Betting 360 Podcast - Betting From All Angles
Gerard Daffy is an Australian sports betting and online gambling pioneer having been involved in the bookmaking industry all his adult life.

In this episode Gerard discusses the AFL and NRL season so far and looks ahead to the finals including futures betting.

Punting Insights You’ll Find

  • Why this year has been such a good one
  • The three times each week when the line will move
  • The teams he is happy to keep as winners in Tatt’s book
  • How and why punters often over-react to just one game

Today’s Guest:
Gerard Daffy

Get the Transcript:

>> Click Here to Read the Transcript

David: We’re only a month or so away from the footy finals so I wanted to talk to you about the season so far and of course what we’ve got to look forward to over the next couple of months, starting with AFL. How has the season been so far for Tatts?

Gerard: It’s been a pretty good year in all codes, so many upsets in this day and age. I just had a look the other day. Leading into this weekend in AFL, we’ve had 153 matches. Only 105 favorites won and that’s probably been the poorest winning record we’ve had in recent history particularly since we’ve had the newer sides in the competition. Most thought that the competition would be one sided.
It probably was to some degree over the last 2 seasons but it’s definitely averaged out now and we’ve seen a lot more shocks.

David: So in horse racing when there is a blowout winner though they say it’s a good result for the bookies. Is that the same in AFL where if it’s a big upset, it tends to be a big result?

Gerard: Well not really because in a field of 2, the other side is always going to be backed, backed the outsider particularly for those who don’t want to take the short prices. I guess the best example of it we’ve seen so far this season was the recent win by St. Kilda win over Fremantle. St. Kilda were $14 but we actually took 4 times as many individual bets on St. Kilda as what we did for Fremantle, just value punters or people who’ve got sides that they support and they back them week in week out but having said that, obviously when a $1.03 pop goes over and there are always matching results because there’s so much business now done through multi’s. While your singles book you might lose on it, ultimately, with a lot of people now focusing on multi’s or trying to pick 2 or 3 wins or maybe even the whole round, once an outsider gets up, that’s normally enough for you to break it square at least for the weekend.

David: With a result like that when Freo are $1.03 do you get much action at the line or plus or minus the points as you do for a straight bet?

Gerard: You do. A lot of people do turn their focus to the lines and it’s interesting looking at those because again, 153 games this season, only 75 favorites have covered the lines and that’s less than 50%. While you might think that these teams will win by big margins, it doesn’t always go that way. A lot of them take their foot off their pedal. They might come out of the blocks and lead by a big margin but it doesn’t always transpire that that will go on throughout the game.
It does get very dangerous at this time of the year. Once sides have consolidated their position either in the 8 in or out of it. There’s not a lot to gain by beating sides by 20 goals so you run the risk of say, some of those bigger sides risking players or not even playing them in the first instance. Taking minuses has never been my cup of tea anyway but more importantly from this time of the year onwards, it gets extremely dangerous.

David: You mentioned 153 games and 75 favorites have covered so the bookies are doing a reasonable job because that’s only a game and half off the perfect 50/50.

Gerard: Yeah, that’s right and I suppose when it’s a $1.90 take you pick, in theory you’d want to be more than 50% in your favor anyway and that would be enough to win on a level staking plan, but given that most of the money is used for the favorites anyway. It’s been a pretty good year for bookies.

David: So even at the line, there’s a majority of bets are on the favorite to cover that line.

Gerard: More often than not unless you get a side at home. Looking back over history, the home sides, particularly when they’re the outsiders quite often get written off and things will … The home ground advantage is not as big as what it was say several years ago. There’s no doubt at all that umpires are influenced by the home ground and we’ve seen that more so at Adelaide this year with 50,000 screaming fans.
A lot of questionable decisions always go in favor or always go seemingly in favor of the home side. If you can get a home side that’s the underdog and get to start with them and just stick to those, I think you’ll have a pretty good winning formula with that.

David: You mentioned that multi’s have proven really popular. Has that happened … I suppose naturally because that’s what punters are interested in or is that something that you guys have pushed?

Gerard: Every bookmaker pushes it because they are a popular form of betting and it does make sense when you think about it because basically, it’s an extension of a tipping competition because we’re all in … In tipping competitions, we all think we can pick 9 wins in the AFL and I guess on the off chance that that will happen. People do like to either take that as an individual multi or perhaps leave a couple out but go that way.
It’s quite attractive to the recreational punter who can have his 1 bet for the weekend and it encompasses either a round of AFL or we can mix it up. You can take horse bets or any of the other cards or anything that’s on TV. They’re always popular through multi’s.

David: So what about the line movements you get from betting earlier in the week, how volatile is the line or the actual odds, how volatile is that earlier in the week and how much has that changed leading up to the game?

Gerard: There’s 3 ways of betting on any code now. Firstly, when the prices come out, so Monday lunchtime when the price come out. There could be a bit of movement then. Quite often, that’s associated with perhaps somebody who has to front the tribunal or perhaps an injury that’s been picked up on the weekend. The thing in this day and age with so many bookmakers having this market share at the same time on a Monday, it doesn’t really lend itself to too much movement.
The other movement will be on Thursdays around about 5:00pm once word gets out of who’s likely to be in or out, obviously a big name that’s either in or out. That can affect the market and the other market movement, and I guess from my point of view; it’s the least relevant but it’s always the biggest move, is on the day of the game, because people tend not to bet early unless they think they’ve got an edge.
Most people wait until the day of the game and once a price collapses for no particular reason at all apart from the fact that it’s public money, that’s when the bookie instinct takes over and they think well, they’re now taking under the odds so we’ll let it ride.

David: With that line movement, is it purely based on weight of money or are you also playing heads in a way that the smart money moves the line in an exaggerated fashion?

Gerard: I think it’s definitely now weight of money on the day of the game. At other points in time, quite clearly it can be ahead but the information channels are now so good and so open to everybody that it’s highly unlikely that somebody would have an edge with a player being injured at training this afternoon that the whole world wouldn’t know about within 20 seconds with the advent of Twitter and that.
I think that aspect of that is gone. It’s just public support and particularly with AFL, because it’s such a popular competition with all sports followers. Rugby league’s a little bit more … They’re a little a bit more rugby league-centric but rugby league punters also bet on AFL. It just depends on the timing of the games and quite clearly who’s playing and at what price they have, but more often than not, money on the day of the game is just money after money after money.

David: So for the futures betting at the moment, Sydney and Hawthorn are basically equal favorites. Would you have similar exposure to both those teams or does it vary quite a bit?

Gerard: No, well it’s interesting because Sydney, before the season started, were the best backed side of all of the favorites. Now, that was on the back of Franklin being signed up. They were $8 before they signed, it was shortened up pretty quickly once that was announced. They were really rock solid at $5.50 before the season went underway. Now after a couple of weeks, it looked like that hadn’t worked and they were double figures. I think they were $13 or $15.
They went on this massive winning streak, 12 in a row before last week. They quite clearly are going to finish 1, 2 which gives them a couple of home finals, pretty clear path in the grand finale. On the flip side, punters didn’t really want to know about Hawthorn even thought they were the favorites at the time and they’ve been well in the betting all year, and that was again due to the Franklin factor. He left so most people thought, “Well how do they apply these holds?” which they’ve been able to do quite admirably and they’ve had their fair share of injuries through this season.
One thing that’s fallen their way is some of these other sides have fallen off their perch. Fremantle were pushing for favorites at one stage but that loss to St. Kilda, you’ve got to sit back and stretch when you hear about them. Port Adelaide, well the wheels have temporarily fallen right out there. They were $5 at one stage. It looks like they can’t finish in the top 4 which would make it extremely difficult for them so their price is now at $15. Sydney and Hawthorn…Hawthorn a big winner; Sydney a big loser.

David: What about the Brownlow? Did that change pretty dramatically when Garry Ablett went down with the dislocated shoulder? How is the betting looking and also your exposure?

Gerard: Well, it slowed down. Ablett was one of the most popular throughout the season as he always is. He was the opening favorite. He got into a $1.45 at one stage but you’ve always got this hanging over your head that it’s fairly easy to be suspended in this day and age or of course you can be injured. That’s definitely slowed down Brownlow betting throughout the season as the years have gone by because there have been too many players ousted and people don’t want that happening.
He gets injured; we had him a long way from that point in time. We had many votes in front. He obviously can’t get any more votes but at the moment, we’ve got him on the 4th line of betting. He shortened up a little bit last week although he didn’t play because those around him didn’t … We didn’t think featured prominently in the batch as well so it’s definitely slowed down.
He’s a loser for us but I suspect he’ll end up being a pretty big winner but we might know in 2 or 3 weeks time whether the others have surpassed him anyway. Couple of others that have been backed. Dyson Heppell, really popular now with Essendon’s winning run. He’s at $26; Patty Dangerfield’s always popular. He’s no good for us. Robbie Gray is another, he’s a bad loser for us. Aaron Sandilands, he’s dropped off the radar in the last 3 or 4 weeks but he got into $17 at one stage. Highly unlikely that a ruckman could win but you just never know.

David: It’s been a while. Let’s switch it to NRL then and what’s the comparison like amongst Tatts as far as AFL versus NRL and the popularity of each?

Gerard: Well, the popularity of AFL overall is a lot higher quite clearly with Tatts having that Queensland license where we’ve got the 3 Queensland sides. A lot’s depending on that and also the state of Origin so that sort of bolsters rugby league figures. A lot of what we do is weighted only on the success or failure of those 3 Queensland sides and I guess in their term, they’ve had a little bit of success this season and also some failures as well.
Rugby League, apart from Sydney itself, you know the heartland of Rugby League, is Queensland. I don’t think it will get to a stage where it will ever overtake AFL internationally but still quite a popular sport.

David: When you guys are pricing up the games ready to be released on a Monday, is that all done internally amongst a few guys and there’s a consensus reached? Are you keeping an eye on what the markets already doing? What’s your policy there?

Gerard: Yeah, we have 5 guys who have some input and quite clearly there’s a leader of that team, so we pretty much know what position we want to take. It would be delusional if you think in this day and age that you’re going to go out on a market based on what you think and just completely ignore what the marketplace is.
As I mentioned in the AFL chat before, the market is the market and it’s extremely rare that there’s anything more than 4 or 5 cents on a favorite out there as a differential because of course then you create an arbitrage market and it’s not necessary. Having said that, we quite clearly often slant things in favor of the way that we saw it … The way that we think we’ll get money and noticeably that’s always the Queensland side and also Melbourne Storm. They’re a popular side as well.
We might lead the charge with whoever’s playing those particular sides and try to get some money in early because invariably, those sides are always popular at the latter stages of betting.

David: If you’ve priced the team, for example, at $2 and you see the early market consensus is more like say $1.90, it means you wouldn’t necessarily bring it out at $2 you might have a $1.92 or $1.93 or $1.94 or somewhere around there.

Gerard: Yes, something like that. I think it’s more relevant David with the sides that are at a longer quote, particularly a game with a heavy focus on the home side. If we are a little bit keener on a home side and, as an example, it might be $2.75, we might just go $2.50 or something like that and see what happens after that and try and get that favorite in early. The favorites away from home are quite often hard to sell.
There are a couple of trends against that, Friday night favorites are always quite easy to lay as are Monday night favorites. Monday night is probably the biggest game of the round now so we’re always conscious of that. Apart from the fact that we’ve got our own prices and our own opinions, there are a lot of other things that you’ve got to throw into the mix as well.

David: So Manly at the moment are premiership favorites at $3.50?

Gerard: Yeah, they are and it’s quite incredible. If they didn’t have this off field drama going on there, I think they’d be a lot shorter than what they are at the $3.50. They just seem to get the job done. Some of these other sides have got convictions. Souths have picked up a couple of injuries at their last match so they’re $5 but they are winning. The Roosters, got to be a question mark over them they are at $5.50, the Bulldogs at $7.
I guess the quiet achiever has been Melbourne Storm who got through the Origin Series relatively unscathed. I know that they lost Cronk for several weeks with a broken arm but they were able to win a couple of games while he was out. They’ve now shown that they’ve bounced back to form. They’ve been there before. It does look like they might finish in that middle part of that top 4 or that top 8 so maybe even 4th position but definitely 5th.
That puts them well and truly in the mix and we’ve found before that they are always a popular side come finals time. They’re a good winner for us at the moment. We’re happy to have them as a winner because come finals time, they will be quite popular.

David: To put it on your punting hat for a moment rather than bookmaking, do you think there’s any value at the moment in there, the premiership betting?

Gerard: Yeah. It’s funny you should say that because we were trying to find the other day, the value and it’s hard … Until you get a definitive view of who’s likely to finish in the top 4. I almost still think the Bulldogs have got the armory to win it, they’ve definitely missed Reynolds. They were out of the win a couple of games against the odds throughout the Origin Series but then of course, they bombed out a couple of weekends ago. If they can find their mojo, I think they’re more than capable of winning, so I think I’d be happy to take the odds for them around about the $7 or $8 mark.

David: Just to finish up then. For either AFL or NRL, what type or what style of punter do you think has been successful because you’ve been in the game for so long. Is it more the data driven, quantitative guy or is it the one that lives and breathes it and has a fair bit of gut instinct involved?

Gerard: Well, I think to win on AFL and NRL … Or this really applies to any code Dave, you’ve got to forget about what happened last week and otherwise try and do, well I do, do some practices for the following round before this round gets underway and then reflect back on those as a result of what happens at the weekend.
There’s a massive over emphasis on 1 game. As we found out, even with the Swans good as they are, you just can’t maintain that winning edge. We’ve seen 40, 50 point turnarounds in Rugby League this season. A lot of teams don’t appreciate the quick backup, we’ve seen in AFL a lot of teams travel to the West and come back and lose even though they won there.
There’s so many factors to weigh up to try and win but the age old theory that if you bet against the favorite, you’ll come out in front probably … It hasn’t been more evident than it has been this year so I’m always happy to run with that particularly if they’re at home. If you can get an outsider at home, back it to win and have a saver on it at the start.

David: Good stuff. All right, I appreciate your time once again Gerard. Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Gerard: Thanks Dave.

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The terrible state of so many tracks was discussed in a Rob Waterhouse article in the Sydney Morning Herald this week where he broke the issue down into five areas and then suggested solutions.

It prompted a very interesting response from Lindsay on the Ausrace forum:

Yes, a very good and interesting article from Rob.

Pasture and track management is one of my interests and I have advised on training tracks and the building of arenas.

There are a number of considerations and contradictions to what has taken place at Randwick.

Firstly, the track has been ripped up and modified many times, all weather, Randwick inner, Kensington and the course proper itself a myriad of times.

They are over watering the track to compensate in the hope that there are less breakdowns from hard fast tracks and to keep the grass from going off.

The problem lies not in the grass, but in the subsoil.

The subsoil at Randwick contains very little nitrogen and is basically a sandy clay, thereby discouraging root growth and the water stays on the surface and is simply dried by any wind. Take a sample of the soil a few centimetres down and there will be no root structure and no quality soil.

Without sand, as part of the substructure, the track could become an unsafe bog, so I see where they are coming from, but frequent watering to keep it green, is not the answer. It’s draining away from the roots entirely.

Secondly, it is contributing to softer boned horses, because they don’t encourage strong bone growth (much like a stressed Kung Fu artist who hits hard objects and the bones become stronger and grow to withstand harder impacts).

This is the reason why they can break blocks of bricks and hardwood easily with plenty of years of practice.

Of course Gai prefers progeny from non irrigated studs, the horses need to be exercised on harder surfaces to build strong bone, as in the above example.

Take a horse that’s been brought up in boggy areas and they are prone to soft bones, the moment any stress is put on the bone or they race under a harder surface, shin splints and breakdowns occur.

Why do you suppose the English invasion has failed so miserably at Cup time and UK trainers scream to water the tracks.

With one notable exception, but the whole surface was an exception that day.

English horses are brought up and raced on soft surfaces.

Our harness tracks are crushed granite which is often watered for conformity of surface, but it’s a lot harder than our “good” tracks.

The ratio of breakdowns in harness racing circles is a lot less than the gallops.

The possible and professional opinion…..

Give the track a rest for at least one month.

Don’t spend millions ripping up the track yet again, the same problems will manifest themselves.

Stop lightly watering the track on a daily or every couple of days basis.

It’s a complete waste of time and water given the subsoil.

Invest in an aerator which pulls small but deep diameter plugs from the turf and fill those plugs with sand.

Spread chook manure or compost regularly over the entire course proper, (there’s an easy way to do this;).

No, not commercial fertiliser!

They could even use some of David Hayes’ worm juice – he’s miles ahead in this regard.

Give it a damn good water once a week for four weeks and after replacing divots, the day after racing.

This will allow the nitrogen and water to sink beyond the topsoil and encourage strong root growth.

Ask any groundskeeper at a golf course!

The subsoil will become nitrogen rich and allow penetration of water to be held in the subsoil, whilst still allowing drainage on wet race days.

They already have the drainage in place.

It will also conserve the use of their bore and dam water, which can only be a good thing.

I’d put money on the fact that during Winter, if the program were followed correctly, that grass would never turn brown!

Lindsay.

This was followed up by a great contribution from Phil Buckland:

Hi All,

A great topic very close to my heart as well.

My former life until 7 years ago, being a Qualified Horticulturist and also a Qualified Greenkeeper, and also a Qualified Landscaper (Parks and Gardens), being Trade and Tertiary Qualified, and also did permaculture, but really not sure what that has to do with it at all, I have in my time built and maintained many a sports pitch, eg Tennis Court, Croquet court, bowling green, but never a race track, the closest being football fields. I still do consultancy work and was employed by NSW Agriculture and DAFF during my 30 years green thumb career

There is 1 premise with turf, water it heavy and deep, and do it regularly, but not often.

An old saying the roots of grass should be the same length of the turf on top – this is not true all the times, but Kikuyu does have long roots.  With light regular watering, the roots do not go looking for the water, they don’t have enough time to grow and water then comes along. If the hit a dry spell or there is a hot day, they will transpire to much water and go into basically dehydration as we know it. Deep and not regular water will encourage the roots to go looking for water, so they will survive when the going gets tough.

Turf is a hard thing, the shorter you cut the leaf, the harder it is to maintain, the leaf is survival part of the plant, it produces the energy through Chlorophyll to keep the plant alive, and helps keep diseases away dues to many things, the main thing, it keeps it healthy, the shorter you cut the leaf, the harder it is to maintain and keep healthy and alive.

Kikuyu one of the best grasses that has ever been introduced to Australia, great for Golf courses, Fields, Race Tracks, and the best example I have ever seen as a closely cut Baseball Diamond in Sydney, with a leaf length of about 0.8mm. – Yes almost as short as a golf green

I shake my head in disgust when I see the states of some of our Racecourses and Football fields, they are often sparse and lack vibrancy in the leaf, they seemed to be managed by people who have really no idea of how to maintain turf. The longer a blade of Kikuyu, the easier it is to maintain, it is producing heaps of energy to maintain the health of the grass, and should be growing vigorously.

As Lindsay pointed out, substructure drainage is paramount, but also the base is also extremely important. – That is whole another subject – in fact Drainage I (think by memory took 2 semester just as 1 subject in one of the courses ) Another thing that should be mentioned, is frequency of cut. This is almost as important as nutrition, (fertilizer etc).

Typically a Golf green is cut once a day, same with a bowling green, Croquet court etc, if a competition is coming up, this increases to 2 times a day, in some cases 3 times a day in hotter areas – this is to increase blade density, and also stem division. This is to increase a thicker (Blanket) of turf, which inturn increases a larger surface area of blade, which then inturn increases more chlorophyll, which then increases more energy, which increases more cell development and a stronger turf – which then gives a better playing surface.

The same tactic should be employed with race tracks, I am not stating that turf should be cut 2 times a day, but if it was cut every 2nd day, this would be the start of turning around of race courses in Australia. Not only would it increase thicker grass, but also help the water issue faced by clubs, it will increase transpiration, which will increase a more regulated and manageable increase of water usage, and also increase a more even consistence of track condition from 1 side of the track to the other side -eg horses run wide in wetter conditions

With Fertilization and nutrient supply, this is extremely important, as this is what helps the grass to grow, think of it as food for your grass, like food for your body – it acts the same way, eat bad food, or miss meals, you feel down and out – same as with the grass, feed it bad or not at all, it wont respond. Organic Fertilizers are great, but expensive, they also add structure to the soil, but be carefully what you use, chook poo, is very alkaline, where as moo poo is quite acidic, and the wrong type of organic fertilizer can kill your grass, or knock it for 6. Kikuyu, prefers acidic soil, – that’s why Kikuyu flourishes in Cow paddocks.

Inorganic are good but also dangerous when not used correctly, to much and they can kill, not enough and they do nothing but build up salt levels – the right fertilizers are needed for the right job.

An example, it may be the problem that could lie, is that using inorganic nitrogen fertilizer, which is high in salt, can osmosis in the grass roots, which could cause it to die to lack of water. A balance is required when it comes to fertilizer between organic and inorganic and realistically inorganic gets used most of the time as it has the most diverse range of elements and strengths, and also is cost effective and very managable.

Organic fertilizers just don’t cut the mustard when you are trying to do something special for your turf, eg, harden the grass blade for winter – yes this is very important yet I would almost say no racetracks do this over winter, and an organic fertilizer will not do that as well as many other specific fertilizer treatments – its all good to go organic – but it does not work all the time, I was schooled in Mullumbimby, so I know all about being organic and probably had the best Permiculture teach in Australia when studying Horticulture, but you have to live outside the clouds of naivety when it comes to soil science.

Lindsay touched on Aeration of soil using an aerator, great idea for the surface structure as it will allow air to go down to the roots, as roots need oxygen to survive. – Use that in conjunction with a double washed river sand base structure to then increase soil structure

Another thing that should be done, if not done already is the whole track should be scarified once a year, I doubt this would be done, as it would put a track out for at least 6 to 8 weeks – but the benefits would be 10 fold - in fact is almost as good as a new layer of turf. This removes any dead turf (Thatch) for the turf, which causes disease, soil hardness (breaks up an impermeable layer) to allow water to penetrate the surface soils to allow deeper watering, and cuts stems to increase secondary stem growth, which increases turf thickness (Ultimate Goal)

I hope this may explain why some or most of our race tracks are below par.

If you are never sure, – some of the members of Golf clubs, Bowling Greens, Tennis Courts will soon tell you if your greens are not up to their liking.

It is really a wonder the racing members, Trainers and owners of horses have put up with such poor courses for so long. It is costing the race clubs a fortune in resurfacing and drastic actions, Owners and trainers have their horses breaking down to injury or scratching them to poor or changed track conditions,

Basic Greenkeeping and Horticultural skills and knowledge that should have been practiced and allot of these problems would not be faced by racetracks today and costing the industry allot of wasted money

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Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1400m)

1st Affirmation – Mark Zahra
2nd Club Star – Linda Meech
3rd Our Kaboom – Jye McNeil

Our Kaboom was clearly best out while Lucques stepped slowly. Berlutti hurried across to join Our Kaboom in the lead with Club Star landing third. Get Ya Kicks was held working four wide by Domino VitaleRed Letter Day andShazaconi while Affirmation settled a couple of lengths away. The pace dropped right off coming to the 800m and the field bunched quickly, Club Star didn’t appear to like it and he threw the head around. Our Kaboom slowed them right down and Berlutti looked to be pulling while Red Letter Day strode up three wide. Club Star was in all sorts of trouble between horses while Affirmation crept closer just to his outside. Affirmation was the first under pressure when the sprint went on then Get Ya Kicks dropped off. Berlutti looked as though he’d go straight past Our Kaboom at the 300m but found nothing. Club Star finally got some clear running and set out after them, Red Letter Day struggled (later found to have bled) and Affirmation started to warm up. Club Star hit the lead soon after but Affirmation claimed him and put three lengths on him before easing up for a soft win. Nice horse. Our Kaboom held out Berlutti but they were safely held. Slowing up so suddenly probably didn’t help them in hindsight. Cameo Kiss made a little late ground but she’s not up to this grade.

Follow: Affirmation is very promising and Club Star wasn’t disgraced. 

Race 2: Myrtle Lineham Centenary Plate (1400m)

1st Baron Archer – Ben Melham
2nd Running Bull – Stephen Baster
3rd Yesterday’s Songs – Glen Boss

Copernicus showed good early speed to lead Running Bull who worked up to his outside. Baron Archer held the fence inside Red Samurai before Magnus Lad strode around them wider. Pyrrolic was next pushing Tommy’s Pride out of the way and Amovatio was on their back. Yesterday’s Songs settled in the last few. Copernicus kept them moving but Running Bull stayed right with him as Magnus Lad started to struggle. Baron Archer eased off their back coming to the turn and got into the clear. Tommy’s Pride tried to improve and Yesterday’s Songs got onto his back while Pyrrolic stayed closer to the inside. Running Bull went for home about 200m out and Baron Archer slowly closed in. Yesterday’s Songs wanted to lay in badly when making up ground which caused problems for Tommy’s Pride while Pyrrolic whacked away to their inside. Baron Archer stretched his big neck out in the last few strides to remain unbeaten. Running Bull was game and Yesterday’s Songs kept running on, missing that run a few weeks back might have been costly. Pyrrolic was just fair and Amovatio made a little ground but was never a threat. Tommy’s Pride wasn’t disgraced. (Click to continue reading…)

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Betting 360 Podcast - Betting From All AnglesThere are only a handful of people in the country who could honestly say that they have lived off the punt for the last 25 years.

This week’s special guest Greg Lethe is one of them, having been a professional greyhound racing punter since 1980.

He has some excellent points to share with you on this week’s edition of the Betting 360 podcast. The full transcript is below.


Punting Insights You’ll Find

  • A typical working week for a full-time gambler
  • What he learned being on track with 100 bookies in a thriving marketplace.
  • How on-course and off-course betting has evolved and how he finds value
  • The most important aspects of form study
  • The types of races in which he achieves his best returns
  • Why he focuses exclusively on betting at Wentworth Park

Today’s Guest:
Greg Lethe is a professional punter who provides his full ratings set for our Greyhound Guru package.

Get the Transcript:

>> Click Here to Read the Transcript

David Duffield: Hello. This is David Duffield. I’d like to welcome Greg Lethe to the show.
How are you, Greg?

Greg Lethe: Good day Dave. How’s things?

David Duffield: Really good, thanks, and look forward to having a chat. I’m not a greyhound expert by any means, so we’ve had plenty of discussions over the past few months, but I look forward to sharing some of that with the guys. Just tell the people a bit about your background and where you’re interest in betting came from.

Greg Lethe: Probably about twenty-five years ago, roughly, I was a hobby trainer of greyhounds and I only had a couple of dogs, no more than 2 or 3 at a time. Over a period of time training them, I realised … we won a few races but nothing sensational. Was never going to be our profession. It really worked out. I was making fair money out of other races other than my own dogs, so things just evolved. It was never a day when I said I want to punt for a living, but things just evolved to the point where I was making reasonable return on betting, and specialising just on the dogs, and was very fortunate to … probably the training, I engaged with a lot of people at the track who I learned a lot off. Twenty-five years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in that time and still going strong.

David Duffield: For how many years have you lived basically off the punt?

Greg Lethe: You’d say twenty-five years. Looking back, probably I was training in my early twenties, so that’s been almost thirty years now, so I’d say twenty-five years, surviving quite nicely just having a bet. I’d say twenty-five is a good enough guess.

David Duffield: That makes you a pretty rare commodity. Have you had to change your approach much over the years?

Greg Lethe: Absolutely.
That’s one of the most important ingredients to winning is … When I first started Sky Channel wasn’t around, there was bookmakers, 100 bookmakers in the city and there was even strong non-tab meetings that you could get enough money on, you wouldn’t even have to bet at the TAB meetings.
I’d go to four meetings. Five meetings a week, at least. Attend those meetings, buy the videos at the track. As time goes on, the whole wagering environment has changed and Sky Channel and technology’s … They’re now putting fantastic form in people’s laps.
But, at the same time, the edge that you look for has changed as well. It’s huge differences in the way I’ve changed, even betting, but that’s all about the environment you’re playing. You’ve got to be open to change, because otherwise, your advantage will just disappear very quickly.

David Duffield: We’ll talk a little later on about some of the specifics about how you rate a race, but in those days, being on the track and it was a fairly thriving industry, what did you learn from other punters, both good and bad?

Greg Lethe: That’s a big difference now too is I don’t go to the track at all and very few people do. When we did, we’d engage with a lot of trainers, punters, bookmakers, who are winners and you’d see things that they’d do and you’d see the way they’d handle races, or you’d engage with them and talk and learn a lot. How they analyse videos, even reading the personalities in the betting ring. Reading the moves. Knowing who was who. Things like that. Even trial information.
It’s a totally different beast. At the time, there was reasonable crowds event at and we could always learn from people. As you said there was also people there that you’d learn what not to do. You’d see what they’d do and you’d see the way they’d manage their money poorly or over bet on races. You pick up a lot. There’s not one particular thing. It’s a slow process of absorbing information and methods and then making it your own, in the sense of … You can learn a little bit off a lot of people but then make it your own method. What you do.

David Duffield: What do you consider to be the key characteristics of a successful gambler? A lot of guys would like to have that as their vocation, but very few achieve it and even fewer for such a length of time. What do you consider as just essential to be a successful gambler?

Greg Lethe: Probably finding edges. When I say the edge I mean it’s finding a position in the marketplace that is probably against the consensus, or against what the general market says is going to happen. That’s difficult to find, especially now because the availability of form and all the video evolved online. It’s educated a lot more people. You’ve got to have an edge. You can’t just bet with the consensus.
The old story of knowing what value is. You’ve better know what value is. You can’t create it, but recognising it. I think the only way you can do that is by having market prices for every runner, accurate market prices, and working from there.
They are the two big points. I suggest that people … There’s a myriad of other things like that. Money management and understanding your own risk positions. There’s a whole raft of qualities that you need because it’s not always a smooth path. You need to be able to cope with the ups and downs and just the day-to-day monotony of even the exercise that you’re trying to do. The races are running wall-to-wall each day and seven days a week. Qualities like that are essential to be successful in the long term.

David Duffield: Specifically about greyhound racing. What is it that you love about the dogs and also what makes it a good betting opportunity?

Greg Lethe: I love my job. I’ve always had some knowledge in the greyhounds. Probably the big difference between (and I’ve got no real knowledge of the harness and the gallops) but from from what I can see, the thing with the dogs is that they don’t run in lanes. So there’s a degree of interference that would not be accepted in the other codes. That’s one big difference.
I feel like being able read into the first five seconds of the race is also critical because the first bend comes up after about five or six seconds of each race. Knowing what’s going to happen early spells out the future of the race. If you can get the start right, you can generally determine what’s going to happen in the rest of the race.
The value aspect of the dogs probably … The total volume of the betting should be under what the gallops do. But, at the same time, the consensus market is a lot weaker than say, the Sydney or Melbourne gallop Saturday markets unless big players are involved. The markets that are put out there from the consensus is not as strong because there’s not as many professional players engaging and producing those markets.
Those that do play are not really influencing what’s going up because a lot of times, the corporates have closed those people down.
I think there’s value there. Albeit, you can’t over bet into those pools because otherwise you crush the value back out of it.
From the dog perspective versus the other two codes. That would be what I’d say are the advantages.

David Duffield: From back in the day, when you’re at the track, if was there a hundred bookies and a fair bit of liquidity in the market you tend to have more efficient prices, whereas nowadays, you’ve got a couple of price assessors working for the TAB or whoever and most of the corporates clone those to varying degrees. You say that presents opportunities as a punter?

Greg Lethe: Yeah. No one gets it right all the time and that’s across all three codes.
But, you’re exactly right. When there were 100 bookmakers at the city meeting there were a lot of people and relatively smart people developing that market. It goes up. Not even the opening market prices, but after five minutes of betting, that market’s going to be influenced by a multitude of people; punters and bookmakers. Whereas now, as you’ve correctly said, you’ve got a couple of price assessors that basically dictate the early markets. Because of the restriction on a lot of people actually changing those markets to any large degree as they can’t engage with those people putting them up those markets are basically up there and taken in as a guide when really, you need a bigger pool to develop those markets.
There’s always opportunity there to challenge those markets. As I’ve said, no one gets it right every time. But the beauty is you don’t have to, you just have to make some return on enough occasions across a period of time.
I think that’s versus the other situation where you’ve got so many people at the track that were numerous bookmakers. They did have a lot more solid position in the market.

David Duffield: People listened to this and listening the fact that you did it full time, they might be thinking that you’re betting four, five, six nights a week. But, they’ll be interested to learn you focus solely on Wentworth Park on Friday and Saturday nights.

Greg Lethe: Yeah. Other than those Friday and Saturday’s at Wentworth Park I would have a handful of bets for the rest of the year. At other tracks, I did a handful. I don’t see any need to bet more than the two nights. That can return me a nice income. It’s still quite a bit of work. The way I prepare, there’s still enough work in two nights a week.
I think you have to specialise. You have to have a fairly strong understanding of the dogs that you’re engaging. To do that, it’s going to take time. I could bet far more days a week, but I don’t particularly have the time to prepare to those meetings. And once you start running yourself a bit thin, then errors start coming into play. I’m very happy just to take two nights a week.
It also balances, I mean I’ve got a family and that time is very important to me as well. It gives me that perfect balance at the moment. Saying all that, starting out previously we used to go four or five days a week. When you’re starting out, it’s a totally different kettle of fish than when you’re at my stage now, where two nights a week is quite good to be a specialist in the Sydney market.

David Duffield: Give us an overview of how you do prepare for a meeting. Whether it’s the ratings you do for your databases at the time, videos, directional speed maps. Just and overview of the work that goes into it before you come up with your rated prices.

Greg Lethe: The biggest thing is … Finding markets, it starts way before the drawing’s even done in the sense of … I use video analysis of every dog that races at Wentworth Park. That builds up a database. That’s the starting point in the sense of without that, you can’t even take step one. Once you’ve established a reasonable database … When I say that you’re establishing early speed, directions the dog runs, what they rate across their career and their last few starts. So all that information is in my database. I download all that. Also get some trial information, which is sourced from various people around the tracks. Understand how the box draw, how the dogs are running, what their capabilities are.
Then I do directional speed maps. Speed maps occur in a number of different ways butnless you’ve got the way the dogs are going to run included in the speed maps, they, to a large degree, are not as valuable. I prepare those and rate each dog purely based on their predicted position in the race. I give it a rating number. I look at the trainer and I give a rating number to the trainer.
After all that sort of information has been sourced, I prepare through running a formula to come up with a rating for these particular races as a new events. Every race is a new event. The data comes in from previous information. Once I’ve got all that data for this new event, I create my market based on percentage. I add all the runners of the race up and divide, look at their percentage, and multiply that out to a price to around 100%. Never greater than 100%. But, usually would run in the 97-98%, to 100%. I produce a market around there. It gives a little bit bigger edge on top of the 100% market, but not a great deal.

David Duffield: Is it fair to say you’re more than happy to take on a favourite and that you enjoy what some people might call a tough race?

Greg Lethe: Yeah. I actually love the races where at the meetings, there’s numerous chances in the race. I rarely back favourites. I don’t set out to oppose favourites. Just the way my market’s turned out, I’ve found most of the time I’m rarely on a favourite because, although I’ve marked them as my favourite and all other cases, not always but a lot of cases, I probably mark them a little bit longer than consensus markets follows them. My major results are happening when the favourites are usually getting beat and I’m probably finding that dogs, where the second, or third, or fourth favourite are winning races. That’s just the way my market’s turned out. It’s not something I set out to do. It’s just the way that … I’ve found over time that’s the way falls into place.
There are definitely dogs I would oppose. I don’t go through Betfair to lay them because it’s not really the liquidity for me. At the same time, there’s definitely dogs there that the market finds well under what I find them at. In that case, I don’t oppose them on bets but I oppose them through my own staking away from that.

David Duffield: Yeah, you’re betting around them.
Tell us about the post-race reviews that you do. We’ve often encouraged people to not let a race go by and they think that’s the end of it. There’s some good learnings that can be heard from analysing those again after the event. Tell us about the work you do because you probably take it to a new level.

Greg Lethe: I actually agree with what you just said. It’s basically vitally important that … I do it for a number of reasons. I look at every single bet. I wouldn’t say every single exotic bet, but every single bet that I’ve had on a dog. After the meeting, I go through every single race and try and analyse where I got it right or where I got it wrong. I try and look at why I did it, because that’s when you learn. You’re making a repetitive error. Even if you’re making a repetitive good decision, you need to reinforce that in your mind.
The other reason I do it, is that I think in punting you need to have a fairly fresh mental approach to things so I, in a sense, put the meeting to bed by doing that. Win, lose, or draw, you don’t want to be dwelling on it, because the next meeting is coming up next week. You need to be ready for that. Even if you have a fantastic night, you don’t want to go around high-fiving yourself all week. You want to put it to rest, move on, and get back to work to look to the next meeting and vice versa. If it’s a poor meeting, you don’t want to be down in the dumps all week because you need to be ready for the next Friday. I find the post race analysis that I do, the post mortem, is basically looking at every single race and every single bet and asking the questions, “Why? What did I do? Why did I do it?” It really helps on a number of levels. It’s a learning curve but also a mental cleansing, in a way, of putting things to rest.

David Duffield: Give me some really good insights into how you operate and your background. It’s exciting news we’ve got you on board as our greyhound guy and we’ve never had a greyhound service before in our communications issues.
It’s been pretty clear of the success you’ve had. I think you enjoyed what you’ve seen in what we’re trying to achieve. Even from our much recent product launch was Ben Krahe and the harness service. I think we can replicate that and he’s been incredibly successful over the last three months. I think we can replicate that here with your set.
Just a run-through of what people will get, it will be the Friday and Saturday night meeting, which has been Wentworth Park for a long time but I believe will include the occasionail Dapto meeting over the next year.
It will be the full ratings for every runner, a comment. We’ll run a live page in the lead-up to the night. On the night itself, Greg is busy punting so he needs to switch that off. Probably, say around 5:00pm to 7:00pm, we’ll have the live page that people can ask any questions on early odds to take and the best way to attack certain races. That’s really exciting news for people who want to get on board to do that. But it’s not going to suit every single punter so I want to ask you Greg, which type of punter do you think would get the most out of that service such as this?

Greg Lethe: I think the person who’s got a long-term vision is the ideal person of probably any service. The person who’s looking for high value because the value will be there.
I’ll try and guide people as much as I can.
It will be Friday and Saturday night, the person who’s best suited is someone who understand the ups and downs and has a long-term vision of making a reasonable return on their money.
I’ll obviously try and help as much as I can to answer the questions, because it’s all about education. That’s one of the things I’ve loved about your service in general. There’s a lot of educational information that you offer without driving it down someone’s throat. It’s for people looking for long-term value and success – I think we can provide that for them. Even in the new marketplace, with the harness release, you’ve had great success there. It gives a new direction, new opportunity for people just to expand things and they can increase their earnings without increasing their bet unit substantially.

David Duffield: Yeah, really looking forward to it.
We’ll kick it off very very soon. Probably tomorrow night, by the time that people are listening to this.
We do need to cap the membership limit once again though. It’s a metro market, but it’s not a massive one. If we’ve got a whole bunch of guys backing the same dog at the same time it can influence the market and we prefer to have a small winning clientele than have a massive amount of people that are basically fighting amongst themselves for a price. We are going to put a strict cap on that as we’ve done for a couple of our other services.
Is there anything else you think people should know before we wrap it up, Greg?

Greg Lethe: No. That sounds like a good overview of what we’re attempting to do.
I think you’re right about the restricting it to some degree, because it’s all about value and it becomes a bit too widespread in the smaller marketplaces you’re just going to be cannibalising each other and the value goes away very quickly. We’ve all got to ensure value as the end mission. That’s great.
I’m glad to have a chat and glad to be on board. We’ll be absolutely out there doing our best to produce some results.

David Duffield: Sounds great. Appreciate your time today. Look forward to working together and getting a bunch of winners from you for the next months and years.

Greg Lethe: Thanks Dave.

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Flemington review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: HKJC Handicap (1200m)

1st Tan Tat Diamond – Luke Nolen
2nd Raposo – Michelle Payne
3rd Beluga Caviar – Dwayne Dunn

Dupe ‘Em jumped awkwardly and went back, refusing to settle early on. Beluga Caviar was one of the leaders on the inside with Lola LuFitna and Lean ‘N’ MeanTan Tat Diamond strode along the widest on the track and Dupe ‘Em eventually found his back. Raposo tracked Beluga Caviar who looked under pressure as far out as the 600m and raced greenly. Gloop made a dash that was short lived and Beluga Caviar responded to hard riding. Fitna was one of the first beaten and only whacked away. Tan Tat Diamond raced to lead at the 200m then hit a flat spot, Raposo got an inside run and Dupe ‘Em tried to go with them. Tan Tat Diamond held about a long neck advantage for the last 100m or so and just lasted to beat Raposo who kept kicking and Beluga Caviar might have beaten them both if the race was much further as he rallied strongly. Dupe ‘Em was right on their heels and they got away from the rest.

Follow: Good runs the first four, particularly the $1.2m colt Beluga Caviar and Dupe ‘Em who should both appreciate 1400m.
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Weekend Racing Reviews – July 12th

by darryn on July 14, 2014

Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Taj Rossi Final (1600m)

1st Crafty – Mark Zahra
2nd Triple Gold – Luke Nolen
3rd Zebulon – Glen Boss

Vuelta was one of the best out and headed to the lead with Jinx following him over. Lotion raced handy outside La CicciolinaZebulon went forward from his wide gate and was about to get some cover when What A Hoot kicked up and left him stranded three and four deep. Profit Share settled midfield on the fence but ran onto heels and over-raced. The pressure went on early with Zebulon moving up four wide to join the leaders on the turn. Vuelta had a little kick at the 400m and shook off Jinx and Lotion but Zebulon kept coming and loomed up about 200m out. But down the outside came Profit Share, who got clear after being shuffled back nearing the turn, Crafty and Triple Gold. Zebulon finally got past Vuelta inside the 100m but had nothing left after the hard run and Crafty and Triple Gold swamped him with Crafty just holding on to win. Zebulon held third in a huge performance just ahead of the eye-catcher Allergic, who ran home from last. Profit Share probably isn’t a 1600m horse but battled on and nothing wrong with the runs of Vuelta and Lotion who were also close up. It’d be a big surprise if this isn’t an excellent form race.
Follow: the first seven were all good performances but Zebulon and Allergic stood out.
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Betting 360 Podcast - Betting From All Angles
In part one of the ‘Framing a market’ podcast last week we had pro punter (and former bookmaker) Ben Krahe explain his approach to rating every runner in the race.

This week we have the contrasting view of Rick Williams, our Senior Form Analyst here at Champion Picks.

He operates very differently to Ben so it’s good to learn more about another way a professional goes about the business of finding value.


Punting Insights You’ll Find

  • Some of the methods and people who have influenced Rick’s approach
  • The process of turning raw data into a rated price
  • When to incorporate subjective assessments
  • How he decides which races to bet into and which to avoid

Get the Transcript:

**Click Here to Read the Transcript**

David Duffield: Let’s have a chat about framing your market and market percentages. How do you explain to people that are semi-serious punters or even just a casual punter, how do you explain market percentages to them?

Rick Williams: Basically I think the simplest analogy is … How much it’s going to cost you to return a hundred dollars, so if you had a hundred percent market and you were to back every horse would cost you a hundred dollars to return a hundred, proportionately, or if the bookie’s market were say a hundred and thirty percent, then you were to back all of those horses, it would cost you a $130 dollars to get back your $100. That’s obviously where a wider margin help to make themselves some money. We try and keep it up, our market, around 100% and in our favor.

David Duffield: Do you care whether it’s 108% market in Sydney on a Saturday, or whether it’s 135% on a midweeker. Does that come into your thinking at all?

Rick Williams: Look, I think it does but I guess it’s relative to what your rating the horses, and I guess where you sort of might be getting a lot of value for your money if it is 135%, but you do like one, you might want to go to hard in that race, but if you’ve got a really competitive market such as Sydney where they get down to 108 or 105 to 108 on a Saturday. That’s good value and good shopping, so you might want to attack it and spend up there because you’re getting good value for your money from the marketplace, and if you’re backing horses that you think are value also, then in turn you’re getting value again.

David Duffield: So the markets that we put out are framed to 100%, and there might be some that are 99 and a half or 100 and a half depending on some rounding … I had a chat with Ben Krahe, the harness racing analyst, and he frames his markets to 120% and then uses a spreadsheet to bring that back to 100. A lot of that comes down to pushing the outsiders out to an even bigger price. Do you just work the whole time with a 100% market?

Rick Williams: Pretty much. I mean I’ve got a function where I can make it whatever I want just at the push of a button, I sort of work around that, and I have a couple of prices, so when I sort of create the market, I’ll have a price that will come up on a few different factors, and sort of will help me understand. For example, I might have a horse come up 5000-to-1 or something like that on one particular scale, and then that will, I guess as you said, he will penalize the other horses, while I’ve sort of got those types of indicators in there to tell me rating set A says this is 5000-to-1, rating set B says it’s 100-to-1, well we can probably make it longer than a 100-to-1, so there’s a couple of different ways to look at it, but certainly the longshots should be longer, generally speaking, looking at the markets.

David Duffield: You’ve got a hell of a lot of data there to work with. Some of it’s publicly available form, some of it’s by subscription, like Vince Accardi and then some of it’s developed internally like the class, speed and the base ratings. How do you go from the raw data into a rated price?

Rick Williams: It’s a process that I first got into through reading a lot of books from Don Scott, which is probably something that we’ve said a lot of times, and probably what a lot of people would say. In his teachings, I guess the ratings, the side of how he would develop a rating, one of the valuable pieces of information within those books is a start on how to develop and frame a market, and turn those numbers into a price, and then from going on and doing that and having an understanding of how the maths works and how all the numbers are relative to each other and margins between the ratings, you then get a further understanding and can then I guess have more sleepless nights and develop other techniques! Really I guess it was just for me getting a basic knowledge, which is readily available to anyone if you want to Google and do the research. It’s all online, and from there, you know, building on that and developing your own theories.

David Duffield: Yeah, because it’s dramatically different to what he was doing years ago, not only in I suppose the inputs or what’s considered important, but even the process that we go through. But that’s when you’ve got your L-plates on and a lot of people start there. So you’ve got the data and those various different assessments, and they can have different ratings into the final price. What part does your subjective judgment, your experience, and your opinion, play in the final rated price?

Rick Williams: Look, I sort of run a formula and it tells me at least the numbers, and then I sort of go over and we’ve got an automatic function that could produce a map, but I sort of go over that, and will put in the spreadsheet just to get a clearer picture, and sort of from there you can sort of picture horses that might be advantaged or disadvantaged, so you may make an adjustment there for how much of an advantage or disadvantage you think the horse will have. If it will be leading, or if it will be last, in regards to jockeys or other things, there’s other ways that you could obviously use your own decision making, but pretty much your numbers are your numbers, and you’ve got to believe in them and stick with your processes and I guess as you go along and get a bank of information you can go back and learn more about different things about your numbers and different ranges and zones of accuracy, so they will teach you lessons, as well as things like your general fundamentals. Is the horse going to handle the track? Is it going to run the distance? Is it going to get across from the barrier? So certainly all those things also come into play.

David Duffield: So Vince and yourself have the same mindset in that the data that’s going into it, you’d like to leave … raw’s probably not the word, pure might be a better word in that you don’t want to make massive adjustments for luck in running and the like, but what about when if you’ve come up with the base rating based on the algorithm that you’ve developed, how much room is there to move into tweaking that rated price, or is it more about if you don’t have confidence in whatever the output is, it might just be a race that you pass on, rather than dramatically changing the rating?

Rick Williams: I guess ideally you want horses that stand out on variable factors, and that’s sort of what you’re looking for, so you’re looking for horses that stand out on the different measurements, and they’re sort of the ones you hone in on. You get a lot of races where you might have 12 or 15 runners, and certainly there’s a few runners there that are overlays, but they might not map too well, and on the raw information there isn’t really that big of a gap in ability on what the information’s telling us, so there might be a length or two different over four or five runners, so I guess generally speaking, if you ran the race a lot of times, you would get a lot of outcomes.
We try and isolate where we think that more often than not we do have that edge from a factor we’re looking at that will sort of hold us in good stead in the long term, and I guess Nautical was, just as an example, on the rankings ranked really well, and that was the only horse on our scale that was over 100 and it was well clear of the next, so that’s what we’re looking at, not just the rankings or where they are or the price, but how much better is the information saying the horse actually is?

David Duffield: Yeah, and that’s what we use internally, Tips and Ratings members get the rankings, but we have the actual rating itself, just to see the differential from one horse to the next, or in other races, there might be a couple of standout runners, and then a massive gap to the next horse.

Rick Williams: Yeah the rankings are good because they give you a very quick overview I guess of the race because when you’re looking at 78.9, 68.2, 50.4, if it wasn’t colour-coded and ranked, it’s very hard to get a quick understanding of exactly what you’re trying to deal with, but I guess from a usability point of view, the ranking and the colour coding just really gives you an opportunity to hone in and see the race from a different angle, and then you can go and work with your numbers.

David Duffield: And you mentioned Nautical as a standout, but there are some races where there isn’t a lot between a few of the runners. It’s not often that we or anyone backs a 100-to-1 winner, talk us through the Beeleeup race and how the speed rating was a standout there, and how it came up as an overlay.

Rick Williams: Yeah, it was just a standout. He came through two races where it was beaten by Il Cavalo, and it didn’t rank really that high on class, but if we sort of measured it on class, it was probably too short at 100-to-1, but when I looked at the speed, and sort of how fast the horse had been running, and certainly factored that in, and looking at those two things as purely independent measurements, there was no doubt that Il Cavalo is a horse that had promised a lot early on and sort of had a few issues, but does look to be back in very, very good form, and I think the traditional class methods sort of didn’t highlight the strength of those two Il Cavalo wins, but certainly it was picked up when evaluating how fast the horses were running, and Beeleeup was clearly on top for speed, but we also have to balance it out with the class and factor in other things, so just because it’s on top on speed, you can’t just make it an even money favorite. There’s other things, but certainly it came out around $34 and we’re lucky enough to get it over the line.

David Duffield: So you’ve got the ratings that said there’s an automated aspect and then your own assessments, then what’s involved in the decision making as far as which races to get involved in betting wise?

Rick Williams: I think that certainly you want to make sure that your horses are suited, and I guess suited means there’s no query on them running the distance. They’re going to get a good run, they’ve got a good jockey on them, or I’ve got a jockey you may not rate as high as some of the others, I sort of am a believer that the less decisions a lesser jockey has to make, the better, so if you like a horse with a lesser jockey, you probably want a good draw and a good map, as opposed to a good horse with a lesser jockey, and a bad draw, and a bad map, so you’re looking at different things like that, and certainly where the horses are at in there preparation. Are they able to repeat their recent efforts, or are they over the top, are they ready yet for the trip, or are they half a run short? I guess no matter how much you sort of try and get the computer to do the work for you, there’s still definitely an element of touch, of going over, and it’s hard to escape half a dozen basic fundamentals we are all brought up with, but I guess it’s how we work those fundamentals from to get your final rating.

David Duffield: So you’ve chosen the race to get involved in, what about the decision making as far as backing a full stake on a runner versus wanting it on your side as a saver.

Rick Williams: Yeah, I think certainly to back your top raters is something that I like to do, and I generally like to take on a horse that I rank on top, even if it’s sort of not at a price, generally it’s not a horse I’d like to take on unless there’s some others that are pretty close, I tend to pass on those races, otherwise if they tick all the boxes and the price is there, certainly the top rater would generally get locked in as a main bet, and then quite possibly we’ll look to back another horse or save on the others, keeping in mind that we don’t want to be spending too much money. On each race, the strategy is to try and probably average around two units, but it all depends on what we think the price should be and what’s available, so sometimes it might only be one bet and spend 1.2 units, other times we might be really confident we’ve got the race wrapped up in two, and we might spend a bit more, say 2.8, so generally speaking, you try and keep it around the same level of risk per race, but there are times where you can go either way and spend less or more.

David Duffield: Yeah, and very few people, at least that I’ve spoken to, would look at the odds before doing the form, they wouldn’t look at the market, and then work backwards from there. Almost everyone wants a fresh set of eyes, and they come up with their own analysis and then compare it to the market, but once you’ve done that, do you use the market in any way as a guide? What impact does the currently available odds play once you’ve got the rated price finalised?

Rick Williams: For me, it’s a big impact because I sort of look at it and generally there can be discrepancies, and I like to know why there’s a discrepancy, so what it does is it gives you an opportunity to compare your work to someone else’s. I may have a horse at $16 and the market may have it at $4, and you know it’s interesting to go over and check why. What have we missed? So it’s certainly good for that, and certainly when you’re around your studying process, all of your databases, the closing market certainly is very accurate guide long-term, so I think that certainly once you’ve done your markets, you can’t ignore what the market is doing, and you do need to pay attention to that and make adjustments where necessary, and double-check your work and make sure you haven’t missed anything because sometimes you can miss things.

David Duffield: But in that scenario where you’ve rated something $16 and the market’s $4, if you go back and do all the work, and you’re just confident that your assessments stand up and you haven’t missed anything, you’ll stay rock solid at $16 and let the race decide who’s right and who’s wrong?

Rick Williams: Pretty much. You just want to make sure that you haven’t missed anything and if you think you’re right, then you just sort of got to back yourself. You might think you’re half right and they’re half right, some things aren’t black and white, some things are grey, so you might do a bit of a merge, so not everything’s black and white in racing, so you might not think that the horse lost that much ground when it was held up. The market might think it lost enough ground for it to be that price, so you sort of might agree to disagree and meet in the middle, so there’s a lot of different ways to sort of do it, but I think certainly the most important thing is just really looking at the market before you dive in at the value prices, cross-check your work and make sure you’ve got it all in line.

David Duffield: Good stuff, alright. We’ll leave it there for now. I just thought it was interesting to get some insight into the way you go about it. A lot of people operate differently. I’m not saying that there’s one right way of doing it, it’s just to give some insight into our approach, and hopefully people gain some insight from that.

Rick Williams: Yep, no problems.

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Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Ascend Sales Trophies (1100m)

1st Royal Snitzel – Dale Smith
2nd Zeletto – Brad Rawiller
3rd Berlutti – Glen Boss

Berlutti pushed through along the inside to take up the running from stablemate Royal Snitzel with Tudor caught three wide. Zelettowas also stranded deep when Tudor eased and Kilim kicked up underneath him. Tan Tat Sun didn’t jump the best and was in the second half settling. Berlutti ran them along in front and Royal Snitzel had a dream sit behind him. Tudor and Kilim were under pressure and Zeletto travelled okay peeling out wider to run on. They broke the field up a little, Tan Tat Sun was the widest running on and lost a length being checked nearing the turn. Royal Snitzel claimed Berlutti early in the straight and after racing a bit greenly put her mind on the job and broke away. Zeletto was also a bit wayward but made a strong late bid. Berlutti clung on for third ahead of the eye-catcher Tan Tat Sun who made a heap of ground. Nothing else ran on as Tudor held on for fifth, well clear of the rest.

Follow: Zeletto may have been beaten by the barrier. Big run Tan Tat Sun. 

Race 2: The Cove Hotel Handicap (1100m)

1st Thiamandi – Joe Bowditch
2nd Jemerica – Chris Symons
3rd Maroon Bay – Dwayne Dunn

Jemerica had played up in the stalls prior to jumping but broke pretty well. Maroon Bay showed speed from her inside alley to leadThiamandi, who wasn’t pressed to find the front as usual. Miss Procyon sat three wide outside them and Astro Miss even further out.Just Too Hard held the box seat and Mezeray Miss was in that bunch. Whistle Baby had no speed and was being hard ridden at the tail a long way out. Maroon Bay had it comfortably coming to the turn and was being stalked by Thiamandi. Those chasing the leaders were under some pressure. Mezeray Miss got through in plenty of time and she was followed by Jemerica. Judicial Rock tried to run on ouyt wide but her run was short lived. Thiamandi went straight past Maroon Bay about 250m out, Mezeray Miss was flat and Jemerica made ground inside her, Just Too Hard stuck on but never threatened. Thiamandi held a clear margin on Jemerica with Maroon Bay holding third. Thiamandi looked strong chasing a leader but have to question the depth of the race. Whistle Baby, who was in the margin, didn’t give a yelp but did pull up with an issue.  (Click to continue reading…)

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Betting 360 Podcast - Betting From All Angles
Ben Krahe spent many years framing markets as a bookie and backing his judgement against some of the big players.

In recent times he has made his living as a professional punter focusing on harness racing.

So he’s in a great position to share his insights into how to frame a market and rate every runner in the race.

Punting Insights You’ll Find

  • Market percentages explained in layman’s terms
  • Why framing a market as a bookie requires a different mindset to that of a punter
  • Some of the most important factors he considers when doing the form
  • Why he starts with a 120% market before bringing that back to 100%
  • The reason he backs every single overlay

Get the Transcript:

**Click Here to Read the Transcript**

David Duffield: All right Ben, how are you going?

Ben Krahe: Good thanks Dave, yourself?

David Duffield: Yeah, going really well, thanks. I just wanted to get you back on the podcast to talk about framing your market and percentages. I had a few questions along those lines recently so if you’re talking to a novice punter or more of a weekend punter, how do you even explain market percentages?

Ben Krahe: That’s a good question. To put it in layman’s terms, if a bookmaker is betting 120%, in theory the bookmaker should win 20%. I mean, that’s in theory and all things being equal and that’s if they lay the same amount of money to lose a certain amount on every horse, then the bookmaker will in theory make 20%.

This never happens because a bookmaker will never lay every horse for the same amount of money but in theory, that’s the basis behind it.

David Duffield: All right so when they talk about a 100% market, in theory you can back every runner and come out square.

Ben Krahe: Correct.

David Duffield: So 120%, the market’s framed in favor of the bookmaker. What about, as an analyst or putting together a market where you’re trying to find overlays, what percentage are you framing your market to?

Ben Krahe: I always do a market to 120 or 130% originally. It’s just because, being an ex-bookmaker it’s just the way I was brought to do it and that way the other bookmakers usually go up about the same.
What I do then is I convert it to a 100% market and that way anything that we get which is over the odds, we theoretically should be making money. As long as, of course, I’ve rated it correctly.

David Duffield: All right, is it just the bookmaking background or how have you found that to be a better system to do 120% and then bring it back to 100 as opposed to just starting there?

Ben Krahe: The way I do it is, I’ve also developed a spreadsheet which sort of changes things. If you just do a straight 100% market, I’ll give you an example. I might mark something 100 to 1 but when I put it through my spreadsheet it might spit it out at 500 or 600 to 1, which is probably it’s real chance in a 100% market.

If you’re just going to frame a straight 100% market, are you really going to mark something for 600 to 1? I’m not too sure that you will so I like to do it at the 120, 130%. I whack it through my spreadsheet, which has got a couple little secrets in it involving the long-shot favorite bias as we’ve discussed on this program many times.

It’s not a straight conversion 100% but what it does is, it stretches the long-shots out a little bit more and it brings the favorites in a little bit more.

David Duffield: On the punting side, did you have a look at framing 90% or 95% or is it more, always do it at 100% and then just back all the overlays?

Ben Krahe: Look, there’s a few ways to do it. I’ve got a couple of friends who are professional punters that frame markets 80% and that way they have a lot less bets. It’s just whatever suits you and the way that we’re doing it at the moment, I’m happy just to, I like to have a bit of a play every race. This way we have a bet in every race.

If you’re doing 80%, you’re probably only going to have 2 or 3 bets a day. If that’s the way you want to go, that’s well and good but for the purpose of I suppose a little bit of entertainment as well, this way we get a little play in every race.

At the moment we’re making 15% on the first 2 months. If we can continue to do that and be able to have a bet in pretty much every race I think we’re going to make some money and have a bit of fun doing it at the same time.

David Duffield: Yeah, 15% is an excellent result. When you talk about betting into every race, just in case people missed the earlier podcast, you’re really specialized though, in terms of what is it, 3 meetings a week and a very restricted number of tracks that you focus on?

Ben Krahe: That’s correct. I only bet in the city area of New South Wales so that’s predominantly Menangle. Then we’ll go to Newcastle and Tamworth where the pool of horses, there’s only a certain amount of horses there and they run around against each other every week.

It’s pretty much like Hong Kong racing, where there might only be 200 horses in that area and they just run against each other all the time. If we concentrate on the one area, the form lines are going to stack up.

I do some work also for Victoria trots but it’s a lot harder to price because there’s probably 20 tracks in Victoria and they can come from everywhere. They could never race against each other again. Whereas, where we do them on a Tuesday and Saturday at Menangle, they’re racing against each other all the time and then we go to Newcastle and the Tamworth area where the same horses run against each other.

That way, we’re not worrying about anything out in the Western Districts, out Bathurst way. We’re not worrying about anything down in the Riverina. We’re just sticking to the same pool of horses 3 times a week and we can have some fun and make some money.

David Duffield: Sounds like a good plan. That’s the market percentage side of things but how do you even turn the form or raw data, into rated prices? What’s the process that you go through when doing that?

Ben Krahe: This is something that takes a lot of practice. I mean, I can pretty much do a race in 10 minutes and do it pretty accurately if not even quicker now. It helps to know the horses inside out and that’s why we do stick to those tracks.

I’m sure the clients we have now will, even if they were trot people, they’ll be hearing these same names and watching them and now even getting an idea of their form these days so knowing the horse inside out is the first thing.

The 2 main things I really look for are speed maps and I also look to see what price they were and whether they were backed in the market last start in a similar type class. First of all I’ll do a quick speed map and look for what horses are going to be in the top 3 because it’s 80% or something of the top 3 horses will win every race. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter what track you’re running on, if you’re running around the old Sydney Showgrounds or you’re running at Menangle.

Most of the time the winner will come from the top 3 horses. They’re the ones I want to look at. Secondly, I’ll go through the field and I’ll pull out what I think are genuine winning chances and I’ll pull out what I think are absolute no chances. The ones in between, we’ll worry about them later but what I want to do is try and pinpoint which horse is the favorite or the top 2 or 3 chances and I want to pinpoint the ones that have got absolutely no chance whatsoever.

David Duffield: With 120% to distribute amongst the field, are you thinking in terms of percentage chance as far as allocating 30%?

Ben Krahe: Correct. Yeah, exactly. Like if you think, let’s just use some names that we know, if you think Smoken Up’s running on the weekend and you think it’s a deadset 50% chance to win the race. In theory, if you’re firming the market at 120%, you’ve got to make it whatever 60% is. If you know what I mean so you want to have … That’s the way it works. You’ve got to judge on how much percent you think that horse has a chance of winning.

Basically, without sort of getting too involved in it, what I will do is I’ll go back to its last start and if this horse was even money against the same horses, it won the race, it’s got a similar barrier. There was no bad luck stories behind it, it was just a normal race. It was even money and it won the race and it’s got a similar barrier again.

This week, I imagine it’s probably going to be $1.60, $1.70 without even reading too much into it. Then similar with a long-shot. If it was 50 to 1 in the same race and it drew barrier 2 and it’s got barrier 2 again this week against the same horses and it ran 8th, I’m probably going to make it 100 to 1 this week or even 200 to 1, if you know what I mean.

I’m sort of hoping that the form sort of stacks up and I will go on whatever happened last week with its price in a similar class and I will adjust accordingly.

David Duffield: Okay and then what part does your own judgment or your own experience play in it? Because some people are quite reliant on what the data is telling them but with your approach it sounds like it’s a lot more just the years experience you’ve got punting and bookmaking.

Ben Krahe: It is and that’s something that’s probably 10 or 20% is just, I know it’s a stupid thing to say, it’s probably just feel if you know what I mean. You can just have a feel about a race. You might know that a good driver’s on for a bad driver and you’ve got to factor something into the price for that or the barriers are switched this time or the pace was run wrong, slow last time or the pace was fast last time or this horse has come from winning at Penrith which is a small track, to Menangle.

These are sort of things you’ve just got to factor in and judge whether or not to make this horse that was $3.00 last week, to make it $3.50 this week or to make it $2.50 or vice versa.

I place a lot of credence on what price the horse was last week but I also decide on whether that was the right price last week, if you know what I mean. If something went around at $2.00 last week, should it have been $2.00 last week? Yes or no. Then I’ll judge what it should be this week, pretty much going on what it did last week and what price it was.

I also like to, I think where there’s smoke there’s fire. If something was 5 to 1 in the even money last week and it only ran third, there was probably a reason they backed it so I will take that into account when I price it this week.

David Duffield: All right so you do your market to 120%, you then use the spreadsheet to bring that back to 100%.

Ben Krahe: Yep.

David Duffield: Then, I was going to say how do you decide which races to get involved in but your approach is different. Once you’ve done that work, you’re happy to bet into every race and back every overlay.

Ben Krahe: Look, if I’ve priced the race, for me there’s a price for every runner and there is a price for every runner. If you’re confident enough to price the race why should you not bet in it? It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2 year-old trot or it’s the Inter Dominion.

For mine, if you have bothered to take the time to price a race and you’ve given every horse a price, then you’ve got to be confident enough that those prices are right. It doesn’t really matter who’s running or what type of race it is.

David Duffield: You’ll take 1 cent over your rated price but you won’t take 1 cent under.

Ben Krahe: Correct because it’s a 100% market we’re doing so would you take $1.99 about a coin flip? Even if 8 heads had just come up and you reckon tails is about to come up, would you take $1.99 about it?

David Duffield: No.

Ben Krahe: Exactly.

David Duffield: What about the perspective of punting versus bookmaking. When you’re framing your markets, is it a different process or a different way of thinking from what you were doing in the bookmaking world? Being the first to go up on a number of events to what you do now as pretty much a standalone punter?

Ben Krahe: It’s 100% different, bookmaking and punting. Not that there’s actually much bookmaking done now these days anyway but in a real world, if something’s $1.10, even if you think it’s over the line, you still want to be laying that because that’s your best chance of making money but you still need to lay it at the right price.

As far as the bookmaking perspective goes, if you think something’s an even money chance, well you’ll put up even money. Then you’ll get a nibble and you’ll go $1.09 and you’ll get a nibble and you’ll go $1.08 and you want to average that price down as far as possible.

If I’m punting, I’m a very aggressive marker when I punt so like I said, if I think something’s a 100 or 200 to 1 chance when I put it through my spreadsheet, I’m not going to back it until it’s … I probably wouldn’t back it because you’re not going to get 1000 to 1 but as a bookmaker, do you really want to be laying 50 to 100 to 1 shot? Because there’s just no upside for you.

If someone had $10.00 on a 100 to 1 shot, do you really need the $10.00 that much that you’re willing to give away $1000? For me, I always didn’t want to lay long-shots too much because the up-side is just not there for you.

David Duffield: You mentioned earlier that even at a 120% market, the bookies never get their dream of laying all runners and just claiming their over-round.

Ben Krahe: Look, it can be the Melbourne Cup where everyone in the world’s betting and they might have 3 or 4 horses that they’ve actually probably really laid you know, the days of real bookmaking are gone. It’s more of a trading thing now and that’s why you’ll find that nearly every bookmaker’s banning a lot of people because all they do is play heads.

If anyone’s smart they’ll get rid of you and this way it doesn’t really matter if they lose $10,000 on one race because they know that the punter’s going to give it straight back. That’s more trading now, there’s hardly any bookmaking goes on whatsoever.

David Duffield: Yep. What about market intelligence? I think some of the bigger players in the horse racing field have come up with their own rated prices but they will factor in what the market’s telling them.
You’re happy just to back your own judgment and ignore the market’s not the right way because you’re backing your overlays but there’s no component of what you do … The currently available odds don’t play any part in that.

Ben Krahe: No, look, you have to back your prices. If I’ve marked something $5.00 and it comes up even money, I’ve got to hope that I’ve got it right and that there’s a reason why. With the way that the bookmaking [quorum 14:09] is at the moment, we will probably get that stuff right more than wrong, because inevitably you’ll find the TAB might be the one going up even money and it’s basically, every one will copy them.

They might go $2.10 or they might go $1.90 but they’ll pretty much copy their prices so what you’ll find is you’re actually just playing one-on-one. It’s one person’s opinion at the TAB versus my opinion and if we get it right and they get it wrong, we’re going to come up with some good spoils.

It’s not like the old days where everyone was doing form. You’d go to the track and there’d be 30 bookmakers and they’re all doing form and 1 guy might be even money, the next guy might be $3.00 and whatever else. Now the TAB will go up and everyone will just follow 5 cents either side so if the first person who was doing the prices has got it wrong, if we can expose that, that’s where we’re going to make money.

David Duffield: It can be in the trots world, probably more so than Metro Races, it can be quite a bit of volatility in the prices.

Ben Krahe: It’s nothing like the races. The races are, if something is $7.00 into $5.00 on a Saturday at Flemington that’s a big go. The TAB has no problem with going $6.00 to $1.50 for the trots, it just happens. Basically that’s just the way it is and that’s because there is no one doing form anymore. That’s the simple reason.

There’s one person doing form and like myself, if I stuff it up we’re going to get it wrong and if I was bookmaking stuff it up and I’m the only person in the world putting a price up, of course you’re going to get it wrong half the time and the TAB are going to get it wrong half the time too.

Hopefully that’s when we find the ones that they get wrong. We’ll get some wrong as well but if we find the ones they get wrong and really punish them for it, that’s where we make money. What we want to do is eliminate those horses that have got no chance.

The TAB will put up… There was a prime example yesterday. It was a 6 horse race, the TAB put up 25 to 1 about a horse that I marked 300 to 1 before I even put it through my spreadsheet. For mine it had no chance of winning. They could have ran that race 300 times and it might have won a race. Now the TAB’s gone up 25 to 1, they’re saying it’s going to win 4 races in 100. There was no chance it was going to happen.

If we can find 2 or 3 of those per race, that’ll add up to 10%. Now, that’s 10% error the TAB has made and if we’re going to make 10 to 15% every month, that’s where we’re going to make it. We’re going to find the ones that they haven’t priced right.

David Duffield: Good stuff. We’ll leave it there for now. Hopefully that’s given guys a good insight into the market standards and also how you go about forming a market. Not saying that suits everyone but yeah, I think it’s been really insightful so I appreciate your time.

Ben Krahe: Look, it depends however you want to do it but I think the first thing you’ve got to do is, you’ve got to find what horses are up the front and you’ve got to find what horses are in the market and then you build your market around that.

I always try and … You go though the race, you have a look what’s in the race, find out what you think’s going to be favorite. Work out a price from that and then you can adjust your prices around that.

David Duffield: Makes perfect sense. All right Ben, appreciate your time, thanks very much.

Ben Krahe: Thanks Dave, have a good day mate.

David Duffield: Cheers, bye.

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Racing NSW & AWC in standoff for punters dollar
 
By Scott Woodward

So we have Racing NSW and the Australian Wagering Council swapping media releases in an endeavor to each maximize their booty from punters.

Both boards would not be in existence if not for punters but nobody has actually asked a punter what he thinks. It would be ideal if a punter like Ken Callander or Kingsley Bartholomew was invited to sit on these boards so there would be some objectivity and balance then perhaps a mutual agreement could be reached, even better, a bookie who fields at a race track and a non-professional punter.

RNSW are doing their best to kill off every bookie by taxing them on turnover so that they only have their beloved TAB, and the bookies are re-acting by limiting bets and sacking winning punters. The losers here are the punters, or the authorities the “Goose that lays the golden egg”.

You would think that the industry authority would encourage bookies to turnover more cash and grab their slice of the pie based on the profits, but the more any bookie grows their business the more they will be taxed. This is the brain child of RNSW, the same “brains” that have allowed the TAB to market their digital sports and racing product called TRACKSIDE and take market share off the industry.

That’s right folks,” Trackside is an animated racing product that combines thoroughbred and greyhound racing with fixed returns on Win, Place, Quinella, Trifecta and First 4 on make believe digital races.

There is only so many punting dollars available and “Trackside “is a direct competitor for it, but due to the incompetent negotiations between RNSW and the TAB, a zero product fee is paid, which means that no money comes back into the industry, in fact, it takes market share and RNSW will only allow the TAB to advertise on their tracks. Go figure the logic in that!

While RNSW have shown a total lack of vision when applying a product fee to bookies as well as giving the TAB a dream rails run with “Trackside”, which will strip hundreds of millions from the REAL industry, they have at least finally started to listen to the many complaints from punters and have put in place a policy that will force bookies to take a bet from any punter and bet to lose a set minimum amount.

The Australian Wagering Council or maybe I should call them the “Overseas Online Bookmakers Council” because they do not have any punters on their board with no affiliation to a bookie and the bookies represented are all from the United Kingdom.

I know most of the guys on the Board and would call some mates, but at the end of the day, they know where their bread is buttered and they feel they can discriminate who they do business with.

The dictatorship of RNSW has implemented an added tax that does not encourage growth, but at the same time they want to tell the bookies who to do business with.

The bookies are saying that this is Australia (even though they are owned overseas) and you cannot hold a gun at our heads.

“If there has been an increase in the practice of AWC members restricting bets, this has been necessary to maintain commercially viable operations since the fee levied by racing authorities on online wagering operators moved from a gross profit model to a turnover model”, according to Chris Downey, the CEO of the AWC.

The AWC are concerned that they will be forced to trade with clients “with whom they do not wish to trade”, or is simple terms “winners”.

Racing NSW, in typical arrogant fashion, clearly do not recognize the AWC and sent out the proposed change in a media release on Jun 12 without any consultation from the bookies.

Mr. Downey, a former Minister of Sport, rightly points out: “Any new policy affecting wagering must be developed in a way that properly assesses its impact on the long term viability of the racing industry; protects the integrity of racing and stems the leakage of customers to illegal and unregulated offshore providers.

The possible implementation of a minimum bet rule is better addressed as part of a broader discussion on nationally consistent regulation of the wagering market”

So we have a standoff.

RNSW want more turnover and they are forcing bookies to hold more bets so they can collect more tax and product fees, and the bookies are saying to the punters that we don’t want to bet you if you are a winner.

This is what I don’t get!

When I walk into a fruit shop and they have apples for $5 a bag, I assume that they wish to sell that product at that price. So if I go online and I see that my bookie is offering $1.90 for Hawthorn I also assume that they wish to make a sale at that price. The only problem is that if I am assessed as a “smarty” then I would have my bet reduced to only a couple of apples. If I am too smart then I would have already been sacked. They are happy to sell the apples to someone else but not me.

RNSW are saying that it does not matter if the punter is Zeljko Ranogajec every bookie must bet him at least “a couple of Apples”.

What RNSW and the bookies need to understand from us punters is that we don’t like being discriminated against and they are not the only game in town. It is not difficult to bet in other territories where they have huge limits. Take the World Cup for instance, in the Group stages of the WC overseas bookies will bet you an outcome to win $250,000 and in the Final being $1million. They don’t care who you are and you never get knocked back.

Isn’t that what bookmaking is?

Try doing that in Australia! RNSW need to be very conscious of how far they can push the envelope or that arrogant smug could turn to rotten apples and the bookies need to do what they are given a licence to do – be a bookie and make a book with all punters.

RNSW and indeed all authorities must provide an environment where our bookies are encouraged to grow and they can be competitive with fair and reasonable limits to all punters.

All the major bookies have invested heavily in risk management teams and have sophisticated tools, models and stats all available to them as well as odds comparison websites including betting exchanges so they can maintain competitive prices and importantly not make a mistake.

There is no reason why they would not want to accept any bets in this day and age. It is not like every race is a maiden at Gulgong with unraced runners, these are prices and lines that are very accurate and come with a nice fat margin to the vendor.

If you don’t want to lay something then shorten the odds, but if the price is up then it should be a fair go for the punters, regardless of colour or creed or their expertise.

How’s them apples?

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