## A day in the life of the Tote Placepot: Part 2

This is the second article in a two-part series where I am looking at the Tote Placepot, * writes Dave Renham*. The data have been collated from the first six months of 2024 to give readers a good overview of this popular type of pool bet. I have included both UK and Irish racing. Part one can be found here.

### The maths

The first point worth making is that the final pool size is less important than one might think in terms of your potential to win big. Let me explain mathematically why by comparing two hypothetical Placepot pools that, in terms of race-by-race outcomes, effectively mirror each other. I will assume that in each race, the placed horses account for 30% of the remaining units. Here’s how the maths work:

#### Placepot 1 – Final Pool Size £50,000

As you can see, the final winning units figure is £36.45. To calculate the Placepot payout, we need to divide £50,000 by £36.50, which gives a final dividend of £1,371.74 for a £1 unit stake.

#### Placepot 2 – Final Pool Size £400,000

In this example, we have £291.60 units left, but if we divide this figure by £400,000 to get our payout, lo and behold, we get the same final dividend of £1,371.74 for a £1 unit stake.

This happens because Placepot payouts/dividends are based on the percentage of the pot that is left. 10% of £1,000 and 10% of £2,000,000 is still 10%! Indeed, with a low starting pool of £79,000, the largest payout in the six months leading up to June's end came at Chelmsford. The payout to a £1 stake was just shy of £40k for a £1 unit stake. In addition to this payout, the third highest dividend in this time frame came at Tramore (£11,230.30 for a £1 stake), and the pool that day was just £13,667.

### Average Placepot Dividend by Month

Having clarified some of the maths, let me start to look at some dividend data. In my previous article, I mentioned that in most years, the average dividend across all courses is around £400 to £500 to a £1 stake. Regarding the first six months of 2024, the average dividend has been £438. However, when we compare the average dividend month by month, we see how it can fluctuate:

As you can see, the January and February averages were much lower than the other four months, with January surprisingly modest at just £123.30. March and June have the most significant averages, just above the £600 mark. One cannot say whether these monthly figures indicate the ‘norm’, but with the Cheltenham Festival in March and Royal Ascot in June, I guess these two months will be at the higher end of the scale most years. Both have been the scene of monster dividends in the recent past.

### Average Placepot Dividend by Country

It's time to break the data by country – UK versus Ireland.

Both nations are over the £400 mark, with the UK edging it. This is partly because Irish meetings take 30% out of the pool rather than the UK figure of 27%. It is, however, another example of how the payouts over time tend to average around these marks.

### Distribution of Placepot Dividends

Now, I want to look at how the dividends have been spread across in terms of actual payouts. The table below illustrates this:

As can be seen, most payouts have been £100 or under – roughly 40% of pots have returned £50 or less, while 57% of all Placepots have been £100 or less. At the other end of the scale, payouts of over £1000 have occurred at 7.4% of meetings. As a regular Placepot punter, it pays to have patience – big payouts will occur, but they won’t happen day in and day out.

### Placepot Dividends by Course

Regarding Placepot data for individual courses, data is limited for some tracks due to only six months of data. However, any course that has seen 12 or more Placepots in 2024 is shown below with their average dividend. I have ordered them by the number of meetings:

There is considerable variance between some courses, but that is to be expected, given the nature of this specific bet. These fluctuations are also more likely to be seen given the number of meetings we are dealing with. For example, in the courses with only 12 meetings, it just takes one significant dividend to increase the overall average markedly. This happened with Fairyhouse, as it turns out, thanks to a £7424 dividend, changing the average from £471 to £1051.

#### Course Dividend Example: Newcastle

The five all-weather courses at the top of the table have had a decent number of meetings. Let me share all the dividends for the top three courses in the table to help build a picture for each. Looking at Newcastle**,** here are all 45 dividends:

27 of the 45 (60%) were under £100, so just above the average for all courses (see earlier). Also, there were no payouts over £1000. This helps explain why the average dividend is down at £152.85. Newcastle hosts mainly all-weather racing (37 of the 45 meetings in the sample), and the average dividend on the sand was £172.64. Eight National Hunt meetings had a very low average dividend of £61.31.

#### Course Dividend Example: Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton had 44 meetings with the following dividends:

28 of the 44 dividends (63.6%) were under £100. There was one significant payout of £1349.80. Again, these numbers explain the modest average figure of £135.96.

#### Course Dividend Example: Southwell

Southwell, like Newcastle, hosts both NH racing and all-weather racing. The average figure for the NH meetings was £1088.03; for the all-weather, it was just £133.80. Let me split the individual dividends up this time – first, the NH:

There is quite a variety within this small subset, with seven dividends under £112 and five over £500 – three of those over £2K.

Onto the Southwell All-weather dividends:

There was nothing big here on the dividend front, with just one payout of more than £500. This means the four highest payouts came from the 12 NH meetings rather than from the 27 AW ones.

### Breakdown of a Monster Placepot Dividend

To finish, I would like to go back and look in detail at the biggest Placepot payout in the last six months, which I mentioned earlier, was at Chelmsford. It occurred on 29th March, so let me take you through race by race.

**Race 1** – The money wagered on this meeting was £78,973.19. After the 27% deduction, the starting pot was £57,650.41. The result for the first race was as follows:

With only two getting placed and the favourite missing out in third, around 81% of the pot disappeared, with £11,075.02 remaining going into race 2. Just over 50% of that 81% were units on the favourite.

**Race 2** – A 12-runner event next, meaning three ‘placers’:

Although both the favourite and second favourite placed, the first three runners accounted for less than 40% of the remaining units, leaving £4273.85 in the pot with four races still to go.

**Race 3** – Another 12-runner race for the third one:

The favourite placed again, as did the third favourite. This time, a smaller chunk was lost (around 37% of the units), leaving £2702.75 in the pot.

**Race 4** – A 16-runner handicap was next on the card, meaning four horses would ‘place’:

I am sure all readers will be looking at the prices of the first four and appreciating that this result decimated the pot. Three huge prices were 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, while the winner, Merrijig, was 6th best in the betting at 14/1. Only 1.4% of the pot survived this race, leaving a paltry £37.28 for the last two races.

**Race 5** – A 15-runner race was next, and at this point, a huge payout was on the cards. The last two races would ‘decide’ how big:

The favourite and third favourite placed, but even so, 75% of the remaining units were lost, leaving under £10 left - £9.75 to be precise.

**Race 6** – The final race saw the following result:

Two joint third favs made the frame, but 85% of the remaining money was lost, leaving just £1.46 to be split between the winning punter(s). The final dividend was £39,486.50 for a £1 stake.

This dividend was so significant due mainly to the result of **race 4**, with the four placers at 14/1, 40/1, 80/1, and 40/1. However, **race 6** played a more significant part than you might think. If that final race had seen the top three in the betting come 1,2,3, then the dividend would have been cut to £11,960.67. That nearly 12K is not too shabby, but it is a long way off, almost 39.5K!

**

### Summary

The Tote Placepot is an excellent bet with enormous potential – it can only take one or two shock results to enhance the final dividend significantly. In theory, you could have five favourites placing and have a decent payout. Imagine a scenario where five favs have already placed, and the last race was a 7-runner affair where the first and second were priced 50/1 and 100/1. In this case, the pot would probably flip from an expected £10 dividend to potentially £2,000 or more.

Having the scope to build in more permutations is key for long-term success IMO. This is where the **Tix** software comes into its own. Using T**ix**, you can have several favs in the perm, a few mid-priced runners, and a few outsiders. This gives you cover for minimal stakes. If you haven’t used it – try it today!

-**DR**