Friday, 15 August 2008

Day 3 of training to be a tipster

I’ve just got in tonight and I’ve got a few things to update on here, so I thought I’d do a quick post.

I think today is an important day with regards to any possible future career as a tipster. There are a few things I need to mention.

Firstly, my staking plan. I’ve decided to go with a staking plan of 1-3 points for next month. I’ve been trying it out for the last few days as you have all seen and it hasn’t been very successful if I’m honest. As you will have also seen and as I’ve mentioned in the past on here, I tend to find two different types of horses to bet on. Both will be value bets IMO but I’m going to have to be very careful with regards to my stakes on each horse.

One type of horse I pick out is horses who are well handicapped, in form, running over the correct trip and on perfect ground. However, this will usually be factored into the price in most cases. Over the last 3 days, the only 2 horses to fall into this category have won fairly easily. However, the odds have been 9/2 and 4/1.

The other type of horse I back is horses which are value bets but which are not running under their optimum conditions or are running under their optimum conditions but are in no sort of form. These are the easiest ones for me to spot and the majority of my horses fall into this category. However, the odds always reflect this but the strike rate of winners will be much lower than the other type.

Today, I got my staking totally wrong and I had Merrymadcap down as a 1 point bet whereas I had 2 badly out of form horses down as 2 point bets. Clearly, this isn’t right and I’m going to have to be really careful next month and think about my staking.

In the long-run, it’s important that the best bets receive more staking points than the speculative bets. I’ll work on this over the next week or so to make sure I learn how to use the staking plan I’ve developed.

One point that people need to realise is that a horse at 16/1 and a horse at 4/1 may both be a value bet. However, the shorter priced is 4 times more likely to win, so this needs to be remembered by everyone. If I give out ten 16/1 shots in a row, I only expect one to win on average. If I give out ten 4/1 chances, I’d expect at least 3 or 4 winners on average.

I read a comment someone made about the average odds of my first few selections were 18/1. All this means is that I wouldn’t really expect these two to win being honest. In the long run, one in ten may win though and that will be good enough.

Someone also made a great point today about the ground. I’ve been chatting to Andrew about this over the past week or even over the past month. Due to the fact that I place a lot of emphasis on the type of ground that each horse prefers, I really need to get the ground correct. For the past 3 days, I’ve selected horses each day which either wanted firm or soft and the ground was the opposite at the course.

As I said to Andrew today, when it rains everywhere, it’s easy as you just look for soft ground horses. When it’s firm everywhere, it’s also easy as you just look for firm ground horses. However, at the moment, most courses are soft and getting firmer everyday and it’s killing my reading of the races. I’m getting caught out far too often for my liking and it’s only going to get worse from now until the end of the flat season. I need to try to factor this in to my staking plan and the odds I look for when I’m looking for a value bet.

Another interesting point that cropped up today was when a formline develops throughout the day and it makes a bet a stronger bet than I initially thought. This happened today with Merrymadcap.

When this was 2nd a few runs back, the 3rd horse was 7 lengths back and it managed to win an earlier race on the Newbury card. Therefore, it gave Merry’s form a very timely boost and when I reassessed the horse after this piece of information, it became a 3 point bet (I initially said a 1 point bet). Therefore, I increased my bet on it and I was pleased to see it won well. Hence, it was a great spot by me…….

When this sort of thing happens, there’s nothing that I can do next month. However, if I see a potential formline when a horse runs earlier on the card or in the day, I may decide to use an if statement to determine the points staked. For example, if horse A wins the 2pm, then horse B is worth 3 points win in the 4pm. If A loses in the 2pm, horse B is just a 1 point win bet. I don’t think this will happen very often and maybe not at all, but it’s something to bear in mind for the future.

Lastly, I thought I’d paste my P&L today. I actually had 5 bets after saying I’d only have 2 but I couldn’t resist having a few little punts. As usual, King Harson just swallows up my money but if this horse doesn’t win a race this season, I’ll think about giving up handicaps!

Thanks for all the emails and comments recently. I’m struggling a bit to keep up with the comments on here during the day when I’m at work but I’ll probably just reply to them all each night now!

I may look at some races tomorrow but I really need to get back to trading. I haven’t traded much this week but I’m confident I’m nearly where I want to be. I’ll be able to find out more tomorrow I hope as I should get an opportunity to trade a few races.

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