2nd Favourite Horse Racing System

Harry does full overview of the 2nd favourite horse racing system
Harry TheTrader 4 minutes

It is no news that the winner of most horse races falls within the first five favourites.

Everyone also knows that the favourite has the highest probability of winning especially if you are going with a simple moneyline bet.

But have you ever thought about betting on the second favourite?

Of course, everyone does once in a while.

Yearly, second favourites win approximately 20% of races.

Further research reveals that 50% of the time, either the first or second favourite horse wins the race.

This is why you should know about the 2nd favourite horse racing system. It implies placing a lay bet on the second favourite. It is the opposite of what regular gamblers do.

In this case, you are staking on the outcome of the second favourite not winning the race. If you haven’t heard of it before, this article is here for you.

Read on and learn more about it!

Chapter 1

How Does the 2nd Favourite Horse Racing System Work?

How Does the 2nd Favourite Horse Racing System Work?

This system is not as complicated as the name sounds; it is possible with Betfair exchange.

As the name describes, your focus is not on number one but on the second of the favourites for the race. 

Lots of new traders fall into the mistake of focusing their lay very on the number one favourite all the time. It is a very risky approach and should result in frustration from losses.

To implement the second favourite horse racing system, you need to do a little bit of research.

Unlike other betting systems and strategies, you cannot merely rely on the odds or bookie numbers.

There are specifics: you need to know what you are after.

Alert Green icon

One helpful area is the different horses are built for a variety of track configurations and all that you must know beforehand.

Some are built for endurance in longer sprints, others speed, power and other characteristics.

It is left to you to put the puzzles together when analysing the potential outcome.

Our Example of Using 2nd Favourite Horse Racing System

Let’s have a look how to use the strategy to get the profit. You’ll find the detailed guide below. We hope you’ll enjoy it!
horse line coin
step 1

A key thing in the 2nd favourite strategy is research. The most important thing we have to do is to find a race in which the two highest-placed horses have an excellent series of victories.

In an ideal world, the best race would be where the favourite to win the race has at least three recent races finishing first, while the other horse has at least two wins in a row.

We will use the website www.timeform.com for this.

step 1 research the horses

quotes Do you want to see step 2?

Click on the button and get the full example for free!
man button
step 2

Once you find such a race, don’t let the odds fool you. In the market below, you can see that the theoretical favourite is the horse ‘Quest For Fun’, but in reality, this is not the case.

Let’s take another look at the form chart above. The horse set at number one is ‘Juan Les Pins’, our main favourite to win the race.

The horse set at number two is ‘Quest For Fun’, and it is his market we are most interested in.

step 2 - choose the right horse

step 3

Our next task is to use the 2nd favourite horse racing system.

To do so, we select the Lay Bet next to our second favourite to win the race – Quest For Fun’. A bet slip appears to our right, and now another essential point.

By pressing lay at odds of 4.2, you can enter your stake and place your bet and have it matched instantly, however, to squeeze as much money as possible, the best option is to place your bet at the next best odds.

In our case, the current reverse odds are 4.0 on the back of ‘Quest For Fun’. To offer higher odds and thus squeeze out even more than we can with odds of 4.2, we will place the bet at odds of 4.1. This way, our amount will be the next best option for people who want to place a bet on the back ‘Quest For Fun’.

step 3 - place a lay bet

step 4

After these steps, all you have to do is press ‘Place Bets’. In our case, the amount was immediately matched.

However, in quite a few situations, your amount will appear on the market and will not be matched as quickly, so you will need to wait a while.

If, after a time, the bet is still not accepted, it is worth leaving it for a few minutes in the hope that it will be matched.

step 4 - wait until the bet is matched

step 5

Once the bet is matched, the only thing left to do is to wait for the race to be settled. On some websites, you can read to control your bet… behaviour of the odds… hedge your bet… but that’s not the point.

You have not been analysing and looking for the right race to limit your profits.

step 5 - wait for the race to be settled

step 6

You can check the race result both on the website mentioned above and by checking your betting history to see how it was settled.

As you can see for yourself, the market was very wrong and placing a Lay Bet on ‘Quest for Fun’ was a bull’s eye, as he only finished the race in 11th place.

step 6 - get the profit


li As you can see, everything you need to do to get the first profit is to do the research and follow the strategy. Easy as that!
image button

Another Example

Bookies will more times than often rank horses with win streaks higher than others.

If horse A is the favourite and is coming into the race with a magnificent three-race win streak.

Horse B is a tight second favourite with a two-race win streak.

In the case of tight favourites like this case, several regular punters also opt to wager on horse B winning the race.

However, when you take it back to the board and you carefully analyse your option you discover that the next race doesn’t favour horse B and the winning probability is low. It is a one-mile race.

Horse B is accustomed to half-mile tracks which are all about speed and explosiveness.

Horse A on the other hand has great endurance and could lap a mile track or larger.

What you want to do is place a lay bet on horse B, the second favourite. It implies that you are backing the outcome that horse B won’t win the race for sure.

If this horse doesn’t win, you win!


  • The odds are better than betting on the favourite to win
  • If analysis is well conducted then the winning probability is higher
  • The payouts are higher than usual. 


  • There is tendency for overconfidence when all your analysis aligns which eliminates the number one notion that gambling is a game of probability

Chapter 2

Tips and Tricks from Experts

Tips and Tricks from Experts

If you are ready to implement this system then you should have a look at these recommended tips from our experts:

  • It doesn’t apply to every race: Don’t make the mistake of using the second favourite betting system in every race. The effectiveness of the system does not stop the fact that favourites still win a larger percentage of races yearly.
  • Don’t force the system: Since there is a bit of analytics and calculation that goes into the system, there is a tendency of forcing the system. If you don’t arrive at a reasonable conclusion to back the second favourite then let it go for good.
  • Consider playing it live: Playing your lay or back bet before the race is not mandatory. You could wait for the race to begin before taking action. If you do so, make sure that you refresh the odds.
Alert Blue icon

Have you enjoyed it? If yes I bet you’ll like the Horse Racing Trading guide that we made for our readers. Check it and give us you thoughts!

Chapter 3

Bottom Line: Should I use the 2nd Favourite Horse Racing System?

Bottom Line: Should I use the 2nd Favourite Horse Racing System?

As you can see for yourself, using the 2nd favourite horse racing strategy takes time. This is because you have to find the right race for it in order to make using this method profitable in the long term.

If you have enough time, there is nothing stopping you from using this trading technique. However, there will not be many races that meet the requirements described above and you should be aware of this.


Top Betting Offer from Thetrader!

Have you just startied your betting adventure?
Get an exclusive bonus available on the market!
£50 Sports Bonus and £50 + 50 spins casino bonus