What is a ‘Round Robin’ bet?

What is a 'Round Robin' bet?  Not to be confused with a ‘Round Robin’ tournament, in which each participant plays every other participant, a ‘Round Robin’ bet is a multiple bet, which combines three selections in ten individual bets. Those individual bets are three doubles, one treble and three ‘single-stakes-about’ bets, each of which is actually a pair of bets. The doubles and treble are straightforward enough, but the single-stakes-about bets can be a source of confusion for anyone unfamiliar with ‘any-to-come’ or ‘if-cash’ betting.

For three selections, A, B and C, the ‘any-to-come’ elements of a Round Robin bet are 1-point win A, any-to-come 1-point win B, and vice versa, making two bets, and so on for selections A and C and B and C, making a total of six bets in all. In each pair of single-stakes-about bets, the stake on each selection depends on the success, or failure, of the other selection in the pair. If selection A wins, you effectively double your stake on selection B, while retaining the profit from your winning bet on selection A. If selection A loses, there is nothing to come and the first part of the two-part bet is a loser. Furthermore, even if selection B wins, you still effectively double your stake on selection A, so you lose your entire stake on that pair of bets.

What is a stop race flag?

What is a stop race flag?  In horse racing, a stop race flag is, as the name suggests, a flag waved by racecourse officials, such as the starter and advanced flag operator, or recall man, to bring a race to a halt. Once the stop race flag is deployed, jockeys must immediately stop riding – regardless and the race must be declared void.

In Britain, from January 4, 2021 onwards, the stop race flag has featured orange and yellow quarters, to increase its visibility compared with the previous all-yellow flag. Likewise, for clarity and the safety of all concerned, including jockeys, racecourse staff and spectators, the stop race procedure has also been revised.

Under the new rules, the waving of the stop race flag is still accompanied by the blowing of whistles, to provide an audible, as well as visible, signal to jockeys, but multiple flags must be deployed in one, or preferably more than one, location. The new stop race procedure received a timely examination when, on March 1, 2021, one of the runners in a maiden hurdle at Plumpton broke down in the back straight, leaving the rest of the field with nowhere to go to avoid the stricken horse on the second circuit.

What is a stalls test?

What is a stalls test?  The vast majority of Flat races in Britain and Ireland are started from starting stalls, so it is vital that racehorses remain tractable in and around the stalls. Horses that are difficult, or impossible, to load into the stalls, or become fractious and unruly once loaded, may need to be withdrawn on welfare grounds. Consequently, any horse that causes repeated problems at the start may be referred for a stalls test, which it must pass before it can race again.

As the name suggests, a stalls test is an official trial of a horse’s ability to start satifactorily from starting stalls. A stalls test may take place at a race meeting or elsewhere, subject to approval by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). In either case, the horse must demonstrate its willingness to be led into the stalls by a single stalls handler, with the assistance of no more than four stall handlers from behind, and remain in the stalls, quietly, for at least a minute.

A horse that fails a stalls test cannot take another for 14 days and, if it fails a second consecutive test, cannot take another, or race, for six months. If, at the end of that period, the horse fails a third consecutive stalls test, its future lies in the hands of the BHA Disciplinary Panel.

What is a Roundabout bet?

What is a Roundabout bet?  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.

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