"This Game: It's All About the Edge, Isn't It?"

This was a comment made by Mark, a long time member, during a discussion we were having on eMail about selection and staking.

We had settled on our respective methods of selection: I was doing the VOP14 selections which were value and Mark was doing something along similar lines but with a different set of filters. But, ultimately, they were essentially the same thing: Value Betting.

What we were looking at were appropriate staking schemes and to find ways into improving the returns by various forms of staking strategies.

Now, we know of some people who put more onto a horse which has a higher price because, quite simply, more is returned if the horse wins. And that makes a lot of sense and various tests on staking were made, and it still felt somewhat unsatisfactory and it just didn't feel right.

And then Mark came up with "This game: it's all about the Edge, isn't it?" which I have used as the title of this piece. Mark suggested that we should just look at the selections with the higher edge, forget about having a minimum price but go for a minimum Edge and, furthermore, suggested that the cut-off be the average Edge so that one is only backing horses with the better Edge.

The penny dropped and in my head a bright light went on.

Looking through my VOP14 logs I found the average Edge of my selections each day and divided the whole lot into two parts: the bets whose Edge were less than the average and those above the same divide.

What I found astounded me. Whilst both sides were profitable (which being value betting, I would have expected this), I found that the strike was about almost identical on both sides but it was the profit figures that stood out.

The profit on the side backing the horses whose Edge was less than the Average made just 10% of the overall profit. That meant that 90% of the profits were made from the selections whose Edge was greater than the average.

The strike rate comparison I didn't expect at all, but if I had thought for a minute beforehand I would have expected this. I wasn't looking at Low Price vs. High Price horses but Low Edge vs. High Edge which meant that I was still selecting horses of all value prices.

The impact of discarding the Low Edge was immediate. No longer was I looking at horses with a 5% Edge which may have a ten percent strike rate. The draw-downs that I was getting were reduced immediately; I was getting more Profit Points at more frequent intervals and, furthermore, it meant that I could reduce the number of points in my bank. So, going from a bank with 200 points to one of 150 points meant that the profits, in terms of Pounds and Pence, improved significantly.

So this is what I am doing now. Each day I look at all the VOP14 selections which are value (i.e. having an Edge of 1 or more) and then finding the average Edge of this lot and then discarding all those which don't reach that figure.

At the end of the day this is a more efficient method than backing horses that are larger priced: the horses backed are those which are really in my favour.

And one more thing: I don't worry about a minimum price any more. If the horse is available at Above Average Edge for the VOP14s then I am on it.