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What are market movers in horse racing?

What are market movers

In horse racing a market mover is a horse whose price has shifted markedly from when a market forms. There are two ways that this can go, a horse can be “backed”, which means its price dramatically shortens. When this happens, the horse will be called a steamer. Once a horse starts being backed in dramatically, a snowball effect usually occurs and as others notice the shift, this causes the price to collapse.

This can also go the other way, when a horse is left cold in the market and is not backed. For example, a horse can be installed in the market by traders at 11/4, but if the money comes for another horse or that horse isn’t being backed itself, then the odds will tend to lengthen. There can be many reasons as to why a horse is backed or left cold in the market

When many bettors back a horse to win, this results in the bookies decreasing the price on that happening. However, horse market movers can go the other way too. Just as punters support some racehorses in the betting, others attract no interest or support. These have their odds of winning increased as a result of bets developing elsewhere. A market mover is a horse whose odds for a race have changed significantly one way or the other. When many bettors back a horse to win, this results in the bookies decreasing the price on that happening. However, horse market movers can go the other way too. Just as punters support some racehorses in the betting, others attract no interest or support. These have their odds of winning increased as a result of bets developing elsewhere.

Importance of Market Movers

Market Movers are an easy way to find hot horses from the race card. They are represented by a flame. The more flames, the bigger the move. Market Movers are activated 20 minutes from the scheduled race jump time. This is done to have reliable Flucs data.

Market Movers are based on the last 10 Flucs prices and is represented based on the largest % change.  The more flames, the larger the percentage change. To view Market Movers, tap on ‘Flucs’ which appears at the top of the race card. The Market Movers will appear next to the Flucs price.

Importance of market movers

Why do Market Movers occur?

There can be many reasons why a horse is backed in heavily, though the main reason tends to come from behind the scenes. Hype spreads very quickly these days with the brilliant invention of the internet and as such, if a horse is working well at home, you’re likely to know about it. If a horse is going well at home, people “in the know” are likely to be on early, to try and capitalize on the price. Once the price is cut markedly from the early markets (formed the night before), punters will start to notice, and this tends to create a snowball effect.

The word of trainers and jockeys also tends to have a very big effect on the markets. If a trainer comes on the TV before a meeting and says a horse is “tearing up trees” at home, people are likely to take that at face value and thus, the horses’ price starts to plummet. Jockeys are also likely to be positive about horses they love, especially the bigger names, and this will have a big influence on the market. It’s best to be very careful with quotes coming from trainers and jockeys. Yes, they are masters of their craft, but they are likely to big up their chances!

There is also the very dangerous, common misconception, that if a horse is backed in, then it’s more than likely to win. This certainly isn’t a steadfast rule. As previously mentioned, when a horse’s price begins to shift downwards, people will tend to latch onto this, which causes a complete collapse. No gamble, on any horse, is a certainty and against popular belief, it’s not the trainer’s fault!

Biggest Market Movers

In recent times, few people will forget the infamous Charles Byrnes gamble that occurred on August 2nd 2016. Three Byrnes trained horses, all ridden by Davy Russell, were backed in the early hours, creating a huge plunge. The full story can be read here, but it’s a very good example of how people “in the know” can create gobsmacking market movers. Market movers like this, however, are very rare.

On the point of well-planned gambles, punters also have gone over the big Cheltenham Festival Market Movers, including the plunge on Son Of Flicka prior to the 2012 Coral Cup.

Importance of market movers

Drifters and steamers: the most significant market movers

The top drifter in a race is the horse that has had its odds of winning increased the most. Horses can defy a drift in the market and still win, so don’t automatically rule out betting on those whose odds get bigger. You get a higher return if they win, but the implied probability of that happening is smaller.

Steamers, meanwhile, are the biggest markets movers in a positive direction.  Just because a gamble develops on a steamer, however, is no guarantee that such a horse will win the race. It is only an indication of strong market confidence. Steamers are seen as having an increased implied probability and thus a higher chance of winning, but sometimes a market move of this nature can turn out to be false.

Where to find market movers?

Horse betting Sportsbet

Some horse racing websites have dedicated pages where they list the day’s major market movers. These can highlight both steamers and drifters. If updating from the morning of the race, you can use these to spot early market movers in horse racing. There are also odds comparison services where you can check the prices offered by different bookmakers. What odds checkers do is use a simple colour scheme with horses that are being backed shaded in one colour, and those on the drift in another.

Click here to find the latest market movers today at these online bookies

Careful betting decisions can often be the difference between winning and losing. You should always bear the following factors in mind when assessing whether to back a mover or leave it alone:

Strength of the market:  The shorter the odds, then the higher the gamble. The market is a reflection of how much money other bettors are placing on certain horses. In a wide-open competitive race where there is little consensus, you should pay particular attention to market movers.

Timing:  Is it on the morning of the race or just moments before the off Some gambles on steamer horses develop more quickly than others. Drifts can also happen soon after the market has been formed, or at the last minute. If you want to get involved with backing a horse to win or laying it to lose, choosing the right time to place your bet is vital.

Previous odds:  Be on the lookout for bookmakers who are slow to respond to gambles developing, as you might still get a better price out of them. It’s also worth remembering that other things such as non-runners and jockey changes can also result in a change of odds. Always keep an eye on the prices.

Class: There are different classes and grades of horse races. If a positive market move occurs on a horse with proven form at a certain level, then that is a sign of confidence. Other than young, inexperienced horses having their first few runs, the official handicapper will provide ratings that highlight how good they are. Watch out for progressive horses taking a step up in class and classy horses moving down into an easier grade.

Bookmaker manipulation: It should come as no surprise to you that the bookies shorten horses up in the betting just before the off. This is to protect their liabilities. They are more than happy to get a favourite beaten. Bookmakers do manipulate markets, especially if the trainer or jockey of a racehorse has already had a good day with other runners.

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