There is an excellent series of articles this week in the Racing Post about what to look for in the paddock - i.e. when horses are parading before a race. Membership is required but it is free. Once you have signed up, click on the Racing Header, go to News - Cuttings Library, and search for 'paddock watching'. Assessing whether a horse is fit is not the easiest the thing to learn, but once you know what you are doing, it should make a big difference to the success of your betting.
The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur