backing 2nds variance

In July last year, we had a look at how Cameron O’Brien’s Key Bets was tracking. At the time, the results were as follows:

Bets: 724

Wins: 159

Strike rate: 22.0%

Total outlay: 933.0 units (average stake 1.3 units)

Profit: -41.3 units

Profit on Turnover: -4.4%

High point: +35.3 units

Low point: -46.9 units

The driver of our review was that it felt like we’d been backing a hell of a lot of seconds, and perhaps weren’t too far off the mark. That proved to be correct. The key points were as follows:

  • We’d backed 128 second placings where we’ve lost 184.2 units
  • The 128 second placings ranged in price from $1.60 to $22.70
  • Had just the ten shortest priced horses of the 128 won, we’d have been 47.9 units better off – rather than losing 20.7 units, we’d have profited 27.2 units. That would put us in profit over the period in question.

This led to our conclusion that Key Bets was actually just suffering from variance, and the malaise wasn’t permanent. With the margins to success being so small, we thought it might be prudent to stick with Cameron’s tips.

So… nearly 800 bets later… how does it look now? Let’s compare the period since.

Bets: 781

Wins: 140

Strike rate: 17.9%

Total outlay: 752.4 units (average stake 1.0 units)

Profit: 34.3 units

Profit on Turnover: 4.6%

So was it variance?

Based on the results you’d have to say yes. Key Bets has turned around since, with nearly the entire early losses offset and the overall result almost back to break-even. Cam has been a pro punter for many years, so confidence remains high to over the long run, we’ll see strong profits.

As a comparison, here are the two periods, showing the drop in second placings.

Interestingly, the winning strike-rate has dropped… yet results are much better.

The difference? The average winning price in the first period was $3.92. For period 2, it’s $5.68.

The lesson? Be careful before you stop a losing betting approach or package. It may be just variance, and getting out at the bottom simply means you’ll never get your money back.

Cameron O’Brien’s Key Bets has been on fire since September 2018, making over $5,700 profit from 107 winners in that time.

Betting Wednesday to Sunday at tracks in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, there’s always plenty of action as well.

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