Trading software

Saturday, March 31, 2012

UK flat season begins

Don't have much time for a write up as I'm heading out to do some work.

Looking forward to the UK flat season starting today - I've a couple of fancies which I've put in my Indo column:

Busy enough day on the inplay trades. I tried out the spreadsheet yesterday and after a few mistakes (on my part), I eventually got it working fine :-)

So today, I'm going to set it up to place my trades automatically - this is a big test as I won't be at the computer. Obviously, I'll be using minimal stakes.

Today's inplay trades:

Friday, March 30, 2012


A loss of a point or so yesterday but nothing to worry about. Today, I'm going to test out the automated trading spreadsheet with Gruss - I'm at the computer today so I can keep an eye on it.

Today's inplay trades:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Automated Betfair trading?

A big thanks to the lads at Gruss software who have worked with me on my inplay lays to come up with a spreadsheet that links into Betting Assistant. It triggers it to automatically back my chosen horses at SP and lay at double the stake if they hit 50% of their price in running.

I'm going to try out the spreadsheet tomorrow as I'm at the computer all day so I can monitor it. If it works, this could be a big timesaver and it means I can just set the computer in the morning and go off and not worry about it. I'll see how it goes and report back over the weekend.

Getting the selections.... Now wouldn't it be wonderful if I could automate that!  Most of them are now coming from my own race watching which takes up considerable time in the evening. Although, there are worse things I can think of than sitting in watching racing replays.

Anyhow, here's today's inplay lays:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So far, so good

The good streak continues on the inplay lays yesterday with four wins and one loss
That brings the bank to €241.50 so the next medium term target is €300.
Excluding the levels (where I don't win or lose),  I've had 61% winning trades and 39% losers. This is great because I win or lose a tenner a go (even money). So I've  been getting evens about something that should be priced around 67/100.
Hope it continues but bad streaks will come of course. Here's today's:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's inplay trades

A couple of non runners yesterday but overall a profitable day. The bank is now at €213.50 which is great but I'm not getting complacent and I'm continuing to put a lot of time into this.

Today's inplay trades:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday, Monday

Got up early this morning to trade the S&P 500 but it was harder than normal to drag myself out of bed. That lost hour from when the clocks changed has just kicked in!

It turns out that there's been nothing happening in Aisan trade overnight and the market is dead in the water. A very quiet market makes for difficult trading. I could have had a lie in until 8am but I wasn't to know it would be quiet so ye have to just get up.

Anyhow, I've a few inplay trades for today so that will give me something to think about later.

It's another nice day out there so if you are lucky enough to be out and about, enjoy it.

Today's inplay trades:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

First day of the flat, trading in-running

The Irish flat season kicks off at the Curragh today and we've a lovely sunny day to go with it :-)

I prefer punting on the flat as I find the formbook stands up better but it does take a few weeks before the form settles down. As usual, I'll take a watching brief on some of O'Brien's horses which often take a while to get going - he has a few out after racing which should be interesting and it's on ATR. As most people know, Tommy Stack has been doing good early in the season the past few years so his are worth a look.

Gutting to get down to the Curragh again, might plan a few classic trips this year.

The inplay trades briefly broke the €200 profit barrier yesterday but finished the day around a point in front. Again, I'm extremely pleased with this although I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. It started off shaky - I don't know if this was down to pure bad luck or if I'm simply getting better at picking the horses due to experience but we are on an upward curve at the moment so I'll enjoy that while it lasts:

I've not delved too deeply into the stats yet but at a quick glance, the All-Weather selections seem to be going quite well compared to the National Hunt. If that carried through to the flat turf season this summer, I'll be a happy bunny.  Here's today's inplay trades:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Busy enough day

Another profitable day on the inplay lays yesterday brings the bank up another little bit. I'm at €177 to a €10 stake so it would be great if I could get to €200.  I'm not too concerned though, daily targets are not really a good idea and you have to let the stats do their thing.

Have a few bets today for the Indo so fingers crossed:

I was going to spend the day writing (I'm working on a book) but it's so so nice out and my daughter is at a party so I've a couple of hours free. I may just go and sample a large bottle of cider in the local beer garden instead and do my work tomorrow.

I don't want to say too much but I've had a couple of people express interest in the book (about trading) and I want to keep plugging away at it over the next few weeks. I think I'll spend all day tomorrow on it.

Today's inplay trades:

350bang french ties NH
305gowran Slew Charm NH
335gowran Laganbank NH
330Kelso Captain Pauline NH
330Kelso Freddie Brown NH
205Newb Pepite Rose NH
415newb Mister Stickler NH
415newb Marodima NH
455strat Royal Mile NH

It's starting to feel like summer ! May as well enjoy it while it lasts as it will probably piss rain next week:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Form study, trading books, inplay trades


Well, I've hit 200 bets on the form study thingy I've been doing and it can be pretty much summed up in two lines:

First 100 bets = bloody amazing
Second 100 bets = bloody woeful

Perhaps I went through a really good spell and then a really bad one - but normally the good and bad bets are peppered more randomly throughout. The only thing to do is continue on for another 100 bets before I analyse the data as it seems a bit skewed. Where does that leave me?  In a much worse position than I was before Christmas. Here's where I'm at now:

Bets: 200
Wins: 94
Strike Rate: 47%
ROI: 3.32%
Average BSP: 2.95
Longest sequence of wins: 7
Longest sequence of losers: 6
Profit to €10 stake at Betfair SP (assuming commission is 5%): €66.70

As I say, it's a big letdown to see the profit dwindle down to six or seven points (having been five times that at one stage) but I'll keep plugging away. As luck would have it, I started proofing these just as the downside hit. Typical!  Anyway, we'll see what is around the corner, especially with the flat season starting in a couple of months. 


Just finished Trading in the Zone
 by Mark Douglas . I found it excellent. Those looking for strategies or systems will be disappointed as it's based purely on the mental side of trading. It does an excellent job at explaining why we fear trades, why we hold our losses, why we try to avoid pain (often by chasing/doubling up etc) and why we need to believe that any outcome is possible with a particular trade. While these things might seem obvious, it has cleared up a lot in my own brain and I've applied some of the principles to another area in my life where I was having some worries. I won't go into that here but all in all, an excellent book if you are willing to accept some of his unusual concepts.
I'm about to start reading Stop Orders: A practical guide to using stop orders for traders and investors
by Tony Loton.  I'm not quite sure how I stumbled across this one, and a book about stop losses seems a little bizarre - but it's got eleven 5 star reviews on amazon so it's got to be worth a look. I know some of those reviews can be dodgy but I'm a bit intrigued by this one so I'll have a read over the next few weeks. 


An odd day yesterday with some non-runners and I ended up with a couple of points loss. It's still well up after 116 bets which is excellent although I don't want to count my chickens as we've seen what happened to the form study.  I've been in touch with Mark from Gruss (Betting Assistant) to see if I can automate it with a spreadsheet. At the moment, you can only automate it to green up the book but I want to lay with double the back stake instead. It might be possible to automate it with the help of excel and if so it would be excellent as I can't always be around the PC each day. 

I've a few for today - best of luck with your trading/betting today:

External sites:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday's trades

2 winning and two losing trades on Tuesday saw a blank day, bar commission.

Have a couple for Wednesday:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No longer a biker (sadface)

Quite sad this morning - I've finally sold the motorbike, sniff.

She was a beaut in her day, and the pictures shows her on the day I bought her. To be fair, I clocked up a lot of miles on it and it was a good servant to me but it got some knocks and has been sitting in the garden for over a year. Plus, I'm now driving the car.

So I have to re-adjust, and realise that I'm no longer a super cool racing twenty something bike driver, rather, I'm just a boring old 31 year old car driver. 

Maybe when I make my million I can live my dream again and buy a Yamaha R1 :-}

Another good day on the inplay lays yesterday with three successful bets and one level, taking the bank to another all time high. I haven't been going mad on these money wise but I may kick it up a gear soon if it continues to go well and see how the lightly traded markets handle the larger stakes.

Three for today, listed below.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beautiful Ireland (and today's trades!)

Yesterdays inplay trades drew a blank day (well, a loss of 50c!) so we are pretty much where we left off.

Here's today's trades.

Had Swanfold at Limerick yesterday which was a little boost for the form study thing but that continues to bounce up and down and go nowhere at the moment.

Have to say I enjoyed the weekend and took time to relax. I visited my old man's grave, then took off in the car with the missus and daughter for a drive around the Borough. Ended up in Sorrento Park in Dalkey for a picnic - the views over Killiney Bay and Dalkey Island are just spectacular and I feel lucky to have it all on my doorstep.

I think its very important to take time off away from racing like this. Cheltenham week was hectic and I didn't see the family much. A nice stroll around with the iPhone turned off can work wonders to recharge the batteries. The gorse bushes were in bloom and smell lovely and the bees are starting to come out too. Beautiful. A quick stop off in the druids char for one (I had a non alcoholic drink as I had the damn car!) and home to watch dragon's den. A good day! As I say, it' s important to do this now and then as I'll be back working/trading shares/trading sports/punting from tomorrow and it will be all go again.

Won't get to see today's racing as I'm bringing my mam and wife out for dinner.

A lovely picture of Dalkey Island from Sorrento by Owen Fitzpatrick:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A few for today

A good day yesterday on the inplay trades taking the bank to an all-time hight of €144 to a tenner stake.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In-running trading strategy

Back to the bread and butter stuff today after the highs and lows of Cheltenham. It’s a busy day for my in-running lays strategy with eleven selections (see below).

Those trades have been going fairly well and the profit is over 9.5pts after 91 trades. Again, the idea is simple enough: I try to identify horses that will trade low in-running due to their racing style but then find little and lose. I back them at their BSP, then lay them with double the back stake if they hit 50% of their BSP in-running.
So basically, when a horse trades at 50% below its SP and then loses the races, that’s a successful trade. When a horse doesn’t trade at 50% of its SP, that’s a losing trade. And when a horse goes on to win the race, I list that as ‘level’ as I don’t win or lose money in that case. 

Here’s the stats so far:

(All trades are recorded to a €10 stake, laying back at €20 and assume commission is 5%)

No. trades: 91
Successful trades: 45  (49.5%)
Unsuccessful trades: 33 (36.3%)
Level trades: 13 (14.3%)
Longest sequence of successful trades: 5
Longest sequence of unsuccessful trades: 5
Average BFSP: 31.70
Return on investment: 10.71%
Average drop in price: 58.86%
Profit to a €10 stake (laying back with €20): €97.50

Today’s inplay trades:

Friday, March 16, 2012

That's it for another year

While it was a profitable festival overall for me, I had some frustrating moments - not least in the last race today - I tipped King Edmund each way at 66/1 but he finished one spot outside of the placings.

The 25/1 shot coming second today was also frustrating but at least I got paid on the place money. The highlight was the 14/1 winner yesterday. Quite tired after all of that so I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

14/1 winner Cape Tribulation yesterday:

Cheltenham 2012, day four

A great day yesterday including a 14/1 winner. I got it at 20/1 on the machine so I'm pretty pleased with that. Big Buck's was, as the yanks would say, awesome.

Trickier day today so I won't be going mad - finally decided to go with Long Run in the Gold Cup although you'd want a heart of stone to begrudge a win for Kauto.

Race by race guide below and today's in-running trades are at the bottom.

The Tom George trained Baby Mix makes appeal. He’s a temperamental sort so let’s hope he’s in a good mood but he impressed when winning his trial race at Kempton last time and can get punters off to a good start at 6/1.
The last five winners have gone off in double figure prices so it’s not a race for heavy punting.  Edgardo Sol gets a token each-way vote at a big price following some good displays in handicaps of late.
Willie Mullins’ Boston Bob should be a solid enough bet at 7/4. He’s a great jumper; he stays well and is one we’ll be hearing a lot more about in the future.
One of the most anticipated Gold Cup renewals in years. It would be a great racing story if Kauto Star takes the Blue Riband event once again but Long Run will be tuned to the minute and may just have the edge over his older rival.
A wide-open race that often goes to a big-priced outsider. Dermot Weld’s Merchant Royal is a tentative selection at 14/1. He was a good pointer and will have no problem staying the distance.
David Pipe would love to win the race named after his father I like the look of Street Entertainer at 8/1. He’s been below form of late but the softening ground will suit and connections are expecting improvement today.
A big field handicap is not the best race to get out of jail if you’ve been unfortunate enough to have done your dough all week! Rank Outsider King Edmund will carry a small few quid for me each-way. He’s improving over fences and may sneak a place in a wide-open contest.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cheltenham 2012, day three

Not a bad day yesterday at Cheltenham with Simonsig at 2/1 and Finian's Rainbow at 4/1.
It seemed that every single person down the local had backed Sizing Europe so I was a solitary voice when it came to praising Finians.

Some seem to think that Sizing Europe would have won had there not been all that mess about the final fence but of that we'll never know. That's the way it goes sometimes and while I was happy to collect, it did take some of the gloss off. They really made a mess of it and for the jockey to get a ban is an absolute farce. 

Anyway, we are halfway there - Still in two minds about lumping on Big Buck's. This time last year, I had had lost a fortune and he became all or nothing! Thankfully, I'm not in that situation now so maybe it's a race to just watch and enjoy.  Here's today's race by race summary and today's trades are down below. Quite a few of them today.

This is one of the new races (inaugurated last year) so we don’t have a lot to go on when trying to find a horse with a winning profile. Peddlers Cross was unbeaten until he was second to Hurricane Fly in the 2011 Champion Hurdle and he’s shaping up as a smart chaser. He finds plenty and travels up the hill with gusto.
Buena Vista is going for a three timer but he’s getting on in years and is best avoided. At 20/1 and higher, Cape Tribulation can be taken each-way. He’s a better hurdler than chaser and is running off a mark which gives him a good chance of placing.
Despite racing at the course seven times, Medermit is yet to win at Cheltenham which is concerning; but Alan King has had this race in mind for the eight-year-old since the beginning of the season and he can finally come good today.
One of the greatest staying hurdlers of all time, Big Buck’s can’t be opposed as he bids for his sixteenth win in-a-row. Oscar Whisky to follow him home.
A nightmare race for punters, the past eleven winners have gone off in double figure prices. Niceonefrankie could be worth a small each-way punt following a spell of good form. He creeps into the weights nicely and should go off around 14/1.
The Pipe team have a good record here and I like the look of Swing Bill, which is generally available around 20/1. He’s a consistent sort and knows his way around Cheltenham, staying on well to win a class three handicap chase here in November. Take him each-way.

Today's horses for trading in-running:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cheltenham 2012, day two

Didn't make money at the first day of the festival although it wasn't a day for heavy punting so there wasn't too much damage done. I had a ton on Al Ferof but it was curtains for him when he jumped one of the fences too early and clocked it. It was then a case of cheering on Sprinter as I availed of the Paddy Power deal of getting your money back if that horse won. Thankfully for me, it did. Anyhow, looking forward to today's racing - I've a full article in the Irish Independent but here's my quick summary.

PS, today's trades are down below

A tough race to kick off the day. Good recent form is a plus for any horse, with seven of the last ten winners coming first or second last time out - but there are no stand out value bets here.
Simonsig ticks all the boxes at 9/4. A good point-to-pointer in Ireland, he’s proved very smart under rules. Henderson skipped yesterday’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in favour of this race and his rising star will take all the beating today.
Connections of Grands Crus made a difficult choice in swerving the Gold Cup for this race but the seven-year-old has a great future ahead and they are in no rush. Their choice of race can pay off and he’s the one to beat here, priced around 6/4.
A fascinating contest which includes 2010 winner Big Zeb and last year’s winner Sizing Europe. The latter horse will attract plenty of support but Finian’s Rainbow is on an upward curve and at 4/1 each-way, you can get your money back if he’s placed.
A tricky puzzle in which Balgarry is worth a punt at 8/1. The French import was very fluent when winning at Newbury a fortnight ago and just about slips in at the bottom of the weights under a penalty.
The 7/1 on offer about Kazlian is worth taking. David Pipe’s Sinndar gelding had a good flat season in France last season before impressing over timber since arriving in Britain late last year. One for the notebook.  
The Irish are losing their grip on this race and once again there are no real eye-catchers. Both Moscow Mannon and Royal Guardsman (both 7/1) have bright futures ahead and I’ll have both horses running for me as the curtain comes down on day two.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cheltenham 2012, day one

It's hard to believe a year has passed but we are back at day one of Cheltenham. I love this morning - everyone still full of hope and excitement. By close of business on Friday, most of will be broken men and today's euphoria will seem very naive indeed!

I've an article in the Irish Independent each day which is great - it's a big week of the year for those of us who write about racing and I'm happy to be working flat out. I won't copy and past the whole lot but below is my quick race-by-race guide. My main bet of the day is on Al Ferof in the Arkle as Paddy Power are giving your money back if Sprinter wins.

PS, today's trades are at the bottom of the page.

Darlan has claims but this year’s renewal is competitive and 4/1 is short. Expect a big run from Steps To Freedom but with at least half a dozen horses in with a serious chance, the Festival curtain raiser is a race best watched.
Sprinter Sacre could be the real deal but I’m not willing to take 5/6 to find out. He’s very stylish and won the Game Spirit Chase with buckets in hand but he faces a stiffer task here and still has a bit to prove. Al Ferof will be finely tuned for today and could be the one to cause an upset.
A wide-open handicap in which the main players in the betting seem a little exposed. Don’t be afraid to take an each-way chance on an outsider and 40/1, Mount Oscar is as good as any of those at the longer end of the market. He’s getting on in years and isn’t always fluent but he’s not overly burdened in the weights and may just scrape a place.
Each year, we always get an Irish banker at the Festival and Hurricane Fly is already being compared favourably with the great Istabraq.  His win at Leopardstown in the Irish Champion Hurdle was breath-taking and even though he’s short at 4/5, I can’t find a single reason to oppose. If you’re looking to find a fly in the ointment, 2010 winner Binocular should be top of the list.
It’s interesting to see Maljimar up there in the betting again this year as there’s never been a British trained winner from 56 horses since this race began in 2005. Scotsirish and Uncle Junior are bound to be popular but an each-way chance is taken on 25/1 outsider, Dancing Tornado, which ran well in the Kerry National and could be suited to longer distances these days.
I’d love to find a reason to take on the Willie Mullins trained Quevega at odds of 1/2 but the lightly raced mare runs well fresh, has loads of class and has tonnes in hand on all known form.
Not a race for heavy punting.  At 12/1, Venetia Williams’ Carrickboy gets the token vote under a penalty following an impressive win in a class 3 handicap at Hereford last week. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Something else to think about

Should I be greening these up when they hit 50pc of their price, or should I lay double the back stake.

If I green up, I profit regardless of whether the horse wins or not, albeit not as much as I backed with.

If I lay at double the back stake, I get nothing back if the horse goes on to win, but I get the full profit if another horse wins.

I'll check my data but as I'm backing horses that I expect to find little in the end, I think the latter option may be best.

Sunday's trades

A good day yesterday on those trades with five successful trades from six.Again, I don’t want to get too over excited about this but it’s going quite well. This is a bit of a boost for the confidence as the form study is still struggling a little.

I think it might be useful for me to post the trading selections up here until the end of March to keep me disciplined (sometimes I’m not arsed searching for bets). It always helps to get your arse in gear if you think someone might be keeping tabs on you. So I’ll post them each day until the end of the month and see where we are at then.

EDIT:   need to readjust some sums - had a small calculation wrong in my spreadsheet.

So at the moment, I’m happy enough to keep laying off at 50% of the BSP but we’ll see how it goes as the data builds.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about this and some things arose in my head….

It’s all very well using a tenner as a trial but if it continues to be successful, it could prove tricky to ratchet this up. I may need to start recording how much money was matched in-running at what prices. For example, let’s say a trade is successful and the price drops by 50%..... This is fine when I’m trying to get a tenner matched and generally, there will be no problems. But if you are looking to get bigger sums, (say €100 or maybe €500) matched, it could prove troublesome. Some of the lightly traded races are only getting tens and twenty matched here and there, so it’s not reasonable to assume that it would be as successful with larger stakes. As I say, it’s easy to get a tenner matched, but it’s a different story when you get into the hundreds.

I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it but when I’m using larger stakes, it could be a case of scaling out of my trades at various prices rather than dumping a big order in the market. Of course, big traded events like Cheltenham are fine and there should be no problems getting matched there for reasonably good sums. Perhaps in time, this will be a strategy to be used only on liquid events?

You have to keep plugging away and working on ideas. I heard a good quote at Mass today: "Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there."

Today's trades: