HUTCHI’S HK RACING LIBRARY: Betting Quinella, Quinella Place and now Forecast

Clint Hutchison

Hutchi's Honkers Principal Analyst




The purpose of Hutchi’s Honkers is to provide quality information and strategies pertaining to Hong Kong racing and I have had many clients ask “why do you bet Quinellas and what’s a Quinella Place?”

Firstly it is worth noting that in Hong Kong, the biggest hold in any bet type on their tote is the Quinella pool. For the uninitiated that’s selecting the first and second horses past the post in any order.

The Quinella Place pool is generally marginally smaller than the Win pool in Hong Kong. In Australia the Quinella Place is called the Duet and it pays out on selecting two horses that both finish in the top-three placings past the past, in any order.

An example of the respective pool sizes (in HKD) from the final race at Happy Valley last season was as follows:

Win:                HKD     $44.09 million

Place:             HKD     $41.70 million

Quinella:        HKD     $72.30 million

QP (Duet):     HKD     $62.08 million


In Hong Kong, this year will be the first time in decades the Forecast, or Exacta (as known in Australia) will be added to the betting products offered by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and it is important to note. A successful Forecast bet on a race means selecting the first and second horses past the post in the correct order.

Those outlaying from Australia via the SuperTAB will be doing so into a commingled tote with the HKJC.

A reminder that commingled pools are the Win, Place, Quinella, Quinella Place (Duet) and Tierce (Trifecta) and now the Forecast (Exacta)!



On occasions throughout previous seasons, I’ve recommended playing a Quinella or Quinella Place in various races when I perceived there could be an edge to do so. I’ll discuss the rationale behind that.

Different racing jurisdictions have different bet types that seem to be popular for various “cultural” reasons, such as the Quaddie in Australia, and obviously one of the main attractions about betting in to Hong Kong markets is the large volume of liquidity through out the pools that make up their pari-mutuel system. Whilst we can concentrate on gaining advantages over the fixed markets offered in Australia, there is still some value in betting into the respective “Quinella pools” that are commingled with Hong Kong.

Without delving into detailed mathematics, basically, once I have framed a full market for a particular race, the rated price (RP) for each individual runner to Win relates to what the Quinella should pay for any pair of runners from that race. Different systems have different ways of achieving this price. In any case, the key is that there are times when, for example, my Win price for a runner might not be a straight overlay or “a bet”, but the Quinella with another runner or three, might be “a bet”. This is due to how my rated prices for these horses “match up” to how the market shapes, which can mean the is value in a Quinella bet.

Let’s take a look at a race from last season as an example:


In this event, the strategy was to have 4.5 units Win on Winning Method, and 2 units Win on Victoriam. An investment of 6.5 units on the race returned 16 units (9.5 profit) via Best Corp and 15 units (8.5 profit) via the Tote.


The Quinella for this event paid $10.05 and it should have been played as well. According to my market RP’s, the Quinella rated around $5.80* (see below for guide to calculating quinella & exacta RP’s) and it paid nearly double! Even one unit on that strategy would have made a big difference to the betting bottom line and that is something to take more advantage of this season.

When my RP differs considerably from the market on a key runner (usually one of the market leaders), there still presents opportunities to take advantage in the Quinella Pools even if that key runner wins.


The above example highlights when there might be a short-priced favourite in a race – like Golden Sixty – which is just too short for me to back, (RP $2.20 v BC $1.75), and my second “pick” or rated-runner – Fat Turtle – develops into a decent overlay (RP $7.50 v $13.00).

Here I chose not to play into this event from a Best Selections and Strategy perspective, but on my RP prices, I should have at least been having something on Fat Turtle to win. My rated Quinella price from the RP’s of those two horses was $5.50* and the quinella ended up returning $8.40!

 The reason at the time I chose not to play into this race is that I didn’t want to back Golden Sixty at his very short quote (even though he was clearly rated “number one pick”), but I didn’t really want to bet against him either given he presented as a horse with “hidden upside”. However, my assessment of the race, whilst not 100% correct, still yielded enough of an advantage could have been realised through the a Quinella bet.

So the opportunity to bet in to these Quinella markets (including Quinella Place and now Forecast pools) is there and value will present itself when there is a runner or two where my rated prices (RP) differ significantly from their market prices.

There is some additional skill of course in trying to predict how the pools and prices develop. One bets in to the totalisator (pari-mutual) and from that perspective there can be significant late moves that make it hard to predict final prices from those constantly updated on the HKJC website, but hopefully one will land on the right side!

For more, keep browsing through my site and join me following Hong Kong horse racing.

Return to my HK Racing Library soon for more discussion about betting and Hong Kong racing!



* A “simple” guide to calculating Forecast (Exacta) & Quinella rated prices (RP’s)

Forecast – selecting horses to place 1st & 2nd in the correct order.


Calculating the RP’s of Forecast can be simplified by considering the acts of finishing 1st and 2nd as two different races.

So from Race 768 above:

Winning Method at a RP of $2.70 is a 37.0% chance of winning “the race for 1st” (100%).

This leaves 63% (100% – 37%) chance for “the race for 2nd”.

Victoriam at an RP of $6.00 is a 16.7% of winning the “race for 2nd” (16.7 ÷ 63 remaining) = 26.5%.

Therefore the chances of Winning Method (RP $2.70) finishing 1stand Victoriam (RP $6.00) finishing 2nd is 37% x 26.5% = 9.81%, which equates to a RP of $10.19 (100÷9.81) for the Forecast (Exacta).


Quinella – selecting horses to place 1st& 2nd in any order


A single Quinellais effectively taking two Forecasts (Exactas), so a similar methodology can be applied to calculate the RP of Quinellas from RP to Win.

Again from Race 768 above:

Taking the % chance of Winning Method finishing 1stand Victoriam finishing 2nd = 9.81% forms one half of the Quinella sum.

The other half starts with Victoriam finishing 1st at an RP of $6.00, which gives him a 16.7% chance of winning “the race for 1st”. This leaves 83.3% for “the race for 2nd”.

Winning Method at an RP of $2.70 is a 37% chance of winning “the race for 2nd” (37 ÷ 83.3 remaining) = 44.4%.

Therefore the chances of Victoriam finishing 1stand Winning Method finishing 2nd is 16.7% x 44.4% = 7.41%, which forms the other half of the Quinella equation.

Adding these two together gives the % chance of the Quinella of Winning Method and Victoriam occurring, which can be translated into a RP:

(9.81% + 7.41%) = 17.22% which equates to a RP of $5.80 (100 ÷17.22)