Dutch Backing Or Laying To BSP Percentages

Today I want to go over an old post that I wrote previously and bring it up to date with a few more stats, along with a new Excel download I have had created that you can use, all concerning sp’s, percentages and how many favourites, second favourites and so on, actually win the races.

There may be a lot to take in but hopefully it will give you some food for thought and allow you to look at races and the price of all the runners in a different way.

A while ago I wrote a post called Where To Find 70% Of All Winners and suggested that following the first five in the betting would yield a high amount of winners, around 90% in fact on the small amount of results I had looked at.

You could ally this with the betting forecast itself where a large number of winners also come from the first five sp forecasts or the first five named in the forecast.

Just looking at the weekends races with 12 or less declared;

  • 77% of all winners came from the first three named horses.
  • 90% of all winners came from the first five named horses.
  • 95% of all winners came from the first five horses ranked by starting price

I think the middle stat here showing that 90% of all winners came from the first five horses named in the betting forecast, (Racing Post betting forecast), is fairly significant albeit from a very small sample and if you are looking for shortcuts, should be the place that you concentrate on to find your winners, certainly in fields of twelve runners or less.

Find the five horses and back two or three or take these and comb through the form to find your selection perhaps.

The winning prices at the weekend for the first five named were; 7/1, 3/1, 7/2, 5/1, 4/1, 4/1, 5/2, Evens, 10/3, 4/1, 15/8, 10/11, 4/7, 9/4, 10/11, 14/1, 7/2, 4/5, 11/4, 8/1, 11/8, 4/1, 13/2, 25/1, 11/2, 7/2, 6/4, 2/9, 10/3, 5/2, 11/2, 7/1 and 2/1.

As you can see there were a few decent priced winners but overall, simply a lot of winners!

You may now want to go away and think about this and create a strategy concerning these first five named horses, or you may want to read on.

Winning Starting Price Percentages.

Another way to look at the winning starting prices is the percentage. For example a 2/1 shot has a 33.33% chance of winning, a 7/1 shot a 12.5% chance.

To find the percentage just add one to the price and divide 100 by the number. 2/1 plus 1 equals 3, 100/3 = 33.33.

If you add all of the prices up in a race you will find they add up to over 100, on average about 115 to 120 and this is called the overround.

This overround ensures that the bookmaker will make a profit in the long term as long as he balances his book correctly.

If you look at the overround close to the race starting on Betfair however, you will see that it rarely goes over 105, usually just over 100 and using certain software you can easily calculate the total percentage of the first two, three or whatever horses in the market.

By using something like the Fairbot software, you can see at a glance what these percentages are, for example in the 3.55 at Ayr today. (Click the image to enlarge it.)


You can download the Fairbot software here and get a free 15 day trial. I highly recommend it not only for dutch betting but for speed of betting as well plus you can bet less than the normal minimum £2 stake using Fairbot.

Open the software and the race and click Bets >> Dutching (Back), you can then tick any number of horses in the race and the percentage will be shown.

Dutch betting is betting on more than one horse in a race, usually for equal profit whichever one wins.

Above I have covered the first four in the betting market, Jack Steel, Un Noble, Ueueteotl and Dr Moloney and as you can see these four horses take out 79.9% of the market as shown as the Book Value.

If you hit the Dutching (Lay) button on the Fairbot software the total percentage for laying is 76.4%, a bit less than the back odds due to the lay prices being a little higher always than the back prices.

And this below 80% threshold is what I have been looking at lately, either to back or to lay as it is interesting to see the number of horses in different races that take out up to this 80%, all depending mainly on the price of the first or first and second horses in the betting.

A short priced horse will take out more than a longer priced one and can unbalance the race percentages and in small fields I think this is an area that can be exploited

Dutch Backing Or Laying To A Percentage.

Working to odds percentages of under 80% works out around 1/3 ish. You won’t always get exactly 80% of course as it depends on the odds in the race but around 1/3 is about the average for backing up to 80% of the field, or you can get 3/1 if you want to back the other 20% of the field.

So if you wanted to dutch bet in the race, would you rather back the first four horses in this example at around 1/3 or back the other four horses and get 3/1?

Personally I would rather back the outside four, especially in a Handicap race such as this is and one with only 8 runners.

Take the 3.00 at Aintree yesterday. Just the 6 runners in this Handicap Hurdle and the Betfair starting prices along with percentage chance are shown below from the favourite upwards..

2.61   38.31
6.20   16.13
6.96   14.27
7.55   13.25
8.16   12.25
15.50   6.45

You could have laid the first three in the betting here at 68.71%, approximately 2/1 as the fourth favourite won and only at an sp of 11/2, a very common winning price and hardly an outsider.

Because the favourite was 6/4 or 2.61 on Betfair, that took out 38.31% of the market right away, with the next four all being very similar in price.

In another race, an eight runner Novice Hurdle at Wincanton Max Forte won at 25/1 but was still the joint fourth named in the Racing Post forecast at 10/1 yet was 44.66 on Betfair.

The Betfair starting price for the favourite was 4/6 and the second favourite 9/2 and on Betfair and these two alone took out a massive 73.27% of the betting percentages.

What I do is click the favourite upwards on the Fairbot screen and stop when the percentage goes over 80, then un click the last selected so that I am showing all those to under 80%.

You may want to look at 50% or 70% but I have found 80% can give some interesting results especially in small fields.

In races with big fields and high priced favourites, things look very different and any angle here is very hard to see, so I would suggest races of just 12 or less to start with.

I am not saying I strictly back or lay anything at this point but it does allow you to get a feel for the race and see the percentages of the horses and how many horses are either above or below 80% and then make a decision on dutch betting/laying in the race or not.

You can play around with those selected, adding one more horse to see how it changes the percentages for example.

If you want to back the outsiders then un click those already selected, click the others and then place your bet.

Some more stats.

From Saturday and Sunday’s races there were 22 that started with between 5 and 8 runners and 9 of them were won by a horse over the 80% mark for the race, in fact 6 were won over the 90% mark and this would pay between 5/1 and 10/1 when backing these outsiders together, depending on the odds.

The 6 races were:

Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
Group 1
Conditions Stakes
Novice Chase
Class 5 All Weather Handicap
Novice Hurdle

It is worth looking at races that are lopsided with a short priced or odds on favourite and small fields as there are often upsets. Races like the Novice Hurdle above, National Hunt Flat Races, low grade Handicaps etc. where there is little form, poor form or unknown form with horses like the 25/1 winner that had Point To Point form that was not easy to weigh up.

It is not always huge priced winners either as the winner of the Conditional Jockey race won at 12/1, forecast at 8/1. The winner of the Class 5 Handicap was 8/1 sixth favourite and forecast at 9/2 in the morning by the Racing Post, so you are not only going to be looking at huge, surprise winners like Marcel who won the Group 1 race at 33/1.

Excel Sheet Download

I have an excel sheet that you can download and play around with that will automatically show all Betfair prices for all meetings selected, the percentage price of these and how the race worked out looking at the percentages.

An example showing the Class 5 Handicap race result is below.


The results for this show the finishing position and draw (for flat races), followed by the Betfair Starting Price for each runner, winner down to the horse that finished last.

The 100/BSP column shows the price percentage for each horse so a BSP of 10.00 (9/1) for the winner is actually 10%; 9/1 plus 1 is 10/1,  100/10 = 10%. For the second horse; 4.10 is 3.1/1 so 3.1 plus 1 is 4.1,  100/4.1 = 24.39% and so on.

The Sorted column shows the percentages sorted by the highest first, which is the favourite down to the outsider and finally the Running Total shows the percentages as they would be on Betfair or my Fairbot software showing them as they are added up, or as if you had clicked them from the favourite upwards.

So 24.39 is the favourite, add the second favourite percentage of 17.95 to this and you get 42.34 etc. etc.. This means that the first two horses here are taking out 42.34% of the market

In this race you can see if you had backed the first four in the betting you would have bet to 69.50% of the race odds, approximately 4/9 or by backing the outside four would give just under 9/4.

If backing the outside three, including the 8/1 winner (10.00 BSP), you would be getting just over 4/1, or laying the others to a liability of around 2/9.

Once you look over a few race results using the Excel download and by playing around with the Fairbot software you will start to understand how the odds affect a race and how, like in the Handicap above, you get great odds when dutching, for backing the outsiders in a low grade Handicap race.

Don’t forget to try out the Fairbot software too by clicking here.

To Download the Excel sheet please click here

Betting Percentages

The list below shows odds as a percentage, odds on and odds against and s explained above, divide 100 by the odds plus 1.

If you want to know a certain percentage as odds, divide 100 by the percentage and minus 1. So for 33.9%, divide 100 by 33.9 and minus 1 equals 1.95/1 (somewhere between 15/8 and 2/1)

For odds on percentages, divide 100 by the percentage and minus 1 again, then divide 1 by the resulting number and turn this into an odds on figure.

So for 66.7; 100/66.7 minus 1 = 0.5. Then 1/0.5 = 2, so 2/1 on or 1/2.





Ian Welch

Creator and owner of Inform Racing.com since 2003, I have over 30 years of racing and betting experience to share. Speed ratings are my main passion whilst updating the website and writing the odd blog post keeps me busy and hopefully other users well informed.

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