Thursday, May 30, 2013

Premier Information: Taking On The Betting Exchange

Over the next few articles, we will take a look at BETTING EXCHANGES.  That is Betfair and
Betdaq primarily.

Betting Exchanges have become one of the most important developments in betting. 
Exchanges have arisen as a traditional industry seeks to meet the challenges and opportunities of the electronic age. Their inception has followed reforms in on-course betting in the late 1990s that focussed on the selling off of prime racecourse bookmaker pitches. This brought in new money that boosted competition, often providing greater value to backers as bookmakers worked at slightly lower margins and offered better odds.  

Betting exchanges are the publicly accepted face of what previously some professional backers had always practised.   That is, betting amongst themselves, laying odds and placing bets other than with licensed bookmakers. The Betting Exchanges now offer this opportunity to the wider public.

In practice, a Betting Exchange operates by holding money deposited by each of its clients, which it holds in a separate private account for each one. The Exchange then operates a  trading market where odds are offered or requested by its various clients, and when these are matched a bet is struck.

Once the result is known, an electronically recorded transaction triggers a debit or a credit – less a commission for the Exchange, to the individual client accounts.   Bets can be made online or by telephone instruction to the Exchange.

Backers can conduct their accounts with immediate deposits or withdrawals by debit card or by cheque.

Next time, we will look how the all important odds work on the Betting Exchanges.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Premier Information: Flat Racing Horse Take Two! (Part 2 that is!)

It's been a bit of a quiet week this past week, but thankfully the weather has been forgiving, what more can we ask for?

We're continuing our look at the Flat racehorse today! This paticular topic seemed to grab quite a bit of interest with some of our community, so I hope you're enjoying my views just as much as I enjoy writing about the topic.

A two year old horse is physically immature. Comparable to a child in human terms.  As a
three year old its maturity begins and it is like a teenager becoming a young adult. At the age of four it begins to reach its physical peak and is usually considered in its prime for flat racing. A five year old is fully mature - a colt is considered a horse and a filly is considered a mare. Further physical development is reduced and what development there is does not generally aid the horses racing ability.

Flat racing has a rapidly and constantly changing population in horses as a new crop of two year olds appear every season and replaces other and older horses. The fortunes of most flat racing yards revolves around the intake of fresh young horses from the sales and from private studs. Often, these horses arrive as unbroken yearlings and each trainer is faced with the task of attempting to turn raw recruits into efficient racing machines. There is considerable pressure on trainers to deliver the goods for owners and connections. The risks are great but the rewards, for a “good one” are enormous – not just on the track but also in terms of future breeding.

Of course, in real terms, only a few go on to achieve top flight success. Some may find that after their career on the flat that they can successfully switch codes and end up with a new career as National Hunt horses.   There are always a few decent sorts that successfully move

from the flat to the jumps and do well for doing so.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Premier Information: Running On A Bit Of A Flat

We hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, even if Sunday was the only decent day in the UK!

Now that the Flat season is back with us, I thought it would be useful to take a look at

The Flat Racehorse.


A Flat racehorse’s racing life usually begins as a two year old.   All thoroughbred race horses are given an official birthday on 1st January, regardless of what date in the year they were actually born.   A horse foaled in February and a horse foaled in June will both be officially considered a year old on 1st January of the following year, when one would actually be ten months old and the other six months old.   

This can lead to considerable physical disparity in the horses in the early part of their careers, especially as two year olds. This imbalance may not be properly resolved even later during their three year old racing season. If you tend to back two year olds on the flat, then it is worth looking at the dates a horse was actually foaled.   There are stats available that clearly show that two year olds foaled in January have around a 10% winning percentage and horses foaled in May is around 6%.   As you would probably expect, the older horses have an advantage.    

Most horses that begin racing as two year olds end their racing lives by the time they are five years old.   Sometimes this is due to lack of ability or injury but also because they have been retired for breeding purposes.   

I will continue to discuss the flat racehorse next time.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Premier Information: That Winning Form - Part 2!

We're back again for part 2 of todays double feature. Has it been a bit of an insight? Well we're touching up on a similar topic once again
Recently, I explained that form is there for all to see.   In fact sometimes, it is possible to look at things too deeply. Simple often works best. One type of form is, for me, particularly important.   That is WINNING FORM.7

Winning form is invariably the best form in all spheres of racing, because winners win again,
often at the next time of asking, despite carrying a winner’s penalty or running from a new
handicap rating.   Simply said, the best form is winning form and losing form the worst form.
Such a statement may appear obvious, but in analysing form and making a selection this
most basic approach is often overlooked.  Unless the entry conditions of a race preclude
previous winners, previous form always demands the closest attention and is the area upon
which the selector should immediately focus.   Around 20% of winners go on to win their
next race.

Winning form means that a horse has previously shown it has the ability to win a race and
beat other horses in the competitive atmosphere  of a racecourse.  Horses  often grow in
confidence from the experience of a victory, which can lead to future success if the other
factors such as class, going, course etc are similar.

Winners in horseracing, as in other walks of life, are likely to win again.   In practical terms,
a winning racehorse is likely to receive that extra attention and encouragement when it
returns home to its yard that a loser will not.   Everybody in the stable will be affected as
morale is lifted  and hopes for the future raised.  A horse, if only a winner of a minor prize,
will, for a short time get star treatment and be the focus of attention and a interest in its
future has been created.

The spice of victory will also be felt from a financial angle if the stable and owners have
backed the horse.  In contrast the frequent losers get none of these benefits.
Winning form should always be the starting point when analysing a race.  Success breeds

Premier Information: Back On Form

A little bit short and sweet today, but this time I promise we'll have a double feature to make up for it! Especially because we're touching on a subject we've partly covered before. But never the less! It is an important factor that I think deserves a little bit of an extra mention.


Many people ask me about FORM. I think that many people looking at racing think there
is some magical way of identifying winners and that something “special” in the form book
gives the golden key to success. It is not so. Form is simple and there for everyone to see.

The principle of FORM is simple. When one horse beats another it is because it ran faster!
No excuses can hide that simple truth.  Should the two horses meet again under similar
conditions the outcome is likely to be the same.   Remember, while faster horses may run slower, slower horses cannot run faster.

However, should the two horses meet again, then conditions, distance and especially weight can make for a different outcome. If these factors are primarily no different, then the outcome is far more likely to remain the same as on the first occasion.   You need to look at the form objectively and then consider whether there are factors that may mean that this time the outcome could be different.

There is nothing magical about form study.  But objectivity is the key factor.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Premier Information: Horse Trainers Know Their Role!

Not quite the double feature we promised yesterday, but how about something fresh and new today? You can't say we're not good to you!

Today we take a brief look at the role of ;

The Racehorse Trainer.

Producing winners is a twofold process. Firstly the training of a horse to capture peak race
fitness, then the sometimes underestimated part, successfully “placing” a horse in the right
race which will aid its chances of winning.

Some trainers concentrate so hard on the first aspect that they fail to get the best out of
the horse with regard to placing it in the right race. Other trainers are extremely skilful at
finding very poor contests that can give a moderate horse a really strong chance of winning.

Over the jumps, Martin Pipe was in my view, head and shoulders above his contemporaries
in studying form and placing horses to best effect. This stable were extremely shrewd in
taking extreme care where horses were placed and it is fair to say that this continues today
in the hands of Martin’s son David who is now running things at Pond House Stables. Other
trainers, who I will not name, may well be adept at getting a horse well prepared, but lack
the same skills as the Pipe yard when it comes to placing their horses in the right race.

On the flat, someone such as Sir Mark Prescott takes clearly gives massive consideration to
placing his horses in the right races, whereas others (and again I won’t name them) do not
quite shine in quite the same way.

A high win to runner ratio declares purpose, whilst a poor strike rate merely suggests
optimism. So many trainers look at their own horses through rose coloured spectacles!
A successful trainer is likely to maintain a level of achievement, whereas an unsuccessful
trainer seems unable to redeem the situation. In choosing horses to back, one becomes
very aware of these aspects by considering a trainer’s record in terms of course, meetings
and jockey partnerships.

When it comes to backing a horse, think about the performance of the trainer. What are
his current stats? Does he place horses shrewdly? Is he a consistently under performing
trainer? I am so tempted to name a few of the trainers who I believe fail to make the most
of the ammunition in their stables. But, on this occasion, I shall keep my opinions to myself.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Premier Information On: It Takes A Little Bit Of Racing Class To Win!

We've been a little busy over here at Premier Information, so none of us have really had too much time to post things here. However, we're back and it's time to pick up where we left off - we might even treat you to a double feature today!

Today we look at another important factor that helps us in the selection process.


This can have a massive impact on our assessment in the selection process. Class is
permanent. Form is temporary. In racing, Class can be described as the quality of
opposition a horse races against.

A horse that is raised in class usually has to improve in order to succeed. A horse running in
the same class needs to reproduce its best level of form to succeed and a horse dropped in
class may merely need to just run relatively close to its normal ability to win.

A wise trainer will often have his horses running against the very best horses at the highest
grade the horse will qualify for. Then, when the horse has maybe shown some consistency,
drop it in class. By dropping it in class the horse has much less to do to win. This is
something we look for all the time. Imagine an athlete competing in the Olympic Games.
His best performance gets him a bronze medal. Let’s imagine he cannot possibly achieve
better. However, if you then take that athlete to a minor competition at say a regional
level, you would expect him to be head and shoulders above the lower class opposition.
He would then win and win well. The same applies to horses. If you see a horse that has
been running to a consistent level of form, which is then dropped significantly in grade, is fit
and looks to be facing moderate opposition, then this could be excellent circumstances in
which to place a bet.

Backing a horse going up in class is a different proposition. Many horses fail to win when
raised in class. However, if the horse is improving rapidly, is likely to be fitter than it was
in its last run and has shown an ability beyond its previous grade, then it is possible that
the horse can step up in grade and continue its progression and win. It is by no means out
of the question for horses to be raised in class and win. However, some horses winning
impressively at a low grade can flatter to deceive. It is all about making an objective

So far then, we have looked at Form, fitness and class. Next time, we will consider the
Conditions and the “sub factors” that are so important in this aspect.

It's been brought to our attention that the Premier Information Blog has been rated by The Bloggy Awards! It's always a little bit heart warming to see that people are interested in our thoughts! Many thanks!

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