Michael has kindly asked me if I would do a monthly blog about my betting journey, 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……