Strike rate and losing runs, a cut out and keep table

I have ‘borrowed’ the  quote below from a recent blog by Kieran at Make Your Betting Pay. I will put the link at the bottom of this blog for the full article. It is so useful, especially the table, and uses such a scientific approach, that i have used about half the blog below.

Keiran says:

“We need to strike the right balance between leveraging our profits and protecting the integrity of our bank.

My usual starting point when carrying out this kind of analysis would be to calculate the longest expected losing run over 1000 bets. There is a formula for calculating this (mail me if you’re interested) but I tend to use a table which makes life a lot easier. I’ve reproduced the table below (it’s accurate enough for our purposes)

The important thing to remember here is that the larger the number of bets you look at, the longer the likely losing run will be. As an example with a 15% strike rate looked at over 1000 bets you are likely to hit a maximum losing run of 43 bets. However, if you were to have 10,000 bets with a similar strike rate, at some point you are likely to hit a losing run of 57 bets. That being the case, it’s useful to have a reasonable idea of the number of bets your selection method is going to throw up over a period of time. If you are looking at a method that throws up 300 bets a year then calculating your longest likely losing run over 1000 bets is ample. If you are looking at a method that throws up 10,000 bets a year, you need to dig a bit deeper than that.

Let’s assume the method we are analysing has 1000 bets a year with a strike rate of 60%. We can see from the table that we are likely to hit 8 consecutive losers at some point during year 1.

You can see that if we were to choose a 10% staking plan on such a method, we are almost certain to hit trouble and quite possibly decimate our bank at some point.

We therefore need our bank to be several times the size of our longest likely losing run – it is well within the realms of statistical possibility that we could get 2 such runs in quick succession!

For safety, I would say it is best to work with your bank broken down into a number of points that equates to 5 times your longest likely losing sequence.”


I think 5  times the maximum losing run is on the conservative side. A lot depends on what sort of start you get. If you’re off to a flyer, by the time the inevitable ‘crippler’ comes along you should have taken out more than enough profit  to set up a new bank  and won’t care. If you start on the bad run your faith in the system/method/tipster etc is shaken and you would probably abandon what may be a good thing. What is often forgotten though is that with percentage staking the stakes go down during losing runs so a losing run of ten wouldn’t be ten points lost but considerably less.

I heartily agree with everything else though. There is no doubt that basing your staking on avoiding one long  losing run is folly as it is more common that a series of losing  runs is the bank breaker. Therefore it is wise to allow for this.

The debate will rage on but, in the end, we are back to another grossly underestimated factor in betting – psychology. Some thrive on risk others prefer the more softly softly ” I don’t need the stress as  I would like to live to spend the winnings” approach. There is no “wrong” nor “right” way, (try telling the Frankie Dettori backers that day at Ascot that they were throwing their money away backing 7 horse accas!). Granted, the same people could do a £1 acca 7  every day  for the rest  of their lives and lose every day. But  they wouldn’t be complaining as the stakes would come out of the massive interest on their winnings!

There again though, if you are backing seriously, you have to work on the basis of probability and not possibility so it is a question of finding the optimum. For those who shun risk it will be five times the max or more. For those who thrive on it, maybe twice the max and for those who are trying to strike a happy medium, 2-4 times the max.
Whatever your appetite for risk, the  table above offers a  basis for making an informed choice. You can’t say you weren’t warned!

Here’s the link to Kieran’s site:  . You will find the whole blog on there dated 18/1/12.

PETER MARSH CHASE race trends & trainer stats

HAYDOCK  3.15  live on Channel 4




Bad race for favs with just one winning and second favs won just twice.

At the other end, there have been winners returned at 33/1, 20/1 and 16/1 twice.

11 were priced 8/1 or less

11 were from the first five in the betting


13 carried 11-1 or less

Official Rating (OR)

ALL were rated 124 pus

14 had an OR of 155 or less


None were younger than 8

A fair mix between 8 and 12yo's (with the two extremes doing better than the rest) though 9yo's, with 3-40 or 9%, are the weakest of that group.

Form Profile

13 ran between twice and five times that season.

Of the 11 horses to complete in their last run, 10 finished in the first 8 last time out

8 posted a first 3 finish  last time.

12 had aready won over 2m6f or further

13 had already ran over 3m1f or longer

8 had won over a longer trip

13 had run 60 days ago or less


Sue Smith has won this twice and has an excellent trends profile.

Colin Tizzard is 7-24 at this course and 6 of those were chasers (out of 21 runners). He runs Third Intention but his weight and ratings go against him plus 9 yo and outside the first three last time.

Charlie Mann has won with 2 of his 5 runners here in the last 5 years and is 2-3 with his chasers. His Seventh Sky is another 9yo that has run 6 times this season and was out of the places last time.


The trends narrow it down to three. But with the poor record of favs and second favs, I am going to oppose Fingal Bay and Reve De Sivola (currenty vying with Virak, a 7yo) for favouritism.

The trends selection is CLOUDY TOO who has won here, is a distance winner and loves Heavy going – 3/4 on it.

He looked to be coming back to form when 3rd behind Third Intention in the Tommy Whittle Chase over a furlong shorter here last time and his shrewd trainer knows how to ready one for this.






Lanzarote Hurdle race trends and trainer stats


KEM 2.35





Winners at 22/1 20/1 & 16/1 but all the rest were returned 10/1 or less

Favs won 6 but second favs only once (market seems to get it right between the top two)

First 6 in the betting have won 15


Carried 11-5 or less 16 times

Carried 11-2 or less x 15

Carried 10-3 plus x 16

Official Rating (OR)

115 to 145 – ALL

140 or less x 16


6yo 10 – 74 (14%)

5 yo  4 – 37 (11%)

3 seven year olds have won (5% winners to runners) and 1 x 8yo has obliged from 28  to try (4%)

Form Profile

1 to 3 runs this season  10/74 (14%)

5 runs 2/21 (10%)

Curiously (and perhaps freakishly) those that had 4 runs are  just 1/38 (3%)

Won last time x 8

Finished in first 3 LTO x 11

Some interesting facts on the distance previouly run and won at:

Only 4 had ever RUN at todays distance of  2m 5f or further, ie, 14 hadn't!

Only 3 WON over 2m 5f or further.

Just 2 were distance winners.

This doesn't look a race for stamina laden horses. Mind you, the official going is Heavy, though that could be an overstatement as it is rare, apparently, for Kempton to ride Heavy.


 Henderson and Nicholls having won this twice each. They have the 7/2 joint favourites between them now Harry Fry has taken Uknowhatimeanharry out of the race.

Henderson's twice raced this season Bivouac looks shortlist material as a 5 yo stepping up in trip. An OR of 141 is one pound above a typical winner though. Win last time a bonus.

His yard is bang in form with 9 winners from 25 runners the past two weeks, his runners have, over the past 5 years, a 55/188 strike rate at the course and 33/117 record of his hurdlers.

Philip Hobbs has an even better record the past fortnight with 11/26. But his top weight, has it all to do trends-wise. He would have to break the weight and ratings record as a 7yo.

The Nicholls horse, is a similar type but carrying an ideal weight and with an ideal OR. Win last time wouls have been preferable.


IBIS DE RHEU is the only one with an near ideal profile (a win last time would have made it perfect) and is the trends selection.

The Nicholls yard was thought to be out of form this morning with 2 winners from 29 runners in the last two weeks. But  his yard (he is on his holidays in Barbados apparently) have just banged 3/3 winners in at Donny! Just goes to show the truth in the old saying about "lies, damned lies and statistics"! Caveat Emptor!

The OR of Bivouac puts me off but he will be a big danger and i have a sneaky feeling for Yala Enki, the only 6 yo in the race but a horse already proven at the trip – which could be handy if the ground really is Heavy.


RELKEEL HURDLE race trends and trainer stats

FRIDAY 1st of January 2016




Favs won 6 of the last 14 runnings and second favs won 4

First three in betting won 12

All were returned 8/1 or less , thirteen 13/2- , and the remaining twelve were no more than 5/1

Official Ratings

In the period reviewed all were rated 125+

5 of the last 6 were rated 160 plus


7yo are best with 3 wins from 9 runs

Small sample but 8yo's are 0-8

No horse older than 9 won

Form Profile

The most striking thing is that only 1 was a distance winner.

Only 3 had won over further

5 had run no further than 2m 1f

Only 7 had already tried the trip

12 had run 1 to 4 times that season

9 had run just the once

5 won last time and 3 were second


Nicky Henderson is your man in this race.

Not only is his yard bang in form with 6 winners from 16 the last two weeks,  but he has won this race 3 times in the past 6 runnings.


Of the three Henderson horses, Top Notch looks the best with Whisper's age not being ideal and Bobs Worth too old.

This one was a close second to stablemate to Peace and  Co in the Triumph Hurdle. He has the profile of that of nearly half of the winners who were totally untried at this trip. He has the class and, if he stays in the offically Heavy ground, he will go very close.

His rating of 158 falls a few pounds short of that of recent winners though.

In fact there are only two runners with ratings of 160: World (Stayers) Hurdle winner, COLE HARDEN, and the fifth in that race, Whisper, who turned the form round at Aintree beating the former 3.5 lengths.

Both finished behind the very smart prospect, Thistle Crack, on their debuts last time with Cole Harden coming out ahead, finishing third, beaten 6.5 lengths, 25 lengths clear of Whisper.

The latter was dismounted straight after which makes you wonder. And 8 is not the ideal age for this

All in all, COLE HARDEN, as  a 7yo with just the one run, second in the betting and an official rating of 164, is the trends horse and he holds Whisper on  Stayers Hurdle form here over 3m. His very best form is on fast ground but his third last time was on this type of ground and showed he handles it and was in form, unlike Whisper.

He is the sole selection to win. William Hills are the only ones who have priced the race up in the Racing Post right now and they have him 11/4.


KING GEORGE race trends & trainer/jockey stats

SATURDAY 26th December



We are examining here the past 18 runnings and the trends can't help being affected by the one-off that was Kauto Star.

He won this 5 times in the period  we are looking at and therefore contributed to the record of Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh. He is also one of only two horses older than 9 to win this in that period.


Between 1997 and 2003, horses with SP's of 25/1, 10/1 and 8/1 won.

2004 to 2014 the biggest SP was 9/2 with 7/2 & 3/1 being the next two biggest. This was the period when the race was dominated  by Nicholls (7 wins!!), Kauto Star ( 5 wins!!) and Walsh (5 wins!!)

The fav won 10 times (Kauto Star accounted for 4 of these) and the second fav won four.

The first five in the betting won 17 (14 of which were from the first two)

Official Handicap Rating (OR)

Teeton Mill won this off 156 in 1998 and then, 14 years later, in the race ran on 15th January because of the weather, future, unexposed, Gold cup winner, the 6 yo Long run, beat a below par Kauto Star off a mark of 162. Long Run was rated 179 when he won the Gold Cup on his next run.

Other than these two exceptions, all the other 9 with a rating (non UK horses didn't used to have a rating) had an OR of 169 plus


6, 7 and 9yo's have dominated, winning 16 of the last 18 renewals. One of the exceptions was Kauto Star's fifth win of this race, aged 11.

No 10 yo has won it from 18 to try and 8 yo's have a poor record with just 2 winners from 48 runners.

Form Profile

16 had run between 3 and 7 times in the past year

17 ran between 1-4 times that season

12 won last time

17 finished first or third last time.

ALL had posted a first three run last time out but just one had finished second from the 34 last time runnners up to try

15 had already won over 3 miles and two had won over two and a half and 2m5f. The other was a French horse with no record for it.

Interestingly 12 had won over the Cheltenham Gold Cup distance of 3m 2.5f (four of those would have been Kauto Star again). but it shows the stamina necessary to win this. In fact, 19 had already won at 3m 2.5f and 8 of those won (42%).

This will have something to do with this being  the best trial for the Gold Cup and also the number of double winners with no less than four horses winning it twice and Kauto Star winning it 5 times; so horses had won this, gone on to take the Gold Cup then come back and won this again. What a pity Coneygree isn't running!

13 were already distance winners.


Paul Nicholls has farmed this race winning 9 of the past 18 runnings with three different horses. If anyone knows how  to prepare the winner of this race, it is him. Mind you, 5 of those 9 were our old friend Kauto Star. Still a great record though.

The two bang in form  yards are Alan King's and Willie Mullins'.

The former trains the Hennessy winning, post wind operation, revelation, Smad Place. We now know why he wasn't getting home in some of the top races and this double runner up in the World Hurdle proved he has stamina to spare  when bolting up by 12 lengths in the Hennessy last time over 3m 2.5f. The RPR he was awarded for that win is 12 lbs higher than any of his previous 9 chases and he may well improve!

From a trends point of view there are two niggles. He is an 8yo (see above) and, as 8/1 fourth fav, he is a little longer in the betting than is the norm.

Mullins sends two and i don't know if one is pace maker as, though it is trained by Mullins, it is in the same ownership as the fav, Don Cossack trained by Gordon Elliott. Valseur Lido is 20/1 currently, rated just 157 and priced accordingly at 20/1 it is difficult not to make that assumption as the fav will want a brisk pace.

Mullins other one is the unsteady second fav, Vautour. This one looked a star in the making when bolting up in the Grade 1 JLT Novice Chase by 15 lengths. Could be he will win this in similar fashion but he has never won further than 2m 5f so his up in trip as well as class – not ideal from a trends point of view.

Nicholls has won this race 9 times and his record at this course is 9/29 in chases. Silvianaco Conti has come good in this race the past two years but two things put me off from a trends point of view. First, as i said, only the great Kauto Star has won this more than twice in the 18 years examined, second, he finished second – an easily beaten 7 lengths – behind Cue Card last time in the 3m Betfair Chase. I have illustrated the record of those finishing  second in their previous race above.


Ruby has an amazing record for Willie Mullins of 162 wins out of 456 runners over the past two years and the trends chances of his ride were discussed above.

Paddy Brennan is 4/12 for  Colin Tizzard over the last two years and he rides the 9yo Cue Card, who has been backed from 9/2 into 7/2 and is now vying for second favouritism. Another one to have a wind operation, his demolition of Silvianaco Conti, Dynaste and Holywell last time demonstrated that he is now the horse we always thought he might be. We now know why he wasn't getting home in this race in the last three runnings (even though he finished a good 4.5 lengths second to Silvianaco Conti in this race in 2013). The op and tongue strap seems  to have done the trick and he reversed that form in style over 3 miles last time. Definitely shortlist material.

Noel Fehilly is 14/49 for Paul Nicholls over the past two years and the chances of his mount have been assessed above.


Looking at the first five in the betting:

Don Cossack is a worthy fav but  the age stats for 8yo's puts me off. He may well win as he has been backed off the boards and this is a great race for favs. But he is not a bomb proof trends horse.

Vautour could be a superstar but his trends defects were outlined above.

Possible second fav, CUE CARD, has a near perfect profile. His breathing problems prevented him proving his stamina before, so he has no win beyond 3 miles, but, other than that bonus, he as a perfect trends record.

Similar could be said about SMAD PLACE who i will take as a small each way saver despite him being an 8yo and rated one pound below the 169 minimum. He went well in the Gold Cup for a long way before fading and now we know why. 8/1 seems a fair price each way.

The cons against Silvianaco Conti were rehearsed above.


CUE CARD to win 7/2 available (as i write at 4.50 pm friday)

SMAD PLACE small stakes each way saver 8/1 as i write








LADBROKE HURDLE going, race trends, trainer/jockey stats

SATURDAY 18/1/2/15

ASCOT 3.35


Before analysing the race trends etc, a word on the going.

Going off the race  times today, Friday, the ground wasn't riding Soft but Good to Soft. 50 mm or 2 inches of rain is forecast for tomorrow morning but this shouldn't make it anything worse than Good to Soft/Soft going.


Not a good race for the first two in the betting with the first two winning just one each of the last 12 runnings.

A 33/1 shot won and two won at 25/1, so don't be put off any long (but not too long) shots.

The remaining 9 of the 12 runnings were priced 14/1 or less at SP and were from the first 7 in the betting.


ALL carried 11-9 or less

10/12 carried 11-5 or less

Official Rating (OR)

ALL had an OR of 145 or less

11 were rated 145 and 10 had ratings of 144 or lower


5 yo's have the best record by some way with 7 winning from 72 runnings (10%)

Next best are 7yo's with 2-28 (7%), then 6 yo's with 2-48 (4%).

4 yo's have a bad record with just 1 winner from 53 runners, just a 2% strike rate which immediately excludes 8 of the runners from the 21 down to start.

Form Profile

9 had between 1 and 3 runs that season (6 had just the one run)

11 posted a first 4 finish last time (6 won), 10 finished in the first 3

11 had won over slightly further than todays 2 mile trip, ie, over at least 2miles half a furlong

ALL had run over at least 2m 1f and 10 had run over 2 miles 1 and a half plus.

Both the above hint that stamina as well as class is needed to win this race

10 were distance winners


The in form yards are Harry Fry with 7 winners from 16 runners the past fortnight and Dan Skelton with 8/28 over the same period.

The former runs two. Jolly's Cracked it is vying for favouritism and, as a 6 yo who ran third on his only run this season would have to be considered. The poor record of the first two in the betting is a bit off putting though.

He also runs the 8yo Presenting Arms and this one has a jockey on board (Liam McKenna) who has a 3/7 record for the trainer over the past two years. Only beaten once in his last 5 starts (two this season) you would have to take a second look. But no horse older than 7 has taken this over the last 12 runnings.

Dan Skelton has two and it may be worth noting he knows what it takes to win this as he won it the year before last. Hurricane Hollow, as a 5 yo, is the ideal age and finished third on his only run this season. Two runs this season is ok but one would be ideal.

His other runner, Zarib who is a 4 yo.

Gordon Elliott, who has taken this race in two of the last three runnings, runs another 4 yo (he trained the only winning 4 yo in the period in question). However, a few other factors mitigate against, and this horse would be a very atypical winner.

Willie Mullins has a 3/10 strike rate at this track over the past 5 seasons and 2/6 in hurdle races here.He runs 2 as well. Renneti would have to equal the weight carrying record over the past 12 renewals and, though a fourth place is ok, only one of the last 12 winners ran 4th in their most recent run. Two runs his season isn't ideal either.

His other runners is more interesting. Noble Inn is one of only four 5 yo's in the race and this lightly raced hurdler could be anything having bolted up in a lowly 6K hurdle over 2 miles and half a furlong on Heavy at Clonmel last time.  Having run well until the last hurdle over two and a half miles earlier in his careeer, in a 50K handicap at the Punchestown Festival in May, he could have the right mix of class and stamina for this. Ruby was on that day and no doubt his report helped Willie Mullins decide to run the horse here. He evidentlyy wasn't impressed enough to come over and ride it (which may be a tip for one of his mounts in Ireland tomorrow), but the record of Mullins here and the horses profile has caught  my eye.


Both the other two jockeys (as well as Liam McKenna, mentioned above) ride for the one trainer; John Ferguson.

Mikey Ennis is 4/11 over the last two years and he rides Three Kingdoms who has decent claims but, with his 4th place finish last time, not outstanding trends profile.

I assume Aidan Coleman, who is 56/156 for Ferguson, had the pick and, if so, it is interesting he picks Galizzi, another 4 yo though.


Sort It Out carries a pound more than ideal with only one other carrying more than 11-5 in the last 12 runnings and is rated 2 llbs higher than 10 of the last 12 winners. But he has almost everything else going for him including some form that would put him within 10 lengths or so within  Nichols Canyon and Faugheen at level weights! The age of 7 isn't great but i am prepared to chance the third best age, strike rate wise.

Having not had the best of runs and clouting the last in the County Hurdle over 2m 1f at the last Cheltenham Festival he ran on really well up the hill to chase home Wicklow Brave and was beaten 8 lengths receiving 4 lbs. In the light of that horses subsequent efforts, this is Grade 1 placed / Grade 2 winning form.

Leaving aside Wicklow Brave's excellent Group form on the flat since that race, he chased home Nicholl's Canyon and Faugheen in the Grade 1 Morgiano Hurdle, beaten just one and three quarter lengths. This form could be cribbed. Faugheen "flopped" on his seasonal debut it is said . But he ran his fourth best race of his 9/10 wins career and his three better ones were when  winning the Champion hurdle and the Irish version according to Racing Post Ratings (RPR). Faugheen ran 9 lbs below his Irish Champion Hurdle best in the Morgiana, according to RPR, and the only other time he bettered that (apart from the Champion hurdle ) was when winning another top Grade 1, the Christmas Hurdle last Boxing day.

No, i think Faugheen ran a little better than is thought that day and the two who he split, especially Nichols Canyon are not being given the credit they deserve. If my  theory is correct, Wicklow Brave is a Grade 1 horse. He is officially rated 166 and SORT IT OUT ran 8 lengths behind him in the County Hurdle receiving 4 lbs which should put him in tomorrow's race on a mark of 154 – he runs off 144. A blot if my theories are right and i will be backing him each way at 14/1 with Bet 365.

The only doubt is the  lay off he has had since his comfortable win in a two and a half mile handicap off 136 at the Puchestown Festival 251 days ago. But i expect his shrewd trainer to have him spot on for this and this fast run class and stamina test on softish ground should be right up his street.

The added bonus is that Mark Walsh has rode the horse three times and won twice. As you may have gathered, i am keen on this one.

However, i am also aware that this is one of the most competitive handicap hurdles of the year so i want another, just in case of accidents or my theory being off.

NOBLE INN has a perfect profile and, arguably, as a 5 yo should be the sole selection. He is also trained by perhaps the best National Hunt  trainer on the British Isles who has a good record at this course. But the horse has it to prove class wise. He is my second choice and i will be backing him each way at 18/1 with Corals (8.40 PM Friday)







Bad race for the first two in the betting with them taking one each of this race in the past 16 runnings.

Not a race for shock results though with, other than a 22/1 shot, all the winners being returned at 16/1 or less.

The first 11 in the betting won in all the 16 runnings under review (1997 to 2014 with no renewals in 2001 and 2008) and all bar one won from the first 9 in the betting.


ALL carried 10-00 to 11-8

Official Handicap Rating (OR)

ALL rated between 134 and 163

15 rated to 154 or less


6 and 7yo's have the best  record with the former scoring 5 wins from 37 runner (14%) and the latter 6-52 (12%).

8 yo's have won 4 from 55.

Outside the 6 to 8 age group there has been just one winner – a 4 yo.

Form Profile

15 ran between one and three times that season

Interestingly, 9 of these had run twice that season

ALL 16 finished in the first 5 last time, 14 of which finished in the first 3

15 had already won over two and a half miles

ALL had run over that trip

15 had run in the last 8-60 days and 11 of these had run within the last 16-30 days


Paul Nicholls has trained 3 of the last 6 winners of this. He runs two.

Top weight Sound Investment would have to break the weight carrying record over at least the last 16 runnings and only one horse (the Nicholls trained Poquelin on his second consecutive win) was rated above 154. Seemed to fade in the dying strides in the Paddy Power when third last time and the ground will be slower tomorrow.

His other runner, Art Mauresque, would be only the second horse to run more than 3 times that season and would be the ony winner to have finished outside the first five in its previous run. Plus no 5yo has won from just 10 try. Inconclusive i  know, but enough, along with the other trends minuses, is enough to put me off.

The Willie Mullins yard is flying with 11 winners from 28 runners in the past fortnight.

Ruby Walsh has a 159/453 record for him over the past two years and rides Mullins sole representative Mozoltov who would have to be first seasonal debutant and the first 9 yo to win over at least the last 17 runnings.


Looking at the current betting, 11 pm Friday, there have been a few punts.

Given the record of the first two in the betting, it would be a good idea to check which these are.

Little Jon has been backed from 12's into 7's fav. He has a very good trends profile otherwise.

Annacotty is current second fav backed from 9/1 into 15/2. He too has a very good trends chance.

Sound Investment and Buywise have both been backed from 12/1 into 8/1 and the Mullins horse from 20's into 8's!

There are three others shortlisted:

Tenor Nirvaious (just the one run), Doctor Pheonix (3 runs) and Village Vic with the ideal two runs but off the track for 36 days.

I have a feeling that Sound Investment and Little Jon will fight it out  for favouritism leaving the first two from the Paddy Power as third and fourth in the betting around the 8/1 mark and i think they may well fight out the finish again.

ANNACOTTY has the age advantage as a 7 yo but has had just the one run this season.

Last time, on seasonal debut, he just held off the strong finishing selection of ours in that race, BUYWISE , who has the favoured 2 runs but is an 8 yo.

That was a very classy race and, on the slightly softer ground, i am tempted to go for the latter.

However the former has good form on softer ground too and may even improve for his first run.

I can't split them and therefore split my stake between the two.





21st Century Betting

The time I realised that compiling different types of bets together to make up the one bet was when I became quite proficient at reading races and which two horses were the most likely to win.
I then always had the problem of deciding on which one to pick which was in fact much harder than narrowing it down the the two in the first place.
This went on for probably a year before I started to think about actually using both selections, and to my amazement this turned out to be very possible and not only possible but even making money considerably more achievable.
This involves using the two selections in place betting only and betting without and i'll explain these bets.
It can also involve actually backing both or more to win  in combination bets, which are backing doubles trebles and accums that involve using both selections in one race to win or be placed or both without a given horse in the race. Betting without is effectively  backing a  horse in a race without another named horse (almost always the morning favourite, even if it drifts). The result ignores the named horse you bet without, so, if you are second to that horse, you actually win the race in betting terms, at a bet without price you should take when you place the bet. You need your horse to win or finish second to the without horse to get paid out at the betting without price
Very very simple. All you are betting on is that the horse just has to be placed in the allotted places in that race, be it two places for seven runners or less or three for 15 or less or 4 for 16 plus runner handicaps. You should remember that finishing first is finishing placed also but you only get paid, of course, at the price taken for the place only bet.
But I think I'll explain something else while i'm on the subject. If, for instance, you had done a place bet in the morning and there were eight runners in the race,  all were priced up and you made a bet for a selection to place at the price available, and, say ten minutes later,one horse or more was taken out of the race, ie, non  runner/s , you would still be paid  if your selection finished in the first three places, even though the race starts with seven runners, or even six, if two horses were taken out. The rule four would apply to your bet but, eg, third of 6 would still be a winner.
So place betting is very effective in gaining an advantage. Now, the disadvantage is even though you may think the horse has a good chance of winning making the place bet means that you get usually around a quarter or a fifth of the price it is to win, and you still receive the place price even if it wins. But how many times do you see your horses that you have bet to win be placed in second or third or even fourth or fifth in races where fourth or fifth would have been a winner in a place bet? Too many I bet.
It is swings and roundabouts and you will kick yourself sometimes when you miss a winner. A possible way of finding a happy medium though, is that you can back place only with more confidence and possibly, therefore, a bigger stake.
 I think this is a brilliant bet as you can have two very good winners in a race at good prices and when you use these in combination multiples they can also be hugely rewarding. Now, betting without, as I said earlier is effectively taking a horse out of the race, usually the named morning favourite. But this is not always the case.
The bookies  often differ as to which horse it is that they select to be the without horse in any given race, but can all agree in cases where the fav is odds on. 
The bookies identify a horse in the race,  usually fav or second fav,  depending on the bookie. Some bookies might have one horse as fav and another may have the same horse as second fav so they will be offering different horses in the race as the without horse. 
Also not all bookies offer this bet and also not all bookies offer place betting, but two of the major high street rivals William Hill and Paddy Power always offer these bets in all races.There will be odd races (and I mean quite rare occasions) where, for some reason, they are not offering these bets. But these are quite rare.
Now because I can think like a bookie and know my racing im always very interested when they don't offer these bets on a race. I look closely at the race and inevitably I see that thay normally have between six to nine runners, the race is very open and the fave is 3-1, meaning they don't know much about the participants of the race and the connections.
They would have to be giving favourable odds on all horses to place only, and in the without market also. But as I say these are rare.
Now back to the without betting. You can have two very good winners in the same race and also get a better price for not winning the race as you would have if backing the actual winner of the race to win. Amazing I know. How can this be?
Well its simple. To have two winners in the same race you back the actual winner at its given price to win, and it wins. You also back the horse to win that comes second to that horse in the without market (assuming the winner was the without horse). So, you back the winner that is the without horse (normally the morning favourite) and you back a further horse in the race at the without price and, as long as you come second to the without horse, you have two winners.
Also, if the horse you backed in the without market actually wins the race then you still have a winner but obviously the win bet on the horse that was the without horse is a loser. But hey, still not bad.
How to get a bigger price winner in a race by not actually backing the winner of the race!
Well lets say you have a race, and their are plenty of them, where the fav is between 1-2 and 6-4. You will then generally have the rest of the field at 3-1 right up to say 25-1, remember when you are betting without you are in most cases taking out the fav and in races where the fav is between 1-2 and 6-4 this will nearly always be the without horse.
  The only exception will be if there has been a big gamble on a horse  that has backed into the 1-2 to 6-4 price range. But the bookie had earlier selected the morning 1-2 to 6-4 horse as the horse without, meaning that this horse has now had to give way to the gamble which is now between 1-2 to 6-4. This  actually happens frequently and the bookie cannot change the without horse.  If the selected without horse is taken out the race as a non runner then there will be no without betting on that race.
To make things complicated though, William Hill – and William hill only – will offer, in a lot of races, more options on the without market, but, for now, we will stick to the simple way of assuming that there is just one horse in any given race that is the without horse.
Now  to return to the question of backing a bigger priced winner in a race than the actual winners price by not backing the winner! This can be done in the without market and place market, but to do it in the place market it would have to be a big priced horse.
Not in the without market though. Again, lets say we have a fav at 5-4 and a third fav at 4-1 and you fancy the 4-1 to win but are frightened of the fav. In this case, which is  ideal, you are looking in the without market.  You  would get a price of around 5-2 or even 11-4 in the without market for the 4/1 third fav, assuming that the second fav was around 5-2 to 3-1,.In this case you would also get a price for the second fav in the without market at around 6-4, 15-8, so if you even backed both in the without market, you would still get a small profit if one of the two  were to actually win the race or come second to the fav. There would have to also be at least seven runners in the race for these sort of prices and they would have to be considered as having a chance at prices from 5-1 to 16-1.
So you can see that it can get quite complex at times but, in general, its simple. What you have to do is be seeking value at all times.
This is where it gets complex for a lot of people, as it's new and the best comparison to it would be perms to anyone who is familiar with perm betting, like those who remember the football pools.
Perm betting is usually used in seeking to win Jackpots and scoop 6 bets. But I realised that you can use this in any way you wish.  Now, for those who are not familiar with perm bets, its where you bet more than one horse in a race to win and add them to further races where you bet more than one horse to win and so on and this will increase the number of  bets you place for a multiple double, treble, accum, scoop six etc.
For instance if you take two horses from two races and you want to have a winning double from these four horses, two horses from two races, it would mean you would have to place four individual double bets if you wanted to double both horses from both races and as long as one of your two selections from each race won you would have a winning double.
Now you can go much further and do a treble with two horses from three races and this would be eight bets, and two horses from four races would be sisteen bets and two horses from five races would be thirty two bets and two from six races would be sixty Four bets.
But what you can also do is have a treble or accum with four bets, meaning that you take two races and choose two selections from each and then add single selections to those which don't require any more bets.
So I take two races with the fav and second fav and I double them all together which takes four bets I then add another single horse to them to make up the treble, so I can have a combination treble with four bets, I could have taken two horses from the third race but that would mean me having to place eight bets rather than the four.
With perms (which is just short  for permutations),  all you have to do is multiply the number of horses in each race by the number of races. So, say you were doing a Scoop 6, you had two bankers, three races where you were covering two in each race and another where you had three selections. Here is how you work it out: 2 x 1 x 2 x 3 x 1 x 2 which equals 24 bets. This is so in any order.
Or, for those who don't like maths, this is the best bet calculator i have come accross which will calculate your perms and stakes plus work out your winnings too!
So, for now,  i'll let this all get to sink in and we'll be back in the next blog with more on how betting in the twenty first century just got that whole lot better.
Paul Murphy






Paddy Power Chase – race trends & trainer stats






For a big field  early season handicap, there has only been one real surprise winner in the past 18 years and that was way back in 1997 when 33/1 shot, Senor el Betrutti, scored.

The other 17 winners all had SP's of 16/1 or less , with 15 scoring at 12/1 or less.

6 favs won and two second favs.


ALL carried 11-9 or less, 17 had 11-7 or less to carry and 16 humped 11-3 or under.

Handicap Rating

ALL had an official rating (OR) of 159 or less, 17 had 154 or less and 16 ran off marks of 150 or lower.


5, 6 & 7 yo's have predominated, winning 13 of the last 18 runnings achieving wins to runs ratios of 2-21 (10%), 4-46 (9%) and 7-74 (9%) respectively.

8 and 9 yo's can and have won, taking the other 5 runnings between them with 3-72 (4%) and 2-38 (5%), respectively.

Form Profile

16 had run 4 times or more in the past year

9 were making their seasonal debuts

9 had run once or twice that season – none more

8 won last time

16 posted a first 8 finish in their last run

13 finished in the first 4

ALL had won over at least  2miles three and a half furlongs

ALL had run over at least 2 miles  5F


Martin Pipe farmed this race winning 6 times between 1997 and 2005. Son David has won it once.

The pipes have two runners, one of whom is the fav, King's Palace. He has an excellent profile for this which would be even better with a higher finishing position last time and being a few pound lower down the weights & handicap.

He has been backed in from 9/1 to 6/1 this morning (Fri) and 5 of the last 7 Pipe winners were single figure prices. Shortlist material.

His other runner, Monetarie, though a 9yo, is worth a second look too.

Paul Nicholls has won this twice in the last three years. His yard, as always it seems, is in fine form with 11 winners from 40 runners in the past fortnight.

He runs top weight Sound  Investment, another with plenty in his favour except he would have to break the last 18 year weight carrying record by 3 lbs.

His other runner is Art Mauresque who has already won two out of three this season which, paradoxically, is  what goes against him. No winner of this in the last 18 years had run more than twice that season.

Nigel Twiston -Davies has won this twice in the past 7 renewals and he saddles Double Ross and Splash of Ginge, others with not perfect profiles and a little longer in the betting than the typical winner.

Nicky Henderson, another seemingly perenially in form trainer, has had 7-22 winners the last two weeks and his sole representative is Cocktails at Dawn. Just a little high in the weights and OR to be  ideal but  definitely one for the  shortlist.

Evan Williams is 9-29  the last 14 days and he runs Buywise who, at the right end of the handicap is another for the short list (which is getting long!)

Finally Kim Bailey has turned out 7 winners from 29 runners of late and has Darna. Those that didn't complete last time (other than those that pulled up, who are 2-20) are 0-17 in this. Not a big enough sample to be conclusive but enough to put me off.


With just one 5 yo, one 6 yo and  all (with the possible exception of Splash of Ginge) of the fancied 7 yo's being near the top of the weights, it may pay to concentrate there, with the addition of Buywise lower  down, in the more typical weight/OR band.

Having run all the above and any other likely looking trends horses through the form profile, there are no perfect trends fit, therefore this is a tentative selection. So, no re-mortgaging the house!

I have opted for the in form Even Williams yard's course and distance winner, BUYWISE, who though  an 8yo, is in the right section of the weights/ratings. His running on third  behind Sound investment and Wishfull Thinking in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase last time, reads well and  is the tentative each way pick. This stiffer track than Aintree and the 3 lbs pull for just under the 4 lengths he was beaten by the Nicholls horse that day should be a big help.

He has been backed from 16/1 into 12's this afternoon and, unless the rain arrives early, he should get the Good going he got last time at Aintree. You can still get 12/1 at Paddy Power and Bet 365.



Badger Ales Chase. Race trends, trainer & jockey stats




6 of the last 18 favs won

The first 9 in the betting won ALL the last 18 runnings of this, the first 7 won 17 and the first 5 won 15.

With the exception of one 25/1 winner, there have been no shocks with 17 winners returned 16/1 or less, 15 at 14/1 or less and 15 at 12/1 or less.

If you mix two of the above facts, 15 winners came from the first 5 in the betting and were 12/1 or less.


17 carried 11-7 or less

Handicap Ratings

ALL were rated 145 or less and 17 had an official rating of 139 or lower


6 yo's 4-21 (19%) and 9 yo's  5-40 (13%) have the best record

Form Profile

One or two runs that season x 8 ( 8 of the remaining 10 were making their seasonal debuts)

Posted a first 4 run last time x 13 (7 won)

Won over at least 2 miles 7.5 furlongs x 15

Ran over 3 miles plus – ALL


Paul Nicholls yard remains in fine form with 10 winners from 35 runners in the last 14 days. He also has a 29% strike rate at the course with 64 winners from 219 runners over the past 5 years (though he has done much better with his hurdlers than chasers).

He runs Benvolio, an 8yo who would be the second biggest weight carrier in the last 19 runnings were he to win. He would also be the joint highest rated winner. Take into account the pulled up last run and he isn't a trends horse.

Jess Westwood's yard is 2-7 at the course and 2-4 in chases here. She has Monkerty Tunkerty who has a lot going for him except that he is a 12 yo. Only one such horse has tried in the last 18 years and it finished unplaced. Also, the price at present is 20/1 which would make him the second longest priced winner in the last 19 years.

Dan Skelton is 7/21  at the course and 2/5 with his chasers. His Wilton Milan has an excellent trends profile but is not the ideal age at 7 (4-54 or 7%).

Tom George has a great record with his chasers here (14/47 over the last 5 years) and he runs two.

A Good Skin fits the bill on all scores except the lack of a first 4 run last time.

Forgotten Gold ticks all the boxes and has Daryl Jacob aboard. He has a 1/1 strike rate for Tom George over the last two years.


If we combine the race trends, trainer stats and jockey record,  there is only one horse that fits all the criteria and that is FORGOTTEN GOLD, currently widely available at 8/1.

However, a one placed better place last time would have made A GOOD SKIN (11/1 generally) the selection on account of the better record of 6 yo's.

So, i will split my stakes with a win bet on FORGOTTEN GOLD and an each way on A GOOD SKIN.






Ascot, Sat, C4, sprint trends, stats & selection

ASCOT 1.20




Barring a 20/1 winner, all the other 17 were returned 12/1 or less.

The fav won 4 of the last 18 runnings and the second fav won 4.

The first six in the betting have  won 16 times


14 had an official rating (OR) and 11 of these winners were rated 110 plus.

The last 6 were all rated 111 or more on the OR (official handicap).


3, 4 and 5 yo's have won 17 of the 18.

3 yo's won 6 times from 61 runners (10%). 4 yo's won 8/62 (13%) and 5 yo's are 3-44 (7%).

Only one winner was older (a 6yo) and that is from 70 to try.

Form Profile

17 had 3 to 7 previous runs that season.

5 had won last time and 5 finished second.

17 posted a  first two finish last time out.

17 had won over 6 furlongs with 6 also winning at 7F and another one winning at a mile.

17 had run within the past 60 days (seed of doubt for supporters of favourite Muhaarar – from a race trends point of view).


James Fanshawe has had 5 winners from 15 runners in the last 14 days and a record with his 3 yo's at Ascot, over the past 5 years, of 4-9. He runs The Tin Man who has everything going for him except, with an OR of just 106,  he would be the joint second lowest rated winner of this in the past 18 years (and this doesn't look like a weak renewal!)

Edward Lynam is 5-18 overall with his runners here and 4/12 with his older horses. He saddles 50/1 outsider Gathering Power, a 5yo out of the first two last time and with an OR of just 99.


George Baker has scored 27 times from 74 runners at all meetings in the last 2 years. He rides Interception who has a similar profile to the last horse named,, albeit wih a higher rating of 108.


If we consider it significant  that only one winner in the last 18 runnings had an SP of more than 12/1, this narrows it down to four 3 yo's.

The forecast 2/1 fav, and form horse, Muhaarar, has not run for 69 days and is reluctantly opposed as every other winner except one had run in the past 60 days.

Ditto The Tin Man on  account of his atypically low handicap rating.

This leaves us with the first two home in the Betfred Sprint Cup where the three 3 yo's dominated, pulling two and three quarter lengths of the field.

These two, TWILIGHT SON and Strath Burn, were separated by just a diminishing short head. However winning is a habit and l like horses that have acquired this habit. I therefore take him to extend his five race winning run to six.






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