Tuesday, 29 April 2008

No Luck Today..............

Daily Profit £7.82

In terms of adopting my betting strategy, today was probably my best day yet by far. I gambled in 8 races and in every race, I was riskfree at the off. This is a nice achievement considering I'm not really an accomplished trader and the funny thing for me was that I didn't use BA Pro once. All of my trading was carried out on the usual Betfair interface.

OK, so why was my profit only £7.82 for the day then?

Being honest, it was a combination of bad luck and greed on my part. In 4 races, I had a return of over £100 on a horse and in the final race at Southwell, I had a return of £100 on 3 different horses in the race. My best riskfree return today was on a horse called Moon Mix in the 4.30 at Yarmouth.

I fancied this outsider to run a very good race and it was heavily backed 20 minutes before the off before going on a massive drift. I managed to catch both swings correctly, so I had £360 of a riskfree return on it.

When I usually have these high returns on outsiders, I usually look to get myself a return of £10 or so in running and let the rest run and put in very low lays. Unfortunately, Moon Mix travelled very well through the race and I cancelled my lays about 2f out as I thought it had a very good chance of winning. In the end, it faded to finish 4th and I was annoyed to see it traded below 4 in running. This moment of greed effectively cost me £50+ if I had kept my lays in as planned.

I had another 2 horses who ran very well in 2nd but I only won a few pound on them as I didn't lay off enough in running.

Today is probably the first day that I would have made more from trading instead of gambling but I can't complain after the last 2 weeks I have had!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Nice start to new forum......

Daily Profit £153.21

I'll discuss the new forum in a bit but on to today's profit.

I think this is the biggest daily profit from horse-racing I've posted on the blog, so I've got to be pleased. However, I think the most pleasing thing for me is that I was at the football today, so this is money that I have managed to generate when I haven't even been at the PC! Nice work..........

The majority of the profit was made on a horse that we found today which was particularly well handicapped. I backed Bustan in the first at Sandown at 15 on BF for £40 but it went on a massive drift before the off and started at 20.

I made the decision earlier in the day that I thought the horse would run well, so I was willing to gamble slightly. I laid £32 off at 11 and I left in a couple of low lays. I was pleased to see that the horse won and I made a very nice profit on the race.

My other small profit on the day was made from backing and laying off the German horse in the 2 miler at Sandown and it must have run a hell of a race to get some of my low lays matched.

As usual, I'll give credit where credit is due and both of these horses were put up by Andrew as potential winners. Andrew has helped me enormously throughout The Experiment and long may it continue!

I had 3 losing races today including one very disappointing race at Leicester where Harry The Hawk must have run below form. I backed Harry last night and laid off this morning for a nice riskfree profit on him. I also backed another in the race and backed it again this morning as it looked overpriced. Unfortunately, it must have run a real poor race as I didn't get all my lays matched, so I suffered a £20 loss on the race.

Overall, I must be pleased with this size of profit today considering I wasn't in the house this afternoon, so it's proving to be a great end to the month for me.

As you may or may not be aware from reading the blog, I've been working closely with a virtual friend called Andrew for the last 2 months and now Knocker (Caramboo Racing) has joined in the fun. The 3 of us have been emailing around tips and race analysis to help each other out over the past 2 weeks and we have had amazing success thus far.

We tend to concentrate on flat handicaps as this is where my knowledge lies but Andrew usually forms views on any type of race, so we tend to discuss any race that someone has an opinion on!

Knocker is quite a techy guy and suggested we set up a discussion forum to discuss the horses instead of using emails all the time as my email inbox has taken some punishment over the last 2 weeks!

Well, today saw the launch of our new site for discussing the racing. It is called www.handicaps.caramboo.com. At the moment, we only really have us as members but the site is quite cool and easy to use. We have decided that since we have a "nice playground and lots of swings, slides and climbing things but no friends to play with" (Andrew's quote!), we are going to ask others to join.

We are targeting people who have some racing knowledge and want a bit of banter about the racing. Andrew used to be a regular on the BF forum and he thinks he can maybe get a few guys with some decent opinions to join us at our new site. Obviously, we are trying to dodge the usual riff-raff that post on the BF forum but since we are our own administrators on this site, we can punt anyone who we don't like!

Obviously, I'd like to invite anyone who reads my blog and is interested in horse-racing to join the forum.

Incidentally, all new members of the forum will only get access to the public forums at the moment. Once we have enough evidence that they have something worthwhile to contribute to the forum, they will gain access to all areas. This will stop people joining the forum just to 'piggy-back' on our tips and analysis.

Lastly, the reason for the title of tonight's post...............

The first post on the new forum was " In the first race 1:05 - Is it just me or does Bustan look thrown in...? It's also had a run to blow away the cobwebs and has got a 'proper' jockey on it...Any thoughts ?"

A 14/1 winner (20 on Betfair) for the new forum in the very first race thanks to Andrew!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Maybe next time.......

Daily Profit £10.45

Today was never going to be my best day! There were only 2 races which met my betting criteria all afternoon and I looked at 1 race at night. Therefore, the maximum bets I could have had was 3.

I'm pleased to say that I kept my discipline today and didn't bet in any other races apart from these 3. Unfortunately, the horse I wanted to back in 2 of the 3 races proved to be a non-runner, so I was left with 1 race I analysed. Incidentally, the 2 horses I found are 2 winners in waiting, so I'll get my money on them next time!

Right, so the race I was left with was the 3.45 at Beverley. I went through the race last night and narrowed it down to 3 runners which I backed last night at nice prices. Unfortunately, my backs were only matched on 2 of the horses, so I had to back the other one at a lower price today.

Before the race, I talked through the runners with Knocker and he decided that Karmest would be the winner. This was the horse which I couldn't get backed during the day, so I backed it before the race as well.

5 minutes before the race, one of my other 2 went on a massive drift and I couldn't resist the temptation to back it. At the off, I ended up with a small return on Karmest and one of my other ones, and a huge return (£500) on my third runner. As it turns out, Karmest won easily and Knocker had picked another winner! Well done mate.

I don't regret my decision to move money from Karmest to my other horse as at the off, my other horse was better value. Still, a small profit is better than nothing!

In the 4.20 race, my main fancy was a non-runner, so I was left with 3 of my original shortlist. However, they were all very badly drawn, so I wasn't going to gamble on them. I'd happily take a riskree bet though......

At the off, I had £300, £156 and £27 riskfree bets. I traded them so well, I could even have generated a green profit of £17 at the off!

As it turns out, my horse with the £27 profit finished 3rd and my other 2 were beaten by the draw, so it wasn't to be.

I didn't even bother with the other race at night, so it was a £10.45 profit for the day from my 2 races.

I'm working a full day tomorrow, so Saturday may be my next day for gambling.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Smashes the £1,000 mark thanks to Knocker!

Daily Profit £63.79

As the title suggests, I've finally galloped through the £1,000 profit for The Experiment but Knocker (Sportstrading) has to take the majority of the credit today. I've been giving Knocker a few tips about picking winners and he's been working hard to get up to speed on racing form and how you go about picking nice price winners.

Yesterday, he managed to pick 3 winners at nice prices but didn't back any of the 3 whereas I backed 2 and made over £100 profit. Today, he picked 2 horses and sent me an email. The first one was the best backed horse all morning but ran a stinker of a race but the second horse was a horse called Saluscraggie trading at 40 on Betfair. The race was the 4.20 at Catterick and it collided with the big chase in Ireland, so like most punters, I forgot about the Catterick race and watched the Irish race.

Half way through the Irish race, I switched across channels to see what race was on and I heard the commentator say that Saluscraggie was going well. I switched back to watch the Irish race and I flicked over at the end to see Sauscraggie win easily. It suddenly clicked........

When I got in from work, the only horse I backed was Saluscraggie (£5 at 40) but I left in numerous lays at daft prices in case it got backed and it run well. Anyway, I quickly flicked on the Betfair screen for the race to see a green £50 on Saluscraggie and a green £150 on every other horse. Obviously, every one of my lays got matched as it won easily!

The sad point to the whole story is that like me, Knocker forgot all about the horse and he hadn't backed it, so he missed out on a 40 winner! That's two 40 winners in 2 days that Knocker hasn't backed that have hosed up, so it is very unlucky to say the least. The key thing is that he is finding these winners like me, so his time will come..........

Apart from that race, I won £22 (would have been £67 if it won) on a horse in Ireland which just got beaten in a photo (thanks to Andrew again for that tip) and I didn't manage to pick a winner all day from the other 4 races I bet on.

I can't really believe I made £64 profit today without picking a winner myself. It's a strange game this betting game!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Impending return to work and the £1,000 mark...

I've decided to return to full-time work from the 1st of May. This is probably not too surprising given how my trading went but it's slightly unfortunate that it has coincided with my best return I've had over the last 2 months from the racing!

The Experiment will obviously continue and I'll continue my new strategy of doing an analysis of certain types of races and betting in these races. Obviously, I'll be at work every day so I'm not able to bet on Betfair or trade pre-race but I'll start making more use of the Betfair SP function which I have never used before. I may try to bet the evening before but I don't want to miss out on winners because I've asked for too high a price, so this is slightly risky.

Returning to work makes sense for me as I'm no longer scalping now before races, so all I'm doing every afternoon is doing form analysis or trying to generate riskfree bets on horses I want to back.

Obviously, using the BF Starting Price means I lose a bit of margin and increase the risk greatly as I won't get any riskfree bets but it all comes down to one thing.....

How much better am I at these races than Betfair Layers?

So far, if this was a boxing match, the fight would have been stopped by now as I'm kicking their ass, so I don't see it as an issue if I'm honest.

I will still be able to generate riskfree bets at weekends and in the evenings, so I'll do OK. I'll probably get far more selective with the horses I back as I don't want to be trying to back 10 horses every day. I'll probably limit it to 2 or 3 races a day I analyse. Obviously, I'll need to try to set aside some time at nights to analyse races but I also have my lunch hour at work to look at the form. If I find a horse at lunchtime, I can back it on Betfair on my mobile phone!

When I logged into my Betfair account there, I noticed my balance is now £974.05. If someone had said to me 6 weeks ago that I would be approaching the £1,000 profit mark after 7 weeks, I would have laughed at them! (I've actually won more than that due to last Friday's win but I'm not counting that!)

I think my first target has to be to get up to the £1,000 mark as soon as possible and then keep setting myself little targets. Since I'm not trading now, I don't really need a £1,000 bank on Betfair but I'm happy to keep it in there as it keeps it separate from my own bank account. I've never really had a betting bank before and I quite like the fact it's not my own money I'm gambling with anymore, so it takes the pressure off a bit!

The Handicap King!

Daily Profit £118.28

Well, as the title says, I am definitely the handicap king! This may only be my opinion of course but I am good when I'm on the ball.

I only fully analysed 3 races today. However, my indiscipline got the better of me and between playing on MSN and watching the racing from Punchestown, I managed to fritter away a good few pound on meaningless races. Today was the first day when I felt my discipline slipping but when you win £123 on the first race you analyse, your concentration does tend to slip a bit. I'll let myself off this once.......

OK, the only race I spent 30 minutes on today was the first race from Folkestone. It was a 6f sprint for Apprentice riders and looked a bit of a nightmare. I narrowed the race down to 2 horses. Ali Bruce and Milton's Choice.

I expected Ali to be 40 or so and I expected Milton to be 25 on Betfair. Well, my eyes popped out my head when I saw Milton trading at 40 for £15. I snapped up all of the 40 for £15 and left in a lay at 24 for £15.

Unbelievably, I got this matched before the race started, so part one of the plan went like a dream.

I then left in numerous lays from 10 downwards in running. I shouldn't have bothered as the horse absolutely hacked up. I then had to laugh to myself as Matt Chapman quotes "no one would have every managed to pick that horse on all known form". Well mate, I did. I sent Andrew the race analysis in the morning and I also let Knocker (Sportstrading blog) know that I backed the horse before the off. Well, this resulted in a £123 profit in race 1 but I hadn't looked at any other races, so I should have stopped!

(Incidentally, Ali Bruce finished 3rd to stop me from getting a 25/1 and 20/1 forecast for good measure!)

I did manage to analyse 2 more races. I broke-even on one and then I made £20 profit on the 5.00 at Southwell. I was slightly unfortunate in this race as my horse traded at 1.73 in running before losing. I had a very large riskfree bet on it but I didn't trade in enough of it to make a substantial profit. Still, £20 profit would do.

So a £143 profit on 3 races I analysed and a £25 loss on races where I spent 2 minutes looking at the form and trying to bet.

Can you spot where I was going wrong all my life with horse-racing form? I've got to spend an appropriate amount of time on each race and stop betting on races where I haven't done enough research. It really is as simple as that!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

2 winners from 4 races

Daily Profit £38.28

I wasn't planning on having a bet today as I was going to study the racing for tomorrow but I decided to spend 10 minutes on each of the 4 year old handicaps at Pontefract on the advice of Andrew.

I got off to a great start in the first race (3.10) when I backed 3 and picked the 1st and 2nd. This profit could have been much better but I didn't get my lay matched at 1.4 on the horse which got beat in a photo finish. This was slightly unlucky but the front two finished fast and the 2nd was always being held by the eventual winner, so I can't complain.

I've no complaints in the long distance race at Pontefract (3.40) as I wouldn't have backed the winner with bad money, so I suffered a loss in this race.

The next race was really annoying (4.40). The winner appeared on my shortlist but my chin hit the deck when I opened up Betfair and saw it trading at 5. I seriously thought about laying it for £100 stake but I decided against it. The horse went off at 9.2 on Betfair and I was correct it was the wrong price. However, I was also correct in the sense it went on to win the race, so I was slightly annoyed with myself for not laying it and then backing it for a riskfree bet! I suffered a tiny loss in this race as I couldn't get out of one of my attempted riskfree bets.

Anyway, that brought me on to the last race. I backed 3 in the race for small stakes as I wasn't confident and managed to get the 1st and 2nd again although I was sweating a bit with 1f left as a well backed outsider who hadn't run for 2 years was in the lead! It got swallowed up close home though.

Overall, a nice tidy profit for 40 minutes form study and little risk. I've done a little bit of form study for tomorrow's racing this afternoon, so that should stand me in good stead I hope. I'll be more inclined to increase my stakes tomorrow and bet more if I spend a little more than 10 minutes on the races but I'm conscious that I don't want to spend too long on each race.

Monday, 21 April 2008

First golf loss - Ouch!

Daily Loss £46.90

Well, after 7 successful golf tournaments with 7 decent profits, this week's golf tournament was an absolute disaster.

From my initial 15 players, I only had 5 players who made the cut and at no point did any of my players make the top 10 in the tournament. I managed to make a small profit on Scott Verplank, so it saved me from posting a £70 loss. However, a £47 loss isn't much better!

On analysis, most of the shorter priced players at the beginning of the tournament dominated the week and Boo Weekley has managed to win the tournament for the second year running. I would never have backed Weekley to win as he was too short a price at the start of the event, so I don't have any hard luck stories.

I'll take this loss on the chin and move on to next week's tournament.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Big Thank You to Andrew!

Ok, some people reading may think I’m pulling their leg but it has been a very strange last hour.

After I posted up my post-race analysis, I got a note from my virtual mate Andrew who said I was being too hard on myself and that I was trying too hard for the purposes of the blog. He said spending 2 hours to analyse a race was too long as I was thinking about it too much.

He said there was a race at Yarmouth tonight at 5.30 that was even more difficult to work out than the race at Thirsk but I should give it a go. However, he said to limit the time I spend on it.

Therefore, I spent 15 minutes tops on the race. I narrowed it down to 2 horses who jumped off the page at me as being well handicapped. I then checked on Betfair and the horses were trading at 11.5 and 16. I backed both and dropped Andrew a note to say I had backed them so he could follow me in if he wanted.

Before the off, both horses were very well backed and I traded both in for riskfree bets. Since I was very confident both would run well, I left in a couple lays at low prices.

To cut a long story short, the horses finished clear of the field in first and second and all of my lays were matched. I won a substantial amount on the race and Andrew also made a nice profit.

I feel a bit of a fraud considering I didn’t post up the selections on the blog and after doing so bad this afternoon. Therefore, I’ve decided to not count these winnings as part of The Experiment and to just withdraw the winnings from my Betfair account tonight. A nice bonus for the weekend!

Therefore, my current Betfair balance matches my blog again.

It’s safe to say I’ve got my confidence back again and I’m looking forward to my next race next week.

Good or Bad Analysis? You decide...........

Daily Profit £1.90

Before I describe where it went wrong today, a quick mention on Blue Spinnaker which won this afternoon. I made my feelings clear on this horse a few days ago and in my eyes, it was 14lb well-in at its current handicap mark. As I expected, it cruised home this afternoon and won on the bridle.

This may surprise a few of you but I didn’t put a penny on it today. Considering I effectively lost £100 on this 2 days ago (my insurance bet beat it!), this may sound strange. The problem I had today was that I couldn’t find a danger to the horse. I had a quick look at the race and there were no potential improvers in the race. Therefore, I wouldn’t have had any insurance bet in case something happened to the favourite. I therefore decided to just sit and watch it win and it won as it liked.

As I said previously, I’m not too concerned with making huge profits at the moment but it was pleasing to be proved correct!

OK, on to the 3.40. What a nightmare race. Anyone who read my pre-race analysis could probably guess I didn’t have a clue what would win but since I’d spent 2 hours on the analysis, I thought I’d better have a bet!

I split the horses into 3 groups. I had 5 I didn’t think could win, 5 who could win but I didn’t want to back and 5 who I wanted to back as I thought they could win.

Last night, I left in a few backs at high prices and I got them matched. I got 3 £20 win bets matched at nice prices and I laid off all 3 at 3 points lower when I got in from work after lunch. This gave me a green £60 on 3 horses which was a nice position to start from.

I then backed the other 7 horses who I thought could win to put a red on the 5 horses who couldn’t win. I then backed the 2 horses again who I wanted to back. In summary, I ended up with greens of £40-£60 on 4 horses, 5 small greens and a £60 loss on 5 horses. On one horse, I had £150 return as I really fancied this horse.

This was perfect. Considering I was red £60 on 5 horses (1 priced at 10, and 4 at 26 and higher), I had worked myself a perfect position. This was easy I was thinking………….

So, the race starts. My £150 return horse (Bartercard) gets pulled up, not a great start.

At the 1f pole, it looks a disaster as Yes One is cruising and is trading at 1.02. Luckily, it drifts a little across the course and Spinning comes through late to win going away. Phew…….a £60 loss turned into a £2 profit!

Amazingly, another horse I said couldn’t win finished 3rd at 20/1 and it really was a great escape.

So, what went wrong?

Well, let’s look at the draw first. The first 7 home were drawn 8,16,15,7,9,11,13. Really strange considering they went around a left hand bend and low numbers held a massive advantage!

So, I watched the race again and listened to the commentary. Twice the commentator highlighted the fact they had gone off too fast in front from the low numbers. Basically, since it’s a left hand bend, the low numbers wanted to keep the advantage of being drawn low, so they had to beat the outside drawn horses to the bend.

I then went back to read through the comments of the horse I ruled out which should have won the race had it not drifted late in the race (Yes One):

‘Badly handicapped and not got the pace for 7f. Only hope is that they go off too fast in front.’

Another quick read of the racing post preview of the race highlights the fact that there are 4 confirmed front-runners in the race. Most of these were drawn low apart from King Harson which was drawn high.

I had a look again at the horse in 3rd. This had no chance on form yet managed to stay on late to get third.

Another quick run-through of the race confirms that the first 4 home came from well off the pace. They were in the last 6 at halfway yet filled the first 4 places.


Suddenly, I don’t feel too bad now. Yes, I got the race wrong but my comment about Yes One was spot on. Its only chance was if they went off too fast. They did!

Ok, on to the winner. Why did I not back Spinning for a profit?

It did make my final shortlist of 9 but I cut it from the list there. My comment was:

“On career high handicap mark and drawn 8. Had to ignore the 5 lengths winner last time to see this as well handicapped. Even though it is effectively an unpenalised winner of a 17 runner race with 5 lengths back to the 3rd, I’ll let it go this time. If this does win, The Osteopath who beat it last time must be improving fast! Won over 9f in the past also and against real 7f specialists here, so will need a fast pace. Lose it.”

2 reasons I cut it from the list. It was beaten 5 lengths last time in 2nd and it needs a fast pace as it has won over 9f in the past.

Let’s step back a second. My first thought about the winner was “All wins have come on softish ground when there has been plenty of pace in the race. Needs to be improving to defy this sort of mark as never looked like winning off this sort of mark before. Clearly improved at the backend of last season though and 1st run this season was impressive if you forget the winner. Would have won the race with 5 lengths back to the 3rd. Appeared to be an improved performance again and could improve past current mark this season.”

What one thing shines through? It needs a really fast pace………..

Therefore, the two horses in the race which would only run up to their form if there was a fast pace were the winner and second!

Obviously, part of this is hindsight which is a great thing but it was highlighted by me on the blog and the RP preview that there were many front-runners in the race. Ultimately, the front-runners have set the race up for the 1st and 2nd and for additional proof, they have set the race up for the 3rd horse to perform far above its past performances as it stayed on past beaten horses late on.

In summary, I maybe didn’t do as badly as it first looked. The key thing is, I was looking at a £60 loss but Spinning turned it into a £2 profit, so I can’t complain.

I’m having a break for a few days from the horse-racing but I’ll be back next week.

I’d be keen to hear any thoughts on the above. Do you buy into this or am I kidding myself?

Friday, 18 April 2008

Take a deep breath....Analysis of 3.40 at Thirsk tomorrow

I chose this race simply because it is the trickiest race by far tomorrow. 2 other races met my criteria but I'll only bet in this race.

Initial Thoughts

1 – 7f specialist who seems OK handicapped off 74 here. Last 2 wins off 80 and 75 but does seem to be deteriorating slightly. This is backed up by the fact last 4 wins have been when a double figure price. Only an average 1st run back this season but dropped another 2lb.
2 – Badly handicapped and not got the pace for 7f. Only hope is that they go too fast in front.
3 – Last win off 72 on soft and off 73 here. Doesn’t appear well handicapped but this is the 2nd lowest mark he has ever run off. He won by 2 lengths off his lowest ever mark!
4 – All wins have come on softish ground when there has been plenty of pace in the race. Needs to be improving to defy this sort of mark as never looked like winning off this sort of mark before. Clearly improved at the backend of last season though and 1st run this season was impressive if you forget the winner. Would have won the race with 5 lengths back to the 3rd. Appeared to be an improved performance again and could improve past current mark this season.
5 – May actually be well handicapped but you need to read into form lines to see it. On its maiden win, it would be well handicapped by a few pounds and would be the type to improve as it matures as trainer doesn’t over race them. On its handicap runs, doesn’t appear well handicapped at all as cut no ice but could improve.
6 – Has the look of an amazingly well handicapped horse now and well backed last twice. However, beaten 36 lengths last time and not convinced it likes soft ground. A full 14lbs lower now than when started handicapping but what happened last time?
7 – Ok, on handicap ratings, this horse looks an absolute certainty. It is handicapped to win as it likes here and I’ll be amazed if this doesn’t win a decent handicap this season. However, it a bumper winner who has been handicapped over running over the wrong distance. Therefore, it needs a longer trip. At 1m 2f, this horse is a penalty kick. I won’t say why but anyone who is interested can read its form as it stands out like a ‘sore thumb’. If this was a 1m 2f race, it would really be a stand out bet. Why it is running at 7f is a mystery to me!
8 – Never run a good race on softish ground in its life! Not that well handicapped either as at top end of its mark. Easy to ignore.
9 – 7f specialist who looks very well handicapped. A decent first run back and wont mind the ground. Can win off this sort of mark no problem. Not won for a long time but handicapper given him a chance here.
10 – Another horse that looks very well handicapped here. Won off a higher mark in the past. On its last win, it has about 6lbs in hand here but not done much since. Was a great run last time though and only needs to reproduce that to stand a chance here.
11 – Loves soft ground. Looks a 6f horse though and not well handicapped either.
12 – Can’t win off this mark and hates soft ground. Easy to dismiss.
13 – Loves soft ground and like a few, will try to lead. Not that badly handicapped but been beaten 4 times off this mark in the past. Needs to improve to win off that mark in this competitive race.
14 – This could be frightengly well handicapped based on its 2 wins. May have 5lbs or so in hand. Great first run back and only needs to run to that level of form.
15 – Very badly handicapped and no chance here.
16 – Oh my God! This looks remarkably well handicapped and is a definite winner waiting to happen. Seems to handle the ground.
Well, I know I like a challenge but this is one hell of a tough race. I’ll keep going down the route I usually takes and see what happens!

The horses that can’t win are:

2 – Not handicapped to win
8 – Won’t go on ground and not well handicapped
11 – Not well handicapped
12 – Ground and handicap mark
13 – Needs to improve to win off this mark
15 – No chance

Ok, out of a 16 runner race, I’ve only managed to rule out 6. Being honest, all that shows is how competitive the race is.

As usual, I’ll try to use a different angle to separate these. I must say though that having 10 horses handicapped in the race to win means the form of the race will hold up remarkably well in the future. Bear this in mind…..

Ok, Thirsk is a left-handed 7f course. That means that high numbers are drawn out wide. With this in mind, it will take a better handicapped horse to win from a high draw than a low draw. Let’s see if I can rule any out now:

5 – To find this well handicapped, I needed to read into some form lines. For the simple reason that I found others well handicapped quicker and the fact it is drawn 13, I’ll miss this one out. Keep an eye out in the future for it!

Ok, I’ve ruled out 1 more. This is bloody difficult……. 9 horses left!

Right, quickly through each horse again. This is driving me mad…

1- Won off 2 higher marks last year and nice draw in 7. Keep it.
3 – Doesn’t always break well and 1 draw may make it difficult. Lose it.
4 – On career high handicap mark and drawn 8. Had to ignore the 5 lengths winner last time to see this as well handicapped. Even though it is effectively an unpenalised winner of a 17 runner race with 5 lengths back to the 3rd, I’ll let it go this time. If this does win, The Osteopath who beat it last time must be improving fast! Won over 9f in the past also and against real 7f specialists here, so will need a fast pace. Lose it.
6 – Nightmare draw, only ever won 1 race, beaten 38 lengths and 16 lengths last twice. These will make it a huge price. However, does appear very well handicapped. A huge price and a well handicapped horse……keep it.
7 – Bad draw in 10 and needs 1m 2f really. However, on 2 different form lines, could be rated 80. Simply due to the fact it is so well handicapped….keep it.
9 – Bad draw in 11. Won off much higher marks and can win on this ground. Keep it.
10 – Ok draw but so well handicapped, might not matter. Keep it.
14 – Will win off much higher marks in future no problem. Looks a definite improver and will go on ground. Keep it.
16 – Handicapped like a dream. Keep it.

Ok, that’s 2 more ruled out. Left with 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 16. 7 horses…..
Something I hate doing is reading form lines of particular races. Gets me in trouble every time. However, I need to do it here.

14 and 16 are 2 very well handicapped horses but were beaten more than 5 lengths by 2 horses last time. Both horses have been well beaten since and for that simple reason, I’ll leave these 2 out of the calculations.

So, that leaves 1,6,7,9 and 10.

Just realised I’ve got horses drawn 7, 14, 10, 11 and 9. Considering a low draw is a big advantage here, I’m not too confident I placed enough emphasis on the draw!

Ok, I’d probably stop here. I could spend a week on this race now but I’d struggle to pick the winner. I’m not too sure the winner is even in these 5 as I did like the 2 I cut out before that but that’s part of the game…….

Last comments after looking at Betfair odds quickly (Market is 132% so the odds will get much better):

1 – 6 on BF and favourite. Not a favourite in my book and too short at this sort of price. Tipped by Spotlight in RP though, so I’d dodge this at this price.
6 – 30 on Betfair and someone is asking for 500! What an insult. Poor draw and poor form make this an obvious play for smallish stakes. Be looking for 100+.
7 – 14.5 at the moment. I think this is an OK price and I’d play at 20 for sure. Needs 1m 2f though!
9 – 12.5 is far too short and would be looking for 25+. Poor draw for a front-runner will make it drift out.
10 – 9 at the moment is too short. Be looking for 12+ to make it a play.

I’ll post up a post-race analysis tomorrow night if I get a chance as this is easily the most difficult race I’ve looked at yet.

Good luck if you have a punt!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

This weeks golf bets

After the euphoria of the Masters win, it's back to the run-of-the-mill stuff this week on the US tour.

I probably have my 2 strongest bets from my analysis thus far on the golf and that's saying something considering I have had a few previous winners of tournaments!

These players are Joe Durrant and Scott Verplank. Basically, this weeks course seems very short and you need to be able to hit the ball straight going by past statistics of top 10 players. These guys rank 2nd and 3rd for Driving Accuracy this season and 1st and 2nd over the past 10 years combined. If I am correct, these guys are twice the price on Betfair than they should be.

I have spent £70 on the golf this week which is an increase on previous weeks, so I am increasing my stakes gradually.

My bets are:

What could have been......

Daily Profit £42.89

At first glance, today's profit may not look too much. However, at the moment, I'm not too concerned with how much I win. I have the rest of my life to worry about trying to make lots of money. At the moment, I'm trying to find a strategy that will enable me to win much more in the future. I believe I'm getting there.....

So, what happened today?

Today was all about 2 races at Beverley. These are the races where I feel I hold a massive advantage over normal punters and more importantly, a massive advantage over Betfair layers which I hope to ultimately exploit. I think I can read 4 year old plus handicaps better than anyone! Obviously, time will tell if this is true but so far, I'm doing OK.

Last night, I analysed the 2 races and posted my analysis on the blog. I then placed in numerous back bets on Betfair last night as I knew I was working this morning.

My attempted bets last night were:

£20 on Luscivious @ 11
£20 on Hows She Cuttin @ 12

£100 win on Blue Spinnaker at 2.06
£10 win on Harry The Hawk at 11

Anyone who was trying to bet on the top 2 last night would have spotted my bets as I was asking for about 4 points lower than the lowest lay price for £20! It sort of stood out.

If I had got these bets matched, I would have been posting up a 3 figure profit today and I would have been over the moon. Unfortunately, things didn't go to plan.

When I got home from work and logged on, I noticed that my Blue Spinnaker and Harry The Hawk bets had been matched. Nice!

Hows She Cuttin was a non-runner, so no problem there. However, Luscivious was now favourite! I had not got any of my £20 matched but some people had got stuck into it in the morning and then just before the off to send it off favourite on Betfair.

By the time the off came, I was in 2 minds about what to do so I only stuck £10 on it. I have said this quote before on here and I'll say it again "If you miss the wedding, don't attend the funeral." Basically, Luscivious would have been an amazing bet at 11, a great bet at 10, it was a good bet at 9 and so on. At 4/1, it was only an OK bet. Good luck to everyone who read the blog and snapped up the nice prices this morning. Sorry to say, it wasn't me!

In summary, I won £40 on the first race and I was happily pleased. Now I had my banker bet next.....

Firstly, the reason I backed Harry The Hawk in addition to Blue Spinnaker is that I read back over the blog again last night and apart from the fav, it was the only horse that could be improving past it's current rating. I decided at the prices, the best thing to do was to have an insurance bet on 'Harry' in case something happened to Blue Spinnaker. As it turned out, the punters at the track got stuck into 'Harry' before the off and it went off a clear second favourite. It was about 5 I think at the off.

Anyway, the way the race unfolded didn't suit Blue Spinnaker as it came there cruising but it struggles to quicken off a slow pace and it was beaten for pace by 'Harry'. There was a Stewards enquiry but there was no way Blue Spinnaker was getting the race in the Stewards room. As it turned out, I was able to back 'Harry' at 1.03 after it won, so I put £100 on that to green up for a couple of pound profit, so I managed to turn a profit in 2 races after all!

Overall, I'm happy with the way I read the races and especially the second race. The 4 horses I said could win were the only 4 backed to the exclusion of every other horse in the race. I was also pleased with the fact I called Fire Up The Band correct in the first race as well as a few others in both races who didn't run well.

I'm not sure the best way to analyse these races on the blog. So far, that's 3 races with 3 winners and an £80 profit which seems OK. Obviously, I could have made much more by laying all the horses that I knew couldn't win and by Dutching the ones I thought could win but I'm not concerned with profit amounts at the moment. So far, I have narrowed each race down to 3 and 4 possible winners and so far, I've been spot on. Hence, I could have laid 20 losers in 3 races combined.

Obviously, there are 'many ways to skin a cat' on Betfair and I'll make more use of laying horses as time goes on. A great example today was Fire Up The Band which went off at 6 and was trading at 38 after 5 seconds of the race but that's life I suppose!

I hope people can maybe see that I do know a little about horse-racing and form. I know that The Experiment has changed direction from where I first wanted to take it but I definitely feel I should be using my form knowledge instead of trying to trdae.

I enjoy the pressure of posting a form analysis on the blog as it sometimes takes me over an hour for a race which at times can seem too long. However, I know from past experience that I'll get it right more times than not, and it's a nice sense of satisfaction to be proved right.

As time progresses and my confidence increases, I'll be looking to increase my stakes and then we'll see how good I really am! I've had this horse-racing knowledge for 15+ years inside of me and absolutely nowhere to share it with anyone. Incidentally, I must give a mention to Andrew, who proofs my analysis, as he also spotted Luscivious was a 'good thing' today and that was after studying the race for 5 minutes! It took me an hour but who cares about time..... Well done mate!

I'm working a full day tomorrow at work, so I'll try to have a look tomorrow night for a race on Friday.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Analysis of 3.55 at Beverley tomorrow

Initial Thoughts

1 – How the hell did this horse start the season off 65? A great piece of training in the 2nd half of last season!

Right, trainers take note. This is a 10f specialist who likes to get hit toe in. He was 4th in the Zetland Gold Cup last season at Redcar and then 2nd in a decent race at Pontefract off 85. He then ran 9 times over the wrong distance, 4 times on too firm ground and not once at its optimal distance and ground. Roll on a few months…….

Appears at Doncaster over 10f on softish ground off a rating of 65. It was dropped 20lbs at the backend of last season by the handicapper who was only doing his job I suppose. Horse is backed from 5s in the morning, opens at 3 on course and goes off at 9/4. Lady jockey doesn’t have a clue what she is doing and wins by 10 lengths. I can imagine Mr Easterby tearing his hair out as she was pushing the horse clear! 4th in the race was 20 lengths back and they finished strung out like a 3m chase.

Now, the horse reappears 5 days later in a weaker race carrying top weight with a 6lb penalty. This horse could win a decent prize off it’s revised mark no problem but trainer is afraid of what the handicapper may do to it, so is forced to pick up a lousy £2.5k prize in the meantime.

In my book, this horse is 14lbs well in even if we exclude his last win! Throw in the fact he spread-eagled a field by 10 lengths plus and it’s not easy to see that this is a penalty kick.

In case I stumble across any other potential winners, I’ll co through the rest of the field as I’d normally do.

2 – Starts the season very well handicapped but appears to be better at 12f plus.
3 – Looks too high in the handicap and needs to drop a few pounds.
4 – Actually looks well handicapped as appeared to be improving at the backend of last year. Capable of winning of this sort of mark this season no problem.
5 – Very badly handicapped and needs to drop a few pounds to even get competitive in the near future.
6 – OK handicapped but there will be other days for this one with the stable having the favourite. Will win at sometime this season no doubt (when it’s the likely fav!)
7 – Poorly handicapped and needs to drop a few pounds.
9 – Capable of winning off this mark and will run well. Not a great draw though and may need 12f to be at best.
10 – Needs a shorter trip and softer ground than he will face here.
11 – Doesn’t look well handicapped and seems to prefer softer ground. Struggles to find a trip.
12 – Actually looks on a winnable mark and may improve for last run which was first for 2 years.
13 – Ex Stoute horse who was rated 103! Now 55 and 10lbs lower than last run! Dropped 30lbs in 4 runs when last seen and did appear to improve for the step up to 9f. Interesting that it has been kept in training and Swinbank is pretty shrewd!
14 – Looks OK handicapped but needs longer trip.

Ok, without being Einstein, I can rule out a number of horses here. The ones that can’t win are 3,5,7,10,11.

The ones that are unlikely to win are 2 (needs longer trip), 6 (there will definitely be other days for this one), 13 (must be capable of finding a race but will need to be very well handicapped to win after 2 years off!), 14 (needs longer trip than today).

So, that leaves us with 1, 4, 9 and 12.

4 appears on the upgrade but is 4lbs higher than last win which means it needs to be improving fast.
9 looks OK handicapped but maybe needs a longer trip than this.
12 looks like it can win off this sort of mark but last run was first for 2 years and it may suffer from the ‘bounce’ factor.

In summary, it is difficult to get away from 1 as I can’t find any negatives about the horse. Amazingly, if you ignore the races as a 3 year old, the horse has only ever won in the months of April and May. This must be a dream horse to get well handicapped every year as it seems to run well below par from the summer onwards. Hence, the ideal time to catch the horse is now. Once it’s won a few races, it will continue to run all year and get itself well handicapped for the start of the next campaign. A handicapper’s nightmare and a trainer’s dream!

I would be looking to generate a riskfree return on Blue Spinnaker through trading. In addition, I would lay Blue Spinnaker in the place market at very prohibitive odds as if the horse runs anywhere near to form, it must win. I expect this to be a very warm favourite. However, if it runs below form, it would be a good lay.

Analysis of 3.20 at Beverley tomorrow

Initial Thoughts

1 – Difficult to work out. Ignore last 3 runs as didn’t like Kempton and left in stalls, ignore listed race and last time hated 1st time blinkers. Never won off of a rating of 93 though and best rating achieved on all weather. In addition, looks more of a 6f horse. Nice draw though. Needs to drop a couple of pounds to win.
2 – Starts the season on lowest ever mark. Last 3 runs have been decent off 3lbs higher mark and never ran in a class 3 handicap in its life! Definitely handicapped to win but 3 major concerns. Poorly drawn, hates softish ground and usually needs 1st run of season.
3 – Starts the season far too high in the handicap, always needs first run of season and needs further than 5f to show his best. No chance of winning this particular race from a poor draw.
4 – Interesting horse. Started last 3 seasons at Beverley and always run well staying on very late over 5f. A definite 6f specialist who struggles to lay up over 5f but finishes well every time. Can win off this handicap mark at 6f but trainer seems to use the 5f track at Beverley to blow away the cobwebs every year. Can safely say that it will stay on very late and finish fast but winning post will be a bit too early. Maybe a back in running at huge odds?
5 – Definite 5f specialist who has improved remarkably from a rating of 49 to 86. Seems to like softish ground. Seems to be still improving but on highest ever handicap mark. However, ran 2 good races off this mark already and may still be some improvement to come. OK draw. Won easily 1st time out last year.
6 - 5f specialist who has never won off this high a mark. Dropped steadily in weights last season before end of season win. Never won a class 3 race and very poorly drawn in 1. Poor record first time out. First run for new yard but doesn’t look handicapped to win.
7 – Was a top class sprinter a couple of years back but been in decline last 2 seasons. Dropped like a stone in the handicap as a result but managed to win 2 claimers this season without coming off the bridle. A literal reading of its last run makes it a certainty in this but unlikely the horses in last race ran to their correct rating. Been 6 years since it ran off this sort of mark in a handicap. Handicapper raised it 2lbs for winning a claimer last time and if we take its 1st run this season literally, should be rated much lower. On the face of it, why would Nicholls run it in claimers this season if he thought it was well handicapped? I guess they were trying to get the handicapper to reduce its mark but this ploy hasn’t been too successful.
8 – Last win off 78, now off 83. Poor record 1st time out and not handicapped to win this. Difficult to fancy unless it has improved significantly over the winter.
9 – Beverley 5f specialist who seems to go on any ground. Great course record makes it interesting but seems far too high in handicap. Great draw but never looked like winning from this sort of mark in the past (even at Beverley!). Performs better in lower grade races carrying more weight and difficult to fancy it here.
10 – Never won off this sort of mark for 4 years. Looks far too high in handicap as a result of great run of results at backend of last season. Appalling record first time out and impossible to fancy. Not a great draw either.
11 – 5f specialist who likes give in the ground. Only 1lb higher than lowest handicap win, so definitely handicapped to win! Was 3rd in the Epsom dash last June off 90 and now off 81. Jumps off the page as a well handicapped horse but doesn’t win as often as it should. Starts the season on a winning mark but didn’t win last time off 1lb lower which was disappointing. Will be amazed if he doesn’t win a race this season off this sort of mark. Ok draw.
12 – 2lb lower than last winning mark and dropped 12lbs last season to winnable mark. Seems to like softish ground and seems best at 5f. Great draw. Sometimes front runs but depends how it leaves the stalls. Sometimes dwells badly. If hits the stalls running, can it make all? Interesting……

OK, so as usual, I’ll try to weed out the horses that can’t win as they are too badly handicapped. I usually get this bit correct most times and it sometimes throws up a nice horse to lay.

Horses which can’t win

1 – Not really handicapped to win and need to forget last 3 runs even though there were possible excuses. Needs 6f and unlikely to have the tactical pace to be up there to make use of good draw.
3 – Too high in handicap, needs 6f and will need run.
4 – Trainer seems to use 5f at Beverley to ‘tune up’ horse. Will win back over 6f though at some point!
6 – Too high in handicap and poor first time out, although trainer may improve it. Awful draw makes it difficult to win.
7 – Putting my neck on the line here but I can’t see this winning. If it does win, likely to win as it likes but a risky proposition in my book. Sprinters are the worst horses to judge in claimers as they can make the poor horses seem very poor! Why did it run in claimers if it was well handicapped?
8 – Not handicapped to win. Poor 1st time out also.
9 – Looks too high in handicap. Nice draw gives it a chance but lacks the class of some of these.
10 – Far too high in handicap. Will definitely need the run also.

Well, this may be a first for me but I’ve managed to eliminate 75% of the field quite easily! I think Fire Up The Band may make me look foolish but I struggle to believe that this is well handicapped as Nicholls would not have run it in claimers. Did he really think it had improved by 2lbs over the winter? No way…..

Now, I’ll try to look at the other 4 and find reasons not to back them. As I said previously, I tend to go wrong here but this is where the hard work starts!

2 – Handicapped to win for sure but combination of poor draw, soft ground and poor first time out record makes it a horse to watch in this race. A definite winner this season though!
11 – Again, this may make me look foolish as this is handicapped to win but overall balance of form means it disappoints more times than not. Last time was the time to back this but even then, it didn’t manage to win. For the simple reason that it likely to represent poor value, I’ll not back this one.

So, there you have it. I’m left with 2 horses against the field which I will back. These are 5 and 12. How’s She Cuttin and Luscivious.

5 appeared to be improving at an incredible rate last season and looked like it could win off this sort of mark. It’s not got a great draw, hasn’t run yet this season and punters will think it is handicapped to the hilt (which it is – but may be still improving!). I’ll look to back this at decent odds. A market move will be significant as the trainer is shrewd and will know if it is expected to win.

12 looks like a donkey on form figures which is appealing in itself! Ran in some very competitive 3 year olds handicaps last year which are always notoriously difficult to win. However, dropped a fair bit in the weights last season at the backend and the handicapper was very kind to drop it 1lb after it’s OK return. Had a 3lb claimer on last time and Catlin takes over. Drawn 12 and will be amazed if this doesn’t run well.

As usual, I haven’t thought too much about what odds I want for these 2 but I’ll see how Betfair looks later.

Right, on to the next race…….

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

2 races to analyse!

A quick look and I've spotted 2 four year old plus handicaps at Beverly on Wednesday. This is the 3.20 and 3.55.

I'll look to do an analysis of both races tomorrow at some point hopefully and post my results up here.

Breakdown of Masters golf profit

Daily Profit £380.89

Firstly, I'd like to say thanks for all the support and encouragement over the past few days. As you can imagine, trying to study for an important exam at the same time as watching the golf is quite difficult and I probably neglected my studying a bit last night as I was so enthralled in the golf.

Thankfully, my exam went well today and that's another exam out of the way. In case anyone's wondering, I'm studying towards an ACII which is an insurance professional qualification. Today was my 8th exam over the past two and half years and so far I've sat 7 and passed 7. Assuming I passed today (I'm 99.9% sure I did!), I'll now only have 3 to complete to get my full qualification. Roll on October now!

OK, on to the important things! The US Masters.......

My overall profit for the weekend was £380. I'm really pleased with it and it probably vindicates my decision to try to get my hours back at work. As Alistair has said, why am I messing around with the GGs? Being honest, I still think I can make something from the GGs but it wont be from trading.

The breakdown of the golf profit is below with my return on investment:

Winner - £40 exposure, £331.80 profit, 829% ROI. (I forgot the Immelman return last night excluded losses on guys who missed the cut!)

Make The Cut - £25.71 exposure, £25.41 profit, 99% ROI.

1st Round Leader - £13 exposure, £40.28 profit, 309% ROI

Top 5 finish - £4 exposure, £4 loss

Top 10 finish - £12.60 exposure, £12.60 loss

Overall - £95.31 exposure, £380.89 return, 400% ROI

OK, so if I look at it in these terms, a 400% ROI looks mighty impressive. (This is maybe a little bit incorrect as I put £300 on Immelman at 1.05 to give my profit a tiny boost at the end, but we'll ignore that!)

However, how much time did I spend on Betfair winning this amount?

Wednesday - 1 hour putting in bets and lays

Thursday - 5 minutes to check to see if my 1st round leader lay had been matched

Friday - 5 minutes to see how market was shaping up

Saturday - 30 minutes to place lots of lays on my players

Sunday - 30 minutes at the end of the evening to ensure that I could trade Immelman if he looked like chucking it away!

Overall, I spent 2 hours 10 minutes on Betfair to generate a return £380.89. Nice work if you can get it!

Obviously, I probably watched about 10 hours of golf over the weekend but I would have watched the golf regardless if I had a bet or not, so no time was lost there.

I think the only disappointing thing is the fact that I only spent £40 on the winner market for the Masters. I was slightly worried my golfing analysis wouldn't work for the majors but I was wrong as it picked out Immelman easily enough as well as a few others who did reasonably well. Looking back, I keep saying that I'm going to increase my stakes on the golf but it was difficult to put much on a guy like Immelman who was 300 to win and 2 to make the cut!

Anyway, lets look forward now.......

I now have a bank of over £800 in my Betfair account now which is pure profit. I found trading with the bank's money a tad frightening to say the least but I'd already transferred all of that out of my Betfair account and into my savings account a few weeks ago. I was a bit annoyed last night though as I thought Immelman was a steal at 1.05 with 3 holes left and I would have put £15k on him at that moment. When he went in the water, I would have nearly died though, so I saved myself a heart attack there!

So, I'll feel much more comfortable trading with my bank now as it's money I've built up over the past 6 weeks. My strategy going forward is much the same as I outlined last week. I'm going to ask to go full-time again at work from the start of next month. This will mean that I won't be able to trade the horse-racing but I'll instead just use my form knowledge to bet on horses in races where I want to have a bet. I'll place my bets the night before but if I have trouble getting my bets matched, I'll just use Betfair SP.

With regards to the golf, I'll continue along the lines of backing players before the tournament starts and trading from that position. I'll continue to increase my stakes every week and risk more every week. At the moment, I have traded on 7 tournaments and won on 7 tournaments. My Profit is £700+ and I've never risked anymore than £95 on a tournament. That's quite impressive going by anyone's standards.

Assuming I continue along my same strategy, there is no reason why I can't scale my bets up on the golf. I've only been backing most players with £2-£5 stakes every week but there is usually much more liquidity than this, so I should be OK for the foreseeable future.

I want to spend a little time tonight looking for my next horse-race to analyse and I'll post up the race time on here. Will not be any earlier than Wednesday though as I'm busy tomorrow. I'll also do some golf analysis tonight for the upcoming tournament. As usual, I'll post my selections up on Wednesday night.

Monday, 14 April 2008

What was he doing....

A quick post before I go to bed. Been a long day and I'll be up early tomorrow as I'll be studying from the crack of dawn. My exam is in the afternoon, so I'll cram in some more studying before I go.

The golf turned out well in the end. I made the error of not laying off at 1.01 and when his ball went in the water at 16, my heart nearly stopped! I was red on the whole field for all of my profits over the past 2 months and it didn't look pretty...... (I had backed him for all of my remaining bank at 1.05 at the previous hole!)

I'll post up my overall profit for the tournament tomorrow but below is my return on Trevor from the win market. I probably have another £20 profit to add to this from the first 2 days play, so it's been a great tournament for me again.
7 golf tournaments, 7 profits.......


Come on Trevor......

The gambler within me has taken over from the trader within me over the weekend and for once, it may have been the correct decision.

I traded in a chunk of my bet on Immelman on Friday night when he was top but so far, I have resisted the temptation to trade in the remainder of my bet. At the moment, it's all or nothing with regards to the golf.

However, for some reason, (I slightly regret this now!), I laid Tiger late on in his round last night and now I have a large green number on Immelman, a very large red number on Woods and a small green on the field.

I've been studying like a maniac over the past few nights for my exam tomorrow and tonight will be no different. Therefore, I will not get any opportunity to trade the golf but I'll have the TV on when I'm studying, so if Woods does look like winning this, I'll boot up the laptop and minimise the loss on Woods.

Obviously, it will break my heart if Woods does manage to pip Immelman to the title as I'm looking at a £200+ win at the moment if Immelman can hold on, but that's the life of a gambler I suppose.

If I get a chance, I'll try to post up my profit/loss at the end of the golf tonight but it may be a late one, so I'll do it tomorrow night after my exam if the golf goes to the wire.

Cmon Trevor..............

Friday, 11 April 2008

Nice start to the Masters......

I didn't think that a £1 bet could be so much fun but it was money well spent on the market for the 1st round leader!

Trevor Immelman somehow managed to miss 2 birdie chances in the final 3 holes to take the outright lead but I left a lay in yesterday on all my players in case any had a chance. It was nice to log into Betfair 2 minutes ago and see that I was all green! At the moment, he is tied for 1st with 2 others, so the £25 (less commission!) may be even better.

I'll post up my final P&L once the tournemant is over as I've got lots of players in with an outside chance at the moment of doing well in the tournament.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

This week's golf bets.....

I have dabbled on a few of the golf markets this weekend, so we’ll see how it goes!

Tournament Winner

My exposure is £40 on this market. My profit on each player is:

Allenby - £860
Holmes - £660
Immelman - £540
Kelly - £1,910
Verplank - £1,710
Toms - £780
J.M. Singh - £3,000
Wetterich - £1,776
Sterne - £2,358
Green – £4,310
Slocum - £900
S. Hansen – £1,640
Taylor - £1,080

1st Round Leader

My exposure on this market is £13. My profit on each player is:

Allenby - £77
Holmes - £87
Immelman - £94
Kelly - £77
Verplank - £87
Toms - £107
J.M. Singh - £117
Wetterich - £97
Sterne - £124
Green – £107
Slocum - £127
S. Hansen – £133
Taylor - £117

To Make The Cut

Exposure is £25.71.

Staked £23.71 @ 1.9 on J.M. Singh
Staked £2 @ 2 on Immelman

Top Ten Finish

Phil Mickelson Lay @ 2.26 for £10

Top Five Finish
Tiger Woods Lay @ 1.41 for £10

In total, I’ve spent around £85 on bets this week.

I’ll post up my profit/loss on Sunday night!

A new beginning.......

Daily Profit £38.72

Well, today was the first day of my new strategy for The Experiment. I don’t want to be too cocky as it’s only the start of this new strategy but today’s race went much to plan. I narrowed the field down to 3 yesterday and although I favoured April The Second over Ryan’s Future due to the fact it would be a better price, April played up badly in the preliminaries and went on a massive drift on Betfair. This suited me to some extent as it meant I could back Ryan’s Future in addition to my other 2 selections.

I don’t want to spend too long analysing the race but I suppose the best way to look at the result is to compare the result with my pre-race comments:

1st - Ryan’s Future - 2 great runs this year and will be amazed if it can’t win off this mark. This is maybe an easier race than the last 2 races and looks like a winner.

2nd – Gracechurch - Last run was in a hurdle race when only 12/1 against Ring The Boss when rated 122. This translates to a much higher flat rating if I take it literally and must be well handicapped. The absence is definitely a concern and may need this run back. Could have been injured? Has won 1st time out though, so not too worrying.

3rd – Merrymadcap - Usually runs in better class of races. Last 2 runs in Class 6 handicaps resulted in easy wins off 55 and 62. Now 65 but classiest horse in race. 8lb lower on turf than AW.

Basically, I narrowed the race down to 3 horses, the 1st, 2nd and 6th. However, I also thought Merrymadcap would run a good race but my doubts about it staying 1m 2f were spot on and it didn’t stay.

For anyone who didn’t see the race, April The Second ran a great race in 6th as it was very awkward leaving stalls and stayed on late to be nearest at the finish.

My exposure in the race was only £8. If Gracechurch had held on to win, my profit would have been £95. If April The Second had won, my profit was over £120. Obviously, the profit was skewed towards my 2 main fancies but I’m still happy with how the race went.

Obviously, I managed to do a few trades throughout the day on my selections which helped things but the key thing was I made a profit. In future, I’ll be using higher stakes than today and when I do stumble across a race that I call correctly, I’ll be looking to make 3 figure amounts as I’ll be willing to gamble a little more.

When I’m at work, I’m thinking of just using the Betfair SP function to guarantee that my bets gets matched but I’m still thinking through how this will work when I’m back at work.

Overall, a great start to my new adventure and I’m looking forward to analysing my next race.

Incidentally, my next race will be next week as I’m taking a few days off to study as I have an exam on Monday for my professional qualification.

I’ll post up my golf selections for this week later.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Analysis of 3.40 Bath on Wednesday 9th April

I read an interesting comment on my blog this morning from Rob who asked about how I analyse a horse-race. Being honest, I was thinking of doing this sort of thing as a one-off in the future but since I'm off work (studying but I can spare an hour!) I've gone ahead and analysed a race at Bath tomorrow. This analysis was carried out without any form of 'tissue' and without any other form of input from the RP spotlights etc. as they aren't published yet!

This written analysis of the race is a one-off 'bonus' for my blog and I only tend to write a few scribbles when I'm analysing a race. Most of the analysis is computed in my head and that's where it stays. When I do post up my selections on the blog, I will give the reasons for backing the horse but I will not comment on every horse in the race!

Obviously, when I start posting up my slections on the blog, I will wait until I have placed my bets on Betfair and had them matched as I don't want other people under-cutting me on betfair! Once I've had my bets placed, I don't care if anyone else backs the horse but I'm not running a tipping service here, so it's not my fault if the horses lose!

When I first did this analysis, I came up with one horse to back. This was number 1. However, after typing out my analysis and reading over the form again, I've come up with 2 different horses to back. This sort of thing happens to everyone who reads horse-racing form and it's something I don't worry too much about as I believe that the longer I spend on a race, the more likely I am to find the winner. If I didn't think this was the case, I'd be as well randomly picking a horse in the race.

This race was always going to be my first bet on the blog as it is the first race that meets my criteria. The final race at Bath tomorrow also meets my criteria but I've had a quick look at it and it has too small a field, so I'm happy to miss this race.

So, how do I go about finding these horses that I'm going to back?

Basically, I follow the same strategy every time and over the years it has brought me great success which I've never managed to fully exploit. I'm hoping this will change from tomorrow!

My strategy involves me coming up with some initial thoughts on every horse which I then use to narrow down the potential winners. I then rule out the horses which are not 'handicapped to win'. By this, I mean horses which are not on a handicap mark which they have shown they can win from.

Once I've ruled out the horses which can't win (usually the complete outsiders although I do stumble across a short-priced horse now and again which I sometimes think about laying), I will look again at the horses remaining and try to find another reason to back them or rule them out.

Using this new 'angle', I'll then try to come up with the horse which I will back. Sometimes, I will end up with 2 horses but there will be different reasons for backing both, so I will usually back both.

When I first looked at this race, I came up with number 1 as my horse to back. This was after about 20 minutes.

However, I then started to type out my thoughts on each horse and this has led me to arrive at 2 other horses which I will back instead of number 1.

Initial thoughts on each runner

1 – Now rated 65 on turf, rated 73 on AW and won off 69 on Aw 3 runs back. Been a 1m specialist on turf and 9f specialist on AW. Will it stay 10f on turf?
2 – Last turf win was identical race at Bath last June off 57. Ran 2 nice races of 58 on turf afterwards. Won off 65 on AW 2 runs back and now rated 67. Been running to mark on AW for a while and bang in form. Now off 62 on turf.
3 – Won off 52 last summer at Goodwood and now off 62. Won off 54 2 runs back on AW but beat off 62 last time.
4 – Career low mark but not looked like winning off this sort of mark on turf before. First run of the season and poor record 1st time out.
5 – Looks on an OK mark and last run was best yet. Probably been running over too short a trip and needs this trip.
6 – Needs a longer trip and on far too high a mark on turf.
7 – Used to be a very decent handicapper with 5 wins from 72-78. Had his problems and trainer ran him in sellers to get handicapper to reduce mark. Dropped to 56 from 78 in 2 runs in sellers and back in handicap company has run 2 great races in defeat. Franked the form of his earlier 4th by coming 2nd last week. Will win a race off its current mark.
8 – On an Ok mark but probably needs to drop a couple of pounds. First run of season and probably needs 1m 4f.
9 – Handicapper had to guess handicap mark after 3 poor runs last year. Looked Ok handicapped when 5th on return (just behind Ryan’s Future) and may be improvement to come as only had 4 runs. Ryan’s F franked the form of the 5th placing and interesting.
10 – Looks very well handicapped. Last turf win was identical race at Bath and won off 79. Now off 53. Last turf run was off 57 at Bath in Oct and finished 6th of 15. Won 1st time out in the past and great chance if fully wound up for this.
11 – Never run on turf and last 2 runs were appalling. Difficult to fancy. Trainer is difficult to read though.
12 – Suddenly found its correct mark and in great form on the AW. Up 4lbs from last win but the unknown is whether it will handle the turf. Form is there for everyone to see.
13 – Looks very poor and nothing to go on really.
14 – Front running sprinter who will only get 1m 2f in his horsebox.
15 – Handicapped on 3 poor runs last year but difficult to fancy from out of the handicap.

OK, so I now look to rule out the horses which I don’t think can win. These are:

3 – Can’t win off 62 on turf
4 – Needs to drop a few pounds and will need run
6 – Needs another 2f at least and needs to drop a few pounds
8 – Needs to drop a pound or two and probably needs 1m 4f
11 – Looks out of form and even though trainer is very shrewd, difficult to fancy
13 – Poor
14 – Will lead and fade quickly
15 – Be interesting to see how this runs but can’t win

Therefore, I am now left with 7 runners which can win. I will now look at these again and try to find another angle to fancy them or dislike them.

1 – Usually runs in better class of races. Last 2 runs in Class 6 handicaps resulted in easy wins off 55 and 62. Now 65 but classiest horse in race. 8lb lower on turf than AW.
2 – Similar profile to 1! 5lbs lower on turf than AW and bang in form on AW. Last 2 turf runs were off 58 though and now 4lbs higher. If it couldn’t win off 58, can it now win off 62?
5 – Beaten 8 lengths last time off this sort of mark and even though it may improve for step up to 1m2f, may need to drop a few pounds to get his head in front.
7 – 2 great runs this year and will be amazed if it can’t win off this mark. This is maybe an easier race than the last 2 races and looks like a winner.
9 – Decent first run back when most likely needed the run. Only got a little to find with 7 and if 7 has a great chance, this must have a great chance also. Could still be improving.
10 – Last run was in a hurdle race when only 12/1 against Ring The Boss when rated 122. This translates to a much higher flat rating if I take it literally and must be well handicapped. The absence is definitely a concern and may need this run back. Could have been injured? Has won 1st time out though, so not too worrying.
12 – Looks to be improving and may ultimately prove to be well handicapped. Needs to translate AW form to turf though and punters will latch onto its form figures in the context of this race. Could be too short for what it has achieved.

Ok, here’s where the fun starts and more times than not, I’ll rule out the winner of the race at this stage. This is not too surprising though as there are other things that you need to take into account when coming up with horses to back i.e. what other people will be backing and the likely odds of each horse.

I’ll again try to narrow down the potential winners by looking purely at the new angle I described above. I’ll rule out:

1 – This was my fancy for the race before I started writing up this analysi! Got a great chance if it stays the 1m 2f trip and may well improve for the step up to this trip on turf but will this uncertainty be factored into it’s price?
2 – If it couldn’t win off 58, can it win off 62? Could be improving but may find a better handicapped horse in the race.
5 – Getting beat 8 lengths off this mark last time doesn’t read too well and may not be as OK handicapped as I initially thought.
12 – Could be a false price and even though it could prove to be very well handicapped, may be too short a price.

So, even though it hurts me to rule out 1, I’m left with 7,9 and 10.

Basically, 7 and 9 are so closely matched and whereas 7 is coming down the handicap and may be on the downgrade, 9 has only had 4 runs and may improve from its last run. So I’d favour 9 over 7.

10 looks an interesting runner and I think it could be very well handicapped if anywhere near its best. Obviously, the big unknown is why it has been off for so long but this should be factored into its price.

Hence, I’d be looking to back 9 and 10. Obviously, if I found out that 7 was a much higher price than 9, I’d back this but I’m 99% certain that it could be the other way around. 9 could be a much higher price than 7 which will be value. This tends to happen a fair amount in horse-racing as punters are too easily swayed by trainers and jockeys. On the formbook, 7 and 9 should finish side by side but I’d rather back 9 as it will be a much higher price. Obviously, 7 is more consistent and will usually run its race but depending on the price of 9, I’d be willing to gamble that it can beat it in a one off race.

10 could be any price and I would want a high price before I got involved really in this one.

One problem I have always had is what price do I ask for? I usually let Betfair guide me and I will look for very high prices at first and then slowly reduce my asking price as the market starts to get fully formed. Sometimes, someone will come along and match my very high asking price which suits me as it means I can then look to trade off before the race for a riskfree bet.

Other times, I ask for too high a price and the price then contracts and I’m forced to back at an even lower price. It’s swings and roundabouts really.

If I was thinking about which horse could a ‘steamer’ in this race, I’d go for 9. Tomorrow, when the formbook ‘experts’ start reading that 7 and 9 are closely matched, I think they’ll see that 9 is overpriced and this will be backed accordingly.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Future horse-racing strategy

I touched on this in an earlier post but I’d like to expand on what I’m going to be doing on the horse-racing going forward. Part of the reason for this is so that I stick to it!

Basically, when I’ve had these crazy ideas of gambling on horse-racing and trying to become a professional gambler or trying to trade full-time, one thing has remained constant as far I can see. My ability to pick out nice priced handicapped winners is hopefully a skill I retain and now’s the time to try to use it.

There are three main reasons why I’ve never made much money from gambling on horse-racing in the past.

One has been a lack of capital. I’ve only been working full-time for 3 years as I was at university before that for 4 years, so I’ve haven’t really been able to gamble much as I couldn’t afford to lose! Once I return to work though, I’ll be a bit better off than I have been for a while and I can afford to set up a betting balance purely to gamble with.

Another reason is my lack of discipline. Like most gamblers, when I want to put on a horse, I usually do it for enjoyment and not purely to win. Anytime I do find one I really fancy, I usually back it with higher stakes and I do well from doing this. However, all my profits are usually eroded in the long-run from my other bets which are just for the sake of it. One thing I have developed over the last 2 months is more discipline and I can watch a race now without betting on it! This probably seems a bit strange to most people but I’m the sort of person who would happily waste £2-£5 on a race just because I’m watching it! This has now stopped I’m glad to say!

Lastly, I have found that my ability to pick winners is highly correlated to the amount of time I spend studying the form for the race. Sometimes, I can take this a bit too far but I usually try to limit myself to 45 minutes a race or so depending on the size of the field and the type of race. Unraced 2 Year old maidens don’t take very long to analyse!

So, I now have a little bit of capital, a bit of discipline and a bit of time on my hands. Therefore, now seems the time to try to exploit my understanding of form and try to win from it.

Which races will I bet on?

Past experience has shown that I’m much better at reading form on Flat Turf racing rather than NH racing or All Weather. I think there are fewer imponderables on the flat turf racing than NH racing and All Weather racing.

Obviously, the Flat turf season runs from April to September really, so I don’t have a plan for the winter! I’ll worry about this when the time comes……

On the flat, there are certain races which I will always avoid. I will not bet in Sellers or Claimers simply because the horses which run in these races are not very good. Rarely, I will back a horse in a claimer simply because it’s claiming amount means that it is very well handicapped but these horses are usually very easy to find and will be short-priced favourites.

I will not bet in any 2 year old race as there is no form to go on. Simple as that!

I will not bet in 3 year old + maidens as there is not enough form to go on. In maiden races, you need to try to separate the horses which are trying to win the race and the horses which are trying to get a handicap mark. There is nothing wrong with this in my eyes but I wish people would admit that this goes on in racing. Everyone knows that a horse which is pretty ordinary doesn’t want to finish in front of a 70+ rated horse as the handicapper may read the race literally and handicap the horse accordingly.

I tend to not bet in Listed or Group races as the betting tends to be very informative in these races and there is no margin for the punters. Unless I stumble across a Group horse which everyone thinks is only a handicapper, I will not bet in group races.

So, for all of the reasons above, we are left with 2 year old handicaps, 3 year old handicaps, 3 year old and older handicaps and 4 year olds plus handicaps.

I will never bet in a 2 year old handicap unless I find a horse which is extremely well handicapped. These races tend to favour the favourites and those higher up in the weights but 2 year olds can improve significantly as a season progresses, so it is difficult to work out which horses are well handicapped.

Same comment applies to 3 year old handicaps. Unless I find a horse which is very well handicapped, I will not touch 3 Year Old handicaps. The only people who should bet on these races are the stable staff as they must know how well handicapped their horse is. Punters have little chance.

In 3 year old and older handicaps, I will never bet on a 3 year old. I don’t care how well handicapped the horse is and how much it has in hand, I will not take a 3 year old to beat older horses. I will only bet in these races if I can find an older horse to beat the 3 year olds.

So, we are left with 4 year old plus handicaps…….

These are the races I specialise in and have done for years. Basically, by the time a flat horse reached age 4+, it is very mature and will be on a realistic handicap mark. However, lots of horses still improve with age and can exploit their handicap mark.

In these sorts of handicaps, there are always 4 types of horses:

Horses which are in form and increasing up the handicap
Horses which are in form and at the same mark
Horses which are out of form and at the same mark
Horses which are out of form and coming down the handicap.

I tend to specialise in the top group and especially the bottom group. Horses whose handicap mark isn’t changing aren’t going to be winning races. If they haven’t managed to win off this mark already, unless they have feasible excuses (ground, draw etc.), then why should they suddenly win?

Horses which are improving and going up the handicap will usually be the short priced horses in the race. I tend to ignore the short-priced horses as I like to look for value bets and every so often, you may get a horse which was 2nd last time and has been increased a few pounds by the handicapper. This will be scorned upon by the trainer and the press and as such the horse will be over-priced. If I think the handicapper was correct to increase its mark even though it lost, I will back it accordingly.

OK, so we are now on the horses which are out of form and who are coming down the handicap mark accordingly. These are the ‘jewels in the crown’ and the horses that I’m going to be concentrating on for the remainder of The Experiment. The ideal horse is a horse who has been badly out of form but who then shows a glimmer of ability. These are the ones I’ll be looking for.

I have had some amazing priced winners over the years from backing these sorts of horses but the annoying thing about these horses is that you only get one opportunity to back these horses. Once the horse has bounced back to form, the world and his wife will know about it and the price will be gone. The skill in reading the form is to be able to find the horse before everyone else………….

I can give you 100s of examples from over the years but I will give you an example of a race I analysed about 2 weeks ago. This was the first race I analysed on the flat this year (and I haven’t done any since!)

It was a 6f handicap at Pontefract and after looking at the form, I spotted 2 potential ‘good things’ in the race. These were Swinbrook and Varadouro. I backed both for £5 stakes at decent prices the night before the race. When I came home at lunchtime before the race to trade, I noticed that I backed Varadouro at 40 and it was now 60 on Betfair. I backed Swinbrook at 12 and it was now 6.

I then got on with my trading and when it came to that race, I noticed that Varadouro was trading at 36. I had got myself an OK bet but I should have backed it again at 60!

Anyway, I traded on Swinbrook as I was sure that would drift and it rightly drifted on course as all the wise money was down in the morning. However, I should have traded on Varadouro as it was backed from 36 to 12 on Betfair in the space of 5 minutes. Clearly, someone has spotted it was well handicapped!

Anyway, the race was run and Swinbrook got beat by a head and Varadouro finished 4th having travelled well. Both traded at less than 2 in running. Unfortunately, I didn’t leave in any in-running lays as I wasn’t thinking about this at the time.

In summary, I won nothing from backing these 2 as I only had £2 stakes on them.

Now, what would have happened if I had backed both with £20? I could have had £20 on Varadouro at 36, laid £20 off at 20 or around this mark and had a riskfree return of £320. I could have put an in running lay of 2 for £100 and won £100 guaranteed on the race. Obviously, I could have done a similar thing with Swinbrook.

As I said above, the key to finding well handicapped horses is that you need to do it before everyone else. Swinbrook turned out in a handicap 7 days later and won at 7/4.

So, that’s my strategy for the horse-racing going forward. I will use stakes of £10-£50 on each horse depending on the price of the horse and how well handicapped I think it is.

I will look to get my stake back and generate a riskfree return on every horse I bet on. Hopefully, the riskfree returns will outweigh any losses I may suffer from not getting my bet matched.

One issue I may have is that when I’m back at work, I’ll need to enter my backs and lays the night before the race. This is a very dangerous strategy but it’s the best I can think of at the moment. I do have Betfair on my mobile phone, so I can check if my bets are matched while I’m at work.

Since I’m going to be doing my form analysis the night before the race, I’ll try to post up any selections and my stake amount on the blog.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone out there who understands form and would like any comments about what I propose to do.

More on my decision to stop trading the horse-racing….

I’ve been sent a few texts from friends and family asking me why I’m stopping and Leon has also asked that question on an earlier post. I’ll try to expand on my decision now.

Basically, as you all know, I love horse-racing and I’ve got a really keen interest in understanding form and trying to pick winners. I also have a keen interest in gambling in general and understand a great deal about odds and probabilities etc. Therefore, when I stumbled across Betfair and started to understand how it works, it was a natural progression for me to try my hand at trading horse-racing as I thought I had the relevant skill set to enable me to do well.

2 months on and I’ve decided that I don’t have the necessary skill set to enable me to succeed at trading and I’m sure that if I continue to trade, it is inevitable that I would lose in the long-term. I have no doubts about this.

So, why can’t I succeed at trading on the horse-racing?

One issue I’ve always had with horse-racing for years is that as long as you give me the lifetime form of every horse in the race (or last 3/4 runs in particular), I will be able to form an opinion on the race. This could be the Gold Cup or it could be a 6f seller at Southwell. It makes no difference to me. As long as I have access to every horse’s form, I’ll form am opinion on the race.

My issue lies with the fact that I will form an opinion and whatever anyone says, it will not sway me from my opinion. Sometimes, I look at the trickiest 5f 25 runner handicap I can find and by the time my analysis is over, I’ll be convinced I’ve picked the winner. This can be a 25/1 shot that hasn’t been placed for years but if I think it will win, I’d be willing to back it.

When I first started to think about trading on Betfair and how I can make money from trading, I thought that my appreciation of form and BHA ratings would enable me to gain an ‘edge’ over other Betfair traders as I would have more knowledge than them (apart from the stable insider’s obviously!). This was my worst piece of thinking ever and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’d go as far to say that my appreciation of form has ultimately led me to make this decision to stop trading.

Anyone who has read my blog from day 1 will remember my very first day of trading on Betfair 2 months ago and even the very first race I traded on.

There was a Paul Nicholls horse in the race called Rippling Ring and in my eyes, from what I read and heard from Paul Nicholls, this horse was an absolute certainty. It was a very decent flat horse in France and there was nothing in the race that could get near it.

So, Rippling Ring opened up at 2.8 on Betfair and I placed a back of £60. I expected this horse to tumble down in price. As it drifted, I took the loss and then backed again. The market was wrong I was telling myself and it would change in price. At the off, Ripping Ring was 6 on Betfair and I had a £60 red on Rippling Ring. I took a £10 loss and watched the race as Rippling Ring won on the bridle and ended up going off as one of the favourites in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham!

Even on that first race of the first day of my training on Betfair, I should have put a stop to the whole horse-race trading idea. Someone like me who is a gambler and has unbelievably strong opinions about horse-racing would never make it trading odds on Betfair…….

OK, I could now discuss about 60 races over the last month where I have been caught out trading the odds when I’ve thought the market had the horse priced wrongly but I’d put everyone to sleep…….

Let’s fast forward to Thursday at Aintree last week.

I had read the RP cards at home on the Wednesday evening and I knew what horses were running on the Thursday. At work on the Thursday morning, I was chatting to colleagues who were asking about Kauto Star and whether it would win and I got speaking to someone about the first 3 races.

I basically said that Aintree is a graveyard for short-priced horses that have run at Cheltenham and I would lay short-priced favourites all day at Aintree.

That Thursday morning at work was tough for me as I had the gambler in me telling that when I go home at lunchtime to trade, I should lay Inglis Drever, Kauto Star and Celestial Halo for large sums. I had valid reasons for all 3 and I should follow my instincts.

The other part of me was telling me to trade these horses as I could generate riskfree lays and I could win smallish amounts by not gambling. Anyway, in summary, the trader in me won and I went home and traded these horses.

Since I was convinced that each of these horses would lose, I was always going to put in a lay first and then back at a higher price. Even though the market showed that they were coming down in price, I subconsciously thought that the market would think these would lose and they would drift accordingly.

You all know now that these 3 lost at short prices and I won a total of £12 on these 3 races. Kauto was well backed which meant I couldn’t generate a riskfree lay on it, Celestial Halo barely moved in price and Inglis Drever did drift but not by as much as I though it would.

That was difficult for me to take and probably set the scene for Friday. I was really annoyed I didn’t follow my instincts and I was thinking about stopping the trading there.

Anyway, on Friday, I was convinced that Master Minded was far too short a price and would drift alarmingly. My first entry into the market was a lay of £500, the horse then contracted in price and I took a loss. I then had to sit and watch the race as the horse failed to stay (it didn’t stay 2m 4f in a weak race in France) and instead of collecting £500, I had a loss of £4.67. This was the final straw, I then went on ‘tilt’, trading far too much on every race, accumulated a loss of £52 and then decided that was the time to stop.

Overall, I think the fact that I have strong opinions on horse-racing and I think I know which price each horse should be, I am unable to trade horse-racing on Betfair. As I said in an earlier post, the best traders must be the people who know nothing about horse-racing form and who will follow the market odds regardless. I’d love to be able to do that but I’ve tried and I can’t. I can’t pretend that I don’t know the form of each horse that is running and that I don’t have a view on the race. I always have a view on every race!

Therefore, I’ve given up trading horse-racing!

Like an Alfred Hitchcock film, maybe “I’m the Man Who Knew Too Much.”