Superior Betting Market Intelligence.

Eternal Silence of the Infinite Spaces.


Lincoln Handicap

The 2023 Lincoln Handicap is set to be run this year at Doncaster on April 1st. As the table below shows, in recent years horses drawn in 9-11 have performed particularly well. It is also very clear that there are places where you do not want to be drawn - as a veritable concertina effect often squuezes horses back or blocks their run at the right time. Wanees, who will be suited by the going, is perfectly drawn in 10. If your selection is drawn in 1-4 or 19-22, they should have no excuse.

Lincoln Handicap 2023 Draw Bias

Place Your Bets

On the morning of 19 March 2020 shares in the William Hill Organisation were trading at 30p, battered in the coronavirus turmoil that saw all sectors and all asset classes sold off. Less than six months later and those investors that were brave enough to take the plunge and to bet that shares in William Hill were trading at or near the bottom were rewarded when on September 30 2020 Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill for £2.9 Billion paying 172.55 pence per William Hill share. On 1 July 2022 888 acquired William Hill International for $2 BN, with chief executive Itai Pazner saying "We have built an outstanding leadership team, combining strengths from across both businesses, and as I look at the future, the combination of our product and content leadership, powered by our proprietary technology, and our world-class brands, gives us a powerful platform for growth." In January 2023 Pazner left his role with immediate effect, in the wake of the company revealing failings in AML and KYC processes for customers in the Middle East. 888 Chief financial officer Yariv Dafna, who was credited with playing a crucial role in the William Hill acquisition has also recently stepped down. And as things stand, the acquisition of William Hill has created significant legacy issues for 888, with most analysts accepting that the acquisition had saddled 888 with too much debt at too high a price ( 64% of its total net debt at the end of 2022 was pegged to floating rates). In January 2023 shares in 888 hit 93p, in response to a note from analysts at Peel Hunt staing that they were still confident that the integration of William Hill's business outside of the U.S would be "executed well" and create the potential for a "bounce back" for the stock. As of this morning shares in 888 are trading at 53p - Peel Hunt will no doubt be hitting the phones telling their clients to load up on the stock which by way of their own analysis must represent the bargain of the century ...... 888 itself has said that it will take an “extremely disciplined approach” to capital allocation as it attempts to reduce its debt leverage to less than 3.5x by 2025. However, sceptics may wish to give a wide berth to a highly leveraged company operating in a rising interest rate environment.

Shares in Flutter, meanwhile, continue on a significant upward trajectory, (a veritable safe haven dusing the recent banking scare) boosted by a recent piece of research by HSBC, in which the bank hiked its target price for the company's shares to 16900p from 14300p. Positive factors that should drive the share price include the company's plans for an additional listing in the US alongside increased clarity over UK regulations in the upcoming White Paper. The bank also hailed 'strong' trading in the UK betting market and 'excellent' momentum in the US betting market.

The Curse of Lex

On 13 January 2023 when shares in the gambling company 888 Group were trading at 93p, the FT's LEX column stated "888 shares have absorbed so much punishment lately there is scope for them to rebound." Two months later and shares in 888 are trading at 62.2p - a fall of 33%. The lesson, very clearly, is don't fall into the trap of making calls on sectors that you actually know nothing about. Contrarians may sense an interesting entry point on the horizon - possibly around the 55p mark.

Not So Jolly

A well known whale collected a payout of £580,000 on a £400,000 bet placed with the bookmaking company Star Sports on Energumene to win the Champion Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday. Energumene, was returned a well-backed 6-5 favourite, and the outcome of the race was never in doubt. The same company paid out £83,000 to a punter after taking a £230,000 bet on Constitution Hill to win the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the meeting.

The factors that drive betting market price changes, such as the subjective beliefs, expectations, and decisions of betting market participants, are highly contingent and variable, and can lead to unexpected and unpredictable betting market price movements, which is why that most people are totally rubbish when it comes to market timing on Betfair.

A betting market price is an amalgamation of multiplicities harbouring a pluripotentiality of possibilities. At the 2023 Cheltenham Festival Impaire Et Passe was a warm order at a best-priced 7/4 early doors before drifting out to 5/2 and winning. Few expected such a drift and even fewer could explain it.


The amount of information that we choose to extract from the betting market data at any particular moment in time will obviously be a function of our prior knowledge, and the significance that we attach to it: the more faith that one has in one's own prior information the less information one will choose to extract from the remaining data. Truth be told, the information that we rely upon before we place our bet should be as posterior dominant as possible….that is to say, we should only trade as close to the termination of the event as possible, when all of the available information that is going to be revealed has been revealed. It is an astonishingly little known fact that on average closing prices contain upwards of 25% more information than opening prices. People who simply ascribe no significance at all to late breaking betting market price action are invariably guilty of overweighting their own priors - ignoring the presence of insiders and the fact that others may have access to information about some of the runners in the race that they do not have access to. When we take our own information too seriously we invariably underestimate the possibility of error.

Newmarket Selection
2000 Guineas Sakheer @ 12/1

First Impressions

Every action/bet is predicated upon a belief of sorts. A belief is essentially an assertion of faith in ones own proposition based on the available evidence (The amount I am willing to bet signals the extent of my faith in my own belief). The problem with beliefs is that very often they are simply nothing more than compensatory gestures, hobbled together in response to signal extraction problems under conditions of uncertainty and purely designed to reduce uncertainty, ambiguity and confusion. (knowledge stability temporarily serves to down-regulate stress). The stronger that the belief is held onto the less likely one is to update it in the light of conflicting evidence (delusions are impervious to new evidence). People have faith in their own bullshit - they are too sure that they are right - when in fact, more often than not, they are guilty of attaching significance to things that simply have no significance (inappropriate salience is assigned to (benign) external stimuli that then crystalise and drive goal directed action). Sometimes they get lucky.

Highly evaluative, emotionally charged beliefs about something evoke strong feelings, and these tend to elicit a search for supporting beliefs. People that believe what you believe are seen as being more sincere and competent - the Matt Chapman Effect - so we go in search of them (sub-optimal verificationist strategies). It should not be forgotten that often people simply cannot be bothered to monitor their own decision-making processes. They arrive at conclusions but they don't know how they got there and they don't really care. They essentially remain ignorant of their own ignornace and they are resistent to learning about their own resistences.

The participants in a betting market act not on the basis of rational expectations, but on the basis of intersubjective expectations. That is traders look to one another for signals regarding how to react to the events that are taking place within the betting market. This leads to herding and information cascades, but also to increased variability, which occurs when intersubjectively shared beliefs are suddenly upended, and the betting market is forced to adjust towards a new equilibrium.

In so far as a majority of people are always trading on the back of incomplete information, whilst also being subject to (amongst others) confirmation and anchoring bias, it stands to reason that the betting market price will often take on a significance far beyond what is warranted at a particular moment in time (misattributing causation). In so far as, until the betting market closes, there is always something more than what is contained within the currently available betting market price, it stands to reason, that for most people, the betting market price serves as nothing more than a distraction.

Curragh 25 March Selections.

It is possible for an AI machine that has been trained on a large amount of data related to horse racing, including historical race results, horse and jockey statistics, weather data, track biases, odds, betting market patterns and other relevant information to make predictions about the outcomes of horse races based on the data it is given. We utilised a private AI machine to predict the winners of the races at the opening meeting of the Irish flat season at the Curragh on March 25 2023.

Curragh Selection Outcome
1 Bucanero Fuerte Won 3/1
2 Laugh A Minute Won 4/1
3 Queenie St Clair Lost
4 Miss Mirabell Lost
5 Insinuendo Won Evens
6 Frazil Lost
7 Eloquent Arthur N/R
8 Conversant Lost

On Having the Last Word.

To believe something is to believe that it is true. So in theory, a trader when he places a trade, believes that all of his beliefs about the possibility of a forthcoming event outcome are true - otherwise why would he bother to trade? But through experience he knows full well that some of the beliefs that he currently holds to be true, will in fact be wrong (he is after all almost always trading on the back of incomplete information). So we are presented with a situation whereby a so-called rational trader believes that every one of his/her beliefs are true, whilst knowing that some of them are going to be proven to be false. That is the paradox - belief is actually nothing more than an experiment in knowledge acquisition. New information should always lead one to update ones beliefs, (perspectives should always be able to be changed when new information becomes available) - but this is far from being the case. People are essentially resistant to countervailing evidence: and indeed the backfire effect reveals that people will actually actively double down on their belief (or set of beliefs) when presented with contradictory evidence. Because most people are obsessed with having the last word they are resistant and unwilling to entertain other possibilities. Their back of a fag packet systems always exclude something, but what if what they have excluded was the most important piece of the jigsaw?

To inhabit a betting market is to be embedded in an interpersonal field in which we are in continual interaction with other people, some of whom we affect, many of whom affect us and some of whom affect each other. (Given that the full panoply of causes in play that are interacting and affecting the prices in any liquid betting market system is enormous, how is it, that we, as putative discoverers of the truth, set about selecting the causes that we take to be relevant to our final explanations.) There is an argument to be made that rational traders in betting exchange markets should not place bets with each other; the fact that another trader is willing to take the opposite side of my trade should suggest to me that this investor knows something I do not know.

In a betting exchange market, where liquidity is abundant, decision making is a difficult task. Traders are trapped in a network of relationships, surrounded by a sea of volatility. The information they receive is dispersed and arrives in a random order, creating an atmosphere of confusion. The uncertainty, ambiguity, and asymmetry of information, along with the temporal decay, variability, and excessive noise, creates an endless pattern of interpersonal interactions and almost always contributes to decisions that are sub-optimal.

What is needed for optimal decision making is clarity and consistency, yet traders are forced to attach significance to a multiplicity of conflicting cues. Analysis is nothing more than a retrospective construction and there is always the possibility that our views are biased by past experiences. We cling to our beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the unpredictable, but in doing so we fail to update them when confronted with new information and accordingly we risk losing sight of the true nature of things.

In this tenebrous world, we are faced with the absurd task of having to make fast decisions, whilst constantly aware of the extent of our own limitations and the inherent uncertainty of our actions. But it is in embracing this absurdity that we can find the freedom to make the bold choices that will actually make a difference.

Fear of Empty Spaces.

The liquid betting exchange market presents a challenging and ever-changing environment, characterized by a high degree of noise and volatility. It is a place where individuals with compromised cognitive abilities and deficiencies in rational thinking are prone to becoming emotionally overwhelmed in response to unexpected price movements. Trading in such an environment can be likened to navigating a dense forest with nothing but a torn map, exposing a range of cognitive biases and limitations.

Firstly, to trade, one must engage with a price, but the question remains - what information does that price contain at any given moment? Secondly, to commit to a trade, one must either rely on their own beliefs or those of others, both of which pose inherent dangers. Given the limited time and financial resources, individuals often fail to thoroughly examine the available data and instead resort to using mental shortcuts and relying on learned behaviors, which are themselves suspect due to errors in memory retrieval and interpretation bias.

Information processing errors are prevalent in this environment, as individuals tend to reinforce their core beliefs, even if they are not always correct. They unconsciously seek out confirmatory evidence while quickly discarding, ignoring and distorting disconfirmatory evidence. Furthermore, awareness, goals, desires, motivations and judgments are shaped by prior beliefs inferred from past experiences, leading to the brain picking patterns out of the environment based on familiarity and salience.

In summary, the liquid betting exchange market is a complex and ever-changing landscape, where cognitive biases and limitations are prevalent and strong emotions drive attentional focus and contribute to motivated reasoning. It requires a deep understanding of one's own cognitive biases, as well as a rigorous examination of the available data, to navigate successfully.

The Betting Market

A betting market is a platform or network where traders place bets on the outcome of an event, with prices reflecting the collective wisdom and expectations of all market participants. Prices are typically defined in terms of odds or probabilities, which are implied probabilities inferred by the collective betting market at a particular moment in time. The betting market is considered an efficient mechanism for aggregating information about the probability of various outcomes, as prices are constantly adjusting to reflect new information and changing expectations about the event. However, the implied probabilities derived from the betting market are not necessarily the same as the true probabilities of an event due to factors such as liquidity, transaction costs, and market manipulation. Trading in a betting market involves intentional risk-taking and the pursuit of profit through the exploitation of market inefficiencies and mispricings, with success depending on the trader's ability to understand and anticipate the behavior of other market participants. The functioning of a betting market is also influenced by various behavioral biases and heuristics that affect the decision-making of market participants, which can lead to market inefficiencies and mispricings. Ultimately, the success of individual traders depends on their ability to navigate this environment and make profitable trades based on their assessment of the betting market and the behavior of other traders in it.

The factors that drive betting market price changes, such as the subjective beliefs, expectations, and decisions of betting market participants, are highly contingent and variable, and can lead to unexpected and unpredictable betting market price movements, which is why that most people are totally rubbish when it comes to market timing on Betfair.

A betting market price is an amalgamation of multiplicities harbouring a pluripotentiality of possibilities.