1   MOGUL – AIDEN O’BRIEN
Brother to Japan and will undoubtedly come on for being upped in distance with a run either in Irish Derby or English Derby a strong possibility. Prepared to forget last run on the all weather in the Vertem at Newcastle

2   PALACE PIER – JOHN GOSDEN
Skips 2,000 Guineas after leg injury. Trainer will hopefully be getting the three-year-old into a handicap (preferably at Newcastle).
Sire of Kingman, won well both times last season and has bag of potential.

3   WALDONKIG – JOHN GOSDEN
Winner of 9 lengths at Wolverhampton. Big rangy, half brother to Waldegeist and related to St Leger Winner Masked Marvel
is entered in the Derby.

4   BRENTFORD HOPE – RICHARD HUGHES
Winner of a maiden at Newmarket this son of Camelot hacked up under Jamie Spencer on debut. Entered in the Irish Derby

5   BREATHALYZE – TOM DASCOMBE
One to look out with handicaps in mind at Haydock and Chester. Ran well in novices and tried to give 6lb to the useful Berkshire Rocco when finishing 2nd. Rated around 88 this one could well win a couple of nice handicaps this year.

6   THUNDEROUS – MARK JOHNSTON
Season curtailed due to injury last season after winning a listed event at Newbury. Form as worked out well & this one will continue to improve this season.Trainer rates this one highly

7   CLOG MAKER – MARK JOHNSTON
Another who should win a few handicaps as the season progresses. Rated 82 and has some definite leeway from that mark to win a few more races

8   OVERWRITE – MARK JOHNSTON
Rated 85 after winning at Brighton very easily. Another that should win a few handicaps this season.

9   HIGHEST GROUND – SIR MICHAEL STOUTE
Won after missing the break at Leicester under a hands and heels ride from Ryan Moore after losing 3 lengths at the start. This son of Frankel could be lively outsider for The Derby.

10   LOUGANINI – ROGER CHARLTON
Always note when a runner for Chalrton wins on debut. Typical long term project and his mother improved much with age. One to watch for later in the season.

11   QUADRILATERAL – ROGER CHARLTON
Despite winning over a mile last year this filly will seen to best effect over further. Race won last year is a good yardstick for the Oaks

12   AL SUHAIL – CHARLIE APPLEBY
Bred to come into his own over 1m 2furlong+ this season.

13   EASTERN WORLD – CHARLIE APPLEBY
Half brother to Thunder Snow, though finished 2nd at Kempton this son of Dubawi is bound to improve this season.

14   MILITARY MARCH – SAEED BIN SUROOR
Could be very classy. Winner of Newmarket race won by Best Solution in 2016 (same trainer). Related to oaks winner, trips of mile and half will be no problem.

15   MONATATHER – ROGER VARIAN
Not entered up for any classics though again being a son Dubawi, anything achieved last year was a bonus. Likely to be above average.

16   COLD FRONT – WILLIAM HAGGAS
Matched 1.01 at Newbury before being passed late on. Another expected to improve in 2020. Trainer is one to watch early on as seems much more bullish this season compared to last.

17   HIGHER KINGDOM – ARCHIE WATSON
This one was not over-raced as a two-year-old. This son of Kingman is one to watch. Lots of scope for this year after hacking up at Kempton last season.

18   CUSTODIAN – RICHARD FAHEY
Going to make a useful handicapper. We have not seen this one since August but expect the trainer to map out a nice campaign for this three-year-old.

19   BATTLE OF PARADISE – SIR MARK PRESCOTT
Rated 78. Bound to be rated much higher come end of season. Winner of a novice at Chelmsford which is working out very well. 2nd in that race Junooh won by 6 lengths next time out and now is with Doug Watson.

20   THEHEARTNEVERLIES – SIR MARK PRESCOTT
Probably one of the best handicapped horses around at 54. Typical this one has 3 runs over 6 furlongs when bred for much further. Been gelded, owned by Middleham Park Racing, bred by Ms Rausing. Expect a sequence of wins from August onwards.

 

To Win …. Accept Losing

One question answered first from the previous article..

Yes, guaranteed prices the night before are limited with very few companies but I would not be afraid of placing a bet which maybe a couple of points better with one that is not offering this service. We beat prices 88% of the time so it will still be beneficial in the long run.

Having gambled for around 35 years I have certainly seen both sides of being a gambler. Back in the eighties you could go into the betting shop aged 15/16 without the need for showing any proof of ID. My mum had actually circulated my picture to local betting shops in order to stop me sneaking into having a bet. At that time, I had no clue what I was doing. Often running books at school for Grand Nationals and other big races enabled me to have a few pounds to back horses and pass away a school lunchtime hour, until those pictures circulated.

My fascination to horse racing was strongly influenced by my dad who at the time run a few shops in the East End of London and coming from a split marriage where my mother was strict & very religious, I guess the times I did see my father horse racing played a vital part in our relationship. My teens were spent being an idiot when coming to betting and quickly I went out of control. Those experiences are part of growing up and learning.

I continued to run books for various sports and one particular memory was doing a 1990 World Cup book for staff (aged 21) and everyone seemed to be going for Holland 1 Egypt 1 which I gave odds of 14-1. I never thought for one minute the next day would be paying staff who took the bet. That was a lesson for me not to get involved in running books and Egypt scoring near the end of that game was probably one of the worse experiences knowing I had to pay out hundreds. That was difficult as being 21 you never earned much back then, whatever job you had.

In my twenties, it was a continuation of betting like an idiot. Any money earned, was put back into the bookmaker pockets. In many ways it made you clever as you would come up with ingenious ways of making money though, only to throw it all away. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate with business ventures but had nothing to show for it. That changed for me in 2002 when an opportunity came along to work with football clubs and now in my early thirties I was not going to let any money earned go back to the bookmakers. I was determined and thankfully had learn’t from my mistakes. Of course during the period up to that point I had winners ( had my biggest ever win in 1997) but it would not take me long to give it back. I had an addictive nature in my twenties and it was only by the time I reached 30+ I started to take the game seriously.

Having to run my first business in my early thirties it allowed me to take the value of money more seriously. My betting patterns changed completely from that time. I started to keep records of every bet, cut down on the number of bets and most importantly accepting to lose. It now became a way of making extra money on the side, not looking for the big blockbuster win or doing multiple of bets all the time. I can understand fully some people get trapped and you only have to see social media to see how betting has affected some very good people.

My betting now is different from the professional gambler as I am not prepared to risk what I have built up over the last 20 years and it is now set in stone that I am simply looking to make 5-6k a year as a sideline. Patience is the key. So many are sucked into those people who claim to win everyday. Reality is you don’t. We would all be millionaires if you did. Of course, many have a way with words which prey on the gullible especially on social media.

No-one for example will have inside knowledge on how a horse will run. Do you think for one minute that a trainer is going to give information to an outside source let alone someone who has only hundreds of followers? Anyone who has followed me for example since 2012 would know I had my own Betracingnation Channel in which over 4 years I got on very well with trainers. You might have a few that exude confidence but they never said this is going to win. The same applied to when I worked with Racing TV and At The Races.

Looking back over the last few years, I would certainly back more losers then winners. Just look at 2019 (pretty similar to previous years), where we had 226 winners to 915 selections which meant we had 689 losers. Profit was still over £6,000 on singles only. You can only make a judgement over a 6 month to year period. We had some losing times but fixed over the the year it equated to 13 weeks out of the 48 (started up February) and the losing period where we did take a particular hit was end of October to early December.

This led to people asking whats happening, what are you doing differently or even you are useless. This generally came from people who had just signed up after a particularly good period or had seen the good winners and felt they could make a quick buck. I guarantee everyone that bets on horses will have losing runs. Its how you deal with them that makes the big difference. This is actually a trait that bookmakers pray on (something I endured 30 years ago).

My immediate reaction in my twenties would be chase the losses after a couple of losing bets and lose even more. I’m afraid that still applies to many today, betting more than they can afford which leads to desperation instead of accepting that with racing on everyday of our lives you have of plenty of opportunity to win with patience. How many times have you been beaten in a photo finish or seen a horse fall when coming to the last when you are going through a bad patch? You have to take it on the chin, NOT look up the next race to try and get it back on the spur of the moment.

Many take time off when backing a few losers or get negative. Frankly, you have no idea of how long a bad run lasts so its more the fact you are betting beyond your means without admitting it to yourself. You should always have a bank in place that allows for losses. That bank is up to you as an individual, no-one can make that decision for you. Just make sure its surplus to your weekly or monthly needs, so it enables you to enjoy the sport of horse racing. You will win over the long term if you are patient.

I see many tipsters give a tip in every race which cannot be profitable in the long run. If you are going to have a bet in every race for enjoyment than cut your stakes down completely. This is not a get rich way of betting though you should not lose much if keeping to reduced stakes by including doubles of trebles. Make no mistake the best to make money is by backing singles.

You have to do what bookmakers do NOT like, this is one key area which if you are sensible is a moneymaker in the long term. The right races are also important. If your friendly bookmaker is offering a money back offer, enhanced odds on a tough handicap or enhanced odds on a double you need to ask yourself why. People fail to see they are a business and marketing plays a pivotal role in generating income for shareholders in a very competitive market.

I’d rather take place a good sized bet at Hereford then for example at Cheltenham. I would enjoy the latter as a spectacle but these big meetings are where the big money is made for the industry.  It might sound obvious but a 5-1 winner at Hereford pays the same as 5-1 winner at Cheltenham and the field is going to be less competitive.

To close, I have learnt over the years to be a good gambler you need to know how to lose. You need to be level headed, manage a bank you can afford and above all do not spend beyond your means. This will allow you to accept the inevitable losing runs you will suffer.

 

 

Betting Strategies

FINDING WINNERS

My daily routine is slightly different to the average tipster who feels putting up selections in the morning is most beneficial. I have a different take on the normal as I believe you have a few horses overpriced the night before plus you are one step ahead of the rest.

Currently around 88% of selections put up by myself beat the SP price so you can see the benefit of betting the night before. Of course, they do not always win but looking back on 2019 where we had 216/915 winners for the year with a profit of over £6,000 if using SP only this would have been far less. These figures clearly show the benefit of beating the price.

Anyone is happy to question the profit figures but I put every winning slip up and members clearly know what selections have been put up the night before. Of course we will have losing runs (discussed in next blog) but its about making profits and being patient.

Of course bookmakers over-rounds (percentages) the night before are heavily stacked in their favour and it could be argued they are simply looking to bookmark bets coming in from customers when the market is quieter but that can be overcome by opening various different bookmaker accounts and spreading the bets. The great thing is we live in a free market where competition  is important, with horse racing prices you are generally going to find a variance. I cannot stress enough sticking to one bookmaker is not the answer as firstly you are likely to be restricted heavily after a series of wins and therefore its important to spread the bets across a variety of them. You also can get a big difference in pricing up a particular horse whereby one company will be offering 10-1 another 8-1. (some have bigger differences)

One point I often get mentioned is “the price didn’t last long”. Of course if you are using one bookmaker this is likely to happen. My one big suggestion is during this lockdown is to open up accounts with different bookmakers. It costs nothing to do so!! Set a limit on wagers if you for any reason are concerned about overdoing what you can afford.

I see so many people stick to one like Bet 365 or SKY bet out of loyalty. Remember, you win of these companies in the long term they will not show any loyalty back to you. So please, just because you like a layout of a website or love their brand, DO NOT STICK to one company. You should be treating this as a business to make money. Why on earth would you not take 16-1 with one firm just because you are not signed up and have to take say 10-1 just because of your loyalty? I would also suggest having friends & family accounts to help spread the bets even further as bookmakers especially on horses are very mindful that if accounts make money they will be observing.

I start eyeing up the form at about 5pm the night before. This would include viewing over race replays and having watched thousands of races over the years, I would like to think you get a pretty good idea of how a race will pan out. Many are convinced of speed figures which is all well and good on all weather surfaces but I am less convinced when you have a variety of ground and tracks to weigh you down. For me, this is too time consuming. Everyone is different but I tend to go with trainer form/pattern/thought process, ground, whether a horse is bred for the distance, how the race will be run and a variety of other factors.

Anyone following me for sometime may notice I tend not to go with the five furlong sprints certainly in handicaps and the further distance flat races the more you can rely on form. You only have to look at stats to appreciate you are more likely to win by a shorter distance over the shorter distances which therefore in general makes them more competitive by nature.

I unlike many others will always back horses to the amounts I recommend (all slips are posted). The world of Twitter and social media you have too many people who might recommend a bet who may show a slip (not actually placed) or you have no idea what they actually have done. The latter are more inclined to want you signing up via an affiliate link where they make money from you LOSING.

Plus, you get a number who do no homework whatsoever see a price of a horse comes in and put that selection up. That is the main driving force for me doing bets the night before as you cannot estimate the strength of social media. You may lose a couple of points still the previous evening if not getting on time they are posted but next morning prices will come down even further once other so called tipsters put them up with any kind of following. They are simply seeing the markets after you (members) have placed your bet.

Unfortunately, I’ve had people who simply copy my bets. I treat that as a compliment but it does go to show how many unscrupulous tipsters who have around the country.

I maintain the night before is still just about the best time to place your bets despite the slight downside of having your card marked. The bets suggested are often not too much (highest generally £40) so you can easily go quite a while without no problem if not getting greedy. Of course, you do have the option of Betfair exchanges with those kind of stakes the night before.

In my next Blog will focus on Losing Runs which will put up some time over the weekend… If you would like any questions answered please email betracingnationclub@gmail.com

BEST ODDS GUARANTEED (BOG)
 

Bookmakers have obviously used the recent reduction on FOBT’s as an excuse to change the timings on Best Odds Guaranteed which obviously cuts into their profits. I only recently found out for example that the local Paddy Power shops have a maximum of 1k on your returns above the SP returns. Shops will offer Best odds guaranteed when it suits them especially when next to any competition. I think its inevitable for online betting that all companies will go morning for best odds guaranteed at some point. Whether one will dip their toe in the water and go an hour before racing remains to be seen. Hopefully, I can answer the questions many people ask regarding Best Odds Guaranteed.

When is the best time to place a Bet ?

Fair to say markets have a big influence a few minutes before racing and despite what many say you do have to question drifters that drift like a barge to run no sort of race when they go from 1.6 to 2.5 on the machines seconds before the off. If someone does not have information on how they will run, then you have to question why a horse runs like it has lost a leg.

Saying all that, the majority of races are run fairly and squarely and that leaves the night before still the best time to take odds. If the homework is done properly you will invariably still beat the odds and just have to take it on the chin if it drifts as the profit will always outweigh the losses. You could be marking the traders cards with your expertise but generally prices do last for a short while, unless a big invariable with say one form offering 12-1 and others 6-1. In that case, the 12-1 will always go quickly.

Who Should I bet With ?

Of course bookmakers do not like winners, they do not like people who beat the prices and that leads to restrictions and ultimately closing of accounts. I have always maintained that you should not be showing loyalty to a company because you like their branding or you prefer how site is displayed. You would not go into a shop and buy the first thing you see so why should give a bookmaker that kind of priority? You should do everything to get all the accounts and if you cannot do that family & friends are an option. One of the many queries I get is ” I could not get that price”  of course within half an hour a price can change but you need as many options open to getting the best price, especially if big variance in prices. 

How have selections done this year : BOG compared to SP ?

Of course, recently more bookmakers have moved the goalposts but around 80% of the selections have beaten or been within half a point of the SP since launch 31st January. This coincides pretty much with previous years so the conclusion must be that taking a price night before is still beneficial. This, despite bookmakers books night before heavily stacked in their favour. (Sometimes they have 125%- 130% mark ups)

Not all have won but it shows that you should be able to beat the prices. Only two notable exceptions this year were Moon King on 28th April wins 10-1 (4-1 taken) and Power Link 20th August 2019 16-1 (8-1 taken). Luckily both were placed with Best odds, but you could understand the frustration if these had not been taken. It does make it imperative to get best odds whenever you can

Currently I am SP only with Paddy Power and I would only bet with them if I am 99% sure price will shorten. You do need experience in these circumstances and it will not always pay off, but it is a percentage call.

Should I allow Drifters to worry me ?

I never let drifters worry me, you have to believe all races on run on their merits (despite some questionable ones) as whatever you have chosen you have picked for a reason. Likewise, I never get carried away when a horse you picked goes from say 16-1 into 4-1. Yes, you have the value but does not mean it is going to romp home. Though when these do come off, no betting feeling in filling your wallet.

 

 

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