Trading Part 2

In my Trading Part 1 post, I gave a brief overview of Trading, a way of betting where you put money into the market which can be taken out at any time for a small profit or a small loss, rather than betting in the traditional way where you place a bet which cannot be changed once placed.

Many people see it as an easy option compared to betting as you can just follow the money for a race instead of having to know anything about the form of the horse, the jockey, the trainer form, the handicap mark and any other form criteria you would normally make when looking at a selection.

Some people just don’t like Trading as to win a half decent amount of money you do have to place rather large stakes, however as I have said before, you may place a bet of £500 on a horse but you can take this out of the market at any time, so it is more about how much you want to win than how much you are going to bet with.

Remember, winning just £2 on twenty races a day is still a profit of £40 less commission and this is not a bad starting point, however I have heard Trading referred to as ‘the hardest way to make easy money’, so it is understandable that a lot of people would take a look and quickly go back to betting normally.

Ways Of Trading

I have been playing around with a few ideas lately, trying to find my own angle of Trading, or backing and laying.

The normal way of Trading is to watch the betting market and where the money is going before a race, backing or laying a horse and when the money has moved one or two places, or ticks as they are known, exit the market for a guaranteed profit.

I have to say that I find this a rather laborious way of betting although I do know that there are people who make hundreds of thousands of pounds Trading in this manner. I would personally like to find a method that does follow the market that suits me more and I will continue to look for this into the future.

As I said in my last post there are hundreds of videos on You Tube that explain trading for a couple of ticks and how to understand the market and the money and it would be well worth a look at these if you want to learn more.

There are other ways of Trading too and the most popular I have come across is either back to lay, or lay to back a horse when you understand more about it’s run style.

Either find a horse that runs prominently that you can back and then lay when the price shortens as it takes an early lead, or one you know is held up where you can lay it before the race and back it when the price increases as it starts off the pace.

Ian has written a few posts on this before and you can find one of them on the following link.

Inform Racing provide the run styles for you so you can see at a glance if a horse is likely to be prominent or held up and this is a simple method of trading in running and a method I have had a lot of success with to date.

When To Exit A Trade

Once you have placed your back bet on a front runner, I prefer to back than lay first as you don’t have the liability of a lay bet, you have to decide at what price you are going to exit the trade.

If you just wait for a couple of ticks, then you are likely to get a profit nearly every time, however you will be looking at pennies rather than pounds.

Remember, if your second lay bet is matched, you can do one of two things. You can leave the bet as it is and win a smaller amount in total if the horse goes on to win or spread the winning amount over all of the other runners and green up for a smaller profit but you will win something whoever wins.

An Example

My initial thought was to lay the horse off at around 70% – 75% of the price I backed it at and you can see this set up on the screenshot below, where I am using the Bet Angel software.

I have placed a back bet of £4 on Pretty Bubbles at 11.0 and have set the software to place a lay bet at 14 ticks below this price (7.6) and automatically green up for me when this lay bet is matched. (Offset bet with greening…. Offset ticks 14)

The correct stake for the lay bet of £5.79 has been calculated and placed in the queue at so I am waiting for the race to start, Pretty Bubbles to run well and look like winning at some stage, the price to drop, my lay bet taken and an automatic green up, making me a profit of £1.79 whichever horse wins the race.


The next screenshot shows that the price did indeed drop my my requested 14 ticks, the software placed my lay bet and I was guaranteed a profit of £1.79 whichever horse won the race!


Now you may say that £1.79 is not worth the effort but it was for just a £4 stake so I don’t think it is too shabby. Find seven or eight horses you feel confident are going to drop in price each day and you can start to make consistent profits.

Increase the stakes to £40 a time and that £1.79 is now £17.90 and just five winning races makes you a tidy £89.50 less any commission.

How To Select Your Horses

I have already mentioned that Inform Racing provides the run style figures for every runner so you can know how each horse is likely to run and therefore how the race is going to be run overall.

The horse Pretty Bubbles above was actually a horse that liked to be held up and as the race itself had a lot of likely front runners, I had an idea that Pretty Bubbles would make some good headway towards the end of the race which would be enough for other in running players to back the horse as it progressed and that is exactly what happened on this occasion.

Pretty Bubbles actually only finished fifth but you can see the Racing Post comments below.

“Held up in rear, going strongly over 2f out and threatened to close on leaders soon after, ridden and found nil over 1f out.”

The words ‘going strongly’ and ‘threatened to close’ show how the horse looked like he had a chance late on, however found nothing and was eventually beaten over four lengths.

Of course none of this mattered to me, it just had to be going well enough to drop the 14 ticks in price at some time during the race.

Another Selection Method

Once I started looking into this I realised that it was possible to see how horses had performed ‘in running’ before and how their prices had dropped during their races and crucially by how much.

Once I knew this I designed a piece of software that shows me just how often a horses price has dropped in running before, telling me it is indeed likely to do so again today.

By combining this information with the Inform Racing run style figures, I now have a method that gives me a very good idea of which horses I should be backing to lay in running and at what percentage of the back price I should be going for.

The image below is for Iona Days who ran yesterday at Southwell.

As you can see, the software pulls together some very informative data on each horse including its form from the last 20 or 30 runs, whichever I choose and its BSP plus the in running high and low prices.

Firstly the form guide gives full details of date, course, finishing position, number of runners, going, handicap mark, equipment carried by the horse, race type and jockey.

It is great to be able to see the handicap marks in full view for each horse so that you can easily see if a horse is well handicapped or not and I would suggest starting with handicap races as the form is more consistent than non handicap races. (You can click the images to enlarge them).


Then you look at the in running prices that will show you just which horses are likely to shorten in running.

The column mainly showing 1000 is the in running high, then you have the in running low price, the Betfair Starting Price, the actual starting price and the place price.

I currently have it set to show me when a horses price dropped in running by 50% or less of the BSP in green on the right and between 51 and 75% in gold.

As you can see, Iona Days price has dropped in running by 75% or less one hundred percent of the time and dropped by 50% in 85% of its races shown.

To me this an excellent example of a horse I should be backing pre race and laying to either 75% or probably 50% of the price in running for a guaranteed profit.

The result was that Iona Days started at a BSP of 8.6 and dropped to a low of 1.1 in running, a drop in price to just 1.3% of the BSP and easily passing my chosen 50% lay price.

Another Example is Over My Head who also ran yesterday.

As you can see, from its previous eleven runs, it has dropped to 50% or less in running seventy three percent of the time so was an ideal in running back to lay.

In the race, Over My Head went to an in running low of 3.5  dropping 27% of the BSP of 9.9and completing another successful back to lay bet.


How To Play The Back To Lay In Running Bet

There are a couple of ways to play this bet.

  1. Don’t ‘green up’ when the lower price is matched, allowing you to lose nothing if the horse loses but a bit less than a straight back bet if it wins.
  2. Do green up automatically and take a small profit whichever horse wins the race.
  3. Double your stake on the lay bet when going for 50% of the BSP and break even if the horse goes on to win, win your back stake as profit if the horse goes to the 50% or lower and loses or lose your stake if it wins.

If going for option 3 you want to find horses that will half in price in running but do not win very often and I would suggest looking at horses that are over 11.0 for this.

I will explain more about the figures, the pinks and blues and the software itself in my final post on Trading, so look out for this coming soon.




Ian Welch

Creator and owner of Inform 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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