A handicapper takes information from numerous sources, assigns weights and values to it. They will make their own power ranking and predict what the point spread should be without looking at the official line first, and then compare their predictions to the line to look at discrepancies. A large amount of data available via the internet and other sources means that the handicapper has more information but it means there is more to sift through to find the gems. The use of computer programs can help when searching through the data.
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The same historical progression was followed for wagers, with the bets in early (two-horse) races being simply to win and modern bets being placed on the first three horses (win, place, and show). From private bets, wagering was extended in the 19th century to bookmaking (a bookmaker is a professional bet accepter who tries to set his odds so that a percentage is working in his favour). Later in that century, betting was taken over worldwide by the racetrack managements in the form of the pari-mutuel. This is a common betting pool in which those who bet horses finishing in the first three places share the total amount bet minus a percentage for the management. The pari-mutuel was perfected with the introduction in the 20th century of the totalizator, a machine that mechanically records bets and can provide an almost instant reflection of betting in all pools. It displays the approximate odds to win on each horse and the total amount of wagering on each horse in each of various betting pools. The customary pools are win, place, and show, and there are such specialty wagers as the daily double (winners of the first two races), perfecta (win and place winners in order in one race), quiniela (as in the perfecta but not in order), and trifecta (win, place, and show winners in order in one race). Other specialty wagers, sometimes offering extremely high payouts, require the bettor to select multiple trifectas, the winners of several races, or the first four horses in one race.
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In 2016, Susquehanna International Group LLP, an American quantitative trading company, started an Ireland-based operation called Nellie Analytics Inc., targeting basketball, American football, soccer, and tennis. Phoenix, a proprietary sports-betting company with headquarters in Malta and data-mining operations in the Philippines, won a £9 million ($13 million) investment in 2010 from a unit of RIT Capital Partners Plc, the £3 billion trust chaired by Lord Jacob Rothschild of the global banking dynasty. (RIT sold its stake in 2016 to a private buyer, quadrupling its money.) What isn’t widely known is that Phoenix was founded by former employees of Woods, including his protégé Paul Longmuir.
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Throughout 1997 a shadow loomed over Hong Kong. After 156 years of colonial rule, the British were set to hand the territory back to China on July 1. There were news reports of Chinese troops massed at the border, and many islanders feared it would be the end of Hong Kong’s freewheeling capitalism. China tried to reassure residents that their most treasured customs would be protected. “Horse racing will continue, and the dancing parties will go on,” said Deng Xiaoping, the former Communist Party leader.
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As racing became big business, governments entered wagering with offtrack betting, which was very beneficial to racing in Australia, New Zealand, and France and less so in England and New York City. In the United States, illegal bookmaking offtrack became the province of organized crime. Legal offtrack betting parlours proliferated during the late 20th century but were less prevalent in the 21st because of the growth of online gambling and the general decline in horse racing’s popularity.
The world’s biggest known accumulator win came in March 2011 in the UK, when plumbing engineer Steve Whiteley managed to win a staggering £1.45 million from a noble £2 bet. Whiteley, from Tawton in Devon, selected six winners on the Exeter Tote Jackpot from a choice of horse race meets across the UK and Ireland. His accumulator consisted of Semicolon (2/1), Black Phantom (12/1), Ammunition (16/1), Mr Bennett (16/1), Lundy Sky (5/1), and Lupita (12/1).
Horse racing has a long and distinguished history and has been practised in civilisations across the world since ancient times. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in Ancient Greece, Babylon, Syria, and Egypt.[4] It also plays an important part of myth and legend, such as the contest between the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology.
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