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What is 'Drift'?

The term drift is most often encountered in the world of horse racing, and refers to odds that are becoming longer as the race approaches. A drift can occur because of a number of factors, and plays a big role in whether or not punters bet on a certain horse.

'Drift' Explained

When it comes to gambling, it is all about the odds, and odds change constantly. One of the most significant ways in which odds can change is to drift - go from a shorter price to a longer price. A drift can occur for many reasons. It may be that the favourite, or joint favourites for the race is being backed so much that the bookmaker wants to make the prices of other horses more attractive so as to encourage wagers and balance out the betting. The price of a horse could also drift because of weather; for example, a horse may be 7/1 before a downpour of rain, but this price may drift out to 11/1 if the horse prefers hard ground as opposed to rain-soaked soft ground.The drift is also something that many horse racing enthusiasts use to their advantage. They will often watch the odds of horses right up until the start of a race to see if there is any kind of drift. It may be that they feel nobody is aware of how good the horse is, and they want to get the best price possible. Alternatively, a bettor may be watching to see if the odds drift, as this would indicate that nobody fancies it. For example, in the run up to a race, the connections of a horse (owner, trainer etc.) may well bet on their own horse if they feel it has been doing well in training. A drift in the horse's odds would indicate that this has not happened. On witnessing a drift, racegoers will often say "the yard doesn't fancy it".