What does “Keep Safe” Mean in Horse Racing?

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What does “Keep Safe” Mean in Horse Racing?

“Keep safe” is a term that’s often heard in the betting rings and among the racing fraternity.

It’s a phrase that carries a particular weight and meaning, especially when it comes to deciphering the odds and making informed betting decisions.

But what does “keep safe” really mean, and how does it impact the dynamics of horse racing and betting?


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What does “Keep Safe” Mean in Horse Racing?

A Cautionary Suggestion

At its core, “keep safe” is a cautionary term. When a punter or a tipster uses this phrase, they’re essentially flagging a horse that warrants attention.

It’s a subtle nod to acknowledge that while the horse may not be the top pick or the favourite, it has certain elements or conditions in its favour that could potentially see it causing an upset or performing strongly.

Not to be Overlooked

In essence, when a horse is tagged as one to “keep safe”, it’s a gentle reminder not to overlook its potential.

It might be due to its past performance under similar race conditions, a notable jockey booking, or perhaps a recent improvement in form that could influence the race outcome.

The Implications of “Keep Safe”

Impact on Betting Strategies

For punters, “keep safe” is a term that can significantly impact betting strategies.

It suggests that while the horse in question may not be the outright favourite, it’s wise to consider it in betting plays, such as each-way bets, place bets, or in exotics like trifectas and quinellas, where selecting runners to fill the minor placings is crucial.

Analyzing Form and Conditions

The term often comes into play when analysing a horse’s form and the race conditions – the term is often seen in the form guide comments here on GoBet and on the best betting sites Australia has to offer.

A horse might be labelled to “keep safe” if it has previously performed well on a similar track, under similar weather conditions, or over the same distance.

It might also be relevant if the horse has shown recent signs of improvement or has a favourable barrier draw.

Real-World Scenarios of “Keep Safe”

Upsetting the Favourites

In many cases, horses that have been whispered to “keep safe” have gone on to upset the favourites and defy the odds of bookmakers.

These horses, often flying under the radar, can offer punters significant value, particularly when they have been overlooked by the majority of the market.

A Balancing Act

It’s a delicate balancing act for punters to heed the “keep safe” advice while also weighing up the form and odds of the other contenders in the field.

It’s not uncommon for a horse that’s been advised to “keep safe” to finish strongly, providing astute punters with a handsome payday, especially when they’ve included it in their exotic bets.

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About Daryl Curnow

After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA - English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism. Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 - with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl's tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he's not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.