Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In-Running - Some Nice (or not so nice) Zenyatta & Blame Odds

With exchange wagering proposed in New Jersey (with a huge chance to pass) it makes me wonder what the world of Breeders Cup betting might look like next year in America.

This year each and every race at Churchill (including the non-Cup races) were able to be bet in-running. For those who are not familiar with it, in-running wagering allows a better to bet, or bet against horses while the race is being run. For 3 mile races in the UK, in-running betting can be quite the challenge, and quite fun.

I noticed less action than usual watching the in-running trading this year, but that was more than likely due to the delay in pictures for our UK friends. For the marathon, the winner could be had most of the way for 10-1 to 16-1 prices, even though he was traveling comfortably near a slow pace. The looked-to-be-live mount, which instigated the jock fight traded at 4-1 with some serious action when making his move. Uncle Mo, who never looked beat, ever, traded quite low.

But the interesting action was in the Breeders Cup Classic.

Zenyatta, who pre-race was around 9-5 dropped back appreciably at the start, losing contact with the field. To anyone who knows her they might have said "who cares", but to punters, something was wrong. 1/8th of a mile off the gate she vaulted to 5-1, then she traded all the way up to 12-1, before narrowing to even when she made her huge, patented move.

Blame, who was getting as good a trip as a closer can get, amazingly (to me) vaulted to 8-1 near the half, and started to narrow a little bit after he had the red seas part.

In hindsight, grabbing Zenyatta at 12-1 and Blame at 8-1 when the half clicked at 47 looked like a no-brainer did it not? For those two talented horses (ok, I guess a lot of Beyer folks still thought Z had something to prove, but at least one of them were considered talented before the race) off a quick half to trade at 8% and 11% win chances seems odd. Of course it is easy in hindsight.

Such is the power of in-running betting and fixed odds. There is still fun to be had in horse race betting. Perhaps the folks in the Garden State will find that out next year.

2 comments:

The_Knight_Sky said...

I'm in the Garden State but I remain skeptical about this whole In-Race wagering concept.

We can't even get the NJAW system up-to-date with modern technology. Furthermore this may have some appeal to younger folks wagering from home but they can't possibly be wagering at the levels of battle tested veteran handicappers.

Whether this becomes legal in NJ or California first, this is new ground for U.S. racing and I'm not banking on it too go smoothly in the very beginning - if at all.

Scott Ferguson said...

in-running betting will be very slow to take off in North America where you have very little fixed-odds wagering taking place... but it will see some new activity. In-running betting is not ideal for Nth American or Australian racing because the vast majority of races last no longer than 95 seconds. Throw in a few seconds of broadcast latency and there's too much uncertainty for players.

But, that's just one aspect of exchange betting. Fixed-odds, negotiating your own price, and being able to bet to 100% for or against runners in fields which average only 8 or 9 starters are the big advantages in your market...