas, mostly due to time constraints, but also I have never really developed a good strategy to attack them. There are a couple of good things to remember when taking a trifecta – which I will pass on at a later date. But firstly, build up a betting bank before taking them. Remember the odds, and be prepared for a run of outs if taking trifectas on a regular basis – less but more fruitful highs and extended lows.

Pick 6 and Quaddies, in the words of Professional punter Lord Ted Frear, are a “throw away bet” – bet money that you readily expect to lose. I am not saying don’t take them, just don’t bet on them with money you cannot afford to lose.

In fact that is true of all punting – do not bet with money you cannot afford to lose. As mentioned in earlier posts, keep a close note of withdrawals and deposits from your betting account, don’t cheat on your record keeping. But do make sure you enjoy the good days, as there are plenty of frustrating days.