SP betting means starting price betting. The starting price (SP) is the official fixed odds price of each runner at the close of betting.
The SP has many uses in horse betting; it is the official odds price used for the form guide and all future references of the race. The starting price is also paired with other bet types like Best Tote to provide a more appealing product to punters.
The example shows the betting fluctuations of three horses before the start of a race. In the case of Phar Lap, his price opened at $2.70, drifted out to $2.80, before coming into $2.50 at the close of betting. The final odds quote of $2.50 is the official SP or starting price.
Some online bookmakers offer a bet type called the SP Guarantee or the Starting Price Guarantee. This bet type ensures the punter against a lower starting price than the fixed price at the time of their bet. For example, if the fixed price at the time of betting is $4.40 and the starting price is $4.00, the bookmaker will pay the $4.40.
The Starting Price Guarantee is a handy bet type for the shrewd punter. It can outperform products like Best of the Best when used well before the race start.
The starting price is a bet type in its own right. The Top Tote Plus product uses a combination of the SP and the best of three totes. If available, products like Top Fluctuation and Best of the Best provide more value than SP betting, as the SP into the mix of prices, from which the highest is paid out as a dividend.