When it’s the jump season bookmakers tend to roll out a popular and decent offer known as Fallers Insurance. The idea behind that is that you will get your stake back as a free bet if your horse does something like fall at a fence, pull up or dismount its rider. That’s a handy thing to have in your back pocket, of course, but what about when it’s not the jump season? What sort of offer is there for punters that like flat racing rather than the National Hunt?
If you’ve been paying attention then you know what I’m about to say… Coral’s ‘Beaten By A Length’ offer is the flat racing equivalent to Fallers Insurance and is the perfect offer for those of you that favour racing on the flat to jumps. Equally, the offer will appeal to anyone that, like me, often sees their chosen horse beaten by a ludicrously small margin.
Is the Offer on All Races?
As far as I can recall, the only offer than virtually all bookmakers apply to all UK and Irish racing is Best Odds Guaranteed. That’s not hugely surprising, considering that bookies are in the business to earn and if they applied every offer they have to every race going then their returns might not last all that long! Nevertheless, as a punter it’s helpful to know which races you’ll be able to bet on and take advantage of this offer with.
The answer is that the offer applies to selected races in the United Kingdom and Ireland. A rule of thumb is that it is often available on flat races that are shown on ITV Racing, but that’s the sort of thing that Coral can change their mind over at any given moment. For that reason it’s always worth double-checking their website as that will have up-to-date information on the races being covered by the offer. They normally have the races featured in a table on the offer page, complete with the date they’re running on.
What Is ‘A Length’?
If you’re a season bettor on the Sport of Kings then you’ll know all about the different measurements used for horses. I must confess, however, that it took me a while to get my head around that information when I first started betting on horse racing. For that reason I thought I’d give you a quick bit of information about what the various measurements are, in case you’re in the same boat.
|Horse Racing Term||AKA||Measurement|
|Length||1 L||2.4 m|
|Three-Quarters of a Length||3/4 L||1.8 m|
|Half a Length||1/2 L||1.2 m|
|Neck||nk||0.3 of a Length|
|Head||hd||0.2 of a Length|
|Short Head||shd||0.1 of a Length|
|Nose||nse||0.05 of a Length|
When it comes to the length of a horse this obviously changes depending on the horse. For simplicity, however, bookies tend to work on the basis of a horse’s length being 2.4 metres, which is the average. The above information tells you the distances that will be rewarded via the Beaten By A Length offer, but who decides what the official distance of the winning horse is? I’m glad you asked…
Who Makes the Decision on Distance?
Every race course has stewards that decide, amongst numerous other things, what the official distances are when it comes to the racing result. For the purposes of both ease and consistency Coral have decided that the official distance as declared by the course steward will be the distance that they use for this offer. If you want to see what the steward decided then you can have a look in anything printed by the Press Association, where the official results are announced.
If you’re watching the race on the TV, for example, and the commentator says that the runner-up was beaten by a length then don’t immediately assume that this means that you’ll get your money back as a free bet. The commentator will likely be going on what he’s seen rather than any official result declared by the course steward. It will give you some idea of the likely result, but it won’t necessarily be a guarantee of how the official decision will come down.
What Do You Need to Know?
One thing I haven’t yet mentioned is the minimum/maximum bet when it comes to this particular offer. This is something that you’ll need to know when you’re getting ready to place your wager. In order to take advantage of the offer you’ll need to place a minimum bet of £10. Coral will also refund up to a maximum of £25. This doesn’t mean that you can only bet £25, though.
Say you’ve decided to place an Each-Way bet of £50 on a horse and it comes second by half a length. In that instance you’ll get the win part of your Each-Way bet refunded as a free bet up to the £25 maximum, as the offer is for Win singles and the win part of Each-Way bets. The rest of your wager will be paid out at the normal odds for an Each-Way bet.
If the horse that you have bet on ends up finishing third but misses out by a length then, sadly, you’ll get nothing. The offer is only for horses that finish second by a length or less. If it’s a dead heat for second, however, then you’re in luck – both horses that tied for second will have bets on them refunded as a free bet. Once that happens the usual ‘free bet’ rules will apply. Have a look at the terms and conditions to see what that entails.