How to bet on favourites in horse racing

August 5, 2020 | By More
Bet on favourites to realise long-term profits
Betting on favourites can result in decent profits over a long term

Favourites win more often so it makes sense to bet at the top of the market. However, the betting odds for favoured horses are considerably smaller. Thus, simply betting straight-out without proper strategies will result in minuscule profit realisation. Many punters are unaware of the best ways to maximise returns on betting on favourites. This article outlines several ways in which the punter can make healthy returns by betting on favourites. We also consider some of the traps that punters must avoid in order to achieve positive revenue.

Conversely, betting on less-fancied runners purely for large short-term gains, without valid reason, is a sure-fire way to disaster. Statistically speaking, favourites are more likely to win, and hence, even though the immediate reward is not as great, the consistent flow of winners will yield a healthy profit over the long term.

How to bet on favourites

There are many ways to win on horse racing. One way to have consistent profits over the long term is to follow a strategy of betting on favourites. There are a number important considerations.

Pay attention to professional trackwatchers and expert tipsters

Professionals who attend the track and interact with trainers usually have their finger on the pulse. They are able to glean important information such as stable confidence and inside knowledge. Keeping a close and expert eye on trackwork provides clues as to which horses are approaching peak performance. Big punters regularly consult with professional trackwatchers before making their bets. Equally, find an expert tipster to glean information that you may not have previously considered. There is a lot to consider in form analysis and sometimes even the best of us leave things out. Make sure the tipster is a legitimate professional and not just an everyday punter. We recommend Australian horse racing tips and best bets which are published on our site every race day morning.

Consider the form and experience of the jockey

Jockeys are an important factor in the chances of a horse winning. There is no substitute for race experience. When you have an in-form jockey, particularly one of the leading jockeys, there is a good chance the favourite will perform at its best.

Staking plan

Staking plans ensure healthy returns despite short odds on offer. If there is sufficient confidence in the favourite winning, the punter should increase the stake to maximise returns. There are many resources to design and implement a good staking plan. Bet strongly on true favourites. Even short priced favourites and each-way betting have legitimate places in our betting plays.

Bet the exotics

Exotic betting is an important way to increase profits from favourites. Include the favourite in quinellas or as a one-out in a quadrella. Favourites can reduce the potential dividend of a trifecta but it offers the chance to include longshots in the bet. Another way to include favourites is by placing multi bets. Here you can select a favourite in one leg and go wide in others for a potential windfall.

Bet with reputable betting agency

Using a reputable betting agency is the most important factor when betting on favourites. The punter needs to have sufficient confidence in the bookmaker, particularly if significant sums are invested. The last thing you want is for your selection to go around at odds shorter than offered at other bookmakers. Even worse is for your bet to be refused! To avoid these rookie mistakes, make sure you bet only with Villagebet preferred bookmakers. To be taken to a reputable corporate bookmaker, it is vitally important to use the banners on the Villagebet.com.au or Thoroughbred Village website. Clicking on our dedicated banners will help you join an online bookmaker that we know and trust and provides the best service for you.

What to avoid when betting on favourites

False favourites

A false favourite is one in which irrelevant factors lead to inflated odds. A variety of reasons may give rise to odds that are shorter than true market value. For example, a horse may be popular amongst the general public, or there is an unfounded hype around it. They are sometimes referred to as a risky favourite because there is more risk associated with it than its price would suggest. The punter must decide whether there are valid reasons for the horse being at the top of the market.

Remember that around 30% of favourites win, however professional punters know that approximately 40% of favourites should not be favourites at all. These “false favourites” are based on poor form analysis, emotional influences, failure to take all factors into account, and betting hype. This means that about half the number of true favourites end up winning. If you can identify the true favourites, you therefore have about a 50% chance of finding the winner. Armed with this knowledge, the punter can focus on identifying which favourite is the one to bet. 

Chasing price

Finding a decent-priced winner is one of the most satisfying achievements as a punter. However, as most of us know, attaining that goal is not easy. In fact, many punters lose significant money by chasing the elusive longshot. To be a successful horse racing punter, you must not fall into the trap of chasing price above all else. Make your bet selection based on logical form analysis. After deciding on the likely outcome, seek the best price. Price optimisation usually involves betting at the right time, whether it be in ante-post markets or within seconds of the jump. There is an art to finding the right time to bet.

As the old, racing adage goes,

A short-priced winner is better than a long-priced loser.

In other words, when punting on horse racing, it’s better to make a small profit on favoured runners than to lose money chasing longshots. The profit margin is smaller, but the excitement and thrill of winning remains the same. Moreover, statistics show that you will win more frequently by betting on favourites. Go ahead, back that $2 favourite and double your money.

The emotional draw

Emotions are the punter’s most dangerous enemy. They influence a punter’s decision-making and lead to illogical conclusions. We all know of the case where the punter has a favourite horse. The draw towards betting on that horse at the expense of form can be relentless. However, allowing one’s emotions to stand in the way of good decision-making is the surest way to lose money. The CEO of a successful company makes decisions based not on friendships and personal relationships but on factors that stimulate company growth and profitability. So should the punter. Scientific evidence suggests a strong link between the punters’ emotions and gambling. Indeed, successful punters are ruthless and heartless, leave emotions and personal preferences out of the equation. They are able to make decisions based on clear evidence and watertight logic.

One trick that some punters do is to remove the names of the horses when doing form analysis. Treat horses as mere numbers and study the form using logic and good sense. Avoid unnecessary influence by personal preferences. This is difficult to do entirely, however it can be helpful when deciding between two or three runners. What would you bet if you didn’t know the horses’ names? This strategy forces you to focus on form and logic. 

Bet with confidence

There is no reason to stop betting on horse racing. However, as punters, we need to ask ourselves what attracts us to betting on horses with longer odds. Remember, if you’re betting for the win, the only horse that gives a return on investment is the winner. Hence, it’s no use falling for the attraction of the long price winner when the horse has next to no chance. Change the way you think about punting. A change in mindset from the pursuit of price to the pursuit of winners, is the turning point to a profitability career in professional punting.

Comprehensive form analysis is the inescapable prerequisite for finding consistent winners. Confidence in wagering emerges when all possible influencing factors have been taken into account. Confidence breeds success. When the punter is satisfied with the level of study he has put into his analysis, he can bet boldly and with surety. On the other hand, confidence is low when there is doubt in the mind that all factors have not been considered. In this case, wagering turns to gambling. Gambling is based on chance, you’re hoping that things fall in your favour. Wagering on horse racing on the other hand is the investment of funds based on careful, considered logic. The difference between the two cannot be more marked. When you leave things to chance, the probability of success is not under your control. Aim to be informed, confident and resolute in your punting. Success will ultimately come.

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Category: Betting Strategies