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Friday 5 April 2019

How to Pick Outsiders in Horse Racing

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The Holy Grail of horse racing betting - a big priced winner. 

You can tell a lot about a gambler by the price of horse they bet. Some punt on nothing but the favourite. Gambler's Psychology has an interesting post titled: He's Backed Every Favourite Since 1973. This post investigated how we use logic and reason for making a selection, but ultimately how our decision making is unconscious. 


However, that doesn't mean we cannot pick a big priced winner because simply checking the race results we know there isn't any shortage of high single, double or even triple-figure odds winning on a daily basis. 

 ''Wow, how did that 100/1 shot win?''  

Even though it seems very unlikely, if not impossible, you can pick that elusive, beautiful, heavenly winner (it happens). I have bet on a few big prices winners in my time and remember winning £1600 for £60. Another horse should have won me £10,000 for a tiny bet of £30, but the saddle slipped just as it was about to lead (and win). The moment still fills me with dread at what should have been. 

The swings and roundabouts of winning and losing. 

I'm sure we have all walked that line between winning and losing. The total joy and sickening loss.

But how can we pick a winner at big odds? 

Everyone - unless you are a favourite backer - has their own idea of what it takes. Eric Winner has his own rating system which has seen him find umpteen winners. In fact, he has even tipped the most elusive of odds 100/1. The horse in question was backed to 12/1 and very well backed. It shows what is possible. 

My niche of two-year-old horse has shown me that it is possible to pick a winner at huge odds. However, this is as much to do with the horse trainer as it is with the horse. Yes, I know that sounds a bit strange. But from my studies, I have noted that many horse trainers simply never have big priced winners. Interestingly, it isn't as simple as saying that bigger horse trainers always win at shorter odds while smaller stables win at big odds. It is true to a point. One trainer who can win at big odds on debut is Michael Dods. For whatever reason, he often slips under the radar and has many speculative-priced two-year-old debutantes go and win at 25/1, 33/1 & even 40/1. 

Perhaps backing a 100/1 is something that is unlikely to happen to any punter. If you bet on favourites you will never have one of those dream days. So in many ways, a punter who wins big by betting a 33/1 shot has an open mind. For instance, my brother has bet on a number of huge priced winners. What's his technique? He simply bet on a horse because he liked the look of it. It caught his eye. As simple as that. The horse in question was called Puggy. It may have been a number of years ago, but it sticks in my mind and I know it does his. The filly was running on debut for trainer Roy Arne Kvisla (who originally trained in Sweden). Puggy was sent off at odds of 66/1 because no one gave Kvisla much credit as a trainer. However, not only was he a very good horse trainer but Puggy was a very high-class two-year-old. She won by one-and-a-half lengths ''readily''. Those odds sound incredible. But that was nothing to what was available on the betting exchanges. My brother bet £20 to win £4,000. It was priced 200/1. What an incredible day. He phoned me the moment the race finished telling me how he had literally won a fortune for a tiny bet. You can see for yourself by reviewing the race result

Puggy won just once in her fourteen-race career. Not because she was limited but because she raced at the highest level. In fact, she ran in the 1,000 Guineas when finished 8th, just eight lengths behind easy winner Finsceal Bio. 

Sometimes horses at huge odds win. 

Photo: Puggy winning on debut at Salisbury at 66/1 

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