Horse Racing Trading Strategy – Betfair Pre-Race Markets

Horse Trading on BetfairThis is a basic guide to one of my preferred horse racing trading strategies for pre-race trading on Betfair. Trading horses before the off is far safer for the beginner than trading in-running, and it allows time for racing traders to assess things fully and avoid getting led by sudden market movements which can be distracting once the race is running. For the average novice, there is too much going on too fast after the off which can easily cause a “fat finger” moment or a mis-click leading to heavy losses, I know, I have done it more than a few times myself in days gone by!

It will not go into every fine detail, first because it would take ages to explain it all, secondly because I would not give it away for free here! Sorry if that offends, but when you have spent years honing and fine tuning systems, and losing money on paying out for countless Betfair trading systems, most of which are worthless, it becomes something you want to keep close to your chest!

You can trade horse racing either before the race runs, or you can trade “in running”. I regularly trade horses before the off because I prefer the lower risk and the slower pace. There is no doubt you can make a LOT of money trading horses in-running, but you also have to accept heavy losses at times, and I struggle with that so it doesn’t fit my character to do it. I don’t handle the stress well and it affects my trading so I leave it alone. I do intend to go back to it some time, but for now I am happy as I am with my sports trading. There is one exception to this, where I do trade horses in running. This is the back to lay strategy.

The basics of my pre-race method are finding a strong favourite, usually within the top 3 or 4 horses in any race based on the early morning tips in the Racing Post, Sporting Life and other leading newspapers and websites. This is long before the markets start getting any liquidity. I then place a back bet on the horse which has the most tips out of all horses, and usually I want to see the bulk of the top ten or twenty tipsters tipping that horse. I will watch the odds throughout the day monitoring my position, maybe once an hour or so until the market warms up with money, and then I will look more regularly hoping for a trend as it gets backed in before the off. If it doesn’t, or if it looks like turning around and drifting back out I will close out my trade. Uusually it will come in at least 5-10 ticks, and I will take a profit when I feel it has run its course as far as the trend is concerned.

charts horsesThere is of course a lot more to this method, but the only other thing worth mentioning is the use of detailed charts in Bet Angel or other Betfair trading software. By using these charts and the moving averages, you can get a better idea of the trend strength, and when it looks like breaking out of the trend, which is a good time to exit. My stop loss will sit behind that moving average line as the trend rolls along. If it breaks through the MA, I will trade out.

I do plan to do some videos explaining this better, but for now that’s all you’re gettin 😀

P.S. I have been developing a piece of software with a programmer I know, this is being designed to do all of the selections for me in seconds, and possibly even manage the trades too, or alert me if the price moves suddenly. It’s coming along well but nowhere near finished yet. If it works how I hope it will, it could be a nifty piece of kit, and I will update the site as and when, so stay tuned by liking the Facebook page or subscribing to the email updates using the form in the sidebar.


Horse Racing Trading Strategy – Betfair Pre-Race Markets — 9 Comments

  1. I’d be happy to pay for advice and assistance to get full understanding of this. ? I don’t have a great deal but would love to learn how you make this work.

  2. Fantastic advice and thanks for putting together a great site. Who would you consider the top 10-20 tipsters you mention in the post?


    • Thanks Mike. Years ago Robin Goodfellow, Tony Stafford, and the Daily Star tipster were memorable ones for causing a wave of emotion among their readers. I am less up to speed on it lately as I have not used this method for a while, mostly due to personal commitments making the timing of these trades difficult for me. I do intend to get back to it this year and I will brush up this post and add a lot more detail as soon as I can.

    • I have a lot of stuff planned for the site this summer regarding horses. It’s my main summer trading approach for various reasons which I will go into at some point soon, perhaps with some detailed methods too. 🙂

  3. I use Fairbot .I dutch non handicaps and lay the fav in handicaps but green up using both strategies.Just to small stakes at first till I am confident enough to step up.

  4. Hi Dave, interesting post thanks. Why do you only dutch non-Hcaps?
    I notice a 1.01 horse was overturned yesterday (Thursday). I hope you laid that one, along with £27k of other people’s money, if my memory serves me well!

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