I’ve been recoding my horse racing form bot (Bot 3), trying to get it to work without errors. It scrapes a lot of data for each race – runner form, jockey form, track data, going, weather. Having got it to a point where it runs okay with me sat in front of it, I decided to run it live on the VPS but without placing bets, allowing performance and data collection checks. To keep things separate I’m running this on Betdaq with a slow refresh and, as I’ve not used it for a while, I’ve added a short section of code to place some pointless bets based on where the market odds are, nothing to do with the bots purpose but hopefully keeps the exchange happy.
The results so far are good and the bot is gathering most of the data without error. Any missing data isn’t causing the bot to stop, however, I’d like it to make multiple attempts to gather it, so some adjustments are needed. The algorithm for choosing a selection to back or lay is operational but requires refining. I’m basically calculating my own ‘betting forecast’ and backing or laying a selection depending on how far away from my suggested odds it is trading.
The interesting part comes from the short bet placement code I added. Of the 12 bets it placed over the five days testing, only 1 of the selections won. Obviously I’d backed them all.
My theory for this code was – if I place bets in efficient markets (which I thought close-to-off horse racing markets were), I will likely lose at a rate around my commission (5%) plus half the spread position. Therefore stakes of £0.1 are a small price for testing.
I know the small sample is hardly proof but with average odds of 3, none greater than 3.5 and results at 12, I’m going to keep this little code running to see how it pans out and update the blog on results. It will be interesting to find out if I just happened to drop into the strategy during a 10 long losing streak.