Just in case you thought I was talking through my pocket with my comments about the GN SP market, here's a lengthy more considered view from bettingemporium.com. It's reproduced from a section of their website which is free to view. There are often interesting articles about the industry like this one so it's worth visiting their site:
"A look back at the Grand National
AP McCoy's last Grand National, riding Shutthefrontdoor, with him promising to retire on the spot if he won was a major story surrounding last weekend's race. Expectations were for a flood of sentimental money from the general public, with talk in some quarters of the horse going off at 4-1 for the 39 runner race.
At lunchtime Shutthefrontdoor began to shorten from 9-1 and by 3.15pm, an hour before the race, prices shortened across the board, at one stage Hills, Coral, Ladbrokes and Betfred took their prices down to 6-1 whilst a) some firms held at 8-1 and b) the horse was weak on Betfair, backable at 10.0+
This was against a backdrop where the three of the firms mentioned above (on the day of the year where their potential acquisition of customers is greatest) only offered four places each-way in their shops compared to five places online. Maybe this tells us that new shop punters don't return, so there was no need to incentivise to attract them.
In the hour before the Grand National the 6-1 didn't hold and by 3.45pm it was 8-1 across the board and Rocky Creek briefly went favourite. There was no sign of an avalanche of money depressing the price, though Coral did say in the evening after the race that Shutthefrontdoor was the biggest loser in their book
After 4pm, with the race approaching it was still 8/1. Unsurprisnigly with a parade and 39 runners the race was late off. In the final minute before the race prices fell two whole points to 6/1, whilst drifting to 14.5 on BF, which was you could get on the off. The collapse in the price occurred without any corresponding move out in the rest of the field such that the race book went off with an over-round of 165%
It is fair to say that the Grand National is never a great "value" betting race. Witness the over-rounds in recent years:
165% represented the highest figure in any year as far back as 2003.
My understanding is that if the shops want to shorten a horse (hedging part of an exposure, say) then their course reps can do so in hard cash on the rails. Here, why not just press the blue button on betfair at double figures?
Ladbrokes said after a recent national that 40% of their shop punters took the starting price. In 2010 the method of calculating Starting prices was change. SPs were determined by SP agents taking a sample of bookmakers' prices, and taking the lowest price among the best third available "to good money" at the off. Now the SP is the lowest price among the top 50 per cent.
This year the very late move in the SP clearly went beyond hedging (which at a late stage would hedge only a fraction of exposures for the big firms anyway) and into something far more questionable. The punters most affected, the once a year customers in the shops were
a) likely to be on Shutthefrontdoor
b) at some firms limited to four places anyway
c) least likely to realise that the SP fell two points in the last seconds before the race
d) in some cases still don't realise
e) and even some who do probably don't care
The SP system before the Grand National displayed the characteristics of a cartel price-fixing. It's not an open market as it should be and it is done to pay less winnings to punters. The SP system doesn't work as well as it once did because the on-course markets are now so weak.
To add insult to injury of a starting price system that here failed them, for those shop punters offered 4 places, Shutthefrontdoor finished 5th. At least we can't blame the bookmakers for that!"
Sent from my iPad