I thought I’d write something to try and help you guys make sense of how a market is formed and how money arrives. I’ll attempt to do this by describing what the phases are and their relevance and behaviour.
Let me start by saying I am by no means an expert in this subject. I cannot real off pages of stats, or give accurate ways to predict volumes or other interesting titbits. But what I can describe is how these changes can effect you and how you may trade them.
The first “phase” would be the when the market is opened by Betfair. There are companies who I believe are paid (or offered favourable terms of commission). This overnight and early morning stage would see 2 types of bettors. The very shrewd and clever guys, and the foolish ones that the clever ones feed off. I would have phase One ending around 9:00am
Phase 2 for me is when the tipsters and Bookmakers make their selections and prices available. This is when the markets start to form properly and the books tighten up. The gaps between the prices become smaller. The activity increases and the market form properly. There are some big moves to be had if you know how to spot them. If you go back in my video archives I used to do a daily market preview where I showed you how I spot opportunities. (They were B2L‘s I called them). I have refined this somewhat over the years. One of the lads in my Mentorship program caught the move on Glasgon from 10.5 into 4.9. last week He was “quite happy” Wish I had spotted it!!!! This phase runs up until the On Course betting shows go live. This can be between 15 and 5 minutes from the start.
Phase 3 is more difficult to pigeon hole. This the most active time of the market. In broad terms it starts when the previous race being shown on TV ends. I say broad terms because if there are only 2 meetings, and the previous race finished before the On Course live shows are active, then the money arrives in a more even pace. The same amount of money will arrive, but it is spread out more. The thing to take from this when racing is stacked on top of each other, and clashes are a plenty. It interferes with the normal flow and harmony of the markets. This leads to increased volitility in some cases. in others a stagnant market. This depends on the races importance compared to the races(s) clashing with it. So a 2m hurdle at Down Patrick, wouldn’t have too much impact on the 2000 Guineas market if it spilled over on to it.
The final phase is the most critical one. In a flat race it’s the stalls loading and in National Hunt it’s when the horses form a circle or are getting themselves into some sort of order for the start. Both of these scenarios are critical and can a huge effect on odds. You can have an excellent position on a short priced favourite, it stays to play up going into or in the stalls and all that is gone in a heartbeat. The same is true if your big drifter is 3 lengths in front of the pack walking onto the course. 7 or 8 ticks swings are common place here. Keeping an eye on the start is a smart move.
If you want to see a market from from start to finish in real time I strongly suggest you load up a Greyhound market with 6 or 7 minutes to go. You can see the market from scratch to full maturity in fast forward. The phases (except the final phase where the most exciting thing you will see is a dog having a quick shit) are the same – just much quicker.
Understand the markets you bet in will improve your trading no end. Not only in terms of when to bet – more importantly when not to.
As always I welcome your questions and comments