If you haven’t figured it out by now, our preferred method of betting is through Betfair. The variety of options available is beyond that offered by any other bookie and the prices are better 99% of the time. Of course, we still look around for the best value. One of the most important features for us to the ability to lay off in-play. There are times when you see your horse either in a position it shouldn’t be (Karuta Queen, Glass Harmonium or Bel Sprinter missing the jump as examples) and just want to get your money out, even if you take a 20-30% loss, overall it’s a very profitable play. The same can be said for those ‘almost winners’. How many times has your horse been leading at 100m to go and then it dies and finishes 4th? Have you ever checked to what price it traded? Chances are it traded to under $2 in-play on Betfair. This is especially the case with lead out horses! This is where Stake laying comes into being a profitable contribution to your overall betting strategy.
Our example shown above is a horse who came back from 3 months off, won impressively and was put into a much harder race. While it had a wide barrier we did think they may push for the front so the $7.50 looked attractive whichever way the horse went. It settled near the back and had what we could call a very unlucky run three wide the whole way. It came home really well late but just didn’t get there. This is represented perfectly with the in-play money graph. We put in a Stake Lay for this race on Betfair for $100 at $1.60. As you can see, the horse traded down to a low of $1.53 in play and our $100 was matched at the $1.60 value. What did this mean? If our horse lost (which it did) we came out of that race with no loss or win. If it won, our odds would have been decreased by the amount taken out, still netting us a very handy profit. This is a very attractive way of staking for ‘value hunters’, as I couldn’t tell you the amount of times a $50-$100 odds horse looked the winner 100 out and ended up getting done on the line for us!
While this article has focused on Horse Racing, stake laying can be applied to any sport. For example, we had a big bet on Newcastle United to beat Wolverhampton in the EPL on Sunday morning. We got on at $1.54 and when 2-0 up, layed off at $1.06 for profit or break even. Wolves came back and the final score was 2-2. It not only helps overall, it keeps you sane!