Horse racing is a hugely popular sport among punters and traders with millions of pounds exchanged every day. But as every punter and gambler will also know, it is not always easy to make decent profits over the long term.
Sure, everyone can pick a winner now and then, but the reality is that over time you will end up losing.
Even if you have an excellent week, an excellent month, or even hit profit for the whole year sadly the likelihood is that the bookies will eventually get their money back and even end up taking more off of you.
Only 13% of gamblers win long term.
However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The very fact that there is 13% shows at least that something can be done, and you can in fact turn a profit.
So, with this post, I will share three strategies that can turn a profit long term. No strategy is perfect, and all will incur a losing streak at some stage but it’s about minimising the losses and looking to profit LONG TERM.
Strategy #1: Backing to Lay
This has been a popular strategy for many years within the horse racing trading industry. Your aim is simply to back a horse at one price and lay it off at a lower price either in-play or just before the off.
For example, if you have a horse that is priced in the decimal odds at 9.0 and before the race that very same horse goes off at 7.0 that is a significant gain in your favour.
Here is what I mean.
You can see here that if using our example above we got a price backed at 9.0 in the market and then the horse either led from the start of the race or even just more money came in for him being backed so the price came into 7.0 we would make a profit.
This is with a back stake of £100 and with the Betfair commission of 2% you would have made £26.36 and you don’t even care now about the race result.
You can move on to your next trade.
A good way to find indicators of horses who like to lead from the front or are in good form is to actually check the Betfair dashboard.
They give you a few pointers such as which horses like to lead from the front, how the yard is doing and also what their Timeform rating is.
In this example you can see a front runner has been selected. This means that the horse likes to get away from the pack. It is not expected to win of course but you do not care about that as all we need to assure is that the market moves in our favour.
Currently you can see this horse is priced at 27 (the blue tab under “back”) – so all we want really is for the price to move a few notches in our favour and we can “cash out” or trade out our bet for profit.
For example, if the horses odds moved into 20s then we could extract some nice profits.
Here is an example of a £20 bet on this horse with the odds moving our way.
The idea behind this strategy is to get in and get out quickly with your profits. As soon as your horse hits the lay price you should trade out and move on to the next trade.
Do not get emotional and think “maybe this horse could win!” – this is gambling. And we are not here to gamble.
Just for proof, I took a small £2 stake on this horse to further prove this method is worth exploring. Do your homework though as some horses are better than others at leading from the front.
As you can see profit no matter what the outcome of this race. I managed to lay it for an “all green” scenario.
In fact, I went a little too early as you can see the horse actually went as low as 7.6 in the race.
Strategy #2: Laying The Field
Another popular strategy but a little riskier is the Lay The Field strategy. As with all horse racing strategies or even any sports strategy though this should not be considered a “Get rich quick” scheme. None are – and this one will incur losses but if you stick with it and ride out the rough periods you can profit with this.
This is a betting strategy that involves the “to win” market. All trades for this should be placed before the race and not in-play.
I idea behind it is you should lay the field on what you think will be a very competitive race.
So, ideally you want a race with at least two very good runners who you think have a strong chance of winning.
You also need a market with a lot of volatility (money matched) so that you can take advantage of the price swings and take a little slice out for yourself.
If you are new to trading, then head over to Betfair and just watch the market when a horse race is in play. The prices will jump all over the place. Some will come in and some will drift out. Some horses will come in and drift out depending on their position in the race.
You can actually pick the odds you wish to lay at yourself.
There is some maths involved though.
In order to make this work here is an example of the numbers you will need to take into account.
If you lay all @ 1.50, you will need 2 horses to get matched in order to profit.
If you lay all @ 2.00, you will need 3 horses to get matched in order to profit.
If you lay all @ 3.00, you will need 4 horses to get matched in order to profit.
But, as I have mentioned with this you do not want to be doing this on every race. You’ll lose a lot of money doing it like that.
You have to be very selective and choose your races wisely.
You can take a look at Timeform to check if the race as leaders from the front horses, or maybe a specific track offers more opportunity.
Either way, tread carefully. But, get it right and it’s good fun and can make some nice profits long term.
Strategy 3: The Hermes Strategy
Perhaps the most solid long-term profit method from these three is the Hermes Strategy. This is focused on the selections of traveling horses.
Very often yards will take their horses miles and miles to compete in races. This is often a good sign for a couple of reasons.
Number one is they are taking the horse there to try and win!
This is a good time to back to lay. You can often get massive swings in price with these horses especially if they get off to a good start.
You know the yard is going to try hard as they have travelled far to enter this race.
However, there is another option here too.
And that is to lay horses that have travelled far.
So, you are going to bet on the horse to LOSE.
But how do you know which one is which?
Well for the horses to back, check that it is the only horse that day from the yard. If the trainers are only sending ONE horse all that way then you know he is going to put the effort in for the race.
However, if that trainer has entered two horses that day into that particular meeting then this could be a sign that he just wants to improve the ranking of one with a handicap race but knowing full well that he will not win.
You have to study the selections of that particular race.
This is a very solid method and once you work out who has traveled, and the handicap races you are on to a winner.
Luckily, I have access to this method and all the details you need to make it work!
If you would like to see more of the Hermes Method, then check it out here!