First Race Special (13:50 Doncaster) – Sky Bet

Potential Profit
Actual Profit

The St Leger Festival 2018 concludes on Saturday and it’s time for another Sky Bet First Race Special! If our horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the 13:50 at Doncaster, Sky Bet will refund our stake as a free bet, up to a maximum of £20.00. Translated into matched betting terms, this gives us a potential profit of £14.43 and here’s how…

Key Terms:

  • This offer applies to our first bet on the 13:50 at Doncaster.
  • Qualifying bets must be placed between 14:00 on Friday 14th September 2018 and 13:50 (race-off) on Saturday 15th September 2018.
  • If fewer than twelve runners come under starters orders, Sky Bet may withdraw the offer.
  • If our horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th, Sky Bet will refund our stake as a free bet, up to £20.00.

Qualifying Bet:

If you’re unsure about how to place qualifying bets, check out my Qualifying Bet Strategy page for a walk-through guide on how they should be done.

It’s entirely up to you which horse you go for, but it would make sense to select a horse with fairly short odds in the hope of a 2nd, 3rd or 4th place finish.

At the time of writing, the lay odds aren’t quite tight enough, so I’ll use fictional odds for Holmeswood in the following example and I’ll update the bottom of the post with an actual selection after the race.

At the time of writing, laying our bet with Smarkets is likely to give us the smallest qualifying loss.

We can calculate our lay stake using my matched betting calculator…

Back Bet (Bookie)


Lay Bet (Betting Exchange)


Min £
Max £
Lay stake required: £
If back (bookie) bet wins
= £
If lay (exchange) bet wins
= £
Total profit: £

Optimal Underlay

Lay stake required: £
Exchange liability: £

If back (bookie) bet wins: £
If lay (exchange) bet wins: £

Optimal Overlay

Lay stake required: £
Exchange liability: £

If back (bookie) bet wins: £
If lay (exchange) bet wins: £

As you can see, the calculator tells us that our lay stake should be £18.81…

Sky Bet logo

Place £20.00 on Holmeswood @ 6.00 = Potential profit of £100.00

Smarkets logo

Lay £18.81 on Holmeswood @ 6.40 = Potential liability of £101.57


Let’s have a look at our potential profit/loss for the possible outcomes…

Holmeswood wins + £100.00 – £101.57 = £1.57 loss
Holmeswood finishes 2nd 3rd or 4th - £20.00 + £18.43 + £16.00 (extract 80% from our £20.00 free bet) = £14.43 profit
Holmeswood finishes outside top 4 - £20.00 + £18.43 = £1.57 loss

So, we’ll make a nice profit of £14.43 if Holmeswood finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th and we stand to lose £1.57 on any other outcome. Risking £1.57 to make a profit of £14.43 gives us effective odds of 10.19, which I’m sure you’ll agree, makes this a profitable offer in the long run.

If eligible, free bets will be credited within 24 hours and will be valid for 3 days. Free bet stakes are not included in any returns.

If you’re unsure how to extract 80% cash from a £20.00 free bet, check out my Free Bet Strategy page for a walk-through guide on how it should be done.

* See my Horse Racing Offers page for a full list of money back offers available today! *

* Open Wide was available at back odds of 15.00 and lay odds of 16.50. Open Wide finished outside the top 4, resulting in a loss of £2.17 on this Sky Bet offer. *

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Matt Kirman - Matched Betting Blogger

Matt KirmanMatched Betting Blogger

Since 2014, I’ve blogged over £50,000 worth of profit, and made it my mission to make matched betting accessible to everyone.