Choosing the right horse is only half the job that any potential bettor has to face as it’s also essential to secure the best odds for the race. But does that mean rushing out right at the start and backing a horse before the price starts to shorten or should you wait a little longer?
Some bettors like to watch the market first and if a horse starts to become heavily backed, they will piggyback onto the trend. The theory is that if a horse is attracting serious money, there’s some insider knowledge going around which points to an extra advantage.
However, this isn’t always the case and sometimes prices are artificially slashed by the sheer numbers of people who are blindly putting on bets.
Market movers are these horses which have a sharp shift in price from their starting odds, either as they drift out or come steaming in. These are known respectively as drifters and steamers.
But what do you need to know about horse racing market movers and how should you bet on them? Here’s the Yesbets guide to market movers, and all the fast facts you need to know.
Beware False Indications
As mentioned briefly above, a steamer is a horse where the odds are rapidly shortening but it doesn’t mean that it’s a dead cert that you should be backing. If you see a runner that’s being fancied by everyone, it can be tempting to grab the price before it shortens further.
However, you could end up with a loss if you just follow the crowd because sometimes it’s sheer weight of numbers that causes the odds to collapse. When lots of money goes on the horse, odds start to come in and that in itself can lead even more bettors to back it. This creates what’s known as a false positive and could tempt you to back a horse that you’d otherwise ignore.
Of course, it can happen in reverse too. If all the money is going on a steamer look around and you’ll probably find a drifter too. This could be for a good reason, and maybe it’s a horse that’s better left well alone. In some cases however, the drifter is a pretty good bet but as the odds start to lengthen it attracts less money causing the price to go out even further. These are the horses you want to identify as they offer that elusive good value that every bettor wants to find.
What Causes a Steamer in the Market?
You might be wondering about why some horses start to attract lots of backers in the first instance before gathering momentum and attracting more to come steaming in. Surely there has to be a good chance of winning to lead them to be so well-backed in the first place?
Possibly…but not necessarily.
Social media plays a major role in the industry now, and allows horse racing tips to spread like wildfire. Many jockeys and trainers have blogs, and it only takes a nod in the direction of a certain horse to send bettors into a frenzy. It could even be an innocuous phrase such as “training well” to garner lots of support for a particular horse.
It’s not always assumptions and misunderstandings that are spread throughout the betting community. It only takes one person who has well-placed connections to drop a few whispers about a horse that’s well-handicapped for the rumour mill to start swirling. Eagle-eyed bettors will spot the money coming in, and follow suit - this time for the right reasons.
Tipsters who are well-followed also have the ability to swing the market one way or another. If the Racing Post or ITV Racing either name or write off a horse, then you’re more or less guaranteed that the odds are going to swing.
Is It Possible to Predict a Market Mover?
Often there’s no precise science to spotting market movers, but in some cases there are subtle indicators you can look out for.
A one trick jockey who’s high-profile, combined with a good trainer will probably be well-supported. This is particularly the case if they’ve travelled some distance to race. Look out for jockey claims too; experienced bettors know this can make a big difference to the performance of a horse and will flock to back these.
Other factors which may be more obvious include a jockey or horse’s previous performances at the track. If they have performed well in the past, and especially if they’ve notched up personal records, it’s likely to become a market mover regardless of current form.
The reason why it’s useful to spot market movers is that it can be helpful to know when to place a bet. If you’re thinking of delaying your bet and the odds shorten dramatically, you’ll be waving goodbye to a large portion of potential profit.
If you want to back a horse and are worried about it drifting and not getting the best odds, look for a bookmaker offering Best Odds Guaranteed. You’ll get the higher of the bet you placed and the starting price so even if you go early you won’t lose out on potential returns.
Where to Find Today’s Market Movers?
If you’re looking for the latest horse racing information, here at Yesbets we’ve got all the information you need about where to find the best offers for free horse racing bets as well as up to the minute odds and information. Our team of tipsters have their ears to the ground and you can trust us to deliver the latest developments as soon as they happen.