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The price of a horse in any given race refers to the odds which bookmakers are willing to give against that horse winning the race. The price demonstrates two things. Firstly, how likely the bookmakers think a particularly outcome is, and secondly how much a bettor will receive in return for making a successful bet. Decimal odds and American odds are used in some other parts of the world, but fraction odds are by far the most popular means of displaying the price on UK horse races. The price will be set out as a fraction, such as 3/1. The right hand number represents the stake being placed on the bet, the left hand number represents the number of times that stake will be multiplied if the bet is a winning bet. A short price is one which suggests the bookmakers feel a horse has a good chance of winning a race, and therefore want to keep losses to a minimum. While a short price minimises the possible pay out, it still offers higher likely winnings than an odds on bet.
A short priced horse is one which is seen as a favourite to win a race. Any bet placed on such a horse is more likely to win, but will pay out less than a successful bet on a horse with a longer price. The key to successful sports betting lies in spotting the short prices which offer enough value, and betting an amount sufficient to generate reasonable profits. The following is an example of betting on a short price:
The horse Fast Lady is running at Aintree and is a strong favourite to win. As a result, the bookmakers are offering a short price of 6/4. This means that a successful bet of £5 will result in a pay out of £12.50 which, minus the original stake of £5 is a profit of £7.50. A short price bet of this kind may well tempt a bettor into betting more money, since a successful bet of £125 would generate a profit of £187.50. As ever in sports betting, spotting good value will be the result of careful analysis of factors such as current form and past performance.