Sunday, 3 November 2019

Are Speculative Bets Good or Bad News?


Who doesn't love a big priced winner? 

I've had a few decent winners in my time. For example, winning £1,800 for a bet of £60. You know what I'm going to say, there have been far too many near misses or horses I didn't bet which turned into longterm regrets. The most disappointing bet of my life is one of these said outsiders. Unbelievably, it was priced over 300/1 on Betfair. You may be thinking I'm talking from the realms of cloud cuckoo land but as God is my judge it's perfectly true. A bet of just £35 to £10,000. With every winning stride of pure joy turned to dismay with the cruellest twist of fate.  

In the final half-furlong, the saddle slipped and the jockey went over the port side. I could have done with a big drink of something stronger after that misdemeanour.  

I am confident the horse would have won. You don't expect the saddle to slip on the Flat turf. But there you go. Gambling is never straight forward and winning and losing just moments in time. 

My brother has won a lot of money from a handful of speculative bets. For example, a bet of £20 to win £4,000. The horse was called Puggy, winning on debut for a relatively unknown horse trainer Roy Arne Kvisla, who had a season or two in the UK, after being a big name in his native Sweden. As it happened Puggy was a very classy filly who went on to compete in the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas. Anyway, that is another story, but a fantastic memory of what can happen when you bet on a horse at huge odds. 

Take a look at the race result here

Tony has had many similar days where he seemingly did the impossible. 

After all this talk, you must be thinking why wouldn't anyone be betting on 100/1 shots left, right and centre.

Here's the problem, not every outsider is value. Just as you need to assess the favourite because it's short odds you need to do the same with the rag to make sure it has something going for it. 

In many respects, betting on huge priced horses can be a frustrating business. However, good you are at finding these potential diamonds in the sand the strike rate is going to be low. It's the nature of the beast. 

Outsiders are a mirror image of favourites. 

Instead of a high win rate, you bet less in an attempt to win more. 

It may well be easier to put £2,000 on an even-money favourite than bet £10 at 200/1. The only answer to that question is your knowledge, insight and understanding.

The problem with betting on outsiders is that you feel you can take a risk because you only need one to pop up once in a blue moon.

That is true to a point. But as with so many things, it's a strength and weakness. Similar to the punter who does an each-way double to make a bet because the prices of each doesn't allow a single each-way wager. 

Are you trying to be too clever or trying to make a cup of tea with your beautifully crafted chocolate teapot? 

When betting outsiders you cannot afford to think just because you have big odds anything goes. 

It doesn't. 

Each and every speculative bet needs to be assessed as if you are looking at a favourite. Can it win? Is it value? Can it really beat the favourite... the list goes on. 

If these bets are pinned simply on the size of the betting odds you will be frustrated by the losses and the realisation (after the event) that very few were good bets. 

At best, speculative bets can be the turning point of a betting year or even a life-changing event. 

The day Eric Winner tipped a 100/1 winner!

When done to their best, they are a wonderful moment. To see that 100/1 shot hit the finishing line first is something very few punters will ever experience. However, betting on a big priced horse takes knowledge which far exceeds the favourite backers. Unless you have the odds in your favour the price means nothing at all. 

Good luck to all.