This is a modern version of an original post made in 2015
Gambles in Horse racing
Betting markets can be unusual places and when punters latch onto something, especially at a high-profile meeting like Royal Ascot, the market can get lit up. You also get bookmakers and sportsbooks throwing in some betting offers and you have perfect conditions for deploying a simple but very effective Betfair trading strategy.
It starts when a horse in a race receives particular attention. This could be anything, to be honest. But seeing that horse is being backed, other people back it feeling they may be missing out on something. You find that often sets off a gamble as people discount a lot into the movement of the price of the horse as a ‘sign’ that this horse is going to win,
Gamblers do this because they think the market knows something and they fear missing out on the next ‘jolly’. It’s the FOMO factor, the fear of missing out. Of course, from a gambling perspective, this makes no sense. The shorter the price gets the worse value it gets. Bookmakers will also quickly shorten the price to reduce liabilities if a gamble lands. So that accentuates the ‘feel’ of a gamble.
But if you are Betfair trading then it’s heaven. You will make money regardless of what happens in the race.
When you are trading you can profit from gamble without having to take a gamble! Using trading software like Bet Angel you can easily avoid losing your money when taking up a gamble but trading it rather than punting it.
Of course, it’s possible to lose money when trading, but it’s much less likely than if you have a wild bet on a gamble that shortens dramatically at a major meeting. Throw in many thousands of drunk people having a good time at Ascot racecourse and your chance of success just rose a little!
Royal Ascot 2015
The theme of Royal Ascot in 2015 was Ryan Moore.
He had ridden eight winners from eighteen races and was expected to add to that tally as his partnership with Ballydoyle reaped rewards.
The partnership was in great form and punters just wanted more of Moore!
The fun and games started with Waterloo bridge which was ridden out to win. There didn’t seem to be much to note in the market on Waterloo Bridge.
Race Two and Three
In the next race, Disengo was backed slightly but came home fourth. It was only when we came to the third race that the heavy backing began. There was a really chunky bet that came in for Curvy and its price shortened and Ryan Moore rode out to win.
Race four – The Gold Cup
The feature race of the day, the gold cup, was where the action really went into overdrive!
I have never seen a group race quite like it. The market was all over the place, It felt more like a seller on the all-weather in the middle of winter. General prices on the market flew all over the place and on the Ryan Moore horse, Kingfisher, you had some of the most bizarre moves I’ve ever seen in a quality racing market. I was lucky to escape with £100 profit. Anybody trading at the market could’ve ended up or down significantly!
Ryan Moore rode well but could only finish second.
This immediately drew my attention to the next race. Significant backing had pulled the price in already, but Ryan Moore had just lost. When I turned to trade the fifth race the price started to drift. It seemed like a bit of common sense and returned to the market!
But that wasn’t to last, as Ryan Moore got another winner! The fun and games were not over just yet.
Riding war envoy home to win in the previous race, kicked off heavy backing in the final race of the day. Dissolution was backed heavily and the price came crashing in, almost at the moment at which the previous race had finished.
It felt to me as though this had been significantly overdone and I was looking for an opportunity to lay it. I just needed the market to give me an opportunity. Eventually, that opportunity did occur, a huge order entered the market and the price activity temporarily ground to a halt.
It looked to me as though it was unlikely to head in any further, The backers were just exhausted! So at that point, I decided to start laying. I actually tweeted my intention.
I don’t believe for a minute that I can move the market, but I could see that other people were seeing what I could and that everybody had started to lay and the price would almost inevitably drift. I often don’t have the time to narrate a trade in real-time, but this seemed appropriate as it was so obvious and deliberate and there was plenty of time before the start of the race.
The rest, as they say, is history.
So this day in 2015 turned out to be probably one of the most interesting days I’ve ever seen.
Jockey and trainer gambles can produce great trading markets, but the feature race’s instability was not welcome. Especially at big race stakes, so that was a big surprise. Feature races like the gold cup should really be solid as a rock and it was surprising to see how strong the market move was.
This is just another one of those great moments that can occur at these types of meetings.