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Frankel again value at odds-on?

By colin on Saturday, April 30th, 2011

In last October’s newsletter, in the aftermath of Frankel’s Dewhurst victory, we discussed how and when betting at odds-on could be value.

A blog post before the Dewhurst also suggested Frankel was value at odds-on for that race.

Likewise, it’s hard to look anywhere else in today’s 2000 Guineas.  Most pundits will say that the race is not interesting for betting purposes, but they can’t see anything beating Frankel.  How can those statements be reconciled?  If nothing will beat Frankel, then surely he is value?

Of course, horseracing is never that simple.  Anything can happen.  Many punters, myself included, like to see a price above odds-on on any horse, purely as insurance against random acts of god that occur in racing from time to time.

But neither does simply asking for odds against accurately quantify how much insurance is needed before a bet is value.  The stats show, as per the newsletter article, that betting at odds-on can be profitable, even with a few simple rules applied about race types and field sizes.  How much more profitable can it be when we consider the individual horse in question and the race itself?

In the case of Frankel, we can quickly run out of superlatives about his performances to date.   There is an element of tension in the build up to the race – Frankel pulls so strongly early on, there is a worry about settling him, and as he is drawn widest on the track, there will not be immediate cover in the early part of the race.

Personally, I think Frankel is such a superior colt it would be interesting to see him get his lead early and win his races from the front.  Instead, in most of his races he’s shown he’s faster than everything else early on and has to be heavily restrained.

Then there’s the opposition.  Most are unexposed as 3 year olds.  It’s also a classic mistake (no pun intended) to overemphasise the quality of 2 year old form for 3 year old classic horses – the leap in development between 2 and 3 years is so great that horses can frequently reverse form with each other as one develops more or less.

But the Greenham proved Frankel is no back number.  He ran it just like his 2 year old races.  No doubt the performance of one of the other contenders today will surprise, but it’s still impossible to look further than Frankel for the winner.

If we had to name one to chase home, it would be Casamento, though it’s not very encouraging that Frankie Dettori says “Frankel can’t be beaten”.  Maybe some small stakes each way money, or the forecast with Frankel is interesting.

It’s not much fun betting at odds-on, and this race doesn’t need a bet in order to be compelling.  It would also be mad to risk much with the rewards being so paltry to the stake.  Having said that, I think at approximately 2/1 on it’s a bit like buying some extra Saturday beer money – so why not?

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