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Betfair Downtime sees Bookmakers Scramble
The bookmaking world went into meltdown on Wednesday morning when the Betfair Exchange had a world-wide outage.
Happening just a week after another outage saw all of Betfair’s products unreachable by UK customers the company must be getting worried as Grand National approaches.
With much higher bet volume guaranteed next weekend all bookmakers will be worried their systems do not crash but from a professional punting viewpoint this week’s outage showed how fixed-odds betting firms depend on exchange markets, particularly on horse racing, to generate their own early prices. On Wednesday even an outsider could see they were in a state of disarray.
Grand National, What’s the Odds?
Ah the Grand National… No spectators, no on-course bookmakers and SP’s that will be generated amongst the off-course bookmakers in their own secretive way. I’d like to take odds-on the eventual Grand National winner will return at an unconventional price, you know 17/4, 22/1, 100/7 or something as equally daft.
The golden rule of new age Grand National betting is to place your bets early, Friday at the latest, make sure you have non-runner no-bet terms if betting before that and no matter what, be sure to have a best-odds guaranteed provision and never take SP under any circumstances.
Number of Finishers
By the middle of next week there will be lots of special betting odds on the Grand National, one of which will be the total number of race finishers. With the ground set to be perfect my guess is 19 horses or more will complete the course.
Looking at the recent number of race finishers I think you can see why: 19-12*-19-16*-19-18-17-15-19
* denotes heavy or soft-to-heavy
I’m not certain where the odds compilers will set their line but if even-money is available about 18 or more finishers I’m lumping on. We say it every year but 2021’s field is classy and experienced and all will run from within the handicap, so who knows we may see 20+ finishers for the first time.
🐴 GRAND NATIONAL 2021 BETTING 🐴
Back Potters Corner at 25/1, A National Horse Laid Out For The Race
— Bet Finder (@Betfinder) March 29, 2021
Look North for a Southern Winner
It has to be said this weekend’s action is as mundane as it gets.
Haydock’s live ITV televised card is made up of seven handicaps for example. Last weekend’s flat-action at Doncaster whetted the whistle but Saturday’ racing on the level comes from Musselburgh racecourse near Edinburgh with six more handicaps and a two-year-old race.
Ah well, the horses don’t know what prize they are running for albeit one runner, Tornadic, will know he’s had a journey as he is being sent to the Scottish track all the way from Oxfordshire to contest the third race on the card.
Word is this three-year-old, who has two victories and a second from two outings as a juvenile, has been tearing up the gallops and the fact he is being sent north for a £15k handicap is a tip in itself.
Recommended Bet – Tornadic at 9/2 with bet365* 2.25pm Musselburgh (Saturday)
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) April 2, 2021
Willie’s Second Irish National Beckons?
On Monday, across in Ireland it’s the Irish Grand National. When doing my research for this one it took me by surprise that Willie Mullins only bagged his first BoyleSports Irish Grand National success in the most recent renewal two years ago.
So much depends if Tiger Roll runs in this because if he doesn’t well-weighted horses will take a big rise in the handicap.
One of Mullins’ new recruits Agusta Gold is the horse for me. Formerly with Mags Mullins she is in the race with 10st-6lb and looks a handicap snip off of that mark. But be warned that will become 11st-2lb if Tiger Roll comes out and she will go from a strong fancy to only a hopeful
Recommended Bet – Agusta Gold 10/1 BetVictor (Irish Grand National, Monday)
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The Trainer’s Championship is a Match Race Apparently
What has happened to Sir Michael Stoute? Champion British trainer a remarkable ten times and yet he’s barely been spotted in the winner’s enclosure of any major race for the past five years.
A casual glance into the betting for the Flat Championship Trainers title for 2021 doesn’t even see Stoute listed in the betting. Then again ‘nor are previous winners Richard Hannon or Saeed Bin Suroor. No, it’s a two horse race with John Gosden (and son Thady) considered 8/11 shots and Aidan O’Brien second best at even-money.
The first showdown between these powerhouses is the 1000 and 2000 Guineas and ironically it is Battleground, trained by O’Brien, which heads the betting in the colts classic at 9/2 at bet365*. In this contest none of Gosden’s six entries are priced under 50/1. In the 1000 Guineas Gosden has the third favourite, Indigo Girl, who is 12/1 with bet365*.
But it is O’Brien again who holds the aces with 5/2 favourite* Santa Barbara and fourth favourite, Joan of Arc who is 16/1 with bet365*. And so it would be a surprise if O’Brien is not leading the prize-money standings going into June and that makes him a bet-to-lay proposition in this particular market.
Aidan O’Brien to win the Trainers Championship at Evens with William Hill
Congratulations to John Gosden and the team at Clarehaven on winning the 2020 Flat Trainers Championship. pic.twitter.com/mcU00hOXmt
— National Trainers Federation (@NTFnews) December 28, 2020
* Betting odds quoted were correct at the time of article publication. All odds are subject to change.