In this article, I review the work of a writer called Mohammed Ali (no relation to the boxer), and his book, "How To Place Bet On Favourites For A Living." The book offers a betting strategy to win horse races, and it has been hard marketed on many blog post comment sections and forums.

The only fair and ethical way of reviewing his book is to expose what is in it in order to review it honestly and fairly. For that reason, the work will be critiqued whilst I explain the betting strategy it holds.

The Front Cover Sets You Up For A Fall

Firstly, let’s get something straight, you cannot make a living from betting on favourites. It is possible to earn money doing it, but you cannot make a consistent living from betting on favourites in horseracing.

The second half of the cover is even more inflammatory as it says, "Discover how $15 is very safely turned into $157.28 from 5 highly secure bets." The fact is that the bets are not safe and are not secure. Additionally, the fact he quoted the amount placed and the amount won adds no more credibility than numbers he pulled out of the air. Finally, it says five secure bets, which may lead you to believe there are five betting strategies within this book, when there is only one.

Do not believe any betting strategy that guarantees a win, and be very sceptical of so-called "safe" bets because in reality a safe-bet is viciously difficult to engineer and very low paying. Tricky techniques such as offering the amounts wagered and won as proof is about as convincing as forged penny created in plasticine by a small child.

What Is The Betting Strategy?

You pick five favourites, bet fifteen euros on them as a five-fold accumulator. You pick the horses by following the seven rules Muhammad gives. The implied rule is that you only pick horses that are the favourites with whatever bookie you are using. The seven rules he gives are these:

Rule 1 - There should be 13 or less horses in the race

Rule 2 - The horses draw (starting position) should be 9 or less

Rule 3 - The horse has to have run a race in the last 21 days

Rule 4 - The horse shouldn’t be going up in distance by over 300m from its last start.

Rule 5 - The horse must have run under similar course conditions on its last start.

Rule 6 - The horse has to have won or placed on its last start.

Rule 7 - The horse must have a highly capable jockey riding it.

Let’s Dig In With Pulling It Apart

Muhammad does go on to modify the rules, but let’s start by stating the obvious criticisms and pointing out why this is not ground breaking stuff.

Rule 1 - There should be 13 or less horses in the race

Fewer horses means worse odds, added to which, a good jockey can still win with lots of competition. It is true that you lower your chances of a loss with fewer horses, but then why not simply bet on the favourite when there are just two horses running. This is not groundbreaking stuff!

Rule 2 - The horses draw (starting position) should be 9 or less

A lower draw can mean a better position on some courses, but not all of them. Plus, hard ground often renders the starting position advantage obsolete.

Rule 3 - The horse has to have run a race in the last 21 days

This is hardly ground breaking stuff. Added to which, there are too many examples of horses taking long breaks and winning to call this a cast-iron rule.

Rule 4 - The horse shouldn’t be going up in distance by over 300m from its last start.

Horses change distances all the time and come up winners, even the favourites, so this rule is mute.

Rule 5 - The horse must have run under similar course conditions on its last start.

People shouldn’t be paying money to read rules like this. It is the equivalent of saying the horse should wear a saddle and run in the right direction.

Rule 6 - The horse has to have won or placed on its last start.

Handicap horses will be penalized more if this is the cased. Added to which, it says nothing about the horses the favourite ran against, the conditions, or anything else that is relevant.

Rule 7 - The horse must have a highly capable jockey riding it.

Again, people shouldn’t have to pay money to read a book that says you need a good jockey to win a race.

Now Muhammad Offers Modifications

Within the book that Muhammad wrote, that he has marketed heavily and sold to fools for real money (not magic beans), he actually modifies his own rules. Here are the modifications and my thoughts on them.

Rule 1 - There should be a maximum of 9 horses

Again, this only marginally increases your chances of winning and many times has no effect at all on the performance of a favourite.

Rule 2 - The horse should be drawn in stall three or less

There is no statistical evidence suggesting the first three in the stalls will win more consistently. A lower number in the stalls is helpful, but stalls 1, 2 or 3 do not produce consistent winners--even if they are favourites.

Rule 3 - The horse has to have been in a race in the last 14 days

This has no affect at all; in fact, I would wager it has the opposite effect because the horse has had less time to recover.

Rule 4 - The horse has to race the exact same distance it did the last time

Again, this is not the sort of thing people should have to pay to read about.

Rule 5 - Unmodified

Rule 6 - Unmodified

Rule 7 - The horse must have a jockey that is one of the top ten

The fact that higher-achieving jockeys win more races is not news to anybody and people shouldn’t be paying money for it.

Conclusion

As betting strategies go it is poorly constructed and as you can see by the rules, offers very little in the way of innovation. It is certainly not worth the money they charge for the book, and have nothing of value that anybody other than an absolute novice (a newbie at best) is going to find useful. Not only it is not worth buying, it is not worth reading.

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