I thought you should be made aware of the following when considering buying a lay system, which has been specifically marketed and marketed aggressively. That lay system will force its purchasers, quite naturally, to lay THE SAME HORSE – and therein lies the problem.
Take a look at some of the price graphs taken from http://www.betfair.com/ using Fairbot and you will see a general pattern emerging, and that pattern can impact the future profitability of the lay system purchased. One characteristic amongst these three qualifiers -the price to back (and, of course lay) has almost been doubled because all purchasers of a lay system are laying the same horse throughout the day. What does this mean?
Well, firstly, the final lay odds are not representative of the actual TRUE price of the horse. As a layer, therefore, the value has all but disappeared and you are laying a horse that has drifted NOT because of its perceived chances of losing, BUT simply because it is a selection for a specific lay system. And that lay system is the Winners To Losers system at http://www.winnerstolosers.com/. In one instance, for example, the selection Sharps Gold was 14 to lay on Betfair – BUT 6/1 to back with the bookmakers.
Does this not, then, offer us an opportunity to BACK these selections on Betfair at odds generally twice what they should be – for no other reason than we are simply getting a great value bet? A look at February’s performance for Winners To Losers, saw the system throw up a number of selections which actually WON their races (hence losing for the actual system). In the knowledge that we have backed at, generally, twice the realistic odds, we can see a different perspective coming into view! The standout winner was a horse called Gallantry at 20/1!!
AND IF USED FOR ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE, these inflated prices will severely impact actual profits. You see, the Winners to Losers system’s preferred method of staking is FIXED LIABILITY STAKING. This is a wise choice given the high odds of some selections. We can control our potential losses, but still profit.
The impact of a losing lay (i.e. the horse wins) is severely curtailed with FIXED LIABILITY laying as compared to traditional level stakes laying, where the potential losses will rise with bigger prices. BUT the potential profit is also severely impacted when we are using fixed liability laying with bigger prices, isn’t it?
For example, if we are looking to lay a horse and not risk more than £100 – and that horse, like Sharp Gold, is priced at 14 to lay – your potential profit, should that horse win, is £7.35!
Surely this is the equivalent of backing very, very short odds selections to win. What price would a selection to back have to be for you to win £7.35 for a £100 stake? That price would be 1.07!
Lays which won their races in February came in at 7/1, 5/1, 5/1, 6/1 and 20/1 from 26 lay selections producing a level stakes profit if backing and an enhanced level stakes profit if you waited until all Winners To losers users got their lay stakes on the horses (thus increasing their backing odds). March has seen 10 lays to date that have lost their race with a winner at 5/1 SP
The actual specificity of some of the rules within the Winners to Losers system lead me to the conclusion that this system has been back fitted using some database to find the ideal horse type which will yield a theoretical profit as a lay. A look at the website’s results pages, and impracticalities are rife. I have been using Betfair for a long, long time, and getting stakes of £500+ (yes stakes NOT LIABILITY) on horses at prices around 7.00 is a tricky task. For me, there is not the liquidity there to get the full stake on. This makes profits claimed highly unrealistic to the everyman.
There is a chance to replicate the profits claimed if using loss recovery if looking at the historical longest losing run, BUT we cannot predict the future of course, and loss recovery’s effectiveness (or lack thereof!!) has been widely advertised within this newsletter. Horses like Gallantry will arrive who will have been allowed to drift in odds purely on the back of being a mechanical laying system selection chosen by many and laid by many. The Racing Post analysis of that race is revealing, and backs up my theory that this is a lay system that is TOO popular and so prices are highly unrealistic.
“GALLANTRY, 3lb higher than his Lingfield win, was easy to back but appreciated the good gallop and took advantage of the below-par runs of the market leaders to notch his second win at this course. Things dropped perfectly for him here but he is largely a consistent sort who should continue to go well.” It would seem, then, that the system’s effective marketing and consequent popularity might be its downfall.
But all may not be lost
Betfair does like to think its customers have “sharp minds” and if the continued popularity of Winners to Losers continues, there is a great window of opportunity for the trader to lock in profit. Imagine if you were the first in line and laid Sharp Gold at 7.5 as early as you could. Go back to the horse a few hours later and the horse is trading at 13 to back and 14 to lay. Here is an ideal trading opportunity, to lay low and back high and guarantee a profit on all horses.
Fixed liability is the key to success because level stakes are certainly not!
Winners to Losers may be salvaged by its recommendation to use fixed liability staking, exposing no more than 14% of the betting bank as liability at any one time.
Yes, we will know our potential losses beforehand. Indeed, odds of selections become largely irrelevant, save for the fact that the higher the price of a potential lay, the less we will make as potential profit (and vice versa – the lower the odds, the more we will make). As this lay system is effectively the same as backing odds on shots, we should expect long winning runs. But just as with backing very short odds horses, our profit in relation to outlay (money exposed) will always be very small indeed.
Late purchasers of Winners to Losers will now be exposed to horses to lay which are unnaturally high. This will severely impact future profits and with level stakes betting being unrealistic (after all, would YOU really want to expose up to £1,400 to win £100 (-Betfair commission.)
Prices are now too high for us to make a decent return using fixed liability. The popularity of the system may have been its Achilles heel. This will occur with future mechanical lay systems, which are heavily marketed and NOT reliant on laying under a specific price. Systems which DO NOT fall into this category include False Favourites, which is more of a reference manual than a system, and any system which includes a price cap for laying (for example some lay horses only under 3.5). Winners to Losers could profit long term, but it would take a large dose of faith (especially with selections like Gallantry) but the profits will never be as advertised because too many people are now laying the selections.
You can download the March issue of WRWM HERE