What is Best Odds Guaranteed?

Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) is a promotion offered by some, but not all, bookmakers. Essentially, BOG works on the premise that, if you take a early or board price on a horse on the day of event, your bookmaker will pay you out at the higher of the price you took and the starting price (SP). In other words, BOG provides a ‘safety net’ if your selection drifts in the market and, as such, is considered a ‘must’ for serious punters because of its positive effect on bottom-line profit or loss.

Of course, it would fair to say that most horses that take a walk in the market rarely win, but some do, so BOG offers punters the best of both worlds. Graeme Rodway, deputy betting editor of the ‘Racing Post’ recently cited the example of Greaneteen, whom he backed at 5/1, BOG on the morning of the five-runner Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December 2021, only to be rewarded with an astonishing SP of 12/1.

Unfortunately, bookmakers are all to well aware of the value offered by BOG, to the extent that some don’t offer the promotion and some that do impose terms and conditions. Where available, BOG is generally offered on all horseracing bets placed from 8am on the day of the race, but some bookmakers wait until 9am, 10am or 11am, which can prove frustrating for punters waiting to place a bet. Other bookmakers seek to limit their exposure to multiple bets – that is, doubles, trebles and upwards – by offering BOG on single bets only, which is a major negative for typical, small-stakes punters.

What does it mean if a horse is ‘out of the handicap’?

In Britain, the majority of horse races are handicap races. In a handicap race, each horse carries a weight according to its official handicap rating – or, in other words, a numerical representation of its supposed ability, expressed in Imperial pounds – as allotted by a team of handicappers at the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

Handicap races are divided into a series of ‘ratings bands’, which, in turn, define the eligibility of horses that may participate. As an everyday example, let’s consider a Class 5 handicap, open to horses aged four years and upwards, with a specified ratings band of 0-68. The maximum and minimum weights to be carried are specified in the race conditions, so if the maximum weight is, say, 9st 9lb, a horse rated 62 would carry 9st 3lb.

Lower-rated horses would carry less weight, proportionate to their handicap ratings. If the minimum weight is, say, 8st 4lb, a horse rated 49 would carry that weight. Thus, while the race is officially designated 0-68, it is effectively suitable for horses rated 49-68. Of course, horses rated 48 or below may still be entered for such a race, but would still be required to carry the specified minimum weight of 8st 4lb. A horse rated, say, 46 would carry 8st 4lb as opposed to the 8st 1lb dictated by its official handicap ratung, and would thus be described as 3lb ‘out of the handicap’ or 3lb ‘wrong at the weights’.

What is a multiple bet?

In simple terms, a multiple bet is a win or each-way bet on two or more selections, in two or more separate events, to a single stake or consistent unit stakes. The simplest form of multiple bet involves two selections and is known, unsurprisingly, as a ‘double’. Consider, for example, a winning £1 win double on selections priced at 2/1 and 3/1 respectively. The first ‘leg’ of the double yields £3 (£2 profit plus the original £1 stake) which becomes the stake for the second leg. The second leg yields £12 (£9 profit plus the £3) stake, which is the total return for the bet, at combined odds of 11/1.

The same principle applies to a ‘treble’, which involves three selections, and an ‘accumulator’, which involves four or more selections. Of course, for three or more selections, it is possible to place a combination bet, which covers all the doubles, trebles and accumulators available. The well-known ‘Yankee’ bet, for example, involves four selections combined in six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold accumulator for a total of 11 bets, and thus 11 stakes, in all.

For ambitious punters, various combination bets, such as the ‘Canadian’ or ‘Super Yankee’, involving five selections, the ‘Heinz’, involving six, the ‘Super Heinz’ involving seven, and so on are available. In any of these combination bets, punters require two or more selections to win (or at least to finish placed, in the case of an each-way bet) to produce a return.

What is a non-trier?

In horse racing, a ‘non-trier’ is any horse that is prevented, for one reason or another, from running on its merits or, in other words, from running to the best of its ability. Under the Rules of Racing, as maintained by the governing body, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), a jockey take all permissible and reasonable measures to ensure the horse has been given the best opportunity to obtain the best placing. However, under certain circumstances, an owner or trainer may instruct a jockey to ride a horse in such a way that it is not given that opportunity.

So-called ‘schooling in public’, for example, refers to the practice of training a horse to race over obstacles, and/or improving its fitness levels, on the racecourse in a live, sanctioned race as opposed to on the training grounds at home. A jockey may instructed not to ask a horse for the ‘timely, real or substantial effort’ demanded by the Rules, resulting in a deliberately below-par performance, which may prove unfairly advantageous to the horse, from a handicapping perspective, and to its connections, from a betting perspective.

Unsurprisingly, raceday stewards take a dim view of schooling in public and other similar offences and will hold an inquiry into the running and riding of any horse suspected to have breached the Rules of Racing. The jockey, owner and trainer of the horse may all be culpable, depending on the nature of the offence and liable to fines and/or suspension. The horse, itself, may be liable a 40-day ban from racing.

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