The first two episodes of this series were originally published in separate blog posts, you can see part two here, going forwards we will be updating this post in order to keep everything in one place and make it easier to read all the updates.
Episode 1 – Bookie Bashing, My Journey!
Michael has kindly asked me if I would do a monthly blog about my betting journey to beat the bookies, selection processes, staking and anything else betting wise I can think of, so here goes.
My name is Stuart, married, 76 and have lived in Belgium for the last 30 years.
Had a great working life, BR steam engine fireman, emigrated to Australia mid sixties, plantation manager in Papua New Guinea then joined an airline there as a Traffic Officer and returned to UK in 1971 and became an Air Loadmaster, flying all over the world, for the next 32 years. I have a weird and wicked sense of humour, do not suffer fools gladly and do not tolerate idiots at all.
My first contact with horse racing came in 1953, when my grandfather persuaded me to become a bookie runner for this pub, where he did most of his drinking, a couple of miles outside Berwick upon Tweed. I did this most of the school holidays from 1953 until 1958 when my folks moved down to the Midlands, my days of easy money were over. I was never allowed to bet, except for once when I put a whole shilling, the equivalent of nearly 2 months pocket money, on ESB in the 1956 Grand National. A lucky win at 100/7, because Devon Loch ridden by Dick Francis, slipped-up just short of the post allowing ESB to get up. That was my one and only bet until the Internet arrived.
When I was over in OZ a couple of my mates hauled me off to a Two-Up game, “ national pastime” said one. So we get there and find a bunch of blokes throwing two coins up in the air and betting on how they will land, sad.
It must have been about 2000 when I really got into betting on the horses. I used to be in touch with a couple of like minded guys in the UK, and we reckoned between the three of us we could come up with various winning systems. We did, and they mostly didn’t – win that is! We made a bit of money here and there with some of the systems, but nothing sustainable for long. However, all was not lost as, whenever I came across a nugget of info I thought may be of use, I jotted it down in a notebook.
In 2005 we bought a newsagents, right on the promenade in Ostend.
For the previous five years my wife had managed a Ladbrokes here, and when we bought the newsagents they couldn’t find anyone to take over from her, so they asked me. Much against my better judgement I agreed. In the next four months until they found somebody to run it permanently, I never saw so much misery in one small room in my life.
The punters would spend hours pouring over the various racing papers, then put all their money on some short-priced favourite, which, most of the time, would promptly lose. This would happen day in, day out. There was only one guy there who used to bet on the UK races, paying a whopping 15% betting tax for the privilege, as opposed to only 13% on the French and Belgian races. I gave him some tips, and he made a steady small profit most weeks. This led me to think about getting into it myself as a way of extra income, just in case the shop didn’t work out, which it didn’t, but that’s another story.
January 2011 was when it all came together. I had plenty time in the shop to peruse the internet daily. I found two pieces of crucial information from the Internet, and remembered something my grandfather had said about 5 years earlier. He said, that only one person knew if a horse stood a chance of winning, and it wasn’t the stable dog. That led me to build a system that ran for 7 years and 3 months. It never had, or even looked like having, a losing month and it averaged, once I had got all the garbage out of it, 5 to 8 points to level stakes per day. It finished with 10488.6 pts on the win side and 5574.6 on the place side.
This was all achieved on the Tote. Using Betfair could probably have made more, but I didn’t see why I should pay out 5% of my hard-earned to them! This is the system which, as of next month, we are going to start from scratch. Well, not quite as I started back in April, because where I am getting my selections from now is different. I just needed to know if there were enough selections, and if they would make money or not. There are and they do.
As of the 21/4 it has made 52.78 on the win side, and 36.4 on the place side, all to one point level stakes, so it seems to be working.
All you will need, if you decide to follow me, is a A5 metal-backed spiral notebook, not plastic as the pages come loose, and access to Microsoft Word, Excel or Open Office to enable you to make and keep a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet is one of, if not the, most important tool to enable you to make a profit from any betting medium.
Just one last thing before I wrap this up for this month. Looking at the title of this blog some of you may think I hate bookies, I don’t, I love them. How else could I sit at home, in front of my computer, listening to CCR or Smokie blasting out from the speakers, and making oodles of dosh, if it wasn’t for them……
Episode 2 – The Betting System
Thanks everybody for your interest,
I have now, hopefully, come-up with the goods.
My aim is maximum profits from minimum selections
The basic system is a Trainer based Win & PLACE, and is as follows:
- Trainers with a minimum of 25% win, and or 50% placed runners, over the current season or longer.
- Minimum SP for the moment is 7/1, 8/1 on Betfair. My original system minimum was only 4/1, but nearly everything below 7/1 this time loses money, including between 4/1 and 13/2 over 50 pts.
- Able to handle the going, not necessary even to have won, or been placed, but finished within 5 lengths if win-based, 10 lengths if place-based selection.
- On occasions, I will bet on up to 3 trainers in a race, so long as the lowest SP will cover the remaining selections if they lose. This should not be a problem betting at a minimum of 7/1.
- I start off my systems with a 100 bank and bet 2% per selection, increasing every time the bank reaches another 100; 1% win and 1% place or 2% if just using the win or place alone. This gives you 50 losing selections before the bank is finished, and if that is the case, the system is a load of crap, but you have only lost 100 of whatever currency you use. It normally does not take long to be playing with the bookies’ money and not your own.
- If your selection is from the place-side, you are restricted to 8 to 14 runners inclusive, but on the win-side there are no restrictions on runners.
- No upper limit on SP’s, I’ve had winners at 66/1, and the highest place SP was 150/1.
- You must police your systems regularly, or you will continue to be betting on horses, trainers, race classes etc. which are just leaking your profits away.
Case in point with my original system when it was still place only. My first 16 place bets at Wolverhampton all lost, not one place out of 48 possible, so no more betting at WOL.
The longest losing run in my original system was 32 on the win-side, luckily followed by a 33/1 winner and about 15/16 on the place-side.
Overall, I had about 5/6 20+ losing runs on the win-side, so if you can’t get your brain around these stats, I don’t really think that this is for you.
Results for the first 2 months are as follows:
- Original +68.3 pts = to an average of 1.12 ppd from 547 selections.
- Version 2 +152.6 pts = to an average of 3.57 ppd from 217 selections
- Version 3 +378pts = to an average of 6.19 ppd from 143 selections
My current selections come from Sky Sports Racing season stats for Flat and NH trainers, but any site you have with at least the season stats so far, or even 5 year stats, is good.
Hope the above has wetted your appetites – let battle commence!
Apologies in advance if I have missed anything out, just come on the blog and you should have a reply the same day.
Thanks for your continued interest and all the comments and suggestions, both good and bad!
The V1.5 is showing a good starting profit for the first 3 months, with an average of 1.4 ppd, the only change from the Original being making it Win Only instead of Win and Place.
The V2 is now superceded by the V3, and the V3 is averaging a nice 5.1 ppd, with the only proviso that selections must be 7/1 or better, 8/1 on Betfair, and that it now uses all 3 Trainer Stats; Season, 14 days and 7 days, instead of just Sky Sports Season only stat.
Over the next few weeks I will go over both systems to see where the losses are haemorrhaging from, and remove what I can without throwing the baby out with the bath water.
To this end, I have put together various spreadsheets for both the Flat and NH. For example; Trainers, Good and Bad Classes, and Best Class Distances. I hope this will make life a bit easier for you to make your selections, it certainly did for me with my Original system. These will be made available here shortly.
Now the bad news, for these to work, they have to be updated daily or they soon become outdated and of limited use. However, there is no gain without pain as they say, and your profits should increase in proportion to work you put into making your selections.
V1.5 no SP or number of runners restrictions
V3 Minimum SP 7/1, 8/1 on Betfair and no upper runner restrictions, only minimum of 8 runners if selection comes from Place stats.
A P will be placed at the end of selections from trainer’s Place stats.
Short and sweet this month, but need to put maximum effort into getting these S/S done.
There are now three versions of the system. Here is how you can find the selections for any of them you’re a member of the Race Advisor Pro Members Club (PMC). It’s quick and easy to do using the following approach.
1) Create A Custom Race Card
First we need to make a race card so that we can find the horses each day quickly and easily.
Click on the Settings button form your dashboard and then press the Add New Race Card button.
This will show a pop-up where you can access all the ratings on the Race Advisor. Type in “Trainer” and you will see a Trainer SR and Trainer Place SR rating.
Click the + symbol next to each of these and they will move to the right-hand column, and are now on your race card.
Once they’re added to the race card you can name the race card and save it. You are now ready to find the selections each day!
2) Find Selections
The key rule is to find horses where the trainer has a minimum winning strike rate of 25% and place strike rate of 50%.
Using the above ratings you get the strike rate for the entire racing history of the jockey. The Race Advisor PMC also has ratings for the strike rates specific to course and distance, as well as all combinations.
Once you’ve made your race card, choose a race…
Choose the race card you want to use.
Then you can sort the columns to find the trainers with the best strike rates.
There are two horses in this race that meet the win strike rate criteria, but neither of them have a place strike rate of 50% or higher.
If you want to see the trainer strike rate for the last fourteen days, as per the rules in V3. You can see this on every race card here.
Finally we need to check if a horse has come within five or six lengths of the winner over the same going as in today’s race.
In this race the going is Good, which can be seen at the top of the race card.
Clicking on a horses name will open a pop-up window which shows the horses racing history.
You can then see at a glance how many lengths behind the horse was in each race. We can see that on the only Good ground condition this horse came 41.75 lengths behind the winner, so it would fail on this rule.
3) Odds Conditions
The rest of the conditions for finding selections are based on the odds of the horse.
This can be found easily on your Race Advisor PMC race cards. Every single race card is connected live to Betfair and you can see the odds immediately.
Depending on which version of the system you’re using will depend on the odds rules you’re going to use. You can see the three different versions of the system below.
As we refine it these rules will be continuously updated.
Betting System Rules For The Three Versions
There have been three versions of this system so far. Each time we refine it we will make a new version so that we can see the history of how it’s developed.
The rules are currently…
1. WIN ONLY
2. My Selections are from season only stats min Win…25% and Place…50%
3. No SP restrictions and no runner restrictions either Win or Place
4. Must be able to act on the going, not necessarily won or placed before but within 5–6 lengths of the winner seems ok ref some replies. I used to use 5 lengths for a win and 10 lengths for a place so just use what you are happy with, it is not set in concrete.
5. My betting preference is to start with a 100 bank and bet 2 % floating per selection and stop increasing when each selection is 25.
1 to 199…2
200 to 299…4
300 to 399…6 and so on.
This way you always have 50 bets before you lose your bank of 100
This has been superseded by V 3 but here are the rules if anyone still wants to use it.
1. WIN and PLACE
2. Selections as No 2 above
3. Min 7/1 SP restriction and minimum 8 runners, no upper limit, if a place selection. Irrespective of which side the selection is from it is for Win and Place bet unless you are personally using just one or the other, your choice.
4. As above
5 As above but using 2 separate 100 banks if using both Win and Place.
1. WIN and PLACE
2. Selections from season only, 14 days and 7 days min WIN 25% and PLACE 50%
3. As V 2 above
4. As no 4 in V 1.5
5. As No 5 in V 1.5 and V 2 above
What To Do Next
Start finding the selections yourself, and come and join in the conversation in the forum. I am regularly posting my selections in the forum here.
If you have any questions, suggestions or would like any more information, please leave a comment below or come and chat here.