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Breakfast with Betfair

First of all let me apologise for changing the theme of this month’s article. I started to research the performance of horses, which “drifted” dramatically on Betfair, but I soon found that the vast majority also “drifted” on the board price as well, and therefore I was unable to collect enough data to warrant an article at this time. However, I am slowly collating data and hope to publish an article later in the year.


Last month I looked at how the Betting Exchanges could provide a profitable “System” to follow - just before the off. This of course is no use to you if you have not got access to computer just before the off. Therefore, I have looked at a “System” that can be checked early in the morning.


I decided to research an area on Betfair , which seems so obvious to me, this being to gather data on all horses “backed” overnight or very early in the morning. The theory behind this being, if I had connections with, or information on a horse and thought it had a great chance the next day, surely I would try and get a decent price as early as I could, notably on the Betting Exchanges, before the tissue prices were published in the morning.


There are many “methods” to achieve successful betting, and I am a firm believer that “inside information” is a vital ingredient, and as most of us have not got such information, all we can do is look and see where the money is going!


I decided I needed to gather a reasonable amount of data so I set myself some guidelines :


1.         There must be at least £1000 matched on the Race;

2.         There must be at least 25% of that money matched on the horse;

3.         I would not allow any horses trading at Odds On;

4.         I would take the best price available on that horse at that time;

5.         If 2 horses qualified in the same race I always select the one with the most money matched.


For information, all of this data was collected between 0640 and 0700 each morning.


The results are in the Attached table at the bottom of the article for you to review. Closer analysis of the data revealed a number of interesting details.




SP Profit

Betfair Profit

1.   Total results of analysis




2.   Backing all horses in Handicaps




3.   Backing all horses in Non Handicaps          




4.   Backing all horses in Jumps races




5. Backing all horses in races with 10 or more runners




6. Backing all horses in races with less than 10 runners




7. Backing all horses where £15,000+ was matched on the race    




8. Backing all horses where £5,000+ was matched on the horse    




9. Backing all horses where over 50% matched on one horse   





10. Backing all horses with a Betfair price of above 5.0 (4-1)




11. Backing all horses with a Betfair price 5.0 or below




12. Backing horse in Non Handicaps with 8-9 Runners only





The research covered all UK races between 19 June and 18 July, a total of 134 Meetings, 817 races and approximately 8000 horses, so the data should give a fair representation. I included all National Hunt races under one heading of “Jumps”.


The information above indicates that there is a profit to be made by backing horses that are supported early in the morning on Betfair , especially in Non Handicaps and with around 8-9 runners.


My own conclusion is that in Non Handicaps the “edge” that someone “In the Know” has regarding an unexposed horse, can still play a major factor. To date, the best profits have been made in races of 8 or 9 runners.


You will also see from the Attached table that the return against  Betfair  early price, and SP is significant. Therefore if following this “System” I would strongly recommend that the best price available is taken, or that if you request a price above this you do not set your target too high, as I expect the horse on most occasions to be backed in!


It would be fair to argue that the £1000 minimum rule I used is not very high, and that realistically the market has barely formed. However, when you look at the Attached Table it is clear that in races where significant money had been traded e.g. £15,000+, the profit levels were good but not dramatically better. Again I put this down to the fact that if you want to get a decent price on Betfair early, you can only trade in reasonably small amounts. This is because I think, as soon as someone asked for say £7,500 @ 8.4 about a horse in a maiden that had run once and was unplaced, nobody would want to lay, as they would be worried you knew more than them. However, if you asked for £25, followed by another £50 etc when that bet was taken, you would be far more likely to be matched. I may not be right, but it is the theory I have used.


The more I analyse the Exchange markets, the more I am convinced they “guide” you towards successful betting. Every Exchange user can now see the same betting patterns that were previously only the “property” of the major Bookmakers, this is a “tool” which needs to included in your betting strategy.



 Just to summarize, and put this “System” into perspective : Over the 30 days of monitoring, if you had supported all horses that qualified in non-handicap races with 8 or 9 runners, you would have had 33 bets (roughly one a day), and if you wagered £25 on each of these horses blindly on Betfair , you would have laid out £825, but returned a total of £1487.5, a profit of £662.5, and even if you had backed these horse at SP you would have made a profit of £500. Interestingly, every area I analysed using this “System” made a profit, albeit in some cases only a small amount !



Just in case any of you are not sure how to check the amount of money matched on a horse in a specific race, I have included a brief explanation/illustration below :-


On the Left Hand Betfair menu click on Horse Racing.

Click on UK Racing.

Click on the relevant meeting you wish to look at e.g. Lingfield.

Click on the specific race e.g. 2.35 (WIN Market not “TO BE PLACED” Market)..

On the Right Hand side just below the “refresh” button is the total matched so far on the race: and in my case if this was more than £1000 I would look further, if below £1000, I moved on to the next race.

Assuming it is above £1000, I click on the (i) to the left of the top horse (often the favourite), for the history of the horse/race at this moment.

This will then display all the relevant information on the race.

Note that all the horses in the race can easily be checked by using the drop down menu just to the right of the horses name; I have copied an example at the bottom of the article.


From the Example you can see that :-

The race I am looking at is the 14:25, a 5f Maiden Stakes at Chester on the 10th July :
The horse I am looking at is called Bold Minstrel
That £2,012.14 has been matched on the race;
That £1727 has been matched on the horse.
The last price matched on the horse was 2.36
£10.11 at odds of 2.30 is the “best” price available to back;
£8.65 at odds of 2.38 is the “best” price available to lay.


The “Reduction Factor is the amount all horses prices in the race will be reduced by if the horse you are looking at is a non runner.

For example: Bold Minstrels reduction factor is 50.6 % the odds on all previously matched bets on other horses will be reduced by 50.6% - e.g. odds of 8.0 would become approximately 4.0 etc if Bold Minstrel was a Non Runner.


The column on the right hand side shows all the transactions and the various backs / lays available

The Price / Volume graph at the bottom shows the trends of price against volume traded.


I have a complete listing of all bets monitored for the above article. The list includes factors such as betfair price, starting price and market volumes for both the race and on the horse. The table was a little too wide to fit into this document so is provided as a web page at the link below.



Next month I intend to research the famous “In Running” markets to see if some different strategies can be made to pay.


Good Luck

Neil Dawkins


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