What Sean Bartholomew Told Me About Punting-Aussieraces.com

What Sean Bartholomew
Told Me About Punting

The racing scene on Wednesday, October 7th earlier this month was like an Australian country town on a hot summer’s day at high noon – there wasn’t much action.

That afternoon there was no metro meeting in
Melbourne and a very average card on offer at Canterbury in Sydney. However, I pinpointed one good bet for our subscribers at the Canterbury meeting – I liked it – in fact, I liked it a lot. The Chris Waller trained Encosta Line was lining up in the third event on the card – a maiden. We told our subscribers why Encosta Line was going to win that day.

After putting the information on line for our followers I checked in with the bookies to see the latest odds on offer. As the clock ticked towards midday the corporate bagmen turned the 3 year old’s odds out from $4.40 to $4.60. Then a few minutes later out again to $4.80. ‘Just one more turn’ I thought to myself – as soon as it hit the $5.00 mark I would go ‘bang’. Like Gary Cooper in the iconic Western of the same name, I would unload all my firepower around High Noon.

Then it happened. The tide turned and Encosta Line’s odds were trimmed to
$4.40, then into $4.20 and then further into $3.90 - and just one hour later the best price on offer was a measly $2.60. It was at this time I remembered something that high profile punter and former bookie Sean Bartholomew had once told me. He said “If I was betting on a $3.50 chance – I’d much rather bet on one that had been backed in from odds of $4.50 than one that had drifted out from odds of $2.50”.

What he was alluding to is that a horse being backed in is a positive sign, as it shows that there is a strong level of confidence in the market about its winning chances. Whilst I was losing value I should have been gaining in confidence. As every old carnie knows ‘What you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts’.

Encosta Line’s market odds may have shortened somewhat – but it was the very same horse, running in the same race with the same strong form credentials and winning prospects as it had an hour or so earlier. So with that in mind I still had a red hot go. ‘Rated Odds’ are after all an approximation - a guide to a horse’s winning prospects, not a determinant of whether it wins or loses.

And winners are winners aren’t they - no matter what the odds on offer?*. Oh yes - Encosta Line did win - and it paid a surprisingly good divvy in the end of

(* This is of course not entirely true. If there is a massive disparity between the rated odds and the market odds - and the rated odds are much higher than the market odds - you're probably getting very poor value. Also, I don’t recommend betting on horses which are odds on and for that reason not a single Aussieraces.com selection this year has been in the red. My thinking is that if you regularly bet on horses in the red – you will more than likely end up in the red yourself).

Aussieraces.com    October 2015