Thursday, 31 July 2008

The rules of the game are changing!

I’ve had some great advice on this blog over the past few months and none more so than in the last few weeks. My frame of mind was all wrong to be honest and having my first losing month on Betfair affected me more than I thought. I had a bad start to the month and from then on, I was always fighting an uphill battle.

I’ve haven’t even logged onto Betfair now for over a week and I’m feeling refreshed and raring to go again. I was probably long overdue a decent break as I had got into the habit of having little breaks only after I had a bad day and it doesn’t leave you in a great state of mind doing this.

I’m pleased to say that I listened to all of the advice and it has resulted in me thinking about things some more and has led to me to defining a new strategy for Betfair. Some of you will probably be saying “yet another strategy for The Experiment” but I’m confident this could be the final one!

If you think back, I started off trying to scalp and I always felt my knowledge was a major hindrance here as I couldn’t understand the short fluctuations in prices, so I was never going to be a scalper.

Then came a few months of riskfree betting whereby I was looking for longer betting trends on horses I thought would run well and allow me get a riskfree bet pre-race and then lay off for a profit in running. This worked well for 2 months but this month, it fell to pieces somewhat. I was continually getting into arguments with the market and I was on the end of a few heavy losses. Again, my knowledge and opinions were the main reason as I ended up disagreeing with the market too much and I was on the end of some massive losses on drifters.

One thing I’ve realised is that the market won’t always agree with me. I know this sounds like the most obvious thing in the world for anyone reading this but it’s taken me 26 years to realise it! Pre-Betfair, I would always place my bets in bookmakers. In addition, I would always take the board price available for my horse. I would never take the starting price since I knew that in 99% of cases, my horse would never drift. And I mean NEVER!

I’m not sure what has happened but over the past few months, I have been on the end of some massive drifters. If you remember, one night at Windsor I wrote about a few months ago, I backed an Ellsworth horse at 20 which started at 50. It drifted from 16/1 to 33/1 before winning easily.

I have come to the conclusion that I can’t trade the market purely based on value and my opinion on what price a horse should be. Andrew, Matt, Ali, Steve, John and a few others have said this repeatedly to me on here and even though I knew they were right, I didn’t have any other strategy, so I couldn’t really do anything about it.

Well, I’ve spent the last week or so designing a spreadsheet to help me cope with these drifters. As I’ve hinted at in my replies to comments, I’m going to be gambling more from this point forward. Obviously, I will continue to trade and I’ll be applying my knowledge to the market and trying to find the horse that represents value and is likely to run well. But instead of trying to get riskfree on it, I’ll back it at a price I think is value and if it shortens, I’ll lay off pre-race for my riskfree but if it drifts, I’ll continue to back it.

Now, some readers may be shaking their heads now saying, “He’s lost the plot now” but in all honesty, this may prove to be a stroke of genius. I have designed a spreadsheet and spent a fair bit of time building in my risk aversion to the spreadsheet and my staking levels along with my concept of value.

Importantly, the spreadsheet has built in rules and conditions and it is this that will help me keep my discipline from this day forward. Obviously, this assumes I don’t sway from this spreadsheet at all but this is my bible from this day forward (I swear to the Gambling Gods), so I will not disobey it!

I don’t want to spend ages describing what the spreadsheet does as it’s fairly complicated but as I’ve said before on here, I work with spreadsheets everyday of my working life, so I love building betting models in spreadsheets!

A great comment that Steve made the other day was that I should play the Betfair market at my game. I love this comment and it describes what I am going to do exactly!

If the ignorant layers push up a horse from 20 to 50 that should really be a 10 shot, I’ll continue to back it with smallish stakes as it drifts with the intention of gambling and taking money in running. When I try and trade these horses, I invariably lose as I can’t beat the market by trading it. However, I can beat the market by gambling!

If I can bet small stakes on horses that drift wildly and are overpriced on Betfair, I’ll end up in profit in the long-run. Obviously, I’ll suffer many losses but I’ll win in the end. That’s what matters from here on in!

I’ll expand more on my strategy and how it’s looking when I update my daily P&L when I trade next month.

Lastly, I haven’t given up completely on the idea of tipping but as I mentioned in my last post, I don’t get enough gamblers who read the blog who would be interested in tips. Until that changes, it makes sense to concentrate on trying to make a profit from trading and gambling on my selections myself!

My new adventure begins on Saturday now when I’ll be trading again, so I’m really looking forward to it. As I’ve said to Andrew recently, if I don’t make it as a trader in this game, it won’t be for not trying my best....

Thanks for all the recent comments and support and here's hoping for a profitable month!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Tipsters.....

A few people have commented that they think I should look into tipping and trying to pass on some advice to others to gamble on. Amazingly, a few months ago when The Handicap Forum was on the go and we were picking winners left, right and centre, we discussed this sort of thing and whether we could make a go of it.

Personally, I’m not a fan of tipsters. I would be a fan of someone who could put up a horse at a decent price and with a valid argument to back it at decent odds. However, from what I’ve read, most tipsters put up short-priced horses and the rationale for backing them is always to do with stable contacts and whispers.

I have read a few tipping sites over the past few months and tried to see what sort of advice they offer. I also read a blog called ‘JPs betting blog’ and I used to read ‘The £30k challenge” blog. Both of these blogs use professional tipster services and if I’m honest, they both appear very successful at times.

However, one thing that’s clear from both blogs is that they have little knowledge of horse-racing and have a substantial bankroll. Some of the losses that JP has had would bankrupt the best of us but he always appears to bounce back which is nice. I think being able to follow tipsters blindly is something that I personally could never do. I would always want to check the tips and if I didn’t agree with them, I would never back them!

Secondly and as I’ve said previously, I think to gamble, a large bankroll is needed. I don’t have the necessary bankroll at the moment and I doubt I’ll have it in the next few years. Therefore, that’s why I can’t really afford to gamble too much.

So, as a few people mentioned, why don’t I sell tips?

Firstly, I have no proof that I’m any good. Obviously, Andrew and I bounce tips around and yes, we are both good at what we do (IMO) but what does that prove to anyone reading this? No one is going to pay me for supplying information that could be rubbish!

Secondly, I know for a fact that my blog is mostly read from traders and being honest, apart from a few readers, most of the readers are not even interested in horse-racing! I have no potential market……

I’m guessing that if I was really into IT, I could start a new website and try to offer tips etc. but it doesn’t appeal to me to be honest and would be too time consuming.

But……

I do think providing tips to people could be very beneficial to me and them. Firstly, it would give me a reason to study form. As I’ve said on here previously, I don’t get the time to study form as it’s not worth my time. I’m not going to spend an hour looking at a race to have £10 win on something. However, if I was paid for it……

Secondly, it may help fund my betting/trading bank. Obviously, I’m not in a position to gamble very much at the moment as my personal circumstances don’t allow me to. However, what’s the point of having this knowledge and not using it. I’ve been like this for 20 years and I struggle to find the right way to use my knowledge. Providing tips would be a way to use it and get paid for it if I am as good as I think!

In summary, I would like to maybe look at something like this. However, I would never team up with a tipping site or with someone else i.e. Keith! I would work alone.

I’m thinking of setting up a large email distribution list of people who I will send an email to every time I really fancy a horse, with the current odds with at least 2 bookmakers and with the suggested strength of my selection. I would suggest they proof my free tips for 3 months (and I suggest they don’t back them in the first month) and at the end of this period, if I have proven myself, we can discuss possible rates and terms of service I can provide.

Watch this space……

Trading v Gambling

OK, I’ve touched on this many times in the past few days on various posts and comments but I wanted to tie up some loose ends here.

My background is gambling and as I’ve said before, I want to learn to trade now. I can turn a profit from gambling but I don’t like the losing streaks and I don’t like the uncertainty. This probably shocks some people reading this but I am a very risk averse individual. When I lose £200 on a race trying to trade, that’s not because I’m a risk lover. That’s because I think I’m getting value (or was getting value when I was trading).

I find gambling easier for 2 main reasons. Firstly, when I gamble, I know how much my liability is. If I have £20 on a horse I think will win, I know I will lose £20 on a horse when I lose. Secondly, I know when to work out when I’m getting a value bet. If a horse should be 10 and I see it at 20, I know it’s a good bet.

If I am trading a horse at 6 with £50 stakes, I know my liability isn’t £50 but because I’m not really trying to steal a 1 tick profit, that liability soon rockets when I’m wrong. Worse still, I’m liable to increase my liability on a drifter due to the value concept and I end up with far too much of a liability on a horse.

Importantly, when I trade, I don’t know when I’m getting value. If I trade a horse at 20 because I think it should be 10, this is no good if the market thinks it should be 30. I end up just trading a drifter and getting in trouble.

I need to only trade when the signals are clear that I should trade. If I really want to back something at 20 that is drifting, don’t trade it, just back it to win!

Clearly, I need to redefine my strategy somewhat to be able to cope with drifters better. I need to separate trading from gambling. At the moment, I’m gambling while I’m trading which is killing my profits and importantly, increasing my losses substantially. I need to have clear rules for when I gamble and when I trade.

Losing!

I wanted to do a quick comment on this. I’ve had a fair amount of criticism across the last few months about my attitude to losing on here and I wanted to defend myself.

Firstly, anyone who likes losing shouldn’t gamble/trade in my opinion. I hate losing more than anyone! What I would say is that when I write blog posts straight after a loss, you always get a view of how I feel at that particular moment. Most days, I’m really annoyed and pissed off with myself and it ends up in a rant.

However, one thing I would say is that I am a ‘good’ loser. I never bear a grudge and I never let it affect me too much. This month, I was losing £200+ at the start of days and it had little impact on my trading. Over the month, losing consistently at the start of every day and trying to get back to break-even took its toll on me and I caved in at the end. I think many people would have been the same.

I think the other very important point about losing is that I can’t afford to lose! I haven’t really spoken too much on here about my personal circumstances but at the moment, my trading bank is my overdraft. Some people would say I’m crazy and should be phoning GA but as I’ve said to Andrew many times, I have never gambled with money I could afford to lose. I haven’t ever been in that position!

When you are at school and at university, money is going to be tight. When you buy a flat at university, money is going to be incredibly tight. When you move to a 4 bedroom family home last year that cost a bloody fortune, money is going to be amazingly tight.

The reason I started this whole experiment was to try to earn some money for us to help improve our life and give us some extra disposable income. It wasn’t some half baked attempt from some rich kid to try his hand at gambling. Anyone who borrows £15k from a bank, gives up a ¼ of their work and tries to trade with zero knowledge isn’t someone who is playing about. That’s someone who needs to earn some extra money! I wisely ditched this idea after some good advice from Andrew and without him, I’m sure I would have blown that £15k I borrowed and not kept it in a savings account!

The first few months of profits from Betfair helped us get out of overdraft for the first time since we started university. Last month’s loss has put me back into overdraft now as I was hoping that I could earn £500 a month from Betfair to help us out.

It’s true that it’s a hobby for me but I am not trading with money I can afford to lose. At university, in certain months, the only thing that allowed us to eat and pay the mortgage was my winnings from gambling. I used to sit and sweat with a bank of £100 in a bookmakers on a Saturday to win £100 by doing multiple bets on handicaps. That was pressure.

This is a different kind of pressure I have now as I know I can still pay the mortgage win or lose. However, when I lose now, I know I can’t afford it really and it affects me more than it should.

I don’t really want to spend any longer discussing this as it is not important to The Experiment. However, I hope it maybe lets other people understand my reactions to losing sometimes.

My knowledge of form - help or hindrance?

I’ve really struggled with this over the past 5 months. Being honest, form knowledge is slightly misleading in many races. It’s more the concept of value that I adhere to more than anything as this is inherently built into any successful gambler.

For example, take a horse that is trading at 5.2 on Betfair and 4/1 on the course. I think it has a 20% chance of winning the race in my opinion based on the strength of the opposition and the horse’s recent form.

At the moment, this horse is priced correctly and I wouldn’t look to trade this or bet on this. However, as is usually the case with anything I fancy (partly joking!), it starts to drift on Betfair. As it drifts on Betfair, I see it remains a solid 4/1 chance with bookmakers.

This is where the trouble starts for me. Now the horse is 6.4 on BF and still 4/1 with bookmakers. I see two things here. Firstly, it’s a value price on Betfair now as bookmakers aren’t offering these odds, so the law of arbitrage tells me that no one is going to bet on this with bookmakers when they get better odds on BF. It must shorten surely?

Secondly, 6.4 is a good price for me to bet at since I think it has a 20% chance of winning but 6.4 indicates just over a 16% chance of winning. Hence, if I am right and I think it really has a 20% chance of winning, I should bet on it. If my opinion is the market consensus, this must shorten from 6.4 surely?

Here, no matter what the indicators are telling me on Betfair, I would bet on this horse and hope to lay off lower pre-race. Say I put £100 win at 6.4. It continues to drift on Betfair and reaches 7.4. Interestingly, it drifts from 4/1 to 9/2 on the course now.

What should I do? Well, about 1% of me looks at the market indicators on Betfair and says “Graeme, this is looking very weak and could reach 10, exit the bet for a guaranteed loss NOW”. However, the other 99% of me says “Graeme, if this was a bet at 6.4, it’s an even stronger bet at 7.4 and lump on it”.

Now, I have a dilemma. I face this at least every second race I trade at the moment and as last month showed, when I get it wrong, the consequences are a massive loss!

What do I do? Do I bail for a loss and assume that the Betfair market has priced it correctly and myself and the bookmakers are wrong or do I stand my ground?

I have no rules or procedures here and I usually end up just going with a ‘gut’ feeling. If I really think I am right, I will increase my investment on the horse and end up digging a hole for myself. Many times, I stand my ground here and increase my stake which that helps change the direction of the movement and I end up with my riskfree bet. Too often last month, I ended up with far too much on the horse and it continued to drift causing me to take a substantial loss before it went in play.

Some of my largest wins on Betfair have come when I’ve backed a horse that has drifted and I’ve continued to back it. It then changes direction and I end up with a massive riskfree bet as it reduces in price past my opening price.

The above scenario is a simplified version of what happens many times in practice and importantly, it happens very fast at times. When drifters drift on Betfair, they sometimes go wild and I end up with a £200 win at 13 which I think represents value but the horse is trading at 22. Here, I lay off some and take money in running and when I’m right, I get out and make a profit and when I’m wrong, I lose a fair amount.

To get back to Stan’s initial question, does my knowledge help or hinder me? Personally, with my current strategy, I’d say it hinders me and that’s what I’ve got to change. I need to change my strategy to fit my knowledge. To try to forget about racing form and the concept of value is just silly and doesn’t make any sense. I need to find a strategy that allows me to maximise my knowledge.

What do I want from trading?

During this little sabbatical away from Betfair and trading, I’ve obviously been thinking about where things are going and what I’ve learnt from the first 5 months of trading. There were also a few questions from Stan I dodged in my last post, so I need to answer them. I’m going to discuss 5 topics in 5 different posts:

1). What do I want from trading? Is it a possible career or just a hobby?
2). Can I trade effectively with my knowledge of horse-racing and form? For example, is having an opinion on every race a positive or a negative?
3). Can I learn to lose ‘better’?
4). Trading v Gambling
5). Tipsters – a few people have mentioned this in comments recently – what is my view?

1). I think the first point I need to make is that I didn’t spend all my time at school and university working my ass off to sit in the house and trade every day for a living. I have decent career prospects and I’m still fairly young at 26, so I would be crazy to think about throwing away a good career with guaranteed future income to try my hand at trading in the next few years.

However, am I as passionate about my work and career as I am about horse-racing and gambling? Clearly not I would say and therefore, I’d love to be able to trade/gamble full time to make my living. I always think that footballers are lucky in the sense that they get paid for doing something they love doing every day. Well, if I could ever make enough to allow me to trade/gamble full-time, I’d consider myself very lucky also and I’d jump at the chance.

So, trading/gambling is a definite possible career for me but not when I only have 5 months experience and not when I have a decent job. Being honest, to give up my career to switch to full-time trading/gambling, I would have to be 99% certain that I could make £50k+ a year from doing it. Obviously, this is more than I earn at the moment in my role but I’m obviously going to work my way up over time here and I have a guaranteed pension and future benefits and most importantly, guaranteed future income for the next 34+ years if I want it. People with my qualifications and experience don’t end up on the dole very often!

Clearly, trading/gambling is a hobby for me. If this hobby ever starts to earn me a consistent income stream and I can increase this by scaling it up, I would definitely look to do this. So much of gambling and trading is to do with scale. I’m not daft enough to believe that it is easy to scale it up but one thing I have said on here is that I want my final trading strategy to be scalable.

I know there are traders out there who trade using £1k stakes and manage to make £10-£20 profit on a race. I can make this profit with £50-£100 stakes on a race quite easily, so I have an advantage over most scalpers already.

When I generate a £300 riskfree bet on a race with £100 trading stakes and I turn that into a £150 profit on the race when my horse romps home, imagine the damage I could do with £1k stakes! Obviously, damage would be the appropriate word as I’d probably bankrupt myself with that size of stake at the moment but over time, this is what I would be aiming to achieve.

I think that answers this question. In summary, it’s a hobby for me and always will be a hobby until it reaches a point where I can earn consistent profits and an opportunity exists to scale it up to earn much larger profits. I’m still nowhere near the first point yet, so until I master that, no point in worrying about scale!

Reply to recent comments....

At the moment, I appear to be more of a writer instead of a trader but I’m finding it very therapeutic, so I’ll continue on with my week of blogging! Here's my thoughts on the comments posted to my thread last week......

Mark, thanks for the comment again. I took your advice, had a few days off and even now, I’m raring to go for Saturday. As you say, one losing month out of five isn’t that bad and I really think I’ve learnt more this month than any other month, so hopefully it will be money lent!

Steve, nice comment! It makes me smile when I read a comment that says many traders would swap their first 5 months with mines as I’m quite an impatient person in life, so I always want to be the best at everything I do as soon as possible! Andrew keeps telling me Rome wasn’t built in a day but my inexperience takes over too often and I get too many ideas of where I want to end up without doing my traineeship first!

Looking back now, it’s difficult to understand what caused me to lose £200+ on so many races. Maybe it was a concentration thing or something, not really sure. One thing that is clear is that I need to stop getting myself into these positions so often. In my first 4 months, I lost £200+ on one race and even then, that was very unlucky. This month, it’s happened at least 4 times and I need to stop it.

As you say, I’m not doing this for a living at the moment, and I don’t need the level of stress I had last week! Losing a week’s wage on a race trying to trade for a riskfree bet makes me laugh to be honest and I still don’t understand what I was doing. I’ll learn from it though, I’ll guarantee you that!

Keith, thanks for the comment. Nice to see you have been reading the blog in your spare time! I think you make some interesting points but I think you also talk a bit of bullshit yourself if I’m honest.

Firstly, some of the advice I’ve had from traders on the blog has been inspirational to say the least. The fact that successful traders drop by and leave me advice and support is amazing and I think you are wrong to belittle this in any way.

Secondly, to quote that I’ll never make it as a trader is bullshit in my opinion and I’m not sure how you can make this judgement. I don’t think reading my blog qualifies you to pass judgement on my trading skills and I definitely don’t think I’m wasting my time on Betfair. As I’ve said before to many people, I wouldn’t gamble or trade unless I thought I could win. That hasn’t changed just because I had one bad month.

Your point about drifters is a very valid point. As I’ve quoted on here many times, I always get drawn to trading drifters. This is to be expected though as when a horse drifts on Betfair, I see it as representing better value in many cases since I know it has a better chance than the Betfair odds indicate. This contradicts the view of traders as they see a drifter as something that will continue to drift and allow them to make money by laying it as it drifts.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a £50k betting bank to allow me to back every horse that traders wrongly push up the price on but I think I need to start being selective when I see these horses appearing. I should be happy to stake a small punt on horses that I believe are value from a betting perspective.

Thanks for the appreciation of my form knowledge. As I’ve learnt over the years, being able to read a formbook is one thing, being able to make a consistent profit is another thing.

I didn’t start this experiment to prove to anyone that I can make a profit to level stakes or to show off what I know about horse-racing. I know I can beat tipsters at their own game and I know I know more than most about finding winners. However, as my Grandfather told me on more than one occasion, if tipsters were any good at finding winners, they wouldn’t be selling the tips!

I agree that my form knowledge has led me to win over the past few months. I don’t dispute this. If you have had read some of my posts more clearly, I’ve commented a few times that my returns are ‘supernormal’ compared to other traders with my level of experience. Before January this year, I didn’t even know how Betfair worked!

To be able to win £2,500 from having a few months experience and a £500 starting bank is impressive but as I’ve said many times, I’m a complete novice at this game but I want to learn to trade. I admit my knowledge has led me to win more than my trading thus far but surely, as my trading experience grows, I can increase my profits.

As you say, I do trade to smooth the returns out and I’ve said that before on here. However, my ultimate aim is to be able to learn to trade properly and once I do that, I can maybe look to employ a trading strategy on some races and a gambling strategy on other races.

Your comments concerning my form-book reading are very flattening but it doesn’t prove anything to me. As I’ve stated previously, I don’t have the necessary capital to gamble to make it worth my while to spend hours looking at form. I would need a decent size bank to make it worthwhile or I would need to get paid to do it from people so that it is worthwhile for them.

The comment regarding a professional punter paying me for personal tips is bullshit again as if they have managed to make decent money from professional punting, I doubt they will listen to me.

Lastly, the rest of your comments are pretty much bullshit to be honest and saying I have no ambition just gets on my nerves big time, so I won’t be replying to your email. Thanks anyway!

Matt, as usual mate, you are spot on. At the moment, I can’t really work out what I am and as you have said before, trying to trade without having a clear mind will ultimately lead to poor trading and poor decisions.

I probably need to recognise different types of horses and races. If I see a horse that is weak and I want to back it, I should just watch the drift and wait until it reaches a value price. I should then just place a win bet for a small amount and forget about trying to trade it.

Likewise, if I see a horse that looks strong and likely to shorten, up my stake and back it to lay off pre-race. However, as soon as I realise the trade is against me, I need to exit the bet. I cannot continue to back it as it drifts! I need to learn this and quickly!

Steve, as usual, a few things for me to think through. I have said I don’t like trading but that’s more to do with the scalping aspect. I actually don’t mind trading when I’m trading a horse I think will win as I’ve got complete confidence in it. Trying to trade some random 2 year old unraced horse I find nearly impossible as I can’t read the market signals properly as I don’t have the necessary scalping skills.

I do enjoy spending time analysing handicaps but like you say, spending an hour on a race to have £10 win on a horse is not worth it. You may be on to something though with the tipster thing here as I can see this being beneficial to everyone concerned. Obviously, I get the incentive to look at races which means I can trade better and punters can then back my selection to win.

A few people have mentioned your level stakes return idea. Unfortunately, I don’t keep as detailed records as this and I don’t want to spend time going through historical races trying to find out what would have happened. As I said to Keith above, I don’t want to get into gambling if I can trade as I don’t have the necessary capital.

In the past, I’ve tracked level stakes returns and returns from staking 1 point to 3 points on selections that I fancy. I know I can make a decent return but I don’t have enough of an incentive to dedicate my time to reading form. I have a full-time job and this sort of thing takes too much time.

Mark, lol, nice analogy! I just need to find a way to use my knowledge to put me ahead of the game. Last month, the game beat me....

Andrew, my thoughts on Keith are outlined above. My conclusion is that he mostly talks bullshit right enough!

Nick, thanks for the comment. As you say, my strength is picking winners but I don’t like losing runs, so gambling is out. As you say, I use trading as a way of hedging and maybe this should be my long term strategy. I’m not sure yet.

Your comment about traders knowing nothing about form is what I need to exploit. They push up prices of horses in every race that start to drift and on Betfair, they just keep going! I need to be patient as I know I can exploit this but I’ve just not found the correct way yet. I will though…..

Alistair, thanks for a great comment. I agree about Keith and after studying his comment, he just annoys me!

I agree that understanding which horses are likely to run well isn’t helping my trading much but I should be gambling more on these horses. I shouldn’t be trading huge drifters that reach crazy prices. If I think a horse is 20 when it should be 10, I should put £10 win at 20. I should not have £50 on at 10 and then end up with £400 on when it gets to 20 as I’m in too deep then and can’t get out!

Your hedging idea sounds like a great idea and I’m coming around to that way of thinking myself for certain races and certain horses.

Anonymous, great comment and agree with it 100%!

Stan, nice easy thought provoking questions to answer…NOT! I’m going to save these 3 questions for my next post!

Overall, thanks for all the advice and suggestions and my mind is already starting to work overtime about where I should go from here. I’ll use my next coupe of posts to try to get things clear in my head….

Monday, 28 July 2008

Review of July 2008

I usually start each monthly review stating whether or not I met my monthly target I set myself but as you know, I stated my target for the month when I did my last monthly review at the end of June.

I quote, “For July, my first target is to break through the £3k profit barrier (I need another £180 profit). Hopefully, assuming I make this £180 profit target, my next target would be to break the £1,000 profit barrier in the month.”

Well, as we all know, I didn’t even come close to breaking the first target and at the moment, £1,000 profit a month seems like a mile away if I’m honest! As the month progressed, my targets changed somewhat and overall, I’m not too disappointed with the month.

I’m disappointed with the loss in the month and I’m obviously disappointed with my loss of discipline but in many ways, I feel like I traded better than I ever have. If I had traded poorly throughout the month, my losses would have been in four-figures and I would have been really annoyed with myself.

There are lots of amazing stats from the month that can be used to show how good or bad I traded in the month. I think the one stat that shocked me the most is that I lost £1,900 on lost trades in the month. That really is amazing. When you take into account that is more than my whole trading bank and some, it is actually quite shocking if I’m honest.

I suppose the plus side would be the fact that I had just less than £1,600 in winning trades. As I mentioned to Andrew a few times during the month, I traded very well when I was heavily down for the day. On 4 separate occasions, I was at least £200 down for the day after a few races. I don’t care how good a trader you are, no one can cope with losing over 20% of their trading bank and trying to win it back all the time.

Another plus point would be the way I traded after a heavy loss. I’ve read lots about traders losing the plot and going on tilt. Luckily, my attitude is to get my head down and try to trade the best I can and in most days, this worked great. However, I think this is not sustainable and last week, the losses finally got to me a bit and I lost my discipline towards the end.

Last Tuesday probably summed up my month. I lost £380 on the 3rd race but apart from that, had 12 wins from 12 races and finished £162 down on the day. Losing £380 on a race is difficult to believe and it makes me annoyed even thinking about it. What the hell was I doing?

Here is a graph of my P&L this month:















This doesn’t make pretty reading and being honest, it’s an ‘ugly’ graph. As I’ve said previously, I always felt like I was chasing the whole month and you can sort of see why from this graph. A point that Matt and a few other traders rightly make is that I shouldn’t be paying so much attention to my P&L as it will lead me to chase losses.

I agree with this in principle but due to the fact that I was always down at the start of most days, this ‘chasing instinct’ was automatically kicking in. However, it didn’t affect my trading too much and I don’t think I chased losses too often. One thing that did affect me though was always being down every day. In the end, this is what beat me.

I think most traders who trade horse-racing would struggle to cope with the number of large losses I experienced at the start of many days. It nearly became the ‘norm’ to be £300 down before I started trading well and no one can sustain this sort of thing.

Here’s my overall P&L for The Experiment:














As usual, there are lots of other interesting stats from this month. Interestingly, I spent more time trading this month than the previous two months combined. I think the reason for this was the fact I was disappointed with the way I traded at the beginning of the month and I wanted to work harder in the second half of the month to redeem myself. Overall though, I probably should have realised it wasn’t my best month and not thrown myself into it so much towards the end of the month as this resulted in silly losses.

Amazingly, I traded 185 races in the month. This is compared to 76 races in June and 59 races in May. This can be attributed to two main reasons. As stated previously, I spent more time trading this month, so my output increased. However, I also traded far too many races that were not flat handicaps. I was attempting to trade every kind of race and this is probably my downfall this month.

Another interesting fact is the fact that I lost in 25% of the races I traded this month. This is up from 15% and 16% the last 2 months. This is a combination of trading too many races and trading too many races that are non-handicaps. I need to aim to reduce this figure to around the 10% mark over time to be really sucessful.

Whatever way you analyse the last month, it doesn’t make nice reading for me. To lose £1,900 trading races is criminal and the fact I only ended up £350 down is due to the fact I traded very well for the remainder of the month. That is what I must take from the month.

In summary, I need to find a way of stopping myself from losing £50+ on races when I read the market wrong whereby at the same time not diluting my riskfree bets by using smaller stakes.

Without pre-empting where I feel I should go from here, I think the time may be right to introduce some discipline into my trading. I need a robust staking strategy and an exit strategy when things don’t go my way. At the moment, I have neither…….

Very humbled!

As I had planned and said previously, I had a weekend’s break from trading and it felt very good. I wasn’t even on the computer all weekend which is unusual for me but I felt I needed a break from Betfair and from reading blogs!

Amazingly, I checked my blog this morning at work to see if there were any new comments and I’m absolutely speechless. I had read a few comments on Friday night that had been posted up but after reading through all of the comments there now, I do feel quite humbled.

I can’t believe that so many readers have given up some of their personal time to write such detailed comments to help me out and I really am speechless.

Some of the support, advice and encouragement I’ve had on here over the past few months has been amazing and it really makes having a blog worthwhile to say the least.

Even though I wasn’t trading at the weekend, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about the past month and how it went. Generally, I’m disappointed with myself and the lack of discipline I showed, particularly last week when I had taken some time off work to trade. What the hell I was doing last week, God only knows. I should be grateful that I didn’t lose anymore than I did and I fear even that’s down to luck and not skill.

I think it was Steve who commented on the fact that having my full trading bank on a horse to win in the first race of the day smacks of desperation. Being honest, it smacks of being a bloody fool and if Betfair had crashed, I would have been in a far worse position than I am now. Thankfully, that didn’t happen but I shouldn’t have ever got in that position.

So, what happens next?

Well, I’m not planning on doing anything on Betfair until Saturday now, so I have a week to get my head straightened out and to pin down exactly what my trading strategy is and how I will employ it. Some of the comments have given me some more things to think about and I want to do a few posts this week discussing a few of the points raised.

I’ll do a post with a review of this month and how much I lost and when! One thing that I always felt this month was that I was always chasing lost money all the time I traded and I’m sure my P&L graph for the month will show this. I’m sure that was eating away at me all the time and I probably let it get to me too much last week and it resulted in what happened last week when I appeared to lose the plot somewhat!

Once I’ve done my monthly review, I’ll respond to every comment on the last post and try to pick out a few common themes a few of you have picked up on. e.g. trading v gambling, attitude to losing etc. I’ll then do a post bringing together my views and hopefully that will help me get things clear in my head.

Thanks again for the comments and it's great to see that there are so many nice people out there willing to offer good advice and I'm glad some of you enjoy reading the blog so much. As Andrew has told me on more than occassion, my blog would be boring if I won everyday!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Good riddance to July....

Daily Loss £122.98

I really fancied 2 horses today. Both ran in later races. By the time the 4.40 came, I was £220 down on the day again and traded Barraland as I thought it would win. The horse was backed from 7/1 to 11/2 and was well backed on Betfair. I had £480 riksfree, took £100 out at 2.08 and let the rest run. The horse got beat in a photo after trading at 1.11 and I think this is the straw that broke the camel’s back!

In the final race, I was very, very sweet on Ever Dreaming. I then ended up with my whole bank on it, watched it drift wildly, then watched it go 1 point lower than I backed at and overall, I ended up with about £100 riskfree if I wanted it but I chose to take £20 in running on it. The horse traded at 5 but I didn’t lay and I ended up losing £20. Then again, £1200 risk to get £100 riskfree….

If I held my nerve, I could have had a £1,000 riskfree bet pre-race (or £100+ win). If I had backed at the peak price, I could have had £2,000 riskfree. Instead, I backed at pretty much its lowest price apart from when it was backed late on and another cock up from me.

A £120 loss after being £220 down is some sort of achievement but I’m taking a break from this game for a week or so to get my head clear.

Incidentally, how did I get £220 down on the day? I ended up with my whole bank on The Good Guy in the very first race of the day and the fav was backed from 10/11 to 4/7, so I was left on the massive drifter again. I lost £300 on the race which is maybe a record for me but then again, I’ve been losing money in large sums this month, so not too sure.

I then traded pretty well in the main then until the 3 horse race at Bath. I fancied the 2nd fav to upset the long odds on fav and I was right and the market was wrong. I ended up with a fairly large red on the 1.45 shot and a small green on the other 2 and not surprisingly, the 2nd fav pissed it and I won sweeties for gambling much more. Great!

The worst race by far was the 4.05 at Bath when I traded the 2 Harris horses to get £500 riskfree on both. Spic N Span was hemmed against the rail the whole race and the trainer was fuming on ATR as I was also. Didn’t make a penny when I could have taken £50 pre-race and just about sums up my day.

Apart from my £300 loss, I was £180 up on the day and that’s it for me for this month. I’ll take the rest of this month to read my trading books and relax as this game is a pain in the ass at times!

Incidentally, I just want to say thanks to Steve for the recent comments. I agree with everything you are saying mate and I just need to stop pissing about in shitty little races I know nothing about. Today is yet another example and if I had only traded the 2 handicaps at Bath, I would have been £100 up as I would have taken the riskfree bet in the last on my horse that lost.

What the hell I’m doing trying to use my trading strategy on every race I’ve absolutely no idea and this month has been a great learning curve for me.

As you say, having a losing month may be good for me and I do feel like I need a break. I’ve became almost reckless with my trading now and it’s got a bit out of control. I need to get back to doing what I do best and stop trying to adopt my strategy to fit every race. As I’ve said previously, I know I can’t trade that well and I know I have no edge in other races, so why do I trade them?

Indiscipline……..

Hopefully, I’ll start back next month afresh and try to build things slowly again.

Good luck for the rest of this month and I’ll do a review of this month in a week or so. I’ll take the time between then and now to analyse this month and understand what the hell happened!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

A mystery to me!

Daily Loss £34.69

Absolutely no complaints today. I traded f***ing abysmally and how I only lost £35 is an absolute mystery to me if I’m honest.

I won £224 in the last 3 races to bail me out and I was lucky to have 2 winners in the final 3 races.

A disaster of a day and this month is proving the month of hell!!!! Some of the highlights were:

I started off in the 2.10 at Worcester laying the fav as I had no idea what it was doing at that price. It then got heavily punted, I was forced to go in running with £50 red on the fav and £10 green on the field and I didn’t want the £25 guaranteed loss. The fav absolutely hosed up on the bridle and made me look quite silly if I’m honest!

Then I did the same in the 2nd race at Worcester as the fav was 1/4 when it is no world beater. I managed to exit this in running for a fairly large green on the field but the fav hosed up again!

I wanted to be against the fav in the first 2 races at Catterick. Both got beat but were absolutely punted on course, so another loss pre-race which was annoying!

I did escape a large loss in the first though. I could see the unraced horse getting punted but it would have to be quite decent to win it I thought. I laid at 9, backed at 10. I didn’t realise it had been backed from 25 and it actually started at 6 and won on the bridle. After that escape, I thought my luck had changed but it wasn’t to be.

My worst one was in the 3.30 at Lingfield. For once I agree with Matt Chapman. Why the hell did this fav start at 1.6? My first play was £100 to lay at 2.1 and then I continued to bail for a loss and then lay again. At the off, I had a large red on the fav and a very small green on the field. Again, I was proved right and won the measly sum of £9.52 for getting a 1.6 shot beat and risking £100. Nice trading Graeme!

I won £25 on Windjammer in the 3.20 but again, it ran poorly and I laid off very early anyway as it traded quite short early in the race.

My best result was in the 5.20 when I really fancied Dan Tucker. Since I was heavily down and a bit annoyed with myself, I decided to trade this as if it is a world beater. Thankfully, for once, the market agreed and it shortened significantly to give me £350 riskfree on it. I passed up on £70 green at the off and was pleased to see it win easily to give me £192 profit on the race after I laid off with a few furlongs left.

I’m not posting my P&L as it is a shambles with 17 races traded, 7 wins, 7 losses and 3 break-even.

I’m trading again tomorrow, so it should be more fun and games!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Another Lesson Learned!

Daily Loss 162.74

As I mentioned in my last post, I have taken 4 afternoons off work this week to trade. As I’ve been saying recently on here, I feel like I’m trading as well as I have ever been, so it makes sense to try to capitalise on this at the moment.

Today, I traded very well and being honest, I’m in quite pleased with myself even though I am posting up yet another massive loss.

I traded 13 races today, with 12 wins and 1 loss. The fact I’m posting up a £162 loss is farcical but let’s just say that I’ve learnt another lesson today. As I’ve found this month, lessons on Betfair are proving quite costly but I’m still learning!

I can talk through how great I traded 12 races and how I was never in any trouble of losing but that would be fairly boring! Let’s look at the race where I lost…..

I was trading Auld Arty in the 3.00 at Salisbury. It was a 2 year old with decent form and was well drawn, so I guessed it could have given the fav a run for its money. Everything was going great and I was trading the fav and 2nd fav.

The 2nd fav started to drift alarmingly and I was exiting both bets for a guaranteed loss. They then showed Auld Arty on the screen and it was clearly upset, so it was drifting like a barge. I then let things settle and started to lay the fav as it shortened too much.

Everything was going OK and I laid Auld Arty as it was drifting but it started to shorten, so I had open positions on both the fav and the drifter Auld Arty. They were nearly all in the stalls and then Auld Arty backed out. The jockey popped off and it drifted wildly, so I again exited the bet but wanted to back the fav to go red on the field and green on the fav. I forgot about the Rule 4 though and to cut a long story short, I ended up losing a bloody fortune as the fav hosed home!

Overall, a £380 loss on the race and another valuable lesson learnt. All day, I didn’t get in any difficult on drifters apart from that one race and as usual, it bites me on the ass in a big way.

If I had managed to get red on the field, I would have lost about £100-£150 on the race and I’ve no complaints. When you are backing a horse that is sweating badly pre-race and you didn’t know, you need to take the loss on the chin. The fact I wanted to back the fav meant that things got worse as I forgot about the Rule 4 and I ended up losing even more when it hosed home.

Overall, a bit of a nightmare race but all in all, I really enjoyed today’s trading.

One day soon, hopefully everything will click into place and I’ll start making some profits again. At the moment, I appear to be fighting a losing battle every time I trade but I’m confident I’ll turn things around.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Rollercoaster continues.....

Daily Profit £120.43

Today’s profit is an accumulation of my profit from the golf and from an hour and a half of trading on the horses today.

The golf didn’t go exactly to plan today and none of my men made a move on the leaders. I laid off a bit of Noren at 46 today, so I ended up with a profit of £42.40 from the golf. Obviously, I had about £110 green yesterday morning if I traded in my bets then, so it’s not a great profit.

I don’t regret holding on to my bets until the final day as Ian Poulter was in the same position as Noren before play started and traded below 3 today, so it could have easily have been Noren and not Poulter who made a charge up the leader board. A profit of £42 is not to be sniffed at though in times of need, so I’ll happily bank it!

Right, on to more important things…..

I traded 10 races today. I had 8 profits, 1 losing race and 1 break-even. Importantly, I managed to pick a winner and it makes a large difference to my P&L when there is a winner thrown in there!

My loss was really annoying as I fancied the Pipe horse in the bumper and it drifted wildly before the off. I took my medicine though and took a £20 loss on the field before the off, so I can’t complain too much.

I traded pretty well again though and most of my horses ran well, so I got a profit in most races. I’m guessing if I greened up I would have won about £30, so I did pretty well to make nearly £80.

As I have been saying for the last week or so, I feel like I’m trading better than I have ever been but I keep making silly errors that cost me large amounts. On reflection, I traded very well yesterday and to have lost £180 is unbelievable. This month has been littered with at least 6 losses of over £100 in single races and that’s what has killed my profit level this month.

If I can cut out these silly losses, I’d be back to making decent profits again……

Thanks also for the comments for yesterday. I’ll reply to them tomorrow at some point.

Lastly, when I go into work tomorrow, I’m going to ask for 3/4 afternoons off this week to allow me to trade. I have a few holidays to take at work and taking a few afternoons off to trade seems like a worthwhile thing to do. I’m not sure if I’ll get the afternoons off but I’ll let you know when I find out!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Traded like a fool!

Daily Loss £184.62

This is proving to be a nightmare month right enough!

During this month, even though I’ve traded like a muppet at times and at times lost my discipline, I haven’t been too hard on myself. Well, that’s about to change as I traded like a fool in a race today and I’m really pi**ed off about it.

I never post my P&L when I lose as I don’t think it helps motivate me much but today is an exception. I traded very well today for the most part and that’s what really disappoints me the most.

Here’s my P&L:











Even though you can’t see it on here, I lost £100 in the first race today. I’m not too upset about this loss but I’ll take it away and think about how I could have traded the race differently.

I had a glance at the 5 day declerations for the races at Market Rasen today on Thursday. In the first race, a horse stood out at the foot of the handicap. Advancement was running off 10st 1lb with Timmy Murphy on board. For those that don’t quite understand what this meant, Timmy Murphy only had 1 ride today as he would have had to sweat to do that weight at this time of year. At the 5 day decs for this race, David Pipe had 5 entries but Murphy was down to ride this one. Even without looking at the form, this was a tip in itself.

When I saw the final decs for the race and I realised that Murphy only had one ride all day, it helped to convince me even more that the horse would run well. I spent 2 hours going through the race last night and basically, there were only 4 horses in the race that could get anywhere near Advancement. I thought it was a 5/2 chance at best, so I was amazed when I saw it priced up at 7 last night on Betfair. Not surprisingly, before I could get any reasonable money on it, it was trading at 5.

This morning, the horse was backed from 9/2 to 3/1 with every bookmaker and I made an early decision today to trade this to try to get as large a riskfree bet as possible.

Well, as the day went on, the market decided to disagree with me in a big way and the horse ended up drifting from 3.8 to 6.6. My first bet was £400 at 4.4 and it was downhill from there.

At the off, I had £100 at 1.5 on a horse which started at 6. Amazing really and I was proved right when the horse ran really well but came up against a better handicapped horse and finished 2nd. The horse traded at 2.5 in running but I was stuck with my £100 win. So, a £100 loss on the race. (Incidentally, that was one of the other 3 on the shortlist.)

Can people send me the answer on a postcard please of how you trade a horse that you think is the wrong price on Betfair……. I keep getting in arguments with the market and sometimes, even though I’m right like today, I still lose!

I then lost £10 on a trade and so I was £110 down for the day. I worked my ass off for the next 14 races after that and traded great. I had 7 wins and 7 losses and had won back £87 of my losses and was looking to break-even for the day.

Disaster then struck……(and I didn’t even lose a penny!)

I was trading Tusculum in the 4.45 race. I can’t even remember why I fancied this if I’m honest but I had it down on my list of horses to trade today. My first bet was £20 at 21 and it drifted to 25, so I laid £15 off at 25. There was £200 available to back at 24 and I thought to myself, should I take all of this?

Well, I stupidly decided to go for a quick pee and then return 2 minutes later. When I got back, the horse was trading at 19 and I asked for £200 at 20. I again had the opportunity to take £200+ at 19 but no, I ask for 20.

Well, it’s history now but anyone who saw the market will know what happened. The horse got backed at all rates from 20/1 to 5/1 and backed from 20 to 6 on Betfair.

I was left punching my desk in frustration shouting you fu**ing idiot. If I had taken the £200 at 24 and then headed for a pee, I’d be looking at a £2k plus riskfree bet or a £400 profit on the race. I ended up with £23 riskfree on it!

Incidentally, the thing I didn’t know at the time was that Tusculum is owned by Barney Curley and it appears a well laid plan went astray today. The horse finished tailed off and was the first horse beaten today. No doubt it will pop up at some point.

Well, not for the first time, missing this trade affected me and I then traded the next race like a bloody muppet. I was trading Markington and I didn’t even fancy it that much being honest. It was more of a speculative play and it proved very weak in the market.

However, due to what happened in the previous race, I traded this horse like it was a fu**ing world beater when I knew it wasn’t and I ended up redding up for a large loss pre-race on the field and a smallish green on Markington and it was the first horse beat, so a large loss of £144. I then lost my discipline and tried to bail myself out with a £20 win on my last fancy Tyranosauraus Rex in the 5.05 at Ripon at 20 on Betfair.

Due to my lack of discipline again and stupid stubbornness, I didn’t leave an in-running lay and it traded at less than 3 before finishing 2nd at 14/1. That again made me lose my head at myself as I could have won £50+ easily in running by laying off but I decided to gamble. What a fool…….

At this moment, I switched off the laptop and was really pi**ed off with myself. I’m still annoyed with myself now to be honest as up until missing that trade on that steamer, I was trading great and was nearly level for the day.

It’s also been an interesting day on the golf and I managed to catch the last hour’s play or so. I’m now £25 green on the field and I still have my £2k profit on Alex Norren. I really fancy him to make a charge tomorrow as he played great today but dropped 4 shots in his first 2 holes! If he hadn’t done that, he’d be sitting at the top.

I’ll update the golf profit tomorrow night once it’s finished.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Back in business!

Daily Profit £50.07

What a day……

As the title states, I’m back in business!

All week, I’ve kept my promise to not trade in the evenings. I’ve enjoyed the break to be honest and it allowed me to do a few things like cut the grass and spend a bit of time with Denise for a change! I’m feeling quite refreshed now and when I knew Denise was popping out for a little while tonight, I decided I’d trade a few races to ease my way back into it.

I traded 6 races this evening and I traded them excellently. I had 3 wins and 3 break-even races. Here’s my P&L:








I’ve also realised that I’m on the best run I’ve had thus far during The Experiment. Tonight, in 2 races, I chose to scratch trades and not take any money in running as I didn’t want to have a losing race. That’s the sort of discipline that has been missing from my trading this month and I’m really pleased that it has returned in time to salvage something from this month!

To help me keep this sort of discipline and to give me extra motivation, I’ve added a little bit at the side of the blog to track my progress since last Saturday afternoon. In the last 46 races I’ve traded, I’ve had 34 wins, 9 break-evens and 3 losses. My profit stands at £699.69 which is an amazing run. I’ll keep tracking this as I like keeping records of things and trying to beat them in the future if possible.

I’m trading tomorrow afternoon now and as you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a day’s trading quite as much before, so I’m hoping I can live up to my expectations!

OK, as I mentioned in my last post, it wasn’t looking that promising on the golf as my bets hadn’t started that well and my lay on Garcia didn’t look the best bet when he was trading 4 points shorter than I laid at! Well, I’m pleased to say that I was right and the market was wrong and I’ve traded in my lay in to get riskfree on the field.

Therefore, I effectively have 9 riskfree bets that have made the cut. Here are the riskfree returns and their positions at the end of round 2:









I’ve calculated that I can go green for about £110 at the moment if I traded in all my riskfree bets, so I’m in a good position. I’ve made the decision that I’m going to chase a biggish win though, so the £110 is irrelevant at the moment.

I’m hoping that Noren or Wall can shoot a good round tomorrow and maybe trade at single figures on Sunday and that would be my best shot of a decent return. However, Allenby is well positioned and I’m hoping he can possibly win the tournament, so I have a few guys with a chance.

Whatever happens, I can watch the golf now and cheer on my guys without worrying about losing any money on it. A nice place to be in!

I’ll update the blog tomorrow night once the racing and golf has finished. Good luck if you are trading tomorrow!

Quick Golf Update

I thought I’d give you all a quick golf update. I’m starting to think that I’m destined to lose this month!

At the moment, if someone offered me a break-even position, I’d take it as I’m in a bit of trouble but it’s early days.

After seeing 8 of my original picks beaten by the weather in round 1, I decided to back Robert Allenby and Retief Goosen as well as lay Sergio Garcia mid round yesterday.

My lay on Sergio isn’t looking like the brightest move at the moment as he remains favourite but I just don’t understand why he is favourite. He played in the best conditions yesterday, isn’t putting well at all and yet is being backed because he is Spanish!

I backed Goosen at 48 and laid at 11, so I have a nice riskfree bet on him. I backed Allenby at 34 in the middle of his round and passed on the opportunity to lay off at 16 last night as he was tied in the lead. He’s now dropped a few shots this morning, so my opportunity to lay is probably gone for the moment.

Out of my original picks, I have Anthony Wall (£5 at 650) and Noren (£5 at 520) both inside the top 20 overnight, so I’m hoping one of these two may keep me in with a shout over the weekend.

Overall, I’m maybe looking at a red £150 position on the field excluding my picks due to my insanity in laying Garcia when he was +3, but it’s still early days and one thing I’ve learnt about golf is that it can swing around quickly.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

3rd Major of the season....

I've made a conscious decision this week to give trading a miss. After the trials and tribulations of the past 2 weeks, a week free of evening racing will allow me to do a few things around the house and catch up with a bit of reading hopefully.

I've decided to have a little flutter on the golf this week since it's the 3rd major of the season. I backed Immelman in the Masters and Mediate in the US Open, so I'm in some sort of form with my golf picks.

When looking through the field, I was looking for potential improvers who have not been showing too much recently but who have potential to perform above expectations this week. I've plumped for 10 players who are listed below:












My strategy is to keep hold of these bets until the weekend and try to trade them from there. Obviously, if Archer goes out and shoots a 61 after round 1, I'll trade him in but that is highly unlikely!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Rehabilitation continues...

Daily Profit £63.44

Just a quick post as I’m away to have dinner. I traded 20 races this afternoon with 15 wins, 3 losses and 2 break-even races.

When I looked at the racing today, I wasn’t that keen on it so I was trading my riskfree bets in quite early and pre-race in many races. As it turned out, I selected 6 winners in 19 races and I’m a bit annoyed with myself as I calculate it cost me about £200 in missed profits.

Overall, that means I have made a profit of over £350 for the last 3 days of trading and I’m really happy with this. I’ve come a long way since Friday to be honest as I had zero confidence on Friday when I was trading. At the moment, I feel very confident again.

In the past 40 races I’ve traded, I’ve had 31 wins, 3 losses 6 break-even races with a profit of over £650. If that doesn’t give me some confidence, nothing will!

I’m back at work this week and I can probably do with a few days away from Betfair as I have really worked hard this weekend.

Thanks again for all the recent comments and I’ve taken on board everything that has been said. Hopefully I’ll start to reap the benefits going forward…..

Friday, 11 July 2008

One Step at a Time!

Daily Win £21.56

A quick post as I am heading out tonight with friends. I traded 11 races in total, with 3 losses, 4 wins and 4 break-even.

After 4 races today, I was £23 down and had 3 losses in 4 races. You can imagine what I was thinking but I turned it around soon after.

I traded very well today and never got near any holes or big drifters. Annoyingly, I picked the easiest winner of the day (Ella at York) but I couldn’t trade it as it was heavily punted from 12 to 7 on Betfair. I won £10 on it but on antoher day, if I had got involved at a high enough price, it would have been a substantial win, so I was pleased I spotted it.

I’m trading tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night, so it should be a fun day I hope.

Thanks again for all the recent comments and I’ve taken as much on board as mentally possible!

As the title states, this is hopefully me on my way back now but I won’t look any further ahead than tomorrow!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Statistics don't lie!

Daily Loss £211.50

I’m not going to explain in detail how I’ve managed to fritter away another large loss in 2 days but I’ve traded 5 races in the evenings, resulting in 4 losses and a break-even. I again got involved in a few drifters that I got involved in too early and in 2 races, I ended up with my whole bank on a horse which continued to drift.

As you’ll see from the P&L this month, I’m nearly £400 down this month which is an amazing turnaround from last month and previous months if I’m honest.

For those of you that like stats, if I ignore my trading at Alton Towers on BF Mobile, I’ve traded 24 races this month, resulting in 12 losses, 5 break-even and 7 wins. My average win has been £25 and average loss has been £48.

Without stating the obvious, having an average loss that is twice the average win and losing in more races than you win is only going to lead to a disaster. Statistics don’t lie!

Subsequently, I’ve done a lot of soul searching this week trying to understand how the hell I’ve managed to go from having a licence to print money it seemed to where I’m at now. It’s been quite hard for me but I think I’ve managed to get my head screwed on again and hopefully, I can kick on from here. Andrew has helped me greatly and without his guidance, I’m sure I’d be giving up now.

I’ve basically read over every blog post (fuck, I do write a lot I’ve noticed!) I’ve written in the past 2 months to try to understand what has happened to me. What have I changed, am I trading differently, have I lost my bottle, am I trading the wrong horses, am I reading the market indicators wrong etc.

I think my problem all goes to back to a horse called Tony James on Friday the 13th of June. I lost a substantial amount of money on this race (£286) and it has affected me in so many different ways. I didn’t realise it until now but after reading my blog posts and from looking at my P&L, I’m sure I can trace the problem back to this horse.

That was my first ever large loss on a trade and it was an absolute fluke. I was trading the horse, it did the splits on the way to the start, it drifted wildly and I cut my losses as soon as possible but it still cost me a fair amount.

My knee-jerk reaction was to decrease my trading bank, decrease my stakes, stop queuing up money to back horses (spoof money) and stop taking so many chances with trades. I effectively changed the way I trade without realising it!

Importantly, I continued to trade profitably but I was finding everything hard work all of a sudden. I was posting up comments saying my confidence was shattered and still posting up a £150 win! I think I got lucky by picking a few winners which papered over the cracks and this is clearly evident if you read some of my blog posts.

To change my trading strategy and try to hold different betting banks this week was also crazy as that’s part of the reason why I was doing so well. I’m not a conventional trader, I’ll never be able to trade systematic like most other traders, I’ll never be able to write down why I trade a horse and I’ll never be able to have a staking plan as it isn’t me! I’ve been reading other blogs and trying to become more systematic like these traders but it’s just not me and it never will be if I’m honest.

So, £400 down for the month and only a trading bank of £290, where do I go from here?

When I started out on The Experiment, I had no experience of Betfair, no strategy and yet I was willing to throw money at it to find a way to earn extra income. 5 months on, I’ve won £2k (which has been spent!) and I now have some experience and a strategy. However, I have a small trading bank.

From tomorrow, I’m transferring across £1,000 from my savings account to my Betfair account. Importantly, I’m putting a stop loss on myself at £300 loss as I don’t want to go below the £2k profit without discussing it with Denise. Basically, that £2k has been and gone now anyway as it helped us get on our feet in our new home and clear our overdrafts. It’s not like I’d be dipping into a fund. I would need to fund my trading bank with my overdraft!

So, from tomorrow, I’ll have a trading bank of £1,300 again for the first time in a while and let’s pray that I start to find some form from somewhere. If I do lose another £300 this month, I fancy a long break may be coming for The Experiment as I can’t go on losing money indefinitely at the moment as I don’t have the money to lose.

I’ve taken tomorrow off work to trade since Denise is at T in the Park, so I’ll trade tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening as well as Saturday afternoon. Obviously, my target is pure and simple…….

TO MAKE A PROFIT! Don’t care if it’s £10, just let me make a profit again!

Monday, 7 July 2008

A long post!

Before I start this post, I’d like to warn you that it could be a long post! I’ve written some long posts before on here but I’ve got quite a lot to say today, so apologies before I get started. Take a deep breath…..

Firstly, I’ve just caught up with all of the nice comments to Saturday’s post. Having re-read Saturday’s post, I’m conscious that I maybe came across like a bit of a ‘spoilt brat!’ One thing I’ve learnt about writing a blog is that posting up straight after a heavy loss is never the brightest thing to do but at least you get to see my initial reaction which is sometimes entertaining!

Having read all the comments, I can safely say that I agree with nearly every comment. I’ll reply to each comment on the post but I just wanted to say thanks. I’ve been having a quick look at my site stats recently and I’ve noticed that my blog is being read by about 100 unique readers every day at the moment. When I started my blog, I didn’t think anyone would be interested in it to be honest but I’m finding it is a very useful tool for me to share my thoughts and get ideas of how to improve my trading.

OK, lets deal with Saturday and what happened. On Saturday night when I wrote the post, I couldn’t really understand what had happened if I’m honest. I knew I lost my discipline and I knew I traded like an idiot but even still, that was one hell of a bad loss.

On reflection, it’s very easy to see why I lost so much from trading. As regular readers know, I’ve developed a strategy that works very well for handicaps. Just to reiterate, I look at the form of the race, find the most likely winner and then trade that horse as if it is a world beater. I back it at what I think is a value price and lay off before the off for a riskfree bet. If it continues to drift before the off, I continue to back and if it doesn’t shorten before the off, I’ll lay a large chunk of the exposure off and take a manageable sum in running.

The only way I can lose with this strategy is when I back drifters who run badly in the race. Due to my form knowledge, this very rarely happens and I usually always end up with a well backed horse that runs well in the race. I’ve been adopting this strategy now for a few months and it’s been serving me very well.

The drawback with this strategy though is that it takes time to assess the race and sometimes, it’s difficult to trade the horse before the race for a large riskfree bet if it is heavily backed. I always want to back at a value price and sometimes, if the horse is too short on Betfair, I won’t back it and then I get annoyed when it runs well.

I’ve now adopted this strategy to look at other races which are non-handicaps. Andrew is a bit of a specialist with non-handicaps and has adopted my strategy very well to work in these races. Again, we look at a race, decide which horse is likely to run well, assess which odds we would like to back at and then back it as if it is a world beater at our selected odds. As it drifts, we continue to back it and if it shortens before the race, we lay off for a riskfree bet. If it doesn’t shorten, we lay a large chunk of the exposure off pre-race and then we take a small sum in running.

Again, the only time we lose with this strategy is when we back drifters who run badly. I’m less confident with this strategy but Andrew is an expert at finding the right horse to trade in these races, so we both do well.

Recently, as you may have guessed by some of my posts, I’ve been experimenting with Betfair and Oddschecker. When I first started out on Betfair 5 months ago, I tried scalping and really struggled with it. I didn’t enjoy it and could understand the price movements and what was causing them.

However, I’ve spent the last month or so looking at Betfair (BF) and Oddschecker (OC) when I’ve been adopting my strategy with my handicappers. I think I have noticed a phenomenon whereby there is an initial over-reaction on BF to horses that drift on OC. Therefore, if you can enter the BF market and exit the BF market quickly, you can make some nice riskfree trades. From my analysis, it works for horses in the price range of 8-14 on BF as these sometimes drift too quickly on BF as they drift in the betting ring.

I think this over-reaction happens in many races but you need to be very, very careful. If BF doesn’t adjust quite quickly (within 3 minutes) to the overreaction caused by OC, you need to exit the trade immediately. In most cases, this will be a scratched trade. In a few cases though, you will need to exit Betfair for a small loss on the trade.

Once BF has adjusted to the correct equilibrium, you exit the trade and green up for a guaranteed win. I’ve been playing about with taking the riskfree bet but this is hopeless since you end up with a riskfree bet on a horse that is drifting and in most cases, doesn’t run that well in the race.

Obviously, the last strategy is a form of scalping but it is using OC as the weight of money indicator. I’ve found that if you can read the market correctly, you can get in and out quickly for fairly large price movements and large stakes no bother. I think this strategy takes an amazing amount of skill and being able to read the market correctly and the behaviour of other traders but I’ve been doing well thus far, so it is promising.

So, everyone is probably gasping to know how each strategy performed on Saturday then………

The first race I traded on Saturday was the 2.25. I looked at the form, found a horse who was OK handicapped and who would like the softened ground at Haydock. Also, the horse is a guaranteed front-runner in a race where there isn’t much pace. Latterly was the horse to trade.

It was trading at about 24. I then drifted to 30 before I got involved and started backing it. I think it may have reached 40 before shortening and settling somewhere in the mid 20s. I had a £400 riskfree bet on it at the off and as you would have seen from the picture below, the horse traded at 1.06 in running after being given an easy lead and just getting caught on the post. I won £62 on the race.

That was the only race I analysed during the day as I was short of time before racing to look at any more races. My little strategy (MLS) won me £62 in one race.

In the 3.20 race, Andrew had said to me to trade Stotsfold as it was too high a price. As usual, he was spot on and I had about an £900 riskfree bet on a horse which started at 50! The horse ran really well and travelled well through the race which allowed me to make £38 in running on it.

This was one of 3 races where Andrew told me to trade a horse and I broke-even on the other 2 races. Therefore, I won £38 from Andrew’s and Other Races (AOR).

Therefore, it would appear to be the case that I lost £400 from my Oddschecker (OC) strategy then. Well, not quite….

As I stated above, the key to this strategy is getting in and out of the market quickly. When the market turns against you, you need to exit the market. When I was trying to learn to scalp, my problem was always exiting trades. I always wanted to gamble too much and this usually led to me losing.

I’m not sure what happened to me on Saturday but I read one market wrong where I lost £23 from not exiting the market quickly enough for a scratched trade, and I suddenly lost my discipline. Not only did I lose my discipline, I then combined my little strategy (MLS) with my oddschecker strategy (OC) and it became (MLSOC) which became a total mess.

Basically, when I read the Oddschecker strategy wrong, instead of exiting the trade, I just followed my strategy for handicappers and started backing it as if defeat was out of the question. Race after race, I should have exited the trade but I thought no, just keep backing and it will shorten in price and I’ll get out OK.

After 4 races of losing about £320 in total, I gave up and learnt my lesson. I then did a wild £80 win on Gala Sunday with little intention of laying off. As it drifted anyway, this made it an easy decision to make it a pure gamble and the horse ran OK in 5th. On reflection, it was on bad ground and drawn wrongly, which meant it was never a horse to trade or bet on but MLS was well out of the window by now anyway, so my judgement and discipline was shot to pieces by then.

Overall, a £23 loss from my oddschecker strategy (OC). Not great but I know what I did wrong, so no big deal.

Importantly, a loss of £377 from a strategy that is not even a strategy makes me cringe thinking about it. Hence, a £377 loss from losing my discipline and adopting some sort of strategy that says when you have a losing trade, dig yourself an even bigger hole and when that goes against you, did an even bigger hole and so on. This will become known as MS (a mug’s strategy!)

Interestingly, some people may think that MLS is flawed due to the fact I keep digging holes but importantly, holes for horses that run well are OK. In some cases, digging yourself a hole for a well handicapped horse is no bad thing since it means you end up with a little more risk and subsequently, a little more return when it runs well.

Clearly, what happened on Saturday is that I lost some discipline and I stopped following a strategy that works due to having a small loss. The thing I struggle to get my head around is that even with my small loss, I was still £80 up on the day. I reacted badly to the loss though and it resulted in me losing my focus and discipline and when that happens to a trader, you become irrational and a loss soon follows in most cases.

Now that I know what went wrong, what does the future hold?

Firstly, I’ll now be trading with a bank of £500 from here. As my profit grows, my trading bank will grow again. I have thought about topping it up to £1,000 but as I’ve shown time and again, MLS produces a return of about 50%+ on races for my stake when my riskfree bet runs well, so I don’t need that large a bank to generate nice profits.

The key difference from the past though is that I’ll have 3 separate trading banks going forward. Obviously, I’ll only have one account but I’ll be splitting my bank into 3 notional amounts:

My Little Strategy (MLS) will start with £300.
Andrew and Other Races (AOR) will start with £100.
Oddschecker (OC) will start with £100.

I’ll be tracking these on the blog going forward and when I post up my profits (or losses), I’ll split out each component.

The cool thing about my strategy going forward is that I’ll effectively have a strategy for every flat horse race. When I have the time to look at a handicap, I’ll use MLS. When Andrew has had time to look at his races or if I’ve looked at any non-handicaps, I’ll use AOR. If I’m trading and haven’t had time to look at races beforehand, I’ll just use OC and play with reduced stakes.

When I started out on The Experiment, I expected it to take me 12 months to find a strategy that works for Betfair horse-racing markets. I think I have now found 3 strategies that work and now is the time to stop experimenting and start to put what I know into practice.

Obviously, I’m guessing that using a reduced trading bank will reduce my profits down a notch or two but as I keep saying, I’m in this for the long-haul. I’ve probably been spoilt in the first 5 months of trading whereby I have generated profits far greater than my knowledge or skill level. I don’t see too many blogs out there generating my profits after 5 months of experience of Betfair, so I’m probably ahead of the game.

I was sent an interesting article from Nat at the weekend concerning trading. One thing I’ve taken from it is that discipline can be learnt over time whereas instinct can’t. I think I have shown that I have an aptitude for trading and I’m sure I have the instinct to be a great trader. However, I still don’t have anywhere near the correct level of discipline and this is what I need to master from here on in.

I’ll have a few days break now and I have a big weekend of trading ahead, so I’m looking forward to it. Denise is off to T in The Park all weekend and I’ll be trading all day Friday as I have taken some time off work. This weekend will be the most time I’ve ever had for trading, so we’ll see how I do!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Like a pack of cards.....

Daily Loss £283.34

I replied to a comment made by Mike on my blog a few days ago and I said “ When my confidence went, it was like a pack of cards and everything became far too difficult”.

Well guess what? I lost my confidence this afternoon and it became car crash stuff to be honest. I took a bit of stick recently for decreasing my stakes after doing so well but as I keep telling everyone, I’m only a novice at this game and I know I’m still not that good a trader. I take no satisfaction from saying “I told you so!”

I think some people mistake my realism for some sort of arrogance but I don’t really give a shit to be honest. I know what I’m doing and when I’m a good trader, you’ll hear me shouting it from the rooftops. At the moment, I have 4 months experience and I’m still learning everyday. I’m not that great a trader and I’ve a long, long way to go before I get to where I want be. That’s not me putting my trading down, it’s the truth!

Part of me just wants to stop this post here but I’m going to finish it if it kills me!

I was £100 up after trading 3 races today. I had 2 wins and a rsikfree bet which ran badly.

Here are my 2 wins.




























As you can see, I did really well but I don’t want to dwell too much on these wins.

My record for the rest of the day reads 8 races traded, 1 break-even and 7 losses. I suffered my first loss of £23 in my 5th race. I had £600 riskfree on a horse trading at 50 at the off. However, I had got involved trading another horse in the race and got in a bit of a mess. I lost £23 on it and I was hoping the other horse would run well and save me the loss but it didn’t happen.

So, £77 up for the day and having a good day again. The fun then started!

I backed a huge drifter, which went mental on Betfair and I lost £94 on the trade. That’s one hell of a bad trade to be honest and it affected me more than I realised. I ended up with my whole bank on the horse and it continued to drift, so I had to take the large loss.

I then got a riskfree bet on a horse which ran badly and I thought about calling it a day as Andrew was signing off MSN after having a nice profitable day trading the 2 horses I won on also.

I can’t exactly remember the words Andrew used but he said “Don’t chase the winnings you lost” and I replied “I’ve not got anything to chase as I’m not down too much yet!”.

I then traded 5 races in a row, losing on 5 trades, ending up with my full bank on a horse twice and getting myself in an awful mess as every horse I backed drifted wildly! When I say wildly, I mean wildly. I lost £90 on a sprinter at Haydock that went from 14 to 32 on Betfair. I kept backing and backing and by the time it reached 28, I had £600 win on it. I then had to lay off at 32+ and it became an absolute mess with red everywhere.

I really fancied Gala Sunday in a race at Beverly. It drifted badly and I couldn’t understand it apart from its bad draw. I was right about the draw and it had no chance on the outside of the field. This was another £80 loss as I decided to take some red in running but it never shortened since it was always wide. I could have saved myself £40 here but my discipline was well shot by then, so I wasn’t really caring to be honest.

I’m not in the mood to talk through every race as you can imagine but my trading got me in a mess everywhere and it’s back to the drawing board for me (again!).

This has put a dent in my trading bank again which is no bad thing to be honest. At the moment, my head is a bit messed up and I’m not planning on trading for a few days again.

Incidentally, I made a promise to myself and Denise that I’d never put any of my £2k profits I’ve withdrawn back into Betfair if I lose my trading bank. Hence, I’m left with a few hundred in my account now and that will mean a reduction in stakes again I’m sorry to say.

Not really sure what else to say. I feel sickened by today to be honest and I’ll no doubt reanalyse things and see where I went wrong. Maybe I got too relaxed after having 2 large wins at the start of the day. Not too sure at the moment what happened if I’m honest but I’m not going to let this get me down this weekend, so I’ll look at things on Monday.

I hope everyone else had a better day than me!

I’ll start to read my new trading books this week, so maybe that will help me understand what happened!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Better than it looks!

Daily Profit £64.89

On the face of it, tonight’s profit may not look that impressive to some readers. I’ve won much more at other times but I doubt I’ve traded much better.

The one thing I’ve realised recently is that for my trading strategy to work, I need to be fully confident. A few weeks ago when I was going through a bad patch, my confidence was low and I was trading the wrong horses in every race. Now, my confidence is as high as it has ever been and I’m making this game look easy!

Tonight, I didn’t have a single winner all night and being honest, most horses ran poorly. If I was greening up tonight, I would have won more than my profit above. With my strategy though, I need to take the good times with the bad times and when the bad times still create a nice profit, I can’t complain!

I traded for 2 hours and looked at 9 races. I had 5 profits, 2 losses and 2 break-even races.

I think the key to my success tonight was limiting my two losses. I read 2 races wrong and both horses drifted wildly. I managed to exit both trades for a small loss before the race had started and it made me feel great!

I only staked more than £100 in one race tonight and that was when I had my £5 loss, so it’s a return of about 65% on my trading bank which is cool.

If I can get through this month without any mishaps, I’ll have a decent size trading bank again and I’ll have my confidence fully restored. I’ll then be able to get back to using slightly higher stakes and we’ll see what happens from there. I don’t regret reducing my Betfair balance last month as I felt it was the right thing to do and so far, it hasn’t affected my profit levels by much, so I was probably right!

Thanks for all the kind comments recently. They are much appreciated.

On the kind advice of Nick and Matt, I’ve actually just purchased a couple of books. The books are, Fooled by Randomness and Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. I’ll hopefully get some time to read them over the next few weeks.

Lastly, without turning this blog into the 'Andrew Appreciation Society', Andrew has got off to a flying start this month and had another large win tonight thanks to picking out Downhiller and trading it all day for a massive riskfree bet. The horse won at 12/1, so it was a nice spot. We are both in great form at the moment and everything we pick is getting backed pre-race, so let’s hope it continues……


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Men With The Golden Touch

Daily Profit £54

A quick update on my exploits at Alton Towers. Before we set off, I had sent Andrew a note to say I was going to try to trade a few races on my Mobile on the journey there and back but I hadn’t factored in the continuous loss of signals that would occur on my Mobile!

I’m not sure if everyone is familiar with Betfair Mobile. I’ve only really used it for emergency trades or emergency bets when I’ve been at work but it’s not really a trading tool! Actually, it’s as far from a trading tool as you can imagine with refresh rates of 2 minutes and only showing best back/lay price on each horse, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who trades.

I decided to set my exposure to £30 in any race (and for the day!) and I was hoping to get involved in a few races to make the journey go a bit quicker. I got involved in 9 races on Tuesday and 2 races today on the way home. Most of the races were handicaps as this is where I’m most comfortable with my style of trading.

So how did I do?

Well, as you’ll see from the daily profit, I did great! I make that a return of 180% on my bank, so I can’t complain. I didn’t even suffer a loss and my P&L shows 2 wins and 9 break-evens.

I didn’t mean to but I think I have developed a brand new trading strategy for Betfair Mobile. Due to the fact I had no graphs, no idea of betting trends, no idea of bookmakers odds, I was basically trading blind with my hands tied behind my back. Throw in the fact that I was losing signal for a minute at times and the odds had moved dramatically in the meantime, you can see why I think I may have a Golden Touch!

I had a copy of the RP with me, so I wasn’t totally blind. I had the RP tissue and a form guide, so that’s all one needs is it not….. lol

In 9 races, my strategy was to find 3 horses at similar odds on BF and then look at their respective form. Decide which horse was the strongest and then assume that this would shorten as the other two would drift. Well, a new strategy has been born and I got it correct 9 times out of 9! 100% correct!

As it turns out, it’s not the most successful strategy for winning money as I couldn’t lay off in running and I didn’t fancy any of the horses to win, so I got 1 winner from 9 riskfree bets! This gave me a profit of £18. Beats playing games on my Mobile I suppose.

In the other 2 races, I fancied one horse and Andrew fancied one. Before I left work, Andrew had told me about Day Trip in the 4.00pm on Tuesday and said it was overpriced on Betfair. I took a look but didn’t really fancy it to be honest. Andrew had sent me a note to say that he had about £50 on it before I left work at odds of about 50, so I took note of the race and I went on the race at about 3.30pm on BF Mobile.

At 3.30pm, there was £20 available at 65 and I thought to myself, Andrew will be in trouble now on this one as he had backed at 50!

I snapped up the £20 at 65 and switched off Betfair Mobile as I was trying to conserve some battery on my phone. I logged back on at 3.55pm and the horse was trading at 42. I exited the bet at 45 average odds to give me £400 riskfree on it and I was pleased with that. I then decided that I’d try to leave a low lay in running but just as the market suspended for the off, I lost my signal and had to log back into BF Mobile. By the time I got in, the horse was trading at 6 and I was trying to lay off at 4 for £50 profit!

Another drawback of BF Mobile is the time it takes to place your bet in the market and it was trading at 1000 by the time I asked for a lay at 4! lol

I then checked the result to see it didn’t even finish in the first 3 in the race, so I can’t have many complaints.

Andrew was a bit more fortunate though and managed to get a monster riskfree bet on the horse and was close to laying £100 off in running at 2.6 but it only traded as low as 3.3. Overall, a great call by Andrew and a bit unlucky to not win even more. To win £70 profit though from a £100 trading stake is nice going by anyone’s standards. I’m not the only one with the Golden Touch!

My other win came at night on Tuesday evening when I really fancied Emperor’s Well to win. If I was in the house, this would have been close to a maximum trade for me. I had my maximum £30 on it on my phone and laid off for a riskfree bet of £36 and the horse won!

£54 profit for playing around on BF Mobile is nice work and the fact I didn’t have a losing race pleases me as it shows I’m picking the correct horses to trade again. A few weeks ago, every horse I backed seemed to drift but I’ve barely had a drifter for over a week now, so I’m back in some sort of form!

Saturday should be my next opportunity to trade.