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Punters Cautioned On Reserve Runners

A rule change to protect punters and bookies needed

Wet,wet,wet at Kenilworth on Saturday (Pic – Chase Leibenberg)

In this new age of capacity fields and multiple reserve runners, a danger could be lurking for punters in the shape of those very reserve runners.

Writing in the Sporting Post Mailbag, Hilton Witz says that he would like to bring to the attention of fellow punters the dangers of wagering on the early betting on South African racing once the final acceptances have been done – normally 4 to 5 days in advance of any local meeting.

Hopefully there can be some type of rule change in the best interests of both punters and bookmakers with regards to the early betting.

Because of the pandemic nearly all the fields have, and rightly so, reserve runners which are automatically scratched on raceday at around 08h15 unless there are prior scratchings in which case the reserves get a run.

Reserves have been used for a while especially with Hollywoodbets Greyville poly as only 12 can run which is the case since racing resumed countrywide since 1 June.

The problem is the early betting does not have the reserves in it. So in effect you are backing a horse in the race to beat the other 11 runners at the time and not any of the reserve runners.

So when a horse does get scratched and you get a deduction in the race if the horse is 20 to 1 or less in the betting, it is replaced by another horse that you never considered into your calculations.

And if it happens to beat your selection, in essence when you had your bet you never stood a chance of winning it.

This happened on Sunday at Kenilworth in the ninth race where the first 3 past the post were all reserve runners

While I’m not suggesting that we must do away with early betting on local racing, surely it needs to be looked at so it’s fair for both parties.

At the moment it’s heavily in the bookies favour!

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15 comments on “Punters Cautioned On Reserve Runners

  1. Anthony says:

    surely this also affects your exotic bets if placed early??

    1. Editor says:

      Most exotics probably placed on raceday?
      Anthony, please add your name or surname – many thanks

  2. Marty Williams says:

    Ed …similar topic if not directly in response to this post . Do you know if HW / GC are persisting with draw / saddlecloth combo for July this year ?

    Still find it crazy that top weight may carry 16 and bottom weight saddle cloth 1.

    So with regards the reserve runner reference … it’s difficult getting into a G1 as it is, but now a reserve runner, if called in, is basically doomed to start from gate 18 or higher.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Great value if you include 1 or 2 Reserve runners in exotic accumulative bets in legs where you have more than 2 choices. I normally add 1 reserve if I choose 3 runners and 2 reserves when I choose 4 runners in a leg.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Banking on the favorite qualifying of course.

  5. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Good points, agree.

    Thanx Hilton ??

  6. I’m in love with the reserve runner scenario.

    The problem is…

    Everybody is taking a chance with the safety dance, the safety dance, the safety daaancee

  7. Boete sing says:

    it was always a problem but you have a choice include them or leave them out that is what gambling is all about taking a chance if we want every rule changed go and play bingo or something

  8. S P van Staden says:

    And allso this horse nr 1 and draw nr 1 is nonsense..we older people work with sistems all the years now Greyv.come with this…..sometimes the top weight is on the bottom..that is Bull..hope they can bring it back as it was…
    …Fanie Van Staden…Sasolburg

  9. Graham HJ. says:

    Every day a new squeak on the car, another rattle……

  10. Cecil Pienaar says:

    ” If you change your mind, I’m the first in line,
    Honey I’m still free, Take a chance on me ”

    Hello William …. Safety dance, but don’t leave your friends behind ?

  11. Good point, Mr. Pienaar

  12. Brian Fredericks says:

    It was like always a problem u know there is 13 or 14 runners u also know there gonna be 12 or less why don’t you do the math that the punter can be satisfied to Brian Fredericks

  13. Anand Chetty says:

    The reserve runner is not a problem for exotic bettors who play their selections on race day.
    I do however get very irate, and have expressed my ire year in and year out with the racing authorities who urge punters to play their bets early for big events like the July, when reserve runners are still potential runners.
    I believe the exotic bets should only be open once ALL reserve runners are scratched, preferably on the Friday morning before the July.
    It’s annoying to wait for the scratchings on the July morning before final selections are done.
    And seriously, I don’t understand the logic of scratching the reserve runners for the main race the day before (Zilzaal was deprived of a run because of this) but the rest of the reserves are scratched on July day

  14. Ramesh. Bhikraj says:

    22 July, sporting post caution punters taking early bets as a race in Kenilworth was filled by the reserve runners in the first 3 past the post. 19 August, Greyville POLLY another reserve runner wins and bang goes the the exotics. I have made up my mind, I will only gamble on weekends when I am not at working to pick my exotic bets. I can complain plenty but to no good. Just watch how the pools for the exotics falls should punters go this route.

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