I gave you a D.I.Y approach to the Cheltenham Festival in last week’s eletter. Keep it to hand and pounce when the race cards are finalised.

The first day of the festival is a momentous day, not just for racing, but the whole world in general. It is, of course, my birthday.

The day where Royal Mail take on extra staff to cope with the deluge of hugely expensive presents. Do feel free to impart your own hugely expensive presents, if you so desire.

The best way to attack the Cheltenham Festival is via each-way betting.

There will be a multitude of bookmakers who will be offering enhanced place terms (up to six places in some races).

This makes great appeal. If your horse does not win, but places, then you can be assured of some kind of a return, and on some occasions a profit.

I have written about my idea of profiting from each-way betting (a focus on 8/9-runner races) and that is applicable at Cheltenham.

There will be competitive races where we will get an opportunity to bet on good-odds selections (focus on those races where the favourite has had trouble winning historically), and each-way betting fits the bill.

Once we get to the festival week, I will attempt to so some tweeting @whatreallywins, using what I call ‘live market reading’.

The festival is perfectly suited to ‘live market reading’. It is something we can attack on three fronts…

1. The Racing Post Betting Forecast and the live market prices.

There is a close correlation between the Racing Post Betting Forecast and the live market prices. So, if the odds in the live market are shorter than they are in the Betting Forecast, this may signal a bookies’ attempt to ‘cut their losses’ by shortening the odds, albeit without bringing this to the Great Unwashed’s notice.

I recall last year’s Cheltenham on a Friday, where I picked three winners and a second at 20/1 (Gardefort) in the last race.

I will go more in depth into this strategy nearer the festival, but it’s well worth knowing in a race meeting of gambles galore and stable whispers.

2. www.sportinglife.com

The Sporting Life live odds can provide us with some good patterns. Visit the live odds during live races and you will see the odds for each horse stay the same: 12/1, 12/1, 12/1; or rise: 12/1, 14/1, 16/1; or show distinct patterns: 12/1, 14/1, 12/1…

It is these latter patterns that could signal bookmaker concern over certain horses.

3. www.betfair.com

Betfair.com is a distinct market all on its own. My secret weapon? The Betfair Price graphs:

 

This is where bespoke software comes in handy. The first strategy I use is called the ‘wave’. We look for horses whose graphs consistently move up and down in a wave .

The market cannot make up its mind. The horse’s odds shorten, then lengthen, then shorten, then lengthen. Time and again this is a good indicator, particularly in big race meetings, of a potentially fancied horse.

Out of kilter 

Look at this market above. An out of kilter horse will be one which spoils the flow of the odds (shortest odds at the top, biggest odds at the bottom).

Notwithstanding this is an illiquid market, as an illustration, I would note the second horse down spoils the run, and the second-from-bottom horse spoils the run. Can you see that?

This can signal some late money for certain runners.

That’s my live market angle into the Cheltenham Festival. If a shortlist using these strategies shows one, two, or three consistent selections, I tend to back them each-way.

More details will be on my Twitter chat @whatreallywins for Cheltenham nearer the time.

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