Two common questions.

There are two questions that I  am perennially asked when Spring comes around.  The improved weather (ha!) makes people think about holidays, and that in turn makes bettors wonder what they should do in terms of following their tipsters whilst away on their jollies.  The second question comes from folk following football tipsters – should I back the bets as normal, even though at this stage of the season some teams I’m backing have nothing to play for?

In short, my answers to each are:

  1. Take a break for heaven’s sake, when you’re away.  Forget completely about betting, logging in to get the tips, getting the odds and all the other hassles involved.  You need a break – take it!  A week or two’s betting really is nothing in the greater, long term context – and it will stop your wife/partner/kids being irritated with you at a time when you’re supposed to be enjoying each other’s company.  Oh, and one other thing – don’t go checking results when you get home.  If you’ve missed a few good winners it will make you feel depressed, and what can you do about it anyway? Nothing, that’s what.
  2. Back whatever your tipster tells you to back!  Don’t go complicating things.  Just carry on as normal.  Over the years, I’ve noticed that some years results at the back end of the season are good, in other years not so good.  A bit like the beginning of the season, or the middle part of the season, or any other part of the season you can think of!  If you pay to follow a good tipster, then follow him.  As soon as you start getting too selective, you’re at risk of entering a whole world of pain.  What’s the most likely thing you’ll do if you ignore a tip at odds of say 3/1 or more on the footie, which proves to be a winner you’ve missed because you didn’t think the team you were supposed to back were going to be up for it?  I’ll tell you, shall I?  You’ll decide you were daft and back the next big-priced tip that your man gives you the following week…and of course Sod’s Law will dictate that with your money down, the bet will lose.  Far, far easier to just carry on backing each and every selection in the way you normally do. Take it from one who has made all the mistakes and felt all the pain!

Betting for April to date:

Poor figures so far, but we need to bear in mind that I missed nine days of betting due to the lurgy!

AH Edge: Staked 10pts, -0.58pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Jason James: Staked 16.5pts, -10pts.

MVS (Lite): Staked 5pts, -1.5pts.

MVS (Multiples): Staked 5pts, -1.5pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 17.5pts, -1.162pts.

Pilelist Racing: Staked 7.833pts, +5.841pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 10pts, +3pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 33.5pts, -20.5pts.

Racing Service C: Staked 21pts, -3.75pts.

Total: ROI -12.05%, ROC -1.42%.

March Review

OK, so as promised, a quick round-up of March’s betting.

All I can say when I look at the figures is thank goodness that Cheltenham week produced the goods, because what happened both before and since was, and has been, distinctly underwhelming.  March is always dictated to a large extent by what happens over the four days at Prestbury Park, and this year was no different, with the Festival dragging the month into profit.

It was a great month for Racing Service C who enjoyed a number of big priced winners at Cheltenham and it would be nice to see it kick on now the Flat season is getting underway in earnest.  It was good to see Northern Monkey put it in again after what had been a shocking February.

Not such a good month for the Football Service 1, but it wasn’t alone in finding March a struggle, as you can see from the figures below…

AH Edge: Staked 46pts, +0.13pts, ROI 0.29%, ROC 0.22%.

Football Service 1: Staked 19pts, -10.24pts, ROI -53.9%, ROC -20.98%.

Jason James: Staked 82pts, -9.37pts, ROI -11.42%, ROC -4.68%.

MVS (Lite): Staked 46pts, +2pts, ROI 4.34%, ROC 2.22%.

MVS (Multiples): Staked 96pts, -30.72pts, ROI -30.72%, ROC -7.37%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 51.375pts, +20.125pts, ROI 39.17%, ROC 25.15%.

Pilelist Racing: Staked 16.833pts, -7.61pts, ROI -45.19%, ROC -10.14%.

Racing Service A: Staked 34pts, -6.88pts, ROI -19.92%, ROC -11.45%.

Racing Service B: Staked 64pts, +13.68pts, ROI 21.36%, ROC 6.83%.

Racing Service C: Staked 41pts, +32.61pts, ROI 79.54%, ROC 32.61%.

Total for March: ROI 2.36%, ROC 1.84%.

Hit for six.

I wish I was talking about a tipster who was picking winners galore and metaphorically smashing the ball out of the ground.  But I’m not.  Oh, no.  I’m talking about how some sort of horrible virus or other hit me right out of the ground!

I don’t do sick.  Seriously, I don’t agree with it.  Nasty, horrible things, viruses.  They have no place here and as such I try to have absolutely nothing to do with them.  Nope – much better to avoid them and pretend they don’t exist, and largely, this approach works.

But not this time!  About a week after Cheltenham I started feeling not so good, and then Bang!  The next thing I know I can hardly move; stuck in bed, aching like I’ve never ached before, not even able to do the most important thing in all life (watch the Arsenal), never mind do any of the more mundane things like eat or drink.  Even the Missus had to admit this wasn’t a bad cold, or even man-flu!

Anyway, enough of my troubles.  Suffice to say that my betting took a bit of a pause, as obviously, did updating this blog!  For which I can only apologise and tell you that I’m now in the process of updating the figures for when I was betting, and bringing everything right back to speed again.

So here’s the plan.  Tomorrow, I’ll provide you with a March review, and then over the weekend I’ll post up an update that includes what there has been of April’s betting.

Right now it’s time to grab something to eat, a beer, and to settle down to watch the Arsenal.  I guess you can tell I’m feeling better. 🙂

Cheltenham Day 4 – What a week it’s been!

This has, without doubt, been the most profitable Cheltenham Festival I’ve had.  Each day has coughed up a big priced winner.  When the sport is as good as it is, and you’re making money whilst you’re watching it all, you have to ask if it can get any better.  My feeling is that no, it can’t.

Before I go through the last day, I want to answer a query I’ve had re. the figures.  It was pointed out to me that for Day 3, my ROI for the day was 30%+, but if you added up the points totals for each service it came to a negative number.  The explanation is that not each service carries the same £/point value.  So for example, 1 point of Racing Service A money is three times greater than 1 point of Jason James money.  I hope that clears up any questions folk might have.

And so Day 4.

What a start to the day!  Racing Service A told his members right at the start of the week that the first two days of the Festival didn’t have the shape for producing lots of really good, strong tips, but that Days 3 and 4 did.  How prophetic that turned out to be.  Blanks on Days 1 and 2, big profit on Days 3 and 4.  The 1.30 yesterday saw us have two big antepost bets – one on the hot favourite, Apples Shakira, which had been advised back in November prior to the horse even racing in the UK at 16/1 (went off at 6/5), and the other on eventual winner Farclas at 20s!  Oh, yes!

Things calmed down a little after that with the next five races all ending up providing a loss, despite Racing Service B finding the winner of the Gold Cup, Native River, at 5/1, but there was to be one last hurrah.

The final race of the Festival, a wide open, 22-runner handicap with all the challenges that such a race presents to a tipster in terms of finding the winner, proved to be no problem at all for Racing Service Cwhich ran with two selections for the race.  Three Sisters at 18/1 ran superbly well to finish 5th and therefore pick up a return via enhanced place terms at the bookies, but not as well as 16/1 winner Le Prezien.  Fine tipping, which was backed up by a healthy place return for Racing Service A pick Top Gamble (16/1) which finished third.  A memorable end to a memorable week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these daily updates.  Thanks for reading, and thanks too for the efforts of all the tipsters I’ve followed for their hard work and diligence.  I imagine they all find Cheltenham intense and mentally draining, so it’s great to see them rewarded by winners and profits.  Well done, Chaps! 🙂

Figures for Day 4:

Jason James: Staked 3pts, -3pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 6.5pts, -4.425pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 6.5pts, +6.5pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 3.75pts, +4.5pts.

Racing Service C: Staked 6pts, +10.25pts.

ROI: 57.52%.

Figures for the Festival:

Jason James: Staked 18pts, -4.4pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 18.75pts, +14.214pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 21pts, +6.625pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 20.75pts, +10.25pts.

Racing Service C: Staked 26pts, +33.675pts.

ROI: 63.53%.

Cheltenham Day 3 – Oh I wish it could be Cheltenham, every day…

Can’t help thinking the above would have been a better song for Slade to sing.  Certainly it’s one that would have held more meaning.  Perhaps I’m getting  bit cocky here, but so far Cheltenham has been like having a licence to print money!  One day to go…I’d quite happily just consolidate my profit now.

Today was the turn of Racing Service A to shine.  He’d struggled over the first two days and hadn’t registered a return, but that all changed in the first race of the day, the JLT Novice’s Chase.  TVB’s tip, Shattered Love, was backed as if defeat was out of the question as the 9s I’d taken when the tip came through had shortened to 4s by the time the tape flew up at the start of the race.  And there was only our horse in it at the last – very nice.

The 2.50 – the Ryanair Chase – was a triumph for Northern Monkey who had the winner, Balko Des Flos, at 6/1, albeit to a fairly small stake.

All was pretty quiet after that, a couple of minor place returns preventing from any race becoming a disaster financially.  The Stayer’s Hurdle proved to be a little expensive as there was no return at all from eight bets in the race.  That can happen frequently during the Festival, and losses mount up quickly, but this race apart it just hasn’t happened this year.

Racing Service A chipped in again in the 4.10, one of those big, open handicaps that look all but impossible to solve, when each way bet King’s Odyssey finished in the frame at 33/1.  But the highlight of the day came in the last when Northern Monkey’s Missed Approach won in what I felt was a particularly game way at 20/1!  Wayne’s sheer consistency at this meeting this year has been truly remarkable – can he repeat the trick by bagging a winner or two tomorrow, Gold Cup day?

One thing I’ve noticed this year is that each day so far has been a superb one for one particular service or another.  Northern Monkey had loads of winners on Tuesday, Bet Alchemist had a stormer yesterday, and it was interesting to see the Morning Value Festival service find three winners today at 6/1, 10/1 and 11/1!

Figures for today:

Jason James: Staked 6pts, -3.5pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 5.625pts, +4.019pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 5.5pts, +9.125pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 8.5pts, -8.5pts.

Racing Service C: Staked 6pts, -2.3pts.

ROI for the day: 34.67%.

Cheltenham Day 2 – The calm after the storm? Nope, not one bit of it!

Prior to today’s racing it all felt a little anti-climactic after yesterday’s excitement, truth be told.  There were far fewer bets, but I think it’s fair to say that no day at the Cheltenham Festival can ever be described as mundane.  The events that unfolded certainly proved this to be the case!

Interesting fact of the day – Lee Westwood won £22k on the Tote jackpot yesterday.  Good for him – he must need the money!

Nothing of interest happened in the first with two horses backed each way finishing in the place positions but the odds meaning each produced a tiny loss.

Better in the RSA Novices Chase up next as Northern Monkey continued his fine form with Presenting Percy, backed antepost at 14s winning very nicely.  Despite a few losers in the race from elsewhere, a profit was the reward and if you can come away from a race at Cheltenham saying that, then all’s good!

The most profitable race of the day was by far the Coral Cup, an impossible looking handicap hurdle.  Not for Racing Service C, it wasn’t!  Bleu Berry – a winner at 28/1, William Henry finishing in the place money at 9/1.  Wow!  Just wow!  Northern Monkey’s William Henry chipped in too by placing at 10/1 to bolster the gain, but not by as much as The Organist which, at 25/1, was a good one to place for Racing Service B.

A small profit from the Champion Chase with Altior showing what a splendid beast he is and landing the odds for Jason James.

It was all downhill from there though.  No more winners and only a tiny return from the place part of an each way bet in the last.  The thrill of the Coral Cup was still causing tingles to run down the spine.

What a day.  What a race!

Cheltenham figures:

Jason James: Staked 3pts, -0.9pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 3.375pts, +3.4pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 2.5pts, -2.5pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 3pts, +4.25pts.

Racing Service C: Staked  6pts, +16.025pts.

Total ROI: 107.59%.

Cheltenham Day 1 – Let the chaos commence!

And it is chaos!

Seriously, loads of bets going down, many on long priced horses in races that on paper, look unfathomable.  This is a meeting that can test the mental fortitude of us punters, and from experience, the week is much easier to handle if it can only get off to a decent start.

Interesting fact of the day that I heard on Radio 5 Live whilst making a cuppa – over £2.5 million pounds will be withdrawn from the cash points in the main stand between today and Friday.  Two-and-a-half-million!

Bearing in mind what I said about getting off to a decent start, it was so good to end up nicely in profit from the first race, the Supreme Novices Hurdle.  Racing Service C had put up Summerville Boy at 12s a wee while ago, and despite making more than one error over the hurdles, including clouting the second last and hardly flying the last, it still managed to get up to win by a neck!  It was such an exciting climax to the race and in that regard, the first race set the tone for the rest of the day, a number of the races providing thrilling finishes.

So heartened by a winning start, it was on to the Arkle, and this time it was Northern Monkey coming up with the goods.  As the second leg of an 8/1 double (the first leg being some winner I can’t even remember from the all weather), I was hopeful that hot favourite Footpad would come up with the goods.  Bearing in mind that it too, like Summerville Boy in the previous race, made more than one jumping blunder, the fact that it won going away suggests to me it is quite the racehorse!

What a start it had been, but the Champion Hurdle brought the winning streak to a halt with none of the three horses I had my dosh on involved in the finish.

The Mares’ Hurdle brought a modest winner for Northern Monkey who had risked just a small stake on Benie Des Dieux getting the better of many people’s banker of the day, Apples Jade.

The 4.50, a fiendishly difficult looking Novice Chase brought the best result of the day.  I felt sorry for Racing Service A who had a 25/1 antepost bet on Ms Parfois, which went off at 11/2!  The mare ran a tremendously gallant race, looking like she was going to get up about 50 yards from the line, only to be pipped by Rathvinden in a finish that had me on my feet and jumping around the living room like a kangaroo on speed.  Rathvinden had been tipped you see, by Northern Monkey (again!), Racing Service B, and Racing Service C.  The prices I had were 12/1, 7/1 and 6/1 respectively.

And so to the last, and thinking that the winning run really had to come to an end, up popped Mister Whitaker to land the spoils for Jason James and (I kid you not), Northern Monkey!

I don’t recall ever having such a consistently profitable day at the Festival as yesterday.  There’s a nagging feeling that Cheltenham might just be about to bite back.  Tune in tomorrow to find out….

Cheltenham Figures:

Jason James: Staked 6pts, +3pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 3.5pts, +11.22pts.

Racing Service A: Staked 6.5pts, -6.5pts.

Racing Service B: Staked 5.5pts, +10pts.

Racing Service C: Staked 6pts, +9.7pts.

Total ROI: 81.57%.

Patience? Patience is for wimps!

Patience.

The mantra of the successful bettor.  Let’s say it again…”Patience”.

How often do you read of the need for patience?  The patience you need as your best tipster goes through a long losing run.  Or the patience you must show when a 93rd minute equalizer against the team you’ve backed goes in as a result of a shocking penalty decision? Or perhaps how much patience you are told you must bear when the nag you’ve grabbed 20/1 about finds itself three lengths ahead halfway inside the final furlong, is trading at 1.01 in running on the Exchanges, but then runs out of puff and ends up second by a short head?

Yup.  Patience is a big thing.  But you know what?  This week, I’ve run out of the stuff.

Nothing to do with losers or a poor run of form.  Nothing to do with extra time penalties going against me or backing long-priced horses whose stamina stretches for 6.5 furlongs but not the 7 furlongs of the race it’s running in.

Nope.  None of these things.

I shall tell you the source of my IMpatience, shall I?  It’s summed up in one word.  CHELTENHAM.

It’s next week you see, and not this week.  And I can’t wait.  I’m just finding it impossible to muster much enthusiasm for Fontwell or Lingfield – it’s all about next Tuesday for me.  And yes, before you start, I know a 3/1 winner at Fontwell pays the same as a 3/1 winner at Cheltenham…but it’s not quite the same, is it?  It’s just not.

I’m clutching a 16/1 antepost ticket on the strong favourite in the very first race, courtesy of Racing Service A.  I’ve been clutching that ticket for what feels like an absolute age.  What a start to the Festival that might be!

Four more sleeps.  Just four…

Figures for March

Such a quiet start to the month.

AH Edge: Staked 12pts, +1.39pts, ROI 11.62%, ROC 2.32%.

Football Service 1: Staked 1pt, +1.68pts, ROI 168.32%, ROC 3.36%.

Jason James: Staked 4pts, -4pts, ROI -100%, ROC -2%.

MVS (Lite): Staked 4pts, -1pt, ROI -25%, ROC -1.11%.

MVS (Multiples): Staked 13pts, -2pts, ROI -15.38%, ROC -0.5%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 1.75pts, +1.43pts, ROI 82.14%, ROC 1.79%.

Pilelist Racing: n/a

Racing Service A: n/a

Racing Service B: Staked 6.25pts, +4.75pts, ROI 76%, ROC 2.37%.

Racing Service C: n/a

Total: ROI 9.95%, ROC 0.36%.

The time to act…is NOW!

One message I am constantly trying to get through to my kids as they grow older, is that instead of moaning and grumbling about  situation they don’t like, they should get up off their backsides and do something about it.  I’ve little time for folk who moan and whinge but who are too lethargic and/or lazy to at least attempt change.  I guess it’s a life lesson, and one I hope they learn.

What’s this got to do with us and our betting?  Well, let me ask you this…for how long have we all been complaining about unfair bookmaking practices?  For how long have we complained, mainly amongst ourselves, of being restricted to pennies on a bet we want to place, of opening an account only to have it closed again just days later, and of bookmakers accepting our deposits without question but making it more difficult to withdraw our funds than it is to nick the Crown Jewels?

So when we hear that the UK Gambling Commission wants to hear from and consult with punters as part of their analysis of their member’s (ie. the bookmakers) ‘Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice)’ then we really do need to respond.  We need to let the UKGC know of our frustrations about our lack of ability to place a bet.  If we truly want to see the introduction of a new condition for holding a bookmaking license here in the UK that the bookmaker must stand a bet to a certain liability, as is the case in some parts of Australia, then NOW is the time to let the UKGC know!

All points must be made to the Gambling Commission in a respectful, considerate and logical way.  We need to calmly explain our issues and concerns.  A rant will not do.  Think of a defence lawyer building a case in court on behalf of his or her client – a jury will be more impressed and influenced by a rational closing speech that highlights in a logical way, the evidence that demands his client must be judged as not guilty.

The review and consultation being initiated by the UKGC is not limited solely to unfair account closures and restrictions.  They’re also looking at dispute resolution procedures.

To register your opinions and comments, simply email to: consultation@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

This is a real opportunity to make a difference and to do something about out punting plight – so let’s not be mute.  Who knows when we might have another chance to have our voices heard?

Betting from Monday 19th February – Sunday 25th February

A slow week, but you know what?  I’ll take that after the previous two weeks which as you read last week, were nothing short of extremely hard work!

The figures show a marginal ROI and ROC, but at least there were no massive ups and downs.  Hopefully this will be the start of a good run.

It was a good week for… the Morning Value (Lite) service who reversed what had been a terrible first half to the month to actually put itself into profit!  Wednesday and Thursday saw four winners from four bets and by dint of a couple of the selections drifting in price the returns were strong. Of course this meant that the MVS Multiples benefited and from going what seemed like weeks without a successful double, we had two in two days!

Figures for February to date:

AH Edge: Staked 54pts, +5.856pts, ROI 10.84%, ROC 9.76%.

Racing Service C: Staked 25pts, -10.9pts, ROI -43.6%, ROC -10.9%.

Football Service 1: Staked 26pts, -2.792pts, ROI -10.73%, ROC -5.58%.

Jason James: Staked 97pts, -32.162pts, ROI -33.15%, ROC -16.08%.

MVS: Staked 45pts, +1.5pts, ROI 3.33%, ROC 1.66%.

MVS (Multiples): Staked 94pts, -15.5pts, ROI -16.48%, ROC -3.87%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 50.625pts, -29.412pts, ROI -58.09%, ROC -36.76%.

Pilelist Racing: Staked 26.833pts, -12.975pts, ROI 48.35%, ROC -17.3%.

Racing Service A: Staked 25pts, +44pts, ROI 176%, ROC 73.33%.

Racing Service B: Staked 53.5pts, +10.994pts, ROI 20.54%, ROC 5.49%.

Week’s Total: ROI 1.26%, ROC 0.11%.

Month’s Total: ROI 0.08%, ROC 0.03%.

It’s a funny old game.

Bloomin’ ‘eck!  What a month this has been so far!

You know all that stuff about diversification and how spreading risk across a number of different services ought to help smooth the ride a bit?  Well, I guess if we take this month to date as an example, that theory has proven to be entirely accurate.  My bottom line figures up to and including last Sunday (18th) is that my ROI is -0.22% and my overall bank growth -0.08%. In other words, almost dead even.

To all appearances then, things look boring.  Not losing, not winning.  Just toddling along waiting for the next profit jump.  Scratch at the surface a little though, and you can see that these last couple of weeks or so have been anything but!

Before I go into detail, let me explain that generally speaking, if a tipster can generate a double figure bank growth percentage in a month, it’s been a pretty darn good one.  So 10%+ ROC is a strong month.  Of course, -10% or more loss is a bad one.  You follow?  Generally, most fall somewhere between the two extremes.  Now, remember this when I tell you…

…Of the ten services in the portfolio, only one is currently tracking somewhere between 10% and -10% ROC for February to date.  Six tipsters are sadly -10% or worse, three at 10% or better.  One of them is tracking at 77.5% ROC!!!

I’ve had one of my worst ever losing days this month, and one of my best ever day’s return from one service.  I’m telling you, it’s been manic, and quite frankly, I wish to goodness it would all calm down a bit!

It’s been a horrible few weeks for Northern Monkey, Jason James, and the Morning Value (Lite) Service (and by default the multiples).  It’s been an amazing few weeks for Racing Service A, who managed to tip a 40/1 winner over in Ireland and has followed up with a number of other good priced winners!

At times like these it can become difficult to stick to the basics.  There have been an awful lot more losing days than winning ones, and it can become very easy for everything to become a bit of a drag.  It can also be emotionally exhausting when you sit and suffer for a week and then get a mahoosive rush from a 40/1 winner.  So much for staying calm, focused and professional – when that 40/1 shot got home I was shouting, screaming and jumping up and down like a mad thing.  And what’s the overall outcome?  An ROI of -0.22%.  Funny old game, this.

(Figures for February up to and including Sunday 18th)

AH Edge: Staked 45pts, +7.627pts, ROI 16.95%, ROC 12.71%.

Racing Service B: Staked 22pts, -10.5pts, ROI -47.72%, ROC -10.5%.

Football Service 1: Staked 20pts, -1.867pts, ROI -9.33%, ROC -3.73%.

Jason James: Staked 74.5pts, -29.662pts, ROI -39.81%, ROC -14.83%.

Morning Value Service (Lite): Staked 35pts, -14pts, ROI -40%, ROC -15.55%.

Morning Value Service (Multiples): Staked 79pts, -58pts, ROI -73.41%, ROC -14.5%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 37.25pts, -23.537pts, ROI -63.18%, ROC -29.42%.

Pilelist Racing: Staked 16.333pts, -10.083pts, ROI -61.73%, ROC -13.44%.

Racing Service A: Staked 22.5pts, +46.5pts, ROI 206.66%, ROC 77.5%.

Racing Service B: Staked 42pts, +22.494pts, ROI 53.55%, ROC 11.24%.

Total: ROI -0.22%, ROC -0.08%.