Potential Profit
Actual Profit

First Race Special (14:20 York) – Sky Bet

Posted by Matt (administrator) Matt
Start Time: 17/05/2018 14:20

The Dante Festival 2018 continues at York on Thursday and it’s time for another Sky Bet First Race Special! If our horse finishes 2nd or 3rd in the 14:20 at York, 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 £13.64 and here’s how…

The Terms:

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.

Qualifying bets must be placed between 14:00 on Wednesday 16th May 2018 and 14:20 on Thursday 17th May 2018, to be eligible.

Qualifying Bet:

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 or 3rd place finish.

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

I like to place my exchange lay bets with Betfair as they have great liquidity in the run up to races and the site is really easy to use.

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 £19.63…

Sky Bet Logo

Place £20.00 on Major Jumbo @ 8.00 = Potential profit of £140.00

betfair logo

Lay £19.63 on Major Jumbo @ 8.20 = Potential liability of £141.33


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

Major Jumbo wins + £140.00 – £141.33 = £1.33 loss
Major Jumbo places 2nd or 3rd - £20.00 + £18.64 + £15.00 (extract 75% from our £20.00 free bet) = £13.64 profit
Major Jumbo finishes outside top 3 - £20.00 + £18.64 = £1.36 loss

So, we’ll make a nice profit of £13.64 if Major Jumbo places 2nd or 3rd and we stand to lose a maximum of £1.36 on any other outcome. Risking £1.36 to make a profit of £13.64 gives us effective odds of 11.03, which I’m sure you’ll agree, makes this a profitable offer in the long run.

If you’re unsure how to extract 75% of 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! *

* Edward Lewis was available at back odds of 7.00 and lay odds of 7.20. Edward Lewis finished outside the top 3, resulting in a loss of £1.40 on this Sky Bet offer. *


  1. Lion

    These tend to be terrible when the favourite is long priced like this one, will probably be looking at nearly a £5 qualifying loss again, I won’t bother if more than £2

  2. Lion

    It’s an £8.37 loss at the moment on Smarkets haha, obviously that will tighten up 😁

    1. Matt

      Yes I wouldn’t rule it out just yet Lion. Hopefully the odds will tighten up before the off.

  3. Lion

    I did El Astronaute in the end, my SkyBet horses can’t stop bloody winning 👎👎👎

    1. tim

      I got in with about £3 something on major jumbo, lucky it came third but the matches were rubbish on everything this time

      1. Matt

        It’s often the case when there is no clear favourite Tim, though there were a couple of decent options just before the off.

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