Most betting on a horse race takes place in the few minutes just prior to a race beginning. That’s the optimum time when all conditions are known, the form has been studied exhaustively, and perhaps you’ve even watched your fancy in the parade ring and making their way down to the start. You know the weather, the state of the ground, the form of the jockey, and the form of the trainers’ other horses. All factors should be clear at this stage, enabling you to wager your hard-earned cash on the best possible chance available to you.
However, despite knowing all this, some uncontrollable variables can still scupper your chances of collecting a few quid. What if your choice is slowly away once the starter has opened the stalls or let the tape fly? Your horse will lose vital ground at the beginning of the race and could have thrown away all chances of passing the finishing line first (especially in a short flat race). What if your horse falls at the first hurdle or fence? What if the jockey’s saddle slips after just a few yards have been travelled? All your hard work in making your choice is lost. And so is your money.
One way to avoid these unpredictable and innumerable factors is to bet in-running. That is to wait until the race has begun, and take what odds are available on whatever runner looks the most likely to win.
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However, another problem lies in wait in that most bookmaking firms don’t provide an in-running option. Most do offer after-the-off betting, but that is only available for up to a maximum of 30 seconds after the horses have started the race. It is not great, but better to have your cash in your hand rather than a betting slip containing the name of the horse that refused to come off stall number six, than be cursing your luck having lost your wager.
Once the race has begun, all the aforementioned starting variables are removed, and you’re more likely to receive better value for your money. That said, you’re also going to get slightly skinnier odds. Betting exchanges such as Betfair offer the best outlet for in-running betting.
As soon as your race has begun, odds will be posted. You’re likely to get offered prices very similar to that of the last show before the race began (starting price). As the race progresses, the prices will change to reflect what is happening in the race. The runner that refused to leave his stall will be offered at 1,000/1, whereas the front-runner who is cruising with a lead of 25 lengths with a furlong to run will be 1/100, and every horse in between will be available to back at various prices.
The warning (and it is a big warning too) with this kind of betting surrounds television coverage. It can be delayed by seven or eight seconds, or even more depending on what services the punter is using. That means, what is happening on your television at home may not be reflective of the prices you are being offered on your computer. The prices being offered could be by people at the racetrack, watching the race live inplay and know that the 25-length leader has already fallen at the last. More on this caveat later.
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Why does live betting work well with horse racing?
The scenarios where a horse is left at the start or falls at the start are removed if you only bet in- running. You can then use your judgement to place the bet you think has the best chance of being landed and once the uncontrollable variables have been removed.
Live inplay betting sites work well with racing, especially jumps racing due to the length of time available for a punter to place their bet. In fact, most sports are amenable to in-running betting, especially football, which allows 90 minutes of wagering to take place on a wide range of markets.
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