Cheltenham has just finished for another year. Guinness consumption has gone through the roof, Corona beer consumption is lying in a Mexican gutter and the newly launched Tote has finished its first festival with some appalling results.
During the festival the Betfair SP outperformed bookmakers SP and Tote returns on every single race. The Tote had the audacity to brag on Twitter about the 162.6 return on the 66/1 winner of the Foxhunters and yet punters would have been rewarded with 224.95 on Betfair. It Came to Pass is exactly what punters should be doing when it comes to the Tote, pass and bet at Betfair SP if price juggling is not your thing.
How much worse off would you have been?, well if you had backed every winner at the meeting with Betfair SP you would have won +579.01 counting stakes whilst on the Tote you would have won +453.62
The Tote was inferior to the bookmaker SP in 20 of the Cheltenham races and beat bookmaker SP in only 8. The Tote do match the bookmaker SP if its bigger but these figures suggest that the Tote is leaning towards being an SP based service in the main.
Why is this important?, well for a number of reasons. Firstly it sticks in my throat that Betfair SP hardly ever gets mentioned by the media. The Racing Post never report it and on the TV channel the fool in the ring would rather run naked amongst the pitches than mention Betfair Prices. More importanlty though is that in order to attract people to Racing we must not kid ourselves that this is not primarily a betting sport and to attract people it must feel solvable even if for the vast majority it is not. Punters who lose their money more slowly are far more likely to stay engaged and try to improve and hence stay in the sport. Getting the best possible return is vitally important in slowing down the attrition for losing punters.