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    Ark Royal
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Profit and Expectations


My reality is a near 80yo brain & memory that’s slowing up. I can no longer hold horse’s profiles in my head as I did with 2yos in the 1960s. In fact I can still see my speed rating for Charlottown deb run of 111 at sandown which with my improvement pars for that course/distance would at least place him in the next year’s Derby. I had already taken a shine to Pretendre for that race and remember having to stop myself from liking a horse and focusing on the data. I was amazed that figures worked out so well for top class horses and not surprised that there was not much between them in a close finish in the 1966? Derby, C just beat P and backed both ew.

But I can’t give you same info for any horse I checked out last week. Being partly computerised hasn’t helped. More tactile in the old days with paper and pencil, perhaps I had to remember detail then.

Anyway needs must and my current priority is to use my recent discovery of more excel functions that will automate more of the plumbing to flag suspect ratings and trainers gaming the OH etc.

This would reduce the scope of a couple of judgements needed e.g. best PP selection/pedigree data to base current race’s rating predictions on re necessary adjustments for different race conditions. I’ve written up the macros and routines and listed the ‘tells’/interpretations that various data suggest (not as many as Mick’s). Then I can pass all on to my grandchildren. I’ve already taken them to Haydock Park to see real racehorses close up. Their eyes were out on stalks; different from their competition showjumping ponies.

On the money side, my return on time spent on horserace betting is insignificant compared to that from business consultancy (six figures). Although the skills gained from my racing data laboratory contributed greatly to the business problem solving, as I had planned it from the very start. Each activity contributed to each other, more so as the years went on (e.g. focusing more on people – motives and dodges - than horses on the racing side). And it was really helpful when a client was into horseracing – instant cred.

It seems odd to me that I'm risk averse when my profession is risk/reward estimation. I got to betting more than a week's salary on a 2yo race, but always then played the insurance game, covering more than one horse in a race. That's like splitting your normal one point stake on the race into parts. Significantly reduces the losing run. Mixing up top and second top rated horse in a couple of ew patents. The most extreme case was 4x4 ew doubles Stewards Cup and then the following 3yo hcp; Sky Diver was the first back-back winner in Stewards Cup - Peter O'Sullivan said the horse doesn't know that and history should not come into it - 33/1 and 10/1 winner of the 3yo hcp. It was nice to see the insurance approach work, lots of placed doubles as well as the win double, but I didn't feel at all chuffed at the time.

I note Pawras (hi there) point about prices. Since moving into ‘gaming’ territory in 2 yo and 3yo grade 5 and 6 hcps and finding tells on deceitful placing (entries) and running (pace), the SR is down a bit but the extra win odds more than compensate (that’s at ISP). I used to consider 10/1 ISP as outsider country, but now need over 8/1 to feel chuffed.


Good morning S student as ever your above an interesting read. Subscribing to RI has not made me a more profitable backer on balance with my very best individual years all coming prior to, but i still feel its money well spent as it does make the process more enjoyable. However the important final call is still made via plenty of use of the Pen and A4. It appears to myself that ever more backers are seeking quick fix and final solutions via full automation and to my mind this might be increasing the value edge for those who still include some old school aspects as part of there MO.

Certainly during recent years the avg price of my selections and winners has increased without any dramatic changes in my working process so perhaps the above is the cause.? When i start working a race i do so with the expectation of not finding any horse i wish to back and do not view this as negative thinking, but when the opposite occurs and the animal is a 14/1 shot why complain or feel concerns indeed connections who seriously plan a punt will often be looking to create this situation as part of.?


mick mick
re quick fix and full automation
Agree that it is easy to be seduced by technology; I've seen that in many types of activity where organisations have thrown big money and computers at a probem before understanding how and why the activity really works. I occassionally have same thoughts myself; full automation will be reliable and quick. My notebook is littered with the question mark against 'spot' bet? Meaning a 'system' in our sense; a set of fixed rules. But then I see the limited results of the quick fix and remember my early attempts at 'systems' which would only work for a year or so before the world would seem to change.

But if one is doing the early fact finding research and/or needing to speed up your decision making, having a computer expert in support can be a vital advantage.

Re the increase in prices
My ex-colleague Bob Wilkins has written a book on bioenergenics of racehorses which IMO has extended the science of understandig how horses use energy. He was asked to visit a UK group who where keen to try his use of power ratings. They had fully implemented his work on computers and wanted his reaction to other questions/ideas they had. It seemed to me that this group was what I think are called 'whales' in HK and USA; large groups of complementary experts who support major betting operations. The UK horseracing markets are not large enough to attract the largest whales (more attracted to liquidity in football markets?) but Bob's anecdote suggests that there some whales operating in UK. I just wonder whether a few whales could be behind some of the big 'shorts' I've seen in very late Betfair prices where a few significantly shorten and there is a massive drift in the price of the odd horse?
I have learnt in the short time in this game is never to expect but to hope.

I have chosen to challenge myself....
My challenge to myself is to win my monthly mortgage payment, I had an incredible day yesterday and have already achieved that. This was not always the case as I had a very slow start to the year last year.
The money I would have paid to my mortgage goes into my pension pot, and I treat myself to a holiday now and again.

Some will know here that I am fond of a long shot and that is how I make my money.
Winning is hard, but the bookmakers make it a bit easier for you to make a profit more often than not when you bet each way, for example take Irish racing where they usually have lots of runners and many of the runners are 100/1, with few having a realistic chance.
Still some firms offer you generous odds up to 10 Places! Bet365 each way extra I feel is an incredibly generous betting medium for all those who wager each way.
How they make money with that kind of generosity I will never know.

I don't always win I have bad runs like most punters, but I always believe the tide will turn in my favour.
When I have a bad run I stick to the way I bet, I don't chop and change my own simple "system", and that has worked for me...stay true through thick and thin.

I like the safety net each way betting provides, for as I said winning is hard to master and being consistent in doing so is tougher still.
But I feel when you hedge your bets as I do you see a steady stream of profit.

My racing objectives...
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S student cheers for the insight and wise whales placing large amounts late on the exchange at the front of the market would impact on the offers and returned prices against other contenders, as the tail now appears to be wagging the dog i do wonder if the wisest might be attempting to collectively manipulate the exchange markets to create or maintain the value of a longer priced selection which they do see as the actual winner............Given the opportunity i would.

The way i work and think the price is all and knowing at what time to step in and get my money placed is becoming ever more important because during the past couple of years the markets ( from my perspective) have become increasingly volatile and unpredictable. Even when bog can be secured there is still a right and wrong time to do so in order to get the best from it.

I keep a separate betting bank which i call " extra gains " and in the main its used for the occasions when i decide to top up on a drifter. The market does have proven long term accuracy so a dangerous game to play and much additional thought is used before implementing but my records evidence that to date my Roi from this is higher than that obtained from my main bet bank. !

We all enjoy securing an early price which subsequently gets smashed and on balance this can be viewed as a positive to chance but what i have found is that even a big drift in price does not always prevent the win. :)


I dont know what the liquidity is like , but some do wait until after the off - there are some big prices to be had


I dont know what the liquidity is like , but some do wait until after the off - there are some big prices to be had
I was not using bet fair long enough to glean an understanding, but what i do feel is sad and clownish especially so in the early markets is how once respected firms like Ladbrokes are now changing there own prices in line with whats occurring on the exchange when there is often tiny amounts of liquidity involved. This could be used against them and perhaps it is.?


I was not using bet fair long enough to glean an understanding, but what i do feel is sad and clownish especially so in the early markets is how once respected firms like Ladbrokes are now changing there own prices in line with whats occurring on the exchange when there is often tiny amounts of liquidity involved. This could be used against them and perhaps it is.?
It could be their own money being used to shorten up


2.30 leic

Only a little race with just 5 runners but the one that caught my eye was QUICK WAVE a ex french recruit who's only chase run over here was perfectly respectable and he could be well handicapped, the winner ran well enough in a class3 since and the others were a distance back so no point looking.
GOT AWAY sets the standard but has a fair amount of weight and might be out of form anyway, on the other hand EVERLANES is coming of a win and incurred 8lb rise from handicap debut.

conclusion......I do like the look of QUICK WAVE but at 5/2 you couldn't say it there was much value but others might differ.
5 runner race and your fav is 5/2 - what would want as acceptable value ? -