Ten Things You Might Not Know About The Racing Post

Ten Things You Might Not Know About The Racing Post  The Racing Post is the No.1 daily horse racing newspaper in the UK. In fact, since it merged with its former rival, the Sporting Life, in 1998, it has been pretty much the only daily horse racing newspaper in the UK. It did, for a short time, share the marketplace with the Sportsman, but that title closed down in October 2006 after just seven months of publication. The latest version of the Racing Post website, racingpost.com, was launched in December 2008, replacing its predecessor, racingpost.co.uk. The printed newspaper and the website are familiar to many horse racing punters but, even so, we’d thought we’d have a look at ten things you may not know about the Racing Post.

 

 

History

 

The Racing Post newspaper was founded by Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler of Dubai, on April 15, 1986 as a rival to the Sporting Life. In 1998, Trinity Mirror, who owned the Sporting Life, bought the licence to use the Racing Post name from Sheikh Mohammed for £1, although it also agreed to donate £10 million to four racing charities as part of the licensing deal. The two newspapers merged together, under the Racing Post banner, and the Sporting Life ceased to be. In 2007, the Irish investment group Festina Lente (FL) Partners bought the Racing Post for £170 million, although Sheikh Mohammed retains the Racing Post trademark and licenses it for use on the printed newspaper and the website.

 

Cards, Form & Results

 

The Racing Post website first launched its Members’ Club, for subscribers willing to pay £7.50 a month, in July 2009. By September 2013, the cost of Members’ Club subscription had risen to £12.08 a month for “Essential” membership and £21.67 a month for “Ultimate” membership, but the Racing Post website still contains more and better free content that any other horse racing website in our experience. The free content includes full colour racecard information for the current day’s racing, at-a-glance racecard information for future races, from the 5-day declaration stage onwards, or further ahead for big races entries. It also includes comprehensive results for races run in the UK, Ireland, France and other selected destinations around the world and, best of all, a complete career form guide for every horse in training. To put that in perspective, a comprehensive Timeform form book, covering Flat and National Hunt racing, costs £1,230 a year.

 

Statistics

 

With no registration or subscription necessary, the Racing Post also includes extensive and sophisticated statistics for jockeys, trainers and owners over the last five seasons. The statistics include strike rate and level stake profit or loss figures and can be displayed by course, distance, month and race type, as well as jockey, trainer and horse, where appropriate, for Flat and National Hunt racing. The Flat statistics can be further broken down by age, into 2-year-old, 3-year-old and 4-year-old+ brackets, while the National Hunt statistics can be broken down by hurdle, chase and National Hunt Flat (NHF) races.

 

Racing Post TV

 

Racing Post TV provides free race replays, stable tours and tipping features.

Race in Focus, for example, provides betting angles and statistics on a forthcoming major race, while Ten Second Tip, as the name suggests, provides one or more tips for forthcoming big races, delivered in precisely ten seconds.

 

Betting

 

If you want to follow you horse racing selections live, but don’t have access to At The Races or Racing UK and can’t make it your nearest betting shop to watch SIS coverage, the text commentary available on the Racing Post Betting Site can be the next best thing. The Betting Site also includes the race card for the next race due off, from which you can bet on your selection by clicking through to your chosen bookmaker, betting news, tips and insight from a reporter on each racecourse and a fast results service. If you need making your selections, the Racing Post Predictor allows you to adjust the relative importance of parameters such as going, distance, recent form, etc and run the race in graphical form.

 

Bloodstock

 

The Racing Post has an established relationship with the bloodstock community and offers unrivalled coverage of thoroughbred breeding and sales. The Sales section contains a searchable list of upcoming and past sales. If you want to look at the catalogue page of a lot in an upcoming sale, or its interactive pedigree, you can do so with a single click. Similarly, if you want to know how much a lot fetched in a previous sale, dating back to 1991, the information is available equally quickly. The Stallion Book contains searchable individual profiles for over 2,000 active stallions, including those in the Weatherbys Stallion. Individual profiles include stud and sales records, together with pedigree, race record and sire reference information. The Ratings section provides official ratings for two-year-olds in Europe and three-year-olds and older horses worldwide, on the Flat and over Jumps.

 

Soccerbase

 

The Soccerbase website, which operates under the Racing Post banner, is a one-stop shop for all your football betting needs, at home or abroad. The home page features an at-a-glance summary for forthcoming matches, including match betting and other markets, a recent form guide, head-to-head information and an expert verdict for each match. The remainder of the site offers the latest football news and results and just about every statistic, on players, teams and even referees, that you could wish for before placing a football bet.

 

Greyhounds

 

The Racing Post provides comprehensive coverage of greyhound racing in the UK and Ireland. The greyhound racecards include the breeding and trainer of each dog, together with a brief comment from a Racing Post expert, the form of its last five races, a betting forecast and a Post Pick 1-2-3 selection. Fast results are available within five minutes of the completion of each race and live greyhound active is available on the Racing Post website from 7.15 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and from 6.30 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Pricewise

 

If you’re prepared to pay the cover price of the print edition of the Racing Post, or the cost of Members’ Club subscription, you also to have access to the flagship tipping column, Pricewise. Originally compiled by Mark Coton and subsequently by Mel Collier and the current guardian of the column, Tom Segal, Pricewise is billed as “the world’s best tipping column” and has regularly hit the headlines over the years with its long odds winning tips. In 2005, Tom Segal tipped a winner for ten Saturdays in a row and was blamed by David Harding, chief executive of William Hill, for the bookmaker’s lacklustre performance.

 

Digital Newspaper

 

If you want to read the Racing Post in its traditional printed format, but you can’t lay your hands on a printed copy, you can subscribe to the Racing Post Digital Newspaper and read it online, or offline, anywhere in the world. The Racing Post Digital Newspaper includes a one or two page view, a magnifying lens, full text searching and a range of digital tools, including RSS feeds.

The Great Draw Bias Hoax

The Great Draw Bias Hoax  Prior to any of the major sprint handicaps, such as the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot or the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, the conversation inevitably turns to the impact of draw bias on the outcome of the race. Conventional wisdom dictates that the greatest impact is felt in large, competitive fields over sprint distances, where the runners may split into two or more groups. The discussion often includes the distance of the race, the size of the field, the position of the stalls and the varying state of the going due to indiscriminate watering, inconsistent drainage, etc.

 

However, while speculation about draw bias is a favourite of TV commentators and pundits, punters would do well to take any comments about perceived draw bias with a pinch of salt. Certainly, perceived draw bias can boost confidence in a selection if it’s supposedly favourable and vice versa, but even if it’s unfavourable it shouldn’t be a reason for not backing a selection that has everything else in its favour. Pace bias, rather than draw bias, has by far the greatest impact on the outcome of any horse race.

 

The myth of draw bias is perpetuated by TV commentators blaming draw bias, alone, for the occurrence of ‘surprise’ winners in major sprint handicaps. What they fail to acknowledge is the fact that surprise winners occur for all sorts of reasons and, more often than not, the horse in question is fully entitled to win, despite starting at long odds.

 

Dandy Boy, winner of the Wokingham Stakes in 2012, was considered one such ‘surprise’ winner, at 33/1, but closer inspection of his form reveals that he had every chance of winning granted a decent pace and luck in running. Colonel Mak (drawn 5) took the field along at a suicidal pace, aided and abetted by Joe Packet (drawn 8), effectively setting the race up for hold-up horses, four of which filled the first four places.

 

Dandy Boy had comfortably won a valuable handicap over 7 furlongs at Meydan the previous season off an identical handicap mark and signalled a return to form when going down by just a neck in another, over a mile, at the Curragh the previous month. The fact that he was able to win over a testing 6 furlongs, coming from off a fast pace, shouldn’t really have been that much of a surprise, but all the hoo-hah surrounding him was purely down to his 33/1 starting price. If he had been in the first half a dozen in the betting, no-one would have mentioned draw bias.

 

As another example of how pace bias is often far more significant than any perceived draw bias, consider the result of the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2013. In the preceding 11 years, horses drawn in stalls 1 to 10 had won the Wokingham Stakes 7 times. Of course, the numbering of the stalls on right-handed courses was reversed in 2011, with the 2011 winner, Deacon Blues, coming from stall 11 and the 2012 winner, Dandy Boy, coming from stall 15. Nevertheless, conventional wisdom dictated that horses drawn against either rail held a significant advantage over those drawn in the middle of the course.

 

In the 2013 renewal the field split into two groups, although only 6 of the 26 runners remained on the stands’ side. Poole Harbour (drawn 8) led overall, with Babak Chinta (drawn 16) helping to force the pace, as the main group of runners bunched in the middle of the course. As such, the race not only favoured runners drawn in the middle of the course, but also those coming from off the pace and, in the end, three hold-up horses, York Glory (drawn 22), Shropshire (drawn 18) and Dinkum Diamond (drawn 15) filled the first three places.

 

Ultimately, unless your selection is running on a racecourse with an established, distinct draw bias, such as Beverley, Chester or Thirsk, it may pay to concentrate on whether or not the race in question is likely to be run at an end-to-end gallop, where the pace is likely come from and where your selection is likely to be positioned in relation to the pace. Certainly, this is a much better use of your time than trying to identify any perceived draw bias, which may, after all, be a figment of the imagination.

Five Betting Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Five Betting Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making  A recent study suggests that just a single-figure percentage of horse racing punters make a profit in the long term. According to the British Horse Industry Confederation, at £10 billion a year is bet on horse races, so what ‘edge’ has this tiny minority of punters established over the hoi polloi, which allows them to generate a profit where others cannot? The answer to that question can be summed up in a single word, ‘discipline’.

 

 

Bookmakers are in business to make a profit and successful punters must adopt a business-like approach to their betting activity, based on record-keeping, staking, strategy and work ethic if they are to have any hope of doing likewise. Unsuccessful punters often rely heavily on ‘luck’ and are willing to accept almost any explanation for backing a loser, other than that their judgement was at fault.

 

 

Unsuccessful punters often keep no records at all and therefore have little, or no, idea about their strike rate, return on investment or profitability. In so doing, they deny themselves the opportunity to create, and refer to, the most valuable betting information they’ll probably ever come across. Perhaps understandably, they tend to take a very short-term view of their betting activity, calculating their profit or loss on a daily basis, if they do so at all. Successful punters, by contrast, not only keep accurate records of every bet they place for future reference, but analyse the form after, as well as before, the race.

 

 

Unsuccessful punters tend to focus on finding winners, regardless of the odds on offer, and fail to understand that a high strike-rate doesn’t, necessarily, translate into profitability. Successful punters, on the other hand, tend to focus on finding value selections – in other words, horses that are available at longer odds than their chance merits – and may be prepared to sacrifice strike rate in favour of profitability. Of course, they understand odds and percentages and can recognise value even in short-priced selections. They’re much more likely to shop around for an extra point, or even half a point, to increase their profitability in the long term.

 

 

Continuing the mathematical theme, unsuccessful punters typically have little interest in odds, percentages, probability or staking. They tend to bet haphazardly, based on how things are going at any given moment, rather than knowing what stakes to use, and how to use them, regardless of whether they’re winning or losing in the short term.

 

 

On the subject of ‘value’, successful punters typically don’t just rely on the same information that is available to everyone else. They may, for example, produce their own private handicaps or speed ratings or simply focus on a particular ‘niche’ of horse racing, in which they become expert. By their very nature, successful punters are more likely to investigate information, such as overall and sectional times, speed maps, etc., which are not readily available, but can nevertheless provide them with an ‘edge’ in their betting activity. As a result, they’re confident and unlikely to be swayed by journalists, TV pundits or anyone else with an opinion; successful punters lead the market rather than merely following it.