In betting parlance, a ‘Roundabout’ is a type of multiple bet involving three selections. The bet consists of three single bets and three conditional, or ‘any-to-come’, doubles to twice the original stake. For example, a £1 Roundabout on three selections, A, B and C, consists of £1 win A, any-to-come £2 win double B and C, £1 win B, any-to-come £2 win double A and C, and £1 win C, any-to-come £2 win double A and B.
Of course, if one of your selections is odds-on, the win single will generate a return less than twice your original stake, in which case the full return will be staked on the any-to-come double on the other two selections. Consequently, if one of the other two selections loses, you will lose your whole stake, despite having backed a winner.
Nevertheless, proponents of the Roundabout argue, with some justification, that the possibility of losing your whole stake is a price worth paying for the ‘leverage’ the bet provides, if successful. In the above example, the amount staked is £3, for three £1 win singles, but the potential payout is for three £1 win singles, less £2 from the return on each one, plus three £2 win doubles. If you back three winners, all at even money, your return from three standard £1 win singles will be £6, but your return from a Roundabout, for the same unit stake, will be £24.
The Placepot, or Tote Placepot, is a popular type of pool bet, the aim of which is to correctly predict a horse to be placed in each of the first six races at any meeting in Britain or Ireland. As with other types of Tote bet, the winning dividend is calculated by the dividing total stakes in the Placepot pool, subject to a 27% deduction, by the number of winning tickets. The winning dividend is declared to a £1 stake, but winnings are calculated pro rata, based on the amount staked on each permutation, or ‘line’, which can be as little as £0.10, or even £0.05, in some cases, sibject to a minimum total stake of £1.
As the name suggests, the Placepot is operated by the Tote, owned since 2019 by the UK Tote Group, but bets can be placed with many online bookmakers, who pass stakes back to the Tote pool. Obviously, the number of places offered depends on the number of runners in a race; in races with four or fewer runners only the winner counts for Placepot purposes, in races with between five and seven runners the first two count, in races with eight or more runners the first three count and in handicap races with sixteen or more runners the first four count. Picking more than one selection in one or more legs of the Placepot increases your chances of a return, but also the number of permutations and, hence, your total stake.
The ‘penalty value’ of a horse race, as listed on a racecard, describes the prize money awarded to the winner and, possibly, anything up to the next nine horses home, depending on the total prize fund available. However, penalty value does not reflect deductions, such as trainer and jockeys percentages, British Horseracing Authority (BHA) fees and so on, so owners’ prize money is always less than the penalty value of the race in question.
In horse racing, a ‘penalty’ is additional weight, say, 5lb or 7lb, imposed on a horse for winning a race under certain circumstances. Details of such penalties are listed in the race conditions and, in some cases, are imposed on horses that have won a race, or races, above a certain value in a certain timeframe. The winner of a race worth £3,000 might incur a 5lb penalty, the winner of a race worth £5,000 might incur a 7lb penalty and so on; in any case, it is the penalty value of the races, or races, previously won that determines whether or not a penalty is imposed and, if so, what level of penalty. That’s why it’s called ‘penalty value’ in the first place!
The Monty Roberts blanket takes its name from its inventor, American horse trainer, or ‘horse whisperer’, Marvin Earl ‘Monty’ Roberts. Originally designed in the early Nineties, the lightly-padded blanket is fitted, temporarily, behind the saddle and covers the hindquarters of a horse down as far as the hocks, or the equivalent of the human ankle. Other styles of stalls blanket exist but, in Britain, Monty Roberts has become synonymous with this type of equipment.
All starting stalls include rails, on either side, on the inside walls, on which jockeys can put their feet down. In the absence of a Monty Roberts blanket, contact with these rails can cause some horses to become claustrophobic and unruly. The purpose of the blanket, therefore, is to protect the ‘vulnerable’ areas of the horse, such as the ribs or stifle joints – the equivalent of the human knee – from unwanted brushing, or bumping, against the starting stalls. A rope is attached to a ring at the rear of the blanket, so that it can be pulled off by a stalls handler when the stalls open.