Today’s Sports Betting Preview – By Rick Elliott
CRYSTAL OCEAN (5/2 with William Hill) is the tip to win the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot but the feature handicap on the card is not as easy to work out. The International Stakes (3pm) is a heritage handicap over seven furlongs. There are 29 horses declared to run and some bookmakers are paying out on the first six places but you only get one fifth the odds. The standard terms for a handicap with 16 runners or more are four places at one quarter the odds so its swings and roundabouts in terms of at which bookmaker you place your bets. One bookmaker is going a step further by settling each way bets on seven places at one fifth the odds.
As a punter I prefer to have two win bets on different horses rather than an each way bet on one horse. The place terms mean that the true odds of a horse backed at 20/1 to be placed at one quarter the odds are 2/1 and not 5/1. The total win and place stake is 2 units and the return is 6 units. The win part of the bet is lost if a horse does not win a race but finishes in the frame. In a competitive handicap with so many runners you could burn the midnight oil and still be well off the mark. Today we can simplify things by backing the three joint top-rated horses. Our three against the field are Flaming Spear (9/1 with Ladbrokes), Shady McCoy (12/1 with Betfair) and Cardsharp (16/1 with bet365).
You may wish to ‘Dutch’ these three horses which means adjusting the stake so the profit is the same regardless of which one wins. Obviously there are 26 other runners in the race so picking the winner is not guaranteed. Let’s assume the total investment is £50 the dutched stakes are as follows:
£21.21 on Flaming Spear
£16.31.63 on Shady McCoy
£12.48 on Cardsharp
The profit is £162.09…as long as you have found the winner!