Saturday, 27 September 2008

Monthly Review......

This could be a long post but it’s important that I write this post no matter how bad it looks for me……

As the month has gone on, this post was always going to look bad and after a poor end to the month, it isn’t going to be a great read for anyone. The fact I’ve chosen to have my worse month of the year while giving a free trial and trying to start a subscription service is quite ironic. I thought it may have led to a slower start to the subscription service but this hasn’t been the case, so it appears that people are willing to judge me on the long-run and not on 26 days of selections.

Personally, I think this is no bad thing as I’d hate to think that people were buying a service that promised amazing results like 90% of tipsters do. My results are available for all to see and giving a free trial was a brave decision for anyone who wanted to start a subscription service but I know my results long-term, so I have nothing to hide.

As most of you know, I like to analyse my performance and I keep detailed stats of everything. That’s part of the reason why I know I’ll do well in the long-run but all you guys are judging me on 26 days of this month, so I’ll only analyse these results in this post.

I suppose the best place to start is to share all of my results. This includes a form comment for every horse, SPs, suggested odds, my staking plan and various ways to track the P&L etc. I always tend to track this sort of thing when I’m punting as it’s important to check that my method of selecting winners works over a sustained period.

Here are the results:

Basically, everyone can sit and look at these anyway you want. As I’ve said, I’ll never try to hide the fact it was a poor month and I’ve admitted that all the way through this month. However, I don’t judge myself on one poor month and I know some of you won’t either. Obviously, I know lots of you will judge me on this month and believe that this is a true representation of my ability and I’m happy with that. If you really think I spend hours looking at form every year to make substantial losses, then I won’t try to disagree with you.

I’ve picked out a few things to look at to try to pinpoint where it’s gone wrong this particular month to share with you. Here’s a table with a few interesting observations:

In the long-run, I know my strike rate is 15%. This is basically fact as it’s something I’ve tracked over a very long period anytime I’ve been punting for a sustained period. This month, my strike rate was only 9.5% which is down 35% on the long-run average. Very disappointing and is the main reason I have lost this month. I haven’t picked enough winners. It is as simple as that.

I usually get a return on about 20% of my bets as I don’t use each-way very often and when I do, it usually works. This month, my each-way betting has been poor and only one selection has been placed when I’ve selected each-way. That can be put down to poor judgement on my part as I don’t use each-way often enough and maybe I shouldn’t have used it at all this month. Something to consider for the future for me…..

Other obvious points are the number that trade at least half in running, the number of runners in each race (I pick the hardest races) and the average SP is very interesting.

In the long-run, my average SP is usually around 10/1. This month, it’s a good deal higher and I’m not sure why. Part of it was probably trying to show off when I could have selected more likely horses to win with a little less value in races but overall, not too disappointed from that point of view. 95% of my selections were value bets.

This table tells another interesting story this month:

During the month, lots of people were asking me to select shorter priced horses as they like to lump on bankers. As I’ve said all month, it’s not my thing as I really struggle to calculate value in large field handicaps on short priced horses. Therefore, anytime I select a short priced runner, it must be very ‘well in’ and represent great value. If anyone had purely lumped on my short-priced horses, they’d be 10 points up with 4 bets. I’m guessing no one did that last month………

To not have a winner from 18 selections at 9/2 to 10/1 is very, very poor to be honest and this is a freak occurrence. Obviously, Overrule was second twice at 5/1 when in my opinion, it should have won twice and ultimately, 2 poor jockeys have cost me a fair bit this month. This sort of thing happens to every tipster though and I’m a great believer that in the long-run, this sort of thing levels out. I won’t complain too much.

As I’ve made clear on here, the reason that I do so well with horse-racing punting is because I can pick large price winners consistently. This month, an 11/1 winner with three 14/1 seconds is a bit of a killer and it’s killed my chances of a massive profit this month. In time, this will even itself out though and a few of these seconds would have won and I’d have made 40 points in the month easily. Didn’t happen this month though……

Overall, all I needed was Overrule to have a better jockey once, River Falcon to have a longer nose or Sphinx to not bump into Bollin Felix when that one was so well handicapped and I’d been looking at breaking-even in a very, very poor month. If I can do this is a poor month, what will I do in a good month? Time will tell………

Below is a graph of my bank this month. It shows my P&L to SP and level stakes, BSP and level stakes and Suggested Odds and Stakes.

None of these make good reading for me but one thing I would say is that tracking my results to SP this month was never going to be good. All of my 4 winners nearly halved in price (on-course) and therefore, no one backed any of these winners at SP. However, I said at the start of the month that I’d track to SP and it allows comparisons to be made with other tipsters.

Overall, I lost 15 points to SP at level stakes, 13 points to suggested odds and stakes and 8.3 to Betfair SP at level stakes.

Personally, since none of my winners were backed in the morning and the suggested odds were widely available, a 13 point loss is a true reflection on the month. I’m sure everyone has a different view but that’s my honest opinion.

One thing that’s struck me this month is how over the top the criticism has been of my performance. I think I’m a victim of the hype surrounding me and what I know and people seriously expected me to make 100 points profit this month. To make a very large profit in any month, you need big winners and big winners don’t come along as frequently as you like. When they don’t come along frequently in the same month, you lose in that month. That’s the name of the game when you gamble…….

Lastly, I said at the start of the month I’d compare myself to tipsters on Racing Index. Obviously, people can tear me to shreds here but you need to remember that you are comparing my worst month this year with other tipsters. My worst month is nowhere near as bad as other tipsters’ worst month and this needs to be factored in.

From next month, all of my selections will be proofed on Racing Index and we’ll see how I do in the long-run. I’m still as confident as I’ve always been and one bad month won’t undo my previous performance during my punting life.

I know lots of people will question why I can ask people to pay for selections after making a loss during the trial month but firstly, how many tipsters out there give subscribers a free month? Very, very few if any.

Secondly, I made it clear at the start of the month that this month was to give a flavour of what I can do. After knowing that there was a demand for what I do, I had to start planning for next month. Therefore, I eased off the analysis and started working towards next month. I’m a one-man band with a full-time job and I assumed that people would understand if results tailed off towards the end of the month. I only have 24 hours in my day and spending 3 hours on analysis in the second half was not possible.

Looking back, I maybe took it for granted that the winners would continue to flow and I wish I hadn’t. The month was meant to be a flavour of what I do and I gave that in the first week. I should have then stopped the trial and waited until next month instead of juggling too many things. The selections suffered a little but I always knew it would only be a matter of time before the winners flowed again. I won’t get that chance to prove that to many of you now and it will cost me a couple of subscribers but that’s life.

Below are comparison tables with all the tipsters on Racing Index. No comments to make apart from to remind you that you are comparing my worst month with many of their best. Tables don’t lie though……


Cassini said...

Good post Graeme, and I hope I haven't upset you with my little dig. As you feely admit, I am just pointing out the irony in charging after a bad month. I think you would have been better served by offering a second free month that (hopefully) will more closely reflect your expected results. When it does, I think the goodwill this would generate would reap many more subscribers for you. Anyway, as always, good luck.

Racereader said...

Good evening Graeme

Its nice to see you being so honest on your results.I wish you well with your new website and hope it is profitable for your subscribers.I would like to offer my services for the people who cant afford a subscription service but appreciate an in-depth analysis on races on a daily basis.My race analysis is free and profitable and anyone who wishes to receive my daily e-mail should contact me at

Dave said...


You crack me up at times. Your analysis is already dated and is not showing the true picture.

Free period

26 days 4 winners 13 points lost

Subscription period

1 day 1 winner 8 points profit

If someone with your knowledge can't make 240 points a year, Im a dutchman!

If you want an honest opinion, £30 a month is farcical and you should be charging £100 as a minimum. Easy for me to say now I have joined for 3 months!

great start and a massive dose of humble pie is coming to a lot of people in time on this blog I imagine.


Andrew said...

Forgive me for cutting through some of the crap here, but…
IF I had been following your selections this month, I would only be interested in judging you at suggested price and for recommended stake. Including today, by my reckoning, you are 5 points down for the month…
Now clearly that’s not great – but it’s not disaster either… You’ve messed up your staking a number of times – and had a bit of bad luck (choosing the wrong horse or In Running) – though maybe not quite as much as you think… With better staking and a bit better luck, you’d be in profit: but IMO that’s not the point…
The people who will buy into what you are offering will be buying into your race reading and communication skills – not your tipping ability. You offer so much more than a tipster – yet compare yourself directly with their base offering (ie. tips). I know people like to put a stake in the ground for comparison purposes – but it undervalues your true ‘product’…
At the end of the day, your subscribers will be subscribing for the analysis – that’s what will set you apart. The tips are just the ‘icing’ on the cake (and I personally, am not a fan of icing !).

GeorgeH said...

I left this comment on the previous blog entry, in error:

I said that this was a great blog article and it must have taken you ages to cobble it all together, especially with all the links.

Did you have a winner today? Or is that privileged info?

Any which-way, every best wish and jolly good luck in your venture.

Cheers, GeorgeH

Anonymous said...

Can I just say - publicly - that I agree completely with Kevin, especially the part where he mentions the time involved. I've just retired & I struggle to go through more than one race per evening - it takes hours!

As Graeme knows, I subscribe to a few services taken from the (long-term) top of the Racing-Index lists, but this looks much more fun and - in the long term - profitable.

I'm in, and looking forward to all parts of the site.

Best wishes to us all!