In any betting market there will be a favourite but this is particularly the case in horse racing. But as only about one in three horses listed as favourites go on to win their races that leaves a lot of losers. These horses are sometimes referred to as false favourites and although there may be very good reasons why they haven’t been successful, experienced bettors will always try to identify a false favourite.
Being able to spot a false favourite when it comes to horse racing is important in a number of ways. Firstly it means that a bettor can avoid following the crowd and selecting a horse that probably won’t win – even if it is priced as favourite. Secondly, exchange bettors will know that a false favourite horse is ideal for lay betting. This is where you bet on something not to happen.
Favourites may not win for many different factors, such as an enhanced reputation, winning their last race but not being consistent over time, being ridden by a less experienced jockey – and many more. When a bettor can identify the variables that have mistakenly priced a horse as a favourite they can then avoid or lay. As with any kind of betting it pays to do the research as false favourites can still make a lot of money for those in the know.
Just because a favourite doesn’t win a big race it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can be considered a false favourite as all kinds of things can affect the outcome. The 1967 Grand National is a good example – 100-1 shot Foinavon was the winner after a massive pile-up at the 23rd fence caused many of the horses to fall back.
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