The racing codes collide on Saturday with big televised races on the Flat and over jumps at Doncaster and Wincanton. The November Handicap is the last significant race on the level of the turf season while the Badger Ales Trophy Chase is a competitive handicap. Favourite backers would enjoy a 50/1 double if both market leaders obliged but there are other horses who could make the payout places at much bigger prices.
You might get better terms if you shop around but most bookies are offering one quarter the odds for the first four places. That means if you get two horses in the frame at 16/1 your place double pays 15/1. The calculation is as follows:
16 / 4 (4) x 16 / 4 (4) -1 = 15!
However, the flaw in backing horses each way is that the true odds are significantly lower because you lose the win element of the bet. So, a one point each way double costs you twice the stake unit. In this example the total stake is two points and the return is 16 points which equates to odds of 7/1. An alternative is to back horses for a place only with a betting exchange but the odds are reduced accordingly. Generally, each way betting is something I avoid.
It makes more sense in my mind to back two horses to win a race than place a single each way bet on one runner. The returns are the same and you can only have one winning bet. I prefer to have two horses running for me to win the race than one horse on my side who will give me a return if making the payout places. The outcome is the same because you are forfeiting one point and its horses for courses. I’ll suggest two against the field for the two big races on television. You might prefer to back just one each way rather than both to win.
The November Handicap is run over one mile four furlongs. No horse has won the race more than once in a contest for horses aged three and older. The winner last year was aged three but a seven-year-old obliged in 2015. Since 2000 only five horses carrying nine stone and more has prevailed. In that time only one favourite has won. The average price of the winners over the last ten years is 10/1, ridden by 10 different jockeys. John Gosden is the only multiple winning trainer in the last decade.
Chelsea Lad carries nine stones two pounds and is quoted at 16/1 in ante post betting. The four-year-old has produced some solid form without winning. Josephine Gordon is a respected jockey so there are no fears in that area. Chelsea Lad last ran four weeks ago which is a decent gap in terms of fitness and recovery. Azari has gone under the radar and has the form to win this race at a working man’s price.
Over the sticks at Wincanton the feature is the Badger Ales contest run over three miles and one furlong. There have been two dual winners but since 2004 a different horse has won the race. Nine of the last 17 winners carried more than 11 stone and the age range has been six to 11. Shelford Man and Yala Enki are the two to back if you want to cover more than one of the bases.
Backing horses win or each way is a personal preference but a third option is to cover these four horses in cross doubles, either to win their races or make the frame. You could have a very exciting 30 minutes if any two of the four do the business.