Paul Cooper: Placepot – not as easy as you think

When the placepot was first introduced to the UK some years ago, it became the casual racegoer’s most popular bet. The placepot is a pool bet run by the Tote which operates both on course and in the high street.


One would think getting a horse placed in the first six races on a day’s racing was not unduly hard. Incorrect. The requirement is the winner in a race of 4 runners of less, a horse in the first two in a race with 5–7 runners, in the first three in a race of 8 runners or more, or in the first four in a handicap of 16 or more runners. 


Given these requirements it still seems remarkable that dividends can occasionally top £10,000 for a £1 stake. Dividends of £300–£600 are commonplace. 

Much research has been done into what makes a big dividend. The most common reason is that an obvious favourite or a number of favourites fail to get places. Clearly if only outsiders are placed in one or more races the dividend will spiral. 

But the hint from this writer is to be most aware of non-runners and particularly late no-runners because the qualifying criteria changes from perhaps two places to one place or three down to two. My research shows that a winning outsider in a 5-runner race that has been reduced to 4 sends the dividends haywire. 

Whatever your reason for a day at the track, the placepot keeps interest going and who knows, you may make it look easier than you think!

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