Bet Like A Pro – Tote Trifecta (Part I)

We have looked in some detail over the last three week’s at the Tote Exacta and how to best approach it. Now we move to a similar but more complex bet, the Tote Trifecta. On face value it doesn’t sound much more difficult; just find the horse to come third to your Exacta pairing. But consider this in a 10 runner race there are 90 possible Exacta combinations, in that same race there are 720 possible Trifecta combinations. It’s not all bad though, the pay-out for the Tote Trifecta is significantly more rewarding than the Tote Exacta with an average pay-out of €446 in 2015.

Tote Trifecta is a bet you need to think carefully about though as costs can spiral quickly, a simple three horse combination Tote Trifecta will cost €6 but it by its nature is an inefficient bet. The implication of playing a combination Tote Trifecta is that you believe all horses have an equal chance of coming first, second or third. In reality you probably don’t believe that. Playing the Tote Trifecta well requires you to read the race.

In this process you need to take all aspects of the race into consideration, the race type, numbers of runners, ground conditions, how the race is likely to be run. For example, races with two or more clear front runners will be more likely to produce a pace collapse setting it up for hold up types leaving the front runners to fade out of the placings. It is this level of understanding of a race that is necessary to consistently see returns from the Tote Trifecta.

Windsor Park and Davy Russell win the Copper Face Jacks Maiden Hurdle Leopardstown Christmas Festival Photo: Patrick McCann 29.12.2014

Many players may like three horses in a race and put them into a Tote Trifecta combination then afterwards are complaining of their poor luck if they get the first and second but not the third or something similar. The reality is that getting two horses up in a combination Tote Trifecta isn’t as close as it might seem to winning. In an eight horse race there are 336 possible Trifecta outcomes, 96 of which include your two placed horses and you have only put money on 6 combinations.

Stepping up to a four horse combination increases your coverage but also your cost.  This will give you 24 separate bets but is even more inefficient as you are now suggesting that  all four horses have equal chances to come first, second or third. Instead take a position that two of your horses will hit the board and for the same €24 you could cast your net a lot wider.

For example, a €1 combination Tote Trifecta on horses 1-2-3-4 would cost €24. For the same total spend you could instead play:

€1 combination Tote Trifecta on 1-2-3 = €6

€1 combination Tote Trifecta on 1-2-4 = €6

€1 combination Tote Trifecta on 1-2-5 = €6

€1 combination Tote Trifecta on 1-2-6 = €6

The trade-off you make here is that 1 and 2 must be placed but it gives you a greater spread on the rest of the field. This works well in situations where there is a solid favourite and you fancy a bigger priced runner to run well while still giving you four other runners to complete your combination with them.

This is something that can prove to be both valuable and achievable in condition or maiden races (in which Trifecta is only available with Tote) but here is a nice example from a handicap hurdle at Navan recently;

Trifecta Navan

Flemenstorm was 7/2 favourite who has been in great form of late and was a very solid option to hit the board again. If you had fancied Owennacurra Milan (12/1) to be in the first three which was very possible after a decent third place finish on his previous start then you could have used the method above to play the following in the race:

€1 combination Tote Trifecta Flemenstorm (7/2) – Owennacurra Milan (12/1) – Augher Castle (9/2)

€1 combination Tote Trifecta Flemenstorm (7/2) – Owennacurra Milan (12/1) – Nickname Exit (5/1)

€1 combination Tote Trifecta Flemenstorm (7/2) – Owennacurra Milan (12/1) – Railway Tommy (10/1)

€1 combination Tote Trifecta Flemenstorm (7/2) – Owennacurra Milan (12/1) – Mad Brian (7/1)

It is irrelevant that neither of the two horses you banked on won the race, what was important was that they were both placed and one of the four others you selected in the race completed the Tote Trifecta giving you a pay-out of €366.80 or a profit of €342.80 on the race.

That’s enough maths for my head to handle in one week so we will continue this next Wednesday (hit follow by email on the right hand menu to get a notification when a new post is up) but in the meantime why not try out this new technique.

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