Racing Ground

11/02/2015 Betting Strategies

Betting on back markers 5 things to consider

Every punter loves the feeling of betting on a winner that makes a run from the back of the field to get the money in the shadows of the finishing post. It's one of the most enjoyable feelings a punter can have. The truth is, however, that horses that settle towards the back in the field win a lot less than horses that are forward in running. Backmarkers need a lot of things to go their way in a race, many of which are out of their control. There are, however certain factors that punters can look for, that if right, will significantly improve the chances of horses winning from the back of the field.

 

deane-lester-speed-maps

 

Race speed

Quicker race tempos improve the chances of backmarkers. It's a scientific fact called 'drafting' or 'slipstreaming' which also comes into play in many other racing codes like cycling, auto racing, swimming, speed skating and athletics. The speed of the horses in front of the backmarker reduces the forces of drag on the horses behind and its effect increases the quicker the front runners are going. This drafting effect is more significant in longer races as the backmarkers are able to benefit over a longer period of time, conserving more energy during the run.

It's often beyond most punters to determine the tempo. Having two or three speedsters in a race doesn't necessarily guarantee that it will be run at a quick tempo. Other factors like track characteristics, barrier positions and a jockey's strategy will also play a role in the eventual tempo throughout the running. Expert racing form analysts like Deane Lester spend hours doing speedmaps, enabling them to predict tempo for punters to use with their analysis of the race.

 

 

horse racing field

 

 

Field Size

The effects of drafting also increases with the number of horses contesting a race. This works in a backmarkers favour by reducing the drag further, allowing the horses at the back of the field to conserve more energy again. Large field sizes are not all good news however, as it usually means trailing horses have to settle many more lengths away from the leaders, which means more distance to cover in the concluding stages of the race.

 

 

Length of the home straight

This point is fairly obvious. The longer the home straight, the greater the opportunity for backmarkers to find a clear path to attack the line. Wider tracks help the cause also which explains why Flemington racecourse has seen some of the best swooping finishes in racing history.

 

Wet Tracks

There are a few reasons why wet tracks typically assist backmarkers more than dry tracks. For starters a wet track requires a horse to expend more energy during the running, which increases the significance of energy saved by backmarkers. Wet tracks also tend to open up greater opportunities for backmarkers in the home straight. If the field sticks to the rails there is a good chance they will be running in a bog created from traffic in previous races leaving the less traveled turf out wide for the swoopers in the run to the post. If the field fans wide it can leave an opportunity for a clear short cut towards the post on the inside, which compounds the advantage of the energy conserved by the horse during the race.

 

Jockeys

Even with the first four points going in the favour of a horse that likes to settle back in a field, there are still significant challenges confronting them to finish home the better. So much can still go wrong. Knowledge of a track with track conditions in mind, where to position the horse to ensure it has a good trail, when to move forward in the race and which part of the track to come down in the run towards the finishing post all rely on the jockey's experience and ability.

 

Mike Steward

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Author Biography

Mike Steward

Mike Steward

Mike has an entrenched love for a flutter having grown up in country Victoria. Blessed with a numerical mind, he has a passion for identifying trends and patterns within betting markets, always on the lookout for opportunities to fill punters’ wallets.

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