All the key horses to watch in Keith's essential weekly horse tracker blog
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First of all a quick update on the American racing.
To be honest, I am astonished how well they have been doing with 11 winners from 29 runners. My full results have been added to the website here.
There is no room for complacency though and while they are going well I still consider them a fun bet and will be continuing to advise minimum stakes only.
I keep getting the reoccurring question When will racing return to our shores? The honest answer is I don't know.
France has been looking at the prospect of resuming behind closed doors in mid-May. Ireland have announced no mass gatherings before September, setting up the prospect of the Galway Festival behind closed doors. As for the UK dates for the Guineas in June and the Derby in July have been mentioned with Royal Ascot in between but I can't say with any confidence whether any of it will go ahead.
On the subject of Royal Ascot, what is your favourite moment at the meeting over the years and why?
The best of these will be published on our website.
What I will be covering in this edition of Keith’s Notebook.
- 3 more to Follow on the Flat
- FAQ – What is a rule 4?
- This Week’s Suggested Reading and Viewing.
3 more to Follow on the Flat
AL SUHAIL – Charlie Appleby trained Godolphin colt Lost out in a battle with Military March over 1 mile at Newmarket, pair were 7 lengths clear. Will take all the beating next time out. Holds a good book of Group 1 entries including the Irish Derby but breeding suggests 1m 2f maybe his trip.
GOLD WAND – This once raced filly by Golden Horn and trained by Roger Varian kept on well for second on that sole run at Doncaster and is expected to be aimed at top three-year-old fillies races over middle distances.
SATONO JAPAN – Won a lot easier than the ¾ length margin suggested when winning over seven furlongs on the All-Weather at Kempton. This Michael Stoute charge holds a Derby entry and while he may not be quite at that level I suspect a pattern race win or two will be on the cards.
FAQ – What is a rule 4?
You will often hear those in the world of horse racing talking about Rule 4 and you might not know what it means. Well, as you know, here at FRT we are always here to help and we’re going to explain just what Rule 4 is.
When a Rule 4 deduction is mentioned it is referring to Rule 4 (C) as that is the bit that affects the return on your bet.
All of the Tattersalls Committee Rules of racing can be found here including the full Rule 4 explanation.
Basically, Rule 4 (C) is a deduction made on a horse when another horse in the race is declared a non-runner after the final declaration and your bet is at a fixed price.
So, let’s say you backed a horse at 6/1 on the morning of the race and the 2/1 favourite is pulled out of the encounter just an hour or so before it gets underway. This then means your 6/1 is now looking incredibly generous as you have a much better chance of winning.
For that reason, there does have to be a deduction to your bet to make sure that the betting is fair and as mentioned, the 6/1 you got earlier in the day is no longer the correct – or fair – odds.
What you do need to know is that Rule 4 deduction will only apply AFTER the final declarations for a race is made. Usually, this is around 24 hours before a race for National Hunt and 48 hours for Flat. Also, if you back a horse and it is declared a non-runner after the final declarations, you will get your stake money back. It is worth noting though that Ante-post punters do not get their stake money back from non-runners.
To make it all a little bit easier, there’s a handy explanation here and it describes just how much of your bet is deducted, depending on the odds of the non-runner.
- If the current odds of the non-runner are 1/9 or shorter at the time the non-runner withdraws from the race, then 90p in £/E/$ is deducted (or 90% of winnings)
- If over 2/11 up to and including 2/17, 85% of winnings are deducted
- If over 1/4 up to and including 1/5, 80% of winnings are deducted
- If over 3/10 up to & including 2/5, 70% of winnings are deducted
- If over 2/5 up to and including 8/15, 65% of winnings are deducted
- If over 8/15 up to and including 8/13, 60% of winnings are deducted
- If over 8/13 up to and including 4/5, 55% of winnings are deducted
- If over 4/5 up to and including 20/21, 50% of winnings are deducted
- If over 20/21 up to and including 6/5, 45% of winnings are deducted
- If over 6/5 up to and including 6/4, 40% of winnings are deducted
- If over 6/4 up to and including 7/4, 35% of winnings are deducted
- If over 7/4 up to and including 9/4, 30% of winnings are deducted
- If over 9/4 up to and including 3/1, 25% of winnings are deducted
- If over 3/1 up to and including 4/1, 20% of winnings are deducted
- If over 4/1 up to and including 11/2, 15% of winnings are deducted
- If over 11/2 up to and including 9/1, 10% of winnings are deducted
- If over 9/1 up to and including 14/1, 5% of winnings are deducted
- If the non-runner is over 14/1 then there is no deduction
In the case of two or more horses being withdrawn, the total reduction shall not exceed 90 pence in the pound or 90%
If there are withdrawals in reformed markets, the total deduction over the two or more horses (i.e. one in the original and one in the reformed market) will be calculated on the prices applicable in the original market.
For bets placed in reformed markets, deductions applied to withdrawn horses in these markets will be calculated on the prices applicable in these markets.
Bets made at Starting Price are not affected, except in cases where insufficient time arises for a new market to be formed, when the same scale of reductions will apply.
In the event of the withdrawal of one or more runners in circumstances which would lead to only one runner and therefore a ‘walkover’, all bets on the race will be void. The race will be considered a ‘walkover’ for the purpose of settling bets.
For the purpose of this Rule 4 (C) the non-appearance of a declared runner will be held to be an official notification of the withdrawal of such horse before the race is off.
In the case of a horse declared by the Starter ‘not to have started’, a racecourse announcement will be made to that effect. This official announcement will be made before the race result is displayed.
We do have a good example of when Rule 4 has come into play to our advantage:
A couple of years ago one of our Little Beauties was 8/1 when we tipped it in the morning, but the 4/1 favourite was subsequently withdrawn which meant that there were going to be rule 4 deductions when it eventually won.
The horse went off with an SP of 2/1, so he was a popular bet anyway, but those who backed him at 8/1 would only lose 20% of their winnings. So, a £10 win bet that would have paid £90, ended up paying £72, which is still a good profit of £62.
It’s easy to work out the deductions, as all you have to do is look at the table above, see that the non-runner was at 4/1 and then see that deducts 20% of your winnings.
Rule 4 deductions can be frustrating for punters, but more often than not, it’s better than taking the starting price (SP).
This Week’s Suggested Reading and Viewing.
It is getting increasingly difficult to find DVD's that I haven't already recommended so that section has been dropped however there is still a wealth of viewing on youtube here are a couple:
- Murphys Stroke – Gay Future Gamble – Full movie starring Pierce Brosnan. Irish millionaires put together a betting coup and go to England to pursue their illicit prize.
- Who Kidnapped Shergar – Documentary examines kidnapping of champion horse Shergar. The Derby-winning horse was valued at £10 million. It is believed he was kidnapped by the IRA.
This week’s essential reading.
- Enemy Number One: The Secrets of the UK's Most Feared Professional Punter by Patrick Veitch – I bought this at the weekend, it arrived on Monday and I can't put it down, a fascinating read about a pro-punter and mathematical prodigy which shows what can be achieved if you work hard (very hard) at studying form until you know the horses inside out.
- Betfair Trading Made Simple: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started – Everything you need to know about getting started trading on the Betfair exchange.
- The Horses of My Life – by
That is it for another week if there is anything you would like to see included in future editions of Keith’s Notebook please give us a shout.
Recommendations for the Viewing and Reading section are also welcome.
Yours in racing
ps. Just a reminder about my request, what is your favourite moment of the Royal Ascot meeting over the years and why? please email your reply to tips @ freeracingtips.co.uk
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What is Keith’s Notebook?
Keith’s Notebook is a weekly horse tracker blog from Keith Bond – the resident professional horse racing tipster here at Free Racing Tips.
Sent out via email to all registered FRT members free every Wednesday afternoon, Keith’s Notebook details Keith’s thoughts and opinions from the last seven days of racing.
- Which horses have caught Keith’s eye, and why.
- Keith’s shortlist of “ones to watch” next time they race.
- Keith’s updated thoughts on past Notebook horses.
How should I use Keith’s Notebook?
It’s important to note that the horses mentioned in Keith’s Notebook are NOT tips.
Keith has spotted something in these horses during a race that has made his spidey-senses tingle. If they run again at a certain course, or over a certain distance, or in a certain type of race, then Keith will want to take a closer look, before deciding whether they are worthy of being an official Notebook tip.
Some months, you can count the number of actual Notebook tips on one hand. That’s why the strike rate is so high. Keith very much prefers quality over quantity when it comes to his Notebook Horses!
Most people add Keith’s Notebook Horses to a horse tracker app, which will notify them when those horses are due to run again. (This is exactly what Keith does!)
Keith’s VIP Club members are also notified by email when any of his Notebook Horses turn into an official tip.
What’s the best horse tracker app?
The easiest way to keep track of all my notebook horses (plus any horses you’re tracking yourself) is via bet365’s ‘My Horses’ horse track app, which allows you to create a portfolio of your favourite horses.
You’ll get reminders when they are due to run, and can keep track of their performance by adding your own notes and thoughts to each horse
“Well done Keith. Shows the benefit of keeping a notebook. Excellent tipping as usual 👏👏”
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“I also use other sites to keep track of horses of interest. Pick up the next day's racing paper from my local bookies and check them out the evening before. I’m not one for betting on favs so try and look for a bit of value in my selections.”
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