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?


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!


Mark Iverson said...

Hi Graeme,

Sorry to hear a about your losses but if it's possible look at the positives.

This is the first losing month you've had compared to 4 cracking ones and you've probably learnt loads which will all become worthwile in the future.

Just take a few days off , clear the mind and come back refreshed - you've got the skills you just need to get the mind bit right and that comes with experience.

All the best mate,


Steve said...

Don't be too hard on yourself Graeme they'd be plenty of traders out there willing to swap your first 5 months trading against their first 5, me included. It's all a learning curve as long as we learn from the mistakes and errors it'll be worth it in the long run as you know too well the losses you've posted will easily be recovered if you stick to what you're best at.

I think you're doing the right thing taking a break as you've obviously let the bad run get to you. Schoolboy errors like having your whole bank run on the first race smack of desperation when you know the losses aren't even that high, only need the site to crash and thats it. I'm sure when you look back and review the month you'll realise you've overreacted to relatively small losses which have just compounded.

Take the rest of the month off trading, you're not doing it for a living at the moment and don't need the extra cash or stress. It'll be a good test of your discipline as knowing when to avoid races is just as important as knowing when to get involved.

Like Mark says you've got the skills to succeed you now just need to get the mindset and discipline in gear and that will come with experience.

Anonymous said...


I’ve dropped you a note to your hotmail. Out of fairness to your readers, I have posted my note below. Some of your readers may want to respond to my opinions.

Hi Graeme.

I was asked to have a look at you blog by a colleague of mines. Just so you know, I run various horse-racing websites and I have been a professional gambler for the past 10 years or so. I tend to not read blogs or other sites as they tend to be full of bullshit as you’ll know but when I started to read yours, I was pleasantly surprised for a change.

Over the past 3 weeks, I have read every post on the blog and most of your posts on the Handicap forum site you set up. I must say it’s a very interesting read and as has been commented on the blog a few times, you write very well.

However, I see you have been given lots of advice from traders who trade horseracing and other sports but I feel they are not giving you appropriate advice and I wanted to share a few of my own thoughts with you.

Firstly, a few homes truths. You are not a trader and you will never make a living from trading. You need to face up to this fact and move on from Betfair. If you continue to waste time on Betfair, you will only end up broke in my opinion. I only use Betfair to lay off bets and I use accounts in other names to place a few win bets but I prefer to use bookmakers. I use runners to place my bets but it works well and everyone ends up happy.

I think you know this yourself but you can’t trade when you have your in-depth knowledge of horse-racing. You made this observation a few times on the blog and it is bang on the mark. You will always disagree with the movements on Betfair and you’ll end up backing drifters in every race as you know they represent value.

Incidentally, if this was your strategy, you would make a return to level stakes over time but be prepared for long losing runs and variable returns. If you have a £50k bankroll, I’m sure you could make a £10k return each year from backing horses vastly overpriced but as I say, the losing runs would get to you.

From reading the Handicap Forum site, you clearly know how to read the formbook. I saw the blog post about your results for a 2 week spell. I validated the results as close as possible from the forum and in a 2 week spell, you made 61 points profit from 39 races.

I have over 20 professional tipsters in my portfolio and none of them have provided that sort of return over the last 12 months. For you to manage that in 2 weeks is nothing short of unbelievable and I wouldn’t have believed this sort of thing was possible unless I could see it with my own eyes.

I laughed to myself when I saw you made £300 profit in this time from trading. I’m sure you realise this now but what the hell were you guys playing at? I was laughing out loud at times reading your blog when you would write “picked 4 winners in 5 races to give me £200 profit.” These winners were 4/1, 8/1, 6/1 and 14/1. You must be the only punter I know who would be happy with £200 profit from 4 winners at these prices. You really need to waken up Graeme and smell the coffee.

My advice to you is to withdraw all of your money from Betfair immediately. Stop reading trading books and start reading form books. The only reason you have made money from Betfair over the past 5 months is because you are backing winners. I think these traders who are commenting on the blog have missed this as they are too far up their own asses to see it.

I urge you to go back through your blog and read about times when you have won. It has absolutely nothing to do with trading skills or abilities. It is your knowledge that has allowed you to win and not your trading skills. You need to realise this and quickly before you lose any more money trying to trade.

From reading the blog, it is clear that you know you can win money from gambling but you feel that trading allows you to level things out. Without being too critical, this is rubbish and is a myth. All you are doing is cutting your wins short too often and not maximising your profit.

You appear to be at a bit of a crossroads I can see and I think you are having doubts about where you should be heading with your gambling/trading. IMO, there are very few flat form-book readers in the UK who are as bright as you. Obviously, it’s too early for me to be sure but you appear to have the potential to be a great personal tipster. This is where I’d be looking if I was in your position.

For starters, write to every tipping site, telephone tipster and professional gambler that you can find the email address of. Tell them a bit about yourself and ask them to give you a trial for 3 months of selecting horses. Obviously, this will not earn you any money in the short-term but it will open doors for you in 3 months. Many great tipsters have started out by doing this sort of thing and it can get you further than you think.

Include me in this also, and I’ll speak to a few colleagues who I know like a punt to see if they are interested in speaking to you also. I would suggest you also start to use your blog for advertising and offer free trials of tips for a few months. There are many punters out there who use subscription services for horseracing and are willing to pay thousands a year for advice on horseracing. From what I can see, you appear to have more knowledge than most of these guys and it’s about time you started to use it.

I think you should also think about trying to hook up with one of the hard hitting horseracing punters in the UK. I know that there are about 6 in Scotland and I’d suggest you try to contact them. I obviously don’t have email addresses or contact numbers but some of your blog readers may be able to help you out.

A professional punter with a substantial bankroll would pay you a small monthly fee for personal tips and this is another avenue you should look to explore. Again, offering free tips may get you in the door and then it’s up to you to prove that you can provide consistent profits over time.

These efforts above won’t make you much money in the short-term but I’d be inclined to stop trading and start getting your head into the form book again. Set yourself up with a betting bank with a bookmaker and just play with that for a few months. That will keep you interested in the game and then try to explore these avenues mentioned above.

You have my email address now, so please drop me a note or we can arrange to discuss your situation on the telephone. You need to remember that there are many punters out there who make a decent living from this game who don’t have your knowledge of the game or your IQ. You must realise this and try to look at the bigger picture and have some ambition.

I hope you don’t mind me writing to you. I’ve come across very few guys over the last 10 years in this game who know what you know about horseracing and your best years are still well ahead of you. I’m going to post this email on your blog also but if you would like to keep this correspondence going, please reply to me through email.

Keith D

Mark Iverson said...

Hi Grame,

Is this the guy who left the last comment?

Matt said...

Man, I hate those sales website with an absolute passion! In fact, I can't really say on a family blog what I think of them :)

Keith makes some good points though, you might better be suited to punting these Graeme. But then you need to assess how well you deal with losing regularly, how risk averse you are... being averse is never good when faced with good opportunities.

I can't help feel you are either a punter trapped in a traders mind or the other way round ! I feel like there's a bit of crossover between two mentalities going on and the rality of it is, they are very difficult to work together.

Both use the concept of value, but in a different way. It's very easy to change the way you want to see value - when things don't go right! ie.. i want to trade out of this lower, the price keeps drifting...i'll have more on since the value is greater..

This doesn't make sense if you began with different intentions. A clearing up of what you want to do might be in order, time off is always good for this :) Enjoy it!


Steve said...


I have come across guys like Keith before. I'd stay well clear of contacting him.

As you mentioned on Mark's blog,he actually makes a good few points though and I suggest you read what he says carefully.

You've said on here many times that you don't like trading and that you enjoy spending time analysing races. I'm guessing one issue you have is that you are struggling to make enough of a return to make it worth your time spending hours looking at a race.

Trying to pass your advice on to others to profit will increase your return if you can charge them a fee and this will provide you with enough of an incentive to spend the necessary time analysing races.

Obviously, you can also back your selections but you can fund this using subscription fees which reduces your risk.

I'm sorry to say this but I said 3 months ago that you would not make it as a trader as you are really a gambler at heart. I would suggest you try to go over your past results and try to see how much you would have made for £10 level stakes by backing your selections in every handicap you analyse.

One very relevant point Keith made is your returns from picking winners. You appear to be happy losing hundreds trying to trade a favourite but when you pick a winner at 10/1, you win a small amount. In the long-run, you had to lose eventually.

Just a few thoughts.


Mark Iverson said...

Hi Graeme,

In fairness, Keith does make some valid points.

Read the advice carefully, but from what I've seen you have a very good understanding on how to handicap races - this is invaluable and already puts you ahead of the game.

You remind me of Luke in Star Wars - you're on your way to becoming a Jedi - don't be tempted by the dark side.


Anonymous said...

That is a brilliant analogy Mark - it really did make me LOL !
In summary, it would appear that whilst everyone thinks Keith makes some valid points re. Graeme's trading/gambling, the bottom line is that anyone who tries to sell apparently dodgey systems, via advertising that shouts at you, simply cannot be trusted...
Perhaps Keith should take the opportunity to defend his 'profession'/Company. If he's not prepared to, then like Steve, Matt & Mark, I would be disinclined to make contact...

Anonymous said...

Hi Graeme,

LOL seems like there's a real conflict on the comments between some good advice and who's giving the advice! I'm no fan of tipsters either but I think he's given you the some of the best advice of anybody on the blog.

You strength is picking winners, your weakness is coping with losing money and the trading has become a way of hedging it. I have been wondering aswell recently whether the good picks have been subsidising the trading. Your trading method seems to rely on the pre-race market going in the direction you beleive it should based on form but the market doesn't work like that - most who trade pre-race haven't got a clue about form. It would be interesting to know what your profit to level stakes is compared to what you've done.

I suppose the point of the blog is for you to find the best way although I'm not sure messing around with bookies or being a tipster is really the answer...


Alistair said...

Hi Graeme,

I hope you are enjoying your break.

I've been watching this thread unfold and couldn't resist offering my tuppence worth.

Keith has made some good points, but I'd always be wary of someone who tries to make those points by disparaging others. Traders trade because they want to take the gambling out of their betting. For Keith to criticise them for not doing what he does is both disingenuous and unprofessional and for that reason alone I'd be reluctant to contact him.

However, he does make one very good suggestion. It would indeed be interesting to see what level stake return you would've achieved if you'd just backed your picks before the off.

There is no doubt that you are bloody good at reading form. I do not think anyone would dispute that.

Your desire to achieve a risk free bet on your runners is to be admired. However, the form card only ever gives pointers to a horse's performance in the actual race. It's value is very limited in pre-race trading.

As Matt and I have said on numerous occasions - don't buck the market.

The old saying 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing' is often very true. Unfortunately for you, your great knowledge of form can lead you to fighting the market at every turn.

It's your form reading that gives you your edge. So perhaps you should indeed forget about pre-race trading in order to obtain a free risk bet. Instead, perhaps hedging in running is another avenue for you to look at. By backing your pick just before the off you'll take out the pre-race market conflicts and allow you to concentrate of form reading.

I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you on MSN Graeme if you want to chat in more detail.

I've learned a lot about horse racing thanks to you so whatever you decide to do mate, you have my support.


Anonymous said...

Good to see Keiths comments have put the cat amongst the pidgeons which should give you something to mull over whilst you're taking a break.

I would advise you not to get too carried away with Keiths comments as at the end of the day he's a salesman with various websites selling tips, Filipino dating etc. It's a lot easier to make money selling tips than profiting from them. Thats not to say you haven't an edge with form reading but that small edge won't guarantee profits without the mindset to cope with the losing runs and spotting when your tip is value and when it's not.

As traders we assume others have set the value and try to profit by assuming we're taking value by laying/backing either side of the spread. With your knowledge of the form you're constantly fighting against the market as your pre race view isn't always being mimmicked in the market , either by race readers with less knowledge or traders pushing the low volume prices around. Thats one of the reasons why you'll find alot of traders couldn't care less about the sport/form on the market they're playing and rely solely on trading skills to make money.

The trading side of things obviously isn't your bag so you need to look at ways at profiting from that form knowledge be it betting outright/selling tips or hedging in running. You need to find that happy medium that suits you not others.

Anonymous said...


As usual, you appear to be generating a few interesting views.

My own view is that you need to answer 3 questions:

1). What do you want from your trading? Is it a hobby or a possible career?
2). If you want to trade, forget about everything you were ever taught about form study as it will only be a hinderence to you. Are you willing to do this?
3). You need to be able to cope with losing. At the moment, you appear to go off on 'tilt' every time you lose. Can you change your natural human instinct?

The blog is a great read and there is some great advice and comments being posted (as usual I must say).

It's up to you to decide where you go from now.

Good luck.

Stan :)