Bet Like A Pro – Christmas Pick6

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The upcoming Christmas Festival at Leopardstown is always one of the highlights of the Irish racing calendar, with nine Graded races scheduled over the four days. “Four thrilling days with the best that National Hunt racing has to offer” is how it was described recently by Pat Keogh (CEO Leopardstown Racecourse) and it’s hard to disagree. Last year’s roll of honour reads like a who’s-who of Irish racing royalty with names like A Toi Phil, Apples Jade, Douvan, Don Poli, No More Heroes and Nichols Canyon amongst the winners.

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With so many classy horses due to run again this year punters have never had it so good and Tote Ireland will have guarantees of over €600,000 for the festive period with a guaranteed €100,000 on offer every day for anybody who fancies their chances of landing the Pick 6. This bet, in particular, has really taken off in 2016 with huge pool sizes of €727k (Galway), €863k (Gowran Park) and €2.19m (Curragh) and with massive dividends on two of the four days at last year’s Leopardstown Christmas Festival, interest is sure to be high. Below, I have listed the Leopardstown Pick 6 dividend for €1 compared to the 6 fold accumulator dividend for those who played the accumulator for €1 with the bookies:

As you can see from the huge difference in the payouts, it pays to bet with the Tote.

On the face of it picking six winners might seem like an impossible task but, with so many fancied horses and several ‘bankers’ each day, it’s certainly proved a worthwhile investment recently. And for those not too inclined to spend hours poring through form-lines Tote Ireland have a QuickPick facility available that will make all of the selections for you. This is available online at www.thetote.com and also from all Tote locations at Leopardstown.

It is worth noting that the Tote Pick 6 is a tricky bet and choosing selections can be time consuming but remember, playing just a single line offers very little protection and it often pays to make multiple selections to increase your chances of striking it lucky.

Pick 6 Strategy

The first step you need to take when playing the Tote Pick 6 is to perform an initial sweep of the six races and to give each horse in each race a grade, either A, B, C or X. Each grade categorises the horses as follows;

Grade A – Main contender, most likely to win OR a horse that you feel has an outstanding chance compared to its price. Usually there will be between one to three A horses in a race.

Grade B – Reasonable chances, most likely to pick up the pieces if the A horses fail to run to expectation but there is a definite reason they are not A quality horses (question over form, ground, trip etc.).

Grade C – Unlikely winners who cannot be entirely discounted but may be worthy of inclusion in some tickets.

Grade X – Horses which can be eliminated through lack of ability or any other factors. These are horses you are comfortable to have running against you.

It is important to remember not to let the forecasted prices influence your grading too much. With Grade 1s on the card each day, there will be top class horses on show. However, if you feel a horse that is well fancied in the market has no chance and is a Grade X stick to your opinion, it could be the difference in winning or losing.

After your initial grading, you will need to re-examine your A, B and C grade and fine tune them a little bit. Many B horses will become C horses and several C horses can be eliminated and classed as horses you are happy to run against you. Remember, some days you will get knocked out by X horses but trying to cover every possible outcome is an extremely ineffective way to play. Long term you are better off on spending money on the horses you think actually have a chance.

By the time you have finished your grading you may have a short list that looks something like this where your A and B+ horses are mains and B- and C+ horses are backups;

Leg Selections Backups
1 1, 2 ,3  
2 1  
3 2, 4  
4 3, 6 8 ,9 ,10 ,11, 12
5 5, 8  
6 4, 6 1 ,2 ,3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10

Now to put that into one big combination would be massively expensive (3x1x2x7x2x10 = 840 units @€1 =€840) which wouldn’t be within everyone’s budget. Instead consider putting on multiple Tote Pick 6 bets;

Bet 1

Leg Selections
1 1, 2 ,3
2 1
3 2, 4
4 3, 6
5 5, 8
6 4, 6

The first just has your main horses.  Cost: 48 units @ €1 = €48

Bet 2

Leg Selections
1 1, 2 ,3
2 1
3 2, 4
4 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
5 5, 8
6 4, 6

The second includes the backups for leg 4. Cost: 168 units @ 0.50c = €84

Bet 3

Leg Selections
1 1, 2 ,3
2 1
3 2, 4
4 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
5 5, 8
6 4, 6, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11

The third includes the backups for leg 6. Cost: 240 units @ 0.50c = €120

So for the three of these bets the total cost becomes a much more manageable €252.

The compromise you have to make here is that on your two backup slips you are only playing for half the pool as it is just a 0.50c stake but with a huge Pick 6 pool on offer each day, this isn’t too much of a compromise. You are also not covered in the event that one of your backups wins both the fourth and the sixth but this is the chance you take to spend almost €600 less.

These are obviously just random numbers picked as an example but the same logic can be applied to any Tote Pick 6 card and it will give you a better chance to hit that big win. Tote Ireland has always been about the Small Stakes – Big Win so why not give it a go this year.

Best of luck with your bets over Christmas and don’t forget about the Pick 6 pools each day at Leopardstown. Please listen to our Podcast focused on the racing action. Also, each day the Tote tipster will provide his selections for each Irish meeting including Leopardstown and Limerick next week, with Down Royal also being previewed on St. Stephen’s day so be sure to check the Tote tipster page on our website here.

From all of us at Tote Ireland, we wish you the very best of luck and a very Happy Christmas.

Bet On thetote.com

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