Crowd Report

Week commencing 28th January 2019….

Every dog has the odd day….

They say that every dog has its day – even the mangiest critter in the alley....

That day might not come around very often. But come around it will. And probably just at the point where expectation that it won’t come around again has reached a high-point....

Because that’s how things work, isn’t it?

Sport, markets and life – they all deliver the unexpected. And they all do it just when you least expect it – at that point in time when the possibility of such an event occurring seems to be at its most remote....

It isn’t always that way of course. It just seems like it....

A case in point....

You draw attention to the fact that outright favourites in All-Weather handicap races haven’t had a winning week in ten....

You highlight that the last 406 such horses have won just 102 of their respective races at a rate of just 26.1% over that specific period – as low as it goes in the fav-backing world....

You put on record that this set of results has cost committed fav-backers 85.8 points to level stakes – or more than £1700 in real money if those punters are playing to £20 per bet on the nose....

You underline the point that outright favs in handicaps run on the All-Weather are manna from heaven for bookmakers – a source of much profitable turnover when measured across the long term....

And then the following week – almost as though you have drawn attention to something the universe now feels compelled to retune – those same outright favourites in the All-Weather handicaps do what they have not been doing and do the business for fav-backing punters....

53 of the devils go to post. 18 of those same devils win at a much-improved and median-shattering winning strike-rate of 34.4%....

And better still for jolly-backers on the sand, a little profit flows their way for a change – profits amounting to 5.4 points or just over a £100 to level stakes of £20 on the nose....

Perhaps the greater tide has turned – washing away the sins of the past and clearing the path ahead....

Maybe the moon is now following a new cycle – tracking across fresh skies and illuminating places that were once shrouded in darkness....

Might it be possible that fav-backers up and down the land are about to enjoy a golden period of profit and ease in the sunlit uplands of punting sensuality....

Perhaps. Maybe. It might be so. Anything is possible. If you can dream it, you can do it. But for Pete’s sake, don’t count on it....

Look at last week’s set of results and returns as a necessary aberration in an overall record that moves in the opposite direction eight to nine times out of 10....

Necessary because it is good business for the bookmaker to be seen (however occasionally) to give a little back to the punter. That little going the other way is what guarantees the bookies will get much more going their way further down the line....

After all, the fav-backing punter needs to be encouraged, cajoled and conned if he is to continue walking the betting equivalent of the path to destruction. His delusions of victory over the bookmaker need to be fed and watered from time to time....

It needs to happen occasionally. Losing sequences need to be broken if the spell that binds the punter to his course of actions is to remain intact....

It happened last week. Now that it has happened, we can expect business to get back to normal....

Fav-backers in All-Weather handicaps won last week. They were up 5-points. Across the wider 10-week period, they are 80 points down. They won’t make the deficit up at any stage. They won’t get close. Not now. Not ever....

When it comes to fav-backing across the long-term, there is one winner – and one winner only. It ain’t the punter....

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd