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Betting In Running

Betfair “In Running” – Neil Dawkins

Let me start of by saying that in the Free Journal 2 edition I suggested that if you followed all horses that were “backed” overnight on Betfair in non-handicap races with 8 or 9 runners you may make a profit.

Well if any of you have looked at the Punter-profit message board where the Breakfast with Betfair article was discussed you would have seen that a trial of the system did not work out as well as I had hoped, and unfortunately did return a loss although there were a number of decent winners.

I may return to a similar “exchange system” analysis during the National Hunt season.Now on to this month’s article, I have been a fan of “In Running” betting since it first started years ago.I must say here and now that I only see “In Running” betting as a supplement to normal betting, you cannot guarantee the price, or amount of money you will be able to match, and therefore this should only be treated as a “bonus if it pays off.

I cannot think of anything more sickening than really fancying a horse available at 8-1, not backing before the race, with the intention of backing it In Running. , Only to find that nobody offers better than £7 at 2.8 during the race which you don’t take, and it then goes and romps home by 3 lengths – absolutely gutted. However as a supplementary system it is particularly useful in my opinion for at least 2 of the following 3 methods of betting.

1. To simply watch the race and see a horse “travelling” well and getting a few quid on as the race develops. However if you are not monitoring a particular horse or 2, you can run in to problems with identifying which horse you are seeing, an often the colours are similar, and the commentary although excellent can be subject to the odd error.

2. To back horses that “finish” well, in other words when others have priced them up as “beaten” because they are near the back, yet you believe they will coming surging through with a late run and gain you a handsome profit!

3. The third method is to initially back front runners who are available at a decent price, and for this article I have decided a minimum of 10 on Betfair, then as the race develops, lay the horse at a “hopefully” shorter price thereby guaranteeing either a free “bet to nothing” or a small profit whatever the result.

I have used method “1” but don’t recommend it as a method of making money, only as an interesting accessory when watching a race!

We have all watched a race and seen a horse going well and wished we could get a bet on at that moment. The problem comes, that unless you are certain who that horse is, you will need to look away to check the colours etc, or the TV pictures may swap to another angle. All of these factors will lose you the “edge”, and unless you know whether the horse will stay etc you could well be backing a 6 furlong sprinter in a mile race, who looks to be travelling well 3 furlongs out, but in reality will not stay.

Planning is vital if you are going to come out on top !

However the other 2 systems are worth looking at and the table below show how I got on by operating both methods on certain races between 29 July and 20 August.

I limited the selections to 5-7 Furlong races as I believe they offer the fastest changing prices and therefore the best opportunity to plan ahead and make money.!

Another key element in my “strategy” was the use of the excellent Speed Ratings supplied by Terry West, via the Drawn2Win Daily message.

These ratings enabled me to select races where I believed the front-runners or hold up horses would have an advantage.The Speed ratings give a figure between 1and 5 which indicate the likely “position” of each horse in the race. From this we can determine the probable way the race will develop. “5” being an out and out lead horse and “1” being a horse than runs well off the pace and looks to finish strongly, all other speed ratings indicate the likely “In Running” position of the horse.

Basically I am looking to back Hold Up (Finishers) horses when there is a lot of pace in the race, or to back front runners with a view to laying off in the middle of the race, especially if they are the only front runner and may get an easy lead

The Table is attached at the bottom of the article.

The transmission times of the various TV Channels that cover horse racing are another vital area that needs to be taken into account when using “In Running”.

At the Races had about a 5 second delay, between what is happening live at the track and what you see on the TV, which does cause a problem with “In Running” betting, mainly caused by people on course betting as the race develops with a distinct advantage over ATR viewers. Racing UK have a transmission delay of around 1-2 seconds and therefore offer “In Running” punters at home, a reasonable opportunity to compete with those on course.

Racing UK are certainly faster than ATR but this I am certain is purely down to “technical” reasons involving encryption and nothing do to with ATR deliberately delaying the pictures as has been suggested in some quarters. Therefore I would strongly recommend that “In Running” betting is limited ideally to BBC and Channel 4 covered races as these have the smallest transmission delay.


“In Running” Strategy

1. Make sure you know the Colours of your Jockey including cap colour.
  (The cameras often cut away and you need to be able to identify your "prospective" bet at all times).

2. If the option is there to view the race on the BBC or Ch4 always use them rather than “At the Races” or Racing UK as there is a delay in transmission. (Significant delay on ATR).

3. "In Running" is particularly useful for horses that finish well as the price will drift as the race starts to unfold, however these horses often need "luck in running" so you need to delay your bet until you can see how the race is developing.

4. Look at the race “profile” well in advance, make sure the race will be run to suit your horses running style, if not then you should not be looking to place a bet !

5. As there is often very quick movement in this betting market you need to be prepared to act quickly,so I suggest the best method is as soon as the race is off, select a bet on the horse you fancy, and enter the stake you are prepared to wager, however do not accept the best price that Betfair offer at that moment , rather select a much lower price, for example as the race starts the horse may be on offer at 6.8 on Betfair, when you select this bet do not watch the race with 6.8 selected, instead enter a price around 3.0, (This is a price you determine before the race is the minimum you will accept about 2F from the finish), you then sit with the option to confirm the bet Yes/No. At this point do not confirm the bet!

As the race unfolds keep-pressing the update icon on the Betfair top right hand corner and watch the prices change. If and when you think your horse has a decent chance, confirm the bet.

As you have already "loaded" the bet, you will only need about 0.3 seconds to place the bet.
As other people may be looking to do the same, the price may start to collapse, however as you have allowed for this by selecting a lower price than currently available, you are very likely to get your bet on !

Don't forget Betfair will always match you with the best price available, so no need to worry about missing out on great price.

However if the price drops from say 6.8 to 6.4 as you place your bet, you will not have to wait for Betfair to tell you the bet is "Unmatched" and then have to re-enter a bet at a new price, which will be continuing to collapse if your thoughts on the horse finishing well are correct.

Another method of getting your bets on very quickly during “In Running” is described belowI hasten to add this is not my preferred method, as it does leave you the problem of wrong price or wager selection, without the back-up of the confirmation box !!

When you place a bet, there is a confirmation screen that asks you to check your odds and stake. By un-ticking the box at the bottom “Show this screen when placing bets? ”, you can bypass this screen and place the bet immediately.

Use the keyboard to place bets. Hit the price, key in the stake and hit enter. The bet will be instantly processed.

The advantage with "In Running" betting when looking to support “finishers”, is that if the gap doesn't come, or the horse runs poorly, you can simply allow the race to complete and not bother placing a bet.
The downside is you can never be sure of the price you will get or the amount you  will be able to match.

Good Luck


Ringmoor Down 29-7-042.40 Goodwood FINISHER Speed rated At 1.3 Ringmoor was the only real “finisher” in the race, therefore the strategy is too hope the pace is too fast due to the number of front running types,and that around 3 furlongs out I will be able to see if Ringmoor is in a position to win.Hopefully I will get better than the 16 I have taken to half point stakes before the race. If he is in with a reasonable chance, I am prepared to play at 8.0 or above. This race goes like clockwork, the early pace set by Tychy is too fast and with most horses tying to stay with Tychy they start to tread water, at the 3F marker I can see Ringmoor is going well and worth supporting, with a “loaded” price of 8.0 I place the bet – Luckily it is matched at 16.0. Ringmoor goes on to win easily. Bet Placed½ Point at 16Won at 16.0 +8 If only the rest of the trial could continue like this, everything drops in to place.A great start
Mituski 30-7-044.45 Thirsk FINISHER Speed rated At 1.3 Mituski is well Handicapped and must have a decent chance at a track he likes.Available at 8.2 before the race, ½ Point is placed at 8.2 before the race, with another, ½ Point “loaded” at 5.6 Unfortunately Mitsuki never really gets close enough, due to the fast pace set by Brastwood, and although I have “loaded” a bet of 5.6, I decide not to place the bet. Mitsuki finishesun-placed No BetUn-placed 0 In this case, if the “Finisher” is not close enough at the vital moment, do not play. Save your money, this is one of the major advantages of betting In Running.
Caribbean Coral 31-7-043.35 Goodwood FINISHER I have noticed that just about all the horses drawn low inn the Stewards Cup are front or near front runners, this I hope will result in a “finisher” coming through to win the stand side race, and hopefully the race overall. The only finisher I can see is Caribbean Coral Speed rated at 2.0, who is available at 18.0, so I place a ½ Point win at 18.0, and look to back Caribbean In Running ½ Point at 12.0 or better if the race goes as anticipated. Although Caribbean is slow out of the stalls, he seems to be closing on leader Raccoon as they approach 3F out, I look up and se 50.0 is available I cannot resist and take the bet, although I can see at this point that Pivotal Point has come through to lead and is still going well, I am hoping he will stop in the last furlong, unfortunately this is a poor decision and I lose the ½ Point Bet placed½ Point at 50Un-placed -0.5 Bad decision.On reflection I should have withheld the bet.Not placing the bet is as much of the “In Running” strategy as placing a bet.
Salviati 1-8-043.05 Newbury FINISHER Speed rated At 1.8 Salviati is a finisher who has not been breaking well according to Dave Renham on the D2W message, this looks a race where a finisher will have a decent chance, as again there are plenty of front running types.I back Salviati at 6.6 ½ Point before the race, and “load” another ½ Point bet at 5.0, hoping Salviati will break well ! The race starts with fast breaking Little Edward leading up and although not a great start Salviati breaks OK, the good news is he seems to be going well, and I plat the loaded bet, and see it is matched at 8.0. Salviati runs past a number of beaten horses to win Bet PlacedWon 8.0 +4 The use of the D2W Seed ratings works superbly on this occasion
Vita Spericolata 1-8-044.35 Chester FRONT Rated At 4.0 Vita’s is a horse that likes Chester and has won this race twice before by “burning off” the opposition. Although I am not confident he will win I reckon he has a chance, and I think he can lead up and get the rest of the bridle. Therefore I decide top back Vita’s at 6.6 looking to lay him for a free bet, I am looking to lay at 3.3 ! Vita’s leads up until 2F out, but unfortunately the price only drops to around 5.0, before rapidly increasing. The chance to lay has gone, and Talbot Avenue takes over before Rum Point comes through in the final furlong to win Bet Placed before race1 PointUn-placed -1 Unfortunately Vita’s doesn’t manage to get a decent lead and therefore the price does not fall low enough to enable a lay bet.
Double M 2-8-04XXXXXXXXX FINISHER Double M looks a good bet but the draw is the problem.However this may play into our hands, as the price may be inflated.Lock Inch is well drawn and should go close½ point win Double M at 6.4 before the off with a further ½ Point win placed at 5.5 if Double M is in contention 3F out ! Got out early and well positioned backed at 5.5 matched at 8.2 (Could have got 11.0)beaten a Short head by David’s Mark Bet placed½ Point at 8.0Un-placed -0.5 Very happy with this bet, simply unlucky at the finish.
Blunham 3-8-04XXXXXXX FRONT In a poor race I can see no obvious front runner I will take a chance that speed rated 3.2 Bulham can get to the front and set a steady pace, before kicking on to win. 1 Point win placed before the off on Betfair at 16.0w with a view to laying off about 2-3 furlongs out at 8.0 Blunham runs near the front, and there is an opportunity to lay off at 12.0, this is notTaken and from then of the chance is gone !Horse does not get home, and trails in a poor 12th ! Bet Placed before race1 PointUn-placed -1 Looking at my 2 lay bets I think I am setting my lay price too high and will increase this from 50% to around 70%.Lets see what happens.
Aspo 4-8-04XXXXXXx FINISHER Aspo looks a promising finisher speed rated at 1.8 and hopefully the race will be set up for Aspo to go past beaten horses. Manage to get a very good 20.0 on Betfair at ½ Point, looking to get another ½ Point at 12.0 or more if the race develops well. Bloody hell! Aspo is up with the front-runners, don’t like this, but he is in contention!As the race develops I decide to change tactics and look to lay for a free bet !2F out he looks to be stopping to me, lay at 5.2, free bet at over 14.0, however he starts to fall away, still nothing lost ! Bet Placed before race½ Point 20.0Due to change is predicted pattern, decide to lay also at ½ Point but only 5.2Un-placed 0 Good decision, be prepared to change tactics if things don’t go as expected. I could have let the bet continue without laying off, but as the horse was not running as expected this would have been foolish !
Rileys Dream 5-8-04XXXXXXX FINISHER Poor race, and I hope the weight advantage Rileys Dream has may over a number of these allow me a free bet, backed at 1 point 10.0 hoping to lay at 7.0 for free bet ! At the off my TV picture disappears ! I monitor the price changes on Betfair and can see that Riley’s price is dropping, without any pictures I decide I must lay off even though the price continues to drop. Lay Off 1 Point at 3.5 Typical the horse wins!!Still a good profit! +3.5 Not something I had considered loss of picture, however by monitoring the prices I can almost see how the race is going !The decision to lay off was sensible and better than my plan at the start
American Cousin 6-8-04XXXXXX FINISHER To me American Cousin is the best horse in the race, and around 6.4 is worth a ½ point win, and another ½point if getting close enough In Running, Speed Rated at 1.8 he should be finishing well and looks a very strong play to me American Cousin in rear, ridden and headway over 2f out, chance inside final furlong but not close enough to warrant the extra ½ point. Jedeyedd came through to win Good run, but never really close enough to warrant the In Running bet ! 0 Another case of not spending the extra ½ point if the horse is not going to win !
Le Meridien 7-8-04XXXXX FINISHER A horse I have followed over its last few runs, not always consistent, but looks a decent bet in this open contest, Speed rated at 2.2 it is in a race with a far amount of finishers, and hopefully will manage to get a run ½ point at 13.5 before the race. Will look to support at around 8.0 if in a good enough position at 3F out My Girl Pearl led up, while Le Meridien was always prominent and led 2f out, ridden until headed near finish by Jazzy Millennium ran on under pressure to lead last strides. I managed to lay the bet off at 3.6 just over 1F out, as I could see Jazzy was going well ! Really close just beaten in the last few strides, gutted that I haven’t won but at least laying off saved the stake ! 0 Again think on your feet, I was looking to support Le Meridien but as he was looking like winning, a lay to give a free bet was the option !
Mirasol Princess 8-8-04XXXXX FINISHER Well drawn and possible value In Running, A ½ point win at 11.0 before the race and hopefully another ½ point if close enough 2F out ! In rear and ridden along, not promising but hopefully the rest are going to quick !As they round the bend Mirasol looks good, another ½ point at 7.6, and a clear run up the centre produces a great result Race goes as hoped for ! +3.8 Great winner
Marsad 9-8-047.15 Windsor FRONT RUNNER With the weather changing the going at Windsor I decide I need to play a low drawn horse, and front runner speed rated 4.3 Marsad looks a possible “Play to Lay” at 21.I will look to lay of at 15.0 for a free bet ! Marsad doesn’t hit the front, but sits in a prominent position. Going OK I look to lay off at 15.0, the problem is he remains around 18.0, as I wait for the race to develop the price drifts and the chance is gone ! Marsad trails in about 6th.Could have laid off at 18.0 but was not positive – mistake as it cost me a point ! -1 Need to accept the horse will not win earlier and lay off to avoid a loss !
Jinksonthehouse 10-8-044.45 Bath FINISHER Jinksonthehouse looks to have a decent chance in a race which is very open, and around 8.4 is worth a ½ point win, and another ½ point if getting close enough In Running, Speed Rated at 2.8 he should be finishing well and looks a decent bet to me as there are a lot of prominent horses in the race Jinksonthehouse breaks well and races in mid division making headway over 2f out, has a chance inside final furlong but not close enough to warrant the extra ½ point. By the time I think of laying the price is 34 Good run, but never really close enough to warrant the In Running bet ! Again I could have layed off if quick enough. 0 Another case of not spending the extra ½ point if the horse is not going to win !
Dizzy in the Head 11-8-048.00 Hamilton FINISHER Tough decision between finisher Ulysees and front runner Dizzy in the Head, in the end I decide support Dizzy who is speed rated 4.2 whilst Ulysees is speed rated 2.3. I may regret this but I would always prefer to be with a front-runner on very soft ground. Backed at 5.2 I will look to lay off ay 2.8 Dizzy not only in front but goes away, decide to lay off just in case he runs out of steam! Laid off at 2.2 Wins easily ! Good run, and supporting the front-runner worked well +3 Great decision and must consider this strategy again on soft going !
The Lord 12-8-047.00 Haydock FINISHER Similar to yesterday I will support the front-runner. The Lord who is speed rated only 3.3 but should still lead up against a bunch of finishers !Backed at 17.0, I will look to lay off at 12.0 The Lord drops out in to 4th, should I lay off early at 15.0, whilst thinking about it the price goes out to 22 !Prince of Blues leads up, the race is not going as planned, eventually Sahara Prince storms through o win easily ! Simply didn’t work out tonight.I had assumed The Lord would lead up but this was a wrong decision ! -1 Don’t assume a horse rated 3.3 (mid division runner) will lead up just because he is the highest rated
Alastair Smelly 13-8-04XXXXX FINISHER Difficult today so I’ll risk only a total of ½ point, Alastair Smelly has been running on the all weather of late and may be better on these soft conditions ¼ Point at 60 on Betfair before the race and possibly another ¼ points if he is in contention 2F out ! Soaked leads up and sets a decent pace. Alastair barely gets into contention. I decide not to place the extra ¼ point, White Ledger runs past beaten horses to secure victory Never really in contention Accept defeat and no extra ¼ point bet placed 0 Perhaps the chance was reflected in the massive price.Too speculative, I need to pick finishers with a better chance
Double M 14-8-04.35 New FINISHER Double M speed rated at 2.0 looks a decent bet if in contention at 6.4 before the off, ½ point at 6.4 and another ½ point if in a decent position 2F out. Brave Burt leads up and is going well, Double M going OK, and has drifted to 11.0 at the half way stage, I decide to play, unfortunately Double M falls away rapidly and Strawberry Patch comes through to win Race panned out as per the speed ratings, except for the last furlong -0.5 Played the bet as I thought, but on this occasion Double M failed to finish strongly.
BA Highflyer 15-8-04.30 Bath FINISHER Ran well at Salisbury a few days ago I think BA Highflyer will get this stiff trip OK at Bath as there are no real front runners speed rated at 3.0, I bet 0.5 point at 8.0 on Betfair and a further possible 0.5 point In Running is the bet. Falls behind early on before unfortunately being brought down – clearly no further bet placed No Bet 0 Disaster as horse is brought downNo betHorse is OK !
Pickled Eyes 16-8-06.40 Windsor FRONT RUNNER The 3 favourites all have a great chance, but I’ll take a chance with Piccled eyes speed rated at 3.3, well drawn and looks a decent proposition to back before the race at 15.0 and hope to lay off at 10.0 ! Unusually I am able to lay off before the race at 9.8 !So I doWhy wait for the opportunity In Running Onlytime- willtell wins, unfortunately Piccled Eyes finishes about 5th, still at least no damage done ! 0 Flexibility works in this case, I am able lay off at a price I would have accepted In Running,
Fonthill Road 17-8-04.45 York FINISHER Good to soft ground suggests a finisher can win, I like the look of Fonthill Road speed rated at 2.2, there is enough pace in the race with Mr Wolf likely to lead up ! ½ Point at 7.4 on Betfair before the race and possibly another ½ point if he is in contention 2F out ! Mr Wolf does lead up and I am slightly concerned as Fonthill is well of the pace, however he is still going OK.About 3F out Fonthill is available at 12.0 – Yes please !Although I’ve only loaded 6.0, Betfair automatically matches the best price! Looks like Tom Tum is going to beat me until the last few strides when Fonthill comes through to win ! +6 Nice Winner and for once the race goes to plan !
Soba Jones 18-8-08.10 Nottingham FRONT RUNNER I’ll take a chance with Soba Jones speed rated at 3.3, well drawn and possibly with conditions to suit (smallish field and soft going) looks a decent proposition to back before the race at 13.5 and hope to lay offat 9.0 ! Breaks OK and runs in mid-division start to be chased along about 3F out, but still in with a chance, I decide lay off at the 8.0 requested.This proves a good decision Finishes about 5th and I have managed to lay off for a free bet, but I still can’t get a front running winner ! 0 Initial play to lay for free bet works, but unfortunately no profit
So Sober 19-8-03.45 South FINISHER Speed rated At 1.8 So Sober ran well last time and looks to have a fair chance; in a race with plenty of pace.Available at 10.5 before the race, ½ Point is placed at 10.5 before the race, with another, ½ Point “loaded” at 7.6 if the win looks “on” 2F out ! The Leather Wedge leads up but it is soon clear that the low/middle numbers are going better, I keep an eye on the race, but accept at the half way stage that So Sober can’t win from his high draw ! Lost initial ½ but take note of “draw” bias for future races at Southwell ! 0 Picked the wrong side.
Pulse 20-8-044.45 Sand FRONT(ISH) In a poor race I can see no obvious front runner I will take a chance that speed rated 3.2 Pulse can get to the front and set a steady pace, before kicking on to win. 1 Point win placed before the off on Betfair at 10.5 with a view to laying off about 2-3 furlongs out at 7.0 Pulse runs near the front, just behind surprise leader Mayzin at the 2F marker there is an opportunity to lay off at 4.0, this time I take it, as although going OK I don’t think it will win !Horse gets beaten (Only just) finishing 4th. Bet Placed before race1 PointUn-placed 0 Good lay again- no win, but at least no loss !

Summary of Trial

In conclusion I was able to collect on a few winners and lost on a number of occasions either because I wasn’t quick enough to "place” the bet or the strategy didn’t work in that race.

Total Races Tested 24

Total Races Played 19

Total Races “No Bet” 5

“In Running” Profit/Loss 23.8 Pts

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