19th March 2018

Today the Racing Post published some interesting details of the betting turnover at Cheltenham. As far as Paddy Power’s Festival Turnover Table goes – and it seems likely that the same applies to most bookmakers and betting turnover in general – no handicap made it into the top dozen races based on betting turnover and the same applied in 2017.

This, of course, is based on turnover, not profit, and it might be a very different story if we were looking at bookmakers’ margins. But it does make a mockery of the constant claims that punters love handicaps. As I have been saying for years, the only beneficiary of the handicap system is the betting industry and, despite the huge marketing machine that constantly plugs the big-field handicaps, punters still prefer non-handicap racing.


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