Pool based betting generally offers quite poor value, compared to fixed odds betting through traditional bookmakers and betting exchanges.
The British Tote takes 16.5% out of the win pools, while the popular multi-race pools like the Placepot and Jackpot have a take-out of 26%. Therefore the general pool betting can be of quite poor value in comparison to an exchange, where the market has hardly any over-round against you and a flat commission charge of just 2 – 5% is applied only to the winning bets.
When our horses travel abroad to take on foreign horses on their home track, international pools can offer great value.
In most cases there will be large discrepancies in the markets, due to the fact that the local betting public in foreign countries favours and backs their known home runners. The weight of money bet on the home horses often sees U.K. and European ones at big prices in the foreign pools. In contrast, the British bookies know that the general betting public will want to back European horses and that the majority British public will be betting through them regardless of the price. As a result, the British bookmakers will keep our horses at short prices.
With its close proximity to Britain, the French PMU will fairly often offer the opportunity of backing a British or Irish runner in the French pools. The Arc De Triomphe in October sees massive amounts of Britain and Irish contenders take on the French ones. In general, you will get bigger prices on our runners. A lot of British and Irish punters will travel over for the racing. This can force the price down on the English and Irish horses in the PMU pools.
Throughout the year there are many other meetings, which aren’t as popular with the British and Irish punters. These can present some great opportunities to get big prices in the pools. The French Classics early in the year and the big group one races usually have one or two of our horses going over.
While the French betting public will mostly back their own horses, they do take notice of John Gosden’s runners that have a great record in France along with runners from Aiden O’Brien and Richard Hannon.
Though you can’t bet directly into the PMU pools through PMU.fr, you can place your bets through RaceBets and zeturf.fr, both of them accepting UK customers.
If you are looking to back European runners in America, you will concentrate on the Breeders Cup in November and its supporting prep races, which offer a ‘win and you’re in’ ticket to the main event.
There may be the odd European runner that takes on one of the Triple Crown classics, but in general the Europeans get involved much later in the year.
John Gosden is popular with the American public, due to his record and time spent in California as a trainer. Aiden O’Brien and Michael Stoute have great records in America and will often be well supported with even shorter prices than in the U.K. in turf races. The French do well in America, but can often go off at fairly big prices. While Europeans with big reputations can be bet down into quite short prices, those further down the betting can be totally ignored and they can go off at really big prices.
You can bet into the U.S. pools through several U.K. bookmakers, including Betfair and RaceBets.
Apart from the Melbourne Cup, The Cox Plate and the Prep races running up to big staying handicap, there isn’t much participation from European horses in the Australian racing calendar. The European horses are well respected in the betting. Due to the fact that the Australian punters focus on the ones with big reputations, you can still get some big prices on those further down the betting.
When it comes to their betting, the Australian punters also benefit from choice. There is no tote monopoly offering just one choice to bet. They also have Bookmakers and Exchanges.
You can bet into the Australian pools through Bet365, who also offer great deals between the 3 Australian TAB systems.
Because the majority of Asian punters choose to back their home favourites regardless of price, the Asian tote pools can have some wild odds, even without Europeans in the race.
The Japan Cup in November and the Hong Kong International Meeting in December are the biggest events for the Europeans, where you will see several contesting in each race. These events used to be fairly easy targets for a half-decent European horse, but the quality of the home defence has improved in recent years. Even in staying races, many short priced European runners were beaten in recent years.
With such a discrepancy in the prices, these are great events for taking the best out of each side. You can back Europeans on the foreign tote system at prices that could be several times bigger. In the 2015 Hong Kong Mile, Mondialiste was 16/1 with the UK bookies, but over 100 on the Hong Kong tote, while Toormore was over 100 and Esoterique 34. You could also back an odds-on Hong Kong favourite at 2/1 or 3/1 with a U.K. bookmaker.
It can be tough to find ways of betting into the Asian pools directly. RaceBets used to offer direct access to the Asian pools, but gambling legalities have stopped this avenue. Many third party operators may allow you to bet through to the Asian pools like Bet365’s Australian TAB pool and zeturf.fr’s French offering, but these can change quickly.
While the foreign pari-mutuel pools can be great for backing our horses at big prices, always keep an eye out for what is on offer on the exchanges and also with the bookies, so you can take the best prices across all available betting platforms.
Always be aware that with pool betting you are not getting a fixed price and the final dividend can vary greatly from the final odds shown prior the race’s start.11 Feb 2016
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