After a couple of interesting days, I have decided to tighten up the betting side of the operation. These are the rules:

1. Only consider horses with 6/1 or shorter Value Prices.
2. 50% overlay required.
3. In case of several contenders on the above rules, back the longest priced.

I will explain (probably at great length :-)) the rationale later. For now, today’s business, just the one race and my prices as usual:

Kempton 4-15
Pop Ahead 3
Randwick Roar 4
The Hairy Lemon 5
Le Burf 6

Wasted an hour on the 1-30 race but too many with some sort of chance so nothing at 6s or less. More later….

Early prices were as follows (VPs first for comparison),

Pop Ahead 3 2
Randwick Roar 4 8
The Hairy Lemon 5 12
Le Burf 6 5

The Hairy Lemon is a bet at 12/1, following the above betting rules. It’s 9s elsewhere though Ladbrokes traditionally are more accurate. Nevertheless, I disregard the poor recent form and look at the trainer intention and drop in weight/class. I did look again at the form but remain happy with it’s chances.

Now an explication of the betting rules:

1. Only consider horses with 6/1 or shorter Value Prices.
This ensures a reasonable strike rate and clearly steers towards horses where there is a degree of certainty (though not necessarily obviousness) in the form assessment. There is enough action with this constraint though I have yet to work out (from statistical analyses) the true accuracy. Suffice to say it keeps one on the right side of the line from the form point of view.

2. 50% overlay required.
This allows a margin of error in spotting a value price, one point either way not being clear enough. So, 6/1 needs 9/1 for a bet.

3. In case of several contenders on the above rules, back the longest priced.
Possibly less obvious but both the value odds and those on offer are, after all, only estimates. I think it’s sufficient to identify clear value without then trying to quantify it to the nearest decimal place which would be using two estimates and compounding any guess work still further. In my experience, the biggest priced seems to win as often as the ‘other horse’, or at least often enough to cover the losses. Yesterday’s race was an example, Le Beau Bai qualified and won at 10/1 whilst my ‘more likely’ winner came 5th. This is not just hindsight, it has happened often enough. It is also in line with using the personal odds line to identify good bets rather than using the figures as a rigid determinant.

The first two rules are from Mark Cramer but make a lot of sense and I was slowly coming round to those ideas myself. The first rule also relates to the race having the ‘right shape’ for a bet in that numerous, less clear, contenders are ruled out. Today’s 1-30 race didn’t pass this rule so didn’t lead to a bet in a ‘messy’ situation. Both the Marks have this idea (Cramer discusses at length different race scenarios and Coton talks of the ‘shape of the race’. I was also developing this notion given my previous observations – I called it the Odds Profile.)

Further thoughts: I erred again as far as recent form went – seems the poor shows were, indeed, as bad as they looked. Recent form must be good even if the form figures are not obviously so – a good run in a higher class, at a longer distance or on different going. In this case, there were no mitigating circumstances and the horse should have been thrown out. I worked to hard to make a case for it and put other factors foremost such as the class drop, top-rated RP ratings, trainer in form, won this last year and so on. But, recent form shows the immediate resdiness to exploit these plusses and such readiness was not there.

On the positive side, Le Burf and Pop Ahead won and came 3rd respectively so, presumably, I am vaguely in the right direction as far as form assessment goes.