Racing: Mutuel benefit in betting

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Choosing which way to place your bet could be just as important as deciding which horse to back in the Breeders' Cup races.

Bookmakers in Britain have prepared their own prices for all seven races, prices which offer little value on the British and European runners. Bets on these horses are best at the pari-mutuel odds that are calculated on the on-track turnover at Gulfstream Park - the best example last year was Sheikh Albadou, who paid over 26-1 in America, compared with around 10-1 in England.

But if you fancy an American runner the better odds are likely to be available here, as the pari- mutuel prices will reflect the betting patterns of the home crowd.

As the pari-mutuel computer at Gulfstream Park can cope with only 12 runners in each race, in larger fields the bottom two or three runners on the card are grouped together as 'the field'. If a field runner wins, pari-mutuel bets on the other field horses are also winners.

Two or more runners in the same ownership are also coupled for pari-mutuel purposes.

Any vouchers not stating a preference will also be worked out at the pari-mutuel odds.

Highlights of the Breeders' Cup meeting will be shown on Channel 4 from 10-11pm.