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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday's Irish Independent article

IT'S good to see the weather pick up for this weekend's racing. Normally, we have to wait until October for the strong winds and rain to come but on Thursday, I popped out for a pint of milk and got blown into the pub. With winter on the way, we need to take into account the changes in the weather when studying the form - but how well a horse will run when facing into a strong wind is a variable that's almost impossible to assess. One thing we can gauge however, is how well a horse might run on soft or heavy ground so as the season begins, it's worth pondering the going and how it will affect our betting. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the ground is the most important variable to consider when backing horses in wintry conditions. We all love to see our old favourite jump horses make their re-appearance each season but an affinity to animals that have won for us before often leads to sentimental betting. On a larger scale, it can lead to false favourites in the market. Put simply, if the ground is soft or heavy, make sure the horse you back has some sort of form on that going regardless of how many good turns he's done you in the past - otherwise you could be throwing your money away. This week, I was doing some research on the going and it turns out that fancied horses that have been placed on soft or heavy ground in the past have a significantly better chance of winning when tackling that ground again. That shouldn't be much of a revelation but it's a little surprising how many horses that are unproven in poor conditions still go off as favourite. I had a look at how well seasoned jumpers (at least ten runs) performed when going off as favourite on soft/heavy ground over the past decade and found that those that had never been placed on such ground before only had only a 31pc strike rate. But favourites that had been placed at least twice on the ground saw their strike rate jump to 35pc. Even better, those that had been placed four times or more on that particular ground had a strike rate of over 40pc and actually showed a small profit to back over the past few years. The data is raw and other factors naturally come into play - but the figures should be kept in mind over the next few weeks as the weather deteriorates. On the flat, we've some group one action this afternoon including the Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket (2.25) and at 8/1, CEILING KITTY ticks all the right boxes. She certainly has talent with three wins from six starts; although the big question is whether she will stay the extra furlong today having raced exclusively at five furlongs in the past. Following a hat-trick of wins including the group two Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot, she could only manage fourth place in the Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster last time - and while that looks disappointing on paper, it wasn't the worst that could have happened considering she was racing under a penalty against some fairly tough colts. Her sire, Red Clubs, has produced plenty of six furlong winners so I don't think she'll encounter any problems on that front and the fact that she was originally entered for the Nunthorpe (but didn't make the cut) shows that connections believe they have a serious performer on their hands. 
THE price will be in the region of 40/1, but don't rule out SPA'S DANCER in the Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket (3.40). Often a strong traveller, the gelding took a reasonably competitive handicap at Sandown back in June and has been placed in some decent races since. He's off a fair mark today and may just spring a surprise.
Horseracing: He's very short around 1/2, but I'd be amazed to see Jeremy Noseda's LIVERY beaten in the HE Simm & Son Maiden Stakes at Chester (4.05). He showed loads of potential when third on his debut at Sandown and on that piece of form, he could have a good deal in hand over his nearest rival Humungosaur.
Hurling: JOE CANNING was outstanding in the all-Ireland final three weeks ago and despite the fact that Kilkenny are strong favourites for the replay, the All-Star is sure to give them plenty to worry about once again this afternoon. Back the Portumna native to score a goal at any stage of the match at 5/4 (William Hill).
1.55 Newmarket: Steeler
2.25 Newmarket:
Ceiling Kitty
3.00 Newmarket: Beauty Parlour
3.40 Newmarket: Spa's Dancer (e/w)
4.05 Chester: Livery

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kitchen renovations

Getting some work done on my kitchen today so I won't be about. No bets/trades.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Not a great day yesterday on the horses - the trading went OK though.

Just having one bet today as Tony Martin's Tepalo heads to Perth (2.10) - here's Timeform's comment:

Bumper winner in France, and gained reward for consistency when off the mark at fourth attempt over timber when upped to this trip at Sligo latest. Sets the standard, and hard to beat.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday's bets, silver trading

Horrible, horrible weather out there - be careful with your bets, the ground is pretty dodgy in a lot of places.

I've a couple of form study bets today - here's Timeform's comments. The latter will be short but the first should be odds-against:

3.25 DownP - Faustina Pius
Has gradually made up in to a fair sort, upping her game when runner-up in a 2m novice at Galway in July. Race not run to suit when below best last time and worth another chance.

1.30 Good - Pythagorean
Placed both starts in 7f Newbury maidens in recent months, still appearing to need experience when going down by only a head to Related last time. The one to beat in a first-time hood.


On the financial markets, I've a few open positions all of which are short (sell), so I was pleased to see a bit of a drop in most markets overnight, partly due to Spain looking dodgy again. As you can see, the only trade that is not in profit is Silver:

Silver has proven to be very difficult to trade - I made a fair bit off gold over the years but silver has an absolute mind of its own and can be quite volatile. OK, so I'm not in the red by much on it but from memory, I don't think I've made a penny from it yet. Might scratch it from the list of products to trade soon. But at the moment, I'm OK with my other trades and could cash out for about 93 quid if I wanted.

Best of luck with your trading and betting today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quiet day

Today's cards are pretty poor to be honest and with the rain, it doesn't look like a good day for punting.

Going to stay away.

In the financial markets, I've about 8 open trades at the moment, all of which are small stakes. At the moment, they are in profit of around €47:

Other than that, there's nothing much happening! Lets hope the weather picks up a bit before the weekend as we don't want to see meetings getting cancelled.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Not feeling the best today :-(

I'm a bit under the weather so I'm taking it easy at home so I haven't been through the cards. No bets.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's bets

Two bets on the form study today - both are decent odds-against prices so hopefully they can pay for a few pints for the weekend. Here's Timeform's comments:

1.50 Ayr - Anna's Pearl
80,000 gns yearling, half-brother to several winners. Made an encouraging start when runner-up under hands-and-heels ride at Newmarket on debut last month, and should do better. Leading claims.

8.30 Wolverhampton - Afraah
Stepped up on debut effort when splitting pair of subsequent winners in 1m Sandown maiden in July. Not in same form over 1¼m at Goodwood since, but still sets standard here and hood tried now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday's bets, trading Brent Crude Oil

Yesterday's form study selection won handy enough but went off no-where near some forecast prices of 5/4. A winner is a winner but at 1.3, I wasn't opening any bubbly.

I've one handicap pick today which is  EDIT - JUST REALISED IT'S A NON-RUNNER.


Elsewhere, I woke up this morning to this beautiful screen:

Brent Crude Oil had took a bit of a hammering overnight so the short sell I done the other day is now in profit of around €106. My AUD/USD trade is showing a profit of €12 or so too so happy days all round.

By the way, that other open trade on the FTSE is based on a moving average strategy I read in Big Money, Little Effort.

It's a long term moving average strategy so I'm not too worried that it's in the red for the moment.

There's also a nice little downside gap on the S&P 500, so I've bought that too. Quite a few bills in this week so hopefully I can earn a bit of crust off those trades.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MANU Share price, Thursday's bets

Interesting story on MANU  (Manchester United) shares in the Telegraph yesterday and it seems that there are still a good deal of short sellers:

I discussed MANU some time back and considered selling but didn't actually do it. They floated at around $14 and are now down to $12 per share - so perhaps $10 might be a good medium term target for the sellers. I'm not involved but it's one I'll watch with some interest.


On the horses, I've just the one form study bet today although it's likely to be odds on. Here's Timeform's comment:

3.25 Sandown - Montiridge
Ramonti half-brother to a winner in USA and out of a mare who was runner-up in German 1000 Guineas. Looked potentially smart when winning hot Newbury maiden in July and looks a big player here.


I got stopped out on my gold and silver trades yesterday for a loss of forty quid and twenty quid respectively. Ouch!  I hate losing on gold - especially when I short sell it. Gold is the first product I ever traded so I have a silly liking for it and always feel bad about shorting it, especially when I lose. But on a positive note, I got a beautiful downside gap trade on the S&P500 around 11.30am so I bought the hell out of that and made some money back when it closed. As I type, there's another downside gap open but it's only a couple of points so it's not really worth risking.

Manchester United's Robin Van Persie:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday's bets, Camelot

Apologies to regular readers for the lack of posts recently, I've been very busy with some things over the past fortnight and haven't got much chance to go online.

I've no form study bets this morning, however I do have a handicap bet which looks a couple of pounds ahead of the assessor. I'm going to go each-way as the price is in double figures in the early forecast tissues. Here's Timeform's comment:

4.35 Listowel - Blue Cannon
Successful in 2m Down Royal maiden last year but limitations exposed after. However, fit from Flat win at Down Royal (2¼m) on Friday and looks the first choice on jockey bookings.


On the financial front, I went on a bit of a mad selling spree this morning. I sold the AUD/USD, Brent Crude Oil, Gold, Silver, and the FTSE.

Last week saw a big rise across most markets and I reckon the above look a fair bit overbought and are in line for a correction.  BUT... I'm aware that selling a basket of products like that is a high-risk strategy. If the general mood is risk on again this week, I'll be in trouble so I have stop losses on them all. If we see some profit taking and then the market goes risk-off, it's ka-ching time for me. It would be nice to earn a couple of bob on the financials this week as I had a rough weekend on the horses.

Getting back to the racing, what did everyone make of Camelot on Saturday?

At first, I blamed O'Brien for the ride he gave but on reflection, perhaps the horse just wasn't good enough on the day and couldn't quicken. Perhaps a pacemaker would have made the difference but all credit to the winner - I must admit that the winner wasn't even on my radar. It's a big disappointment for all involved and you've got to feel sorry for them having taken a chance on the St Leger, which is an unpopular route. That's racing for you though, and once again it is proof that there are no certainties in this game. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday's bets

Today's Irish Independent article:

CAMELOT'S odds of 2/5 for today's St Leger at Doncaster (3.40) suggest his chances of winning the Classic and thereby completing the Triple Crown are just over 70%, and most readers will be aware that the last horse to do that treble was the great Nijinsky, 42 years ago. The world was a far different place back then;  Dana was singing All Kinds of Everything, Pelé helped Brazil win the World Cup and Jack Lynch was busy sacking his finance minster Charlie Haughey. Times have changed inside and outside of racing, and it's impossible to compare today's thoroughbreds to those that raced four decades ago - although the fact that Camelot also comes from Ballydoyle means a certain amount of juxtaposition is inevitable. I won't insult our older readers by harping on about Nijinsky as I wasn't even born back then - but through the wonders of technology, footage of the great horse is easily accessible and I've watched his wins many times. Unfortunately, the St Leger's reputation took a bit of a hammering when Nijinsky subsequently lost the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe three weeks later. The consensus at the time was that the Leger took too much out of Nijinsky and with the value of a horse now very much linked to speed, races over the longer-distances became unfashionable in the decades to come. In that context, it's good for the sport to see O'Brien take a risk today and if the colt is successful, Ballydoyle may have to get another statue made to match his 1970 counterpart at the gates of the stable. As regards the betting, Camelot's odds are probably about right so the opposition are going to be fighting it out for the scraps from the table. But with the favourite's price that short, it's makes for some good each-way opportunities on the others and at 8/1, MAIN SEQUENCE, trained by David Lanigan, makes plenty of appeal.  Camelot beat him into second the Derby which was no surprise but he did manage to finish ahead of Thought Worthy, which is third in the betting today around 10/1. Both Main Sequence and Thought Worthy faced each other again in York's Great Voltigeur Stakes and this time the latter came out on top winning by no more than a neck. But I'm willing to overlook that reversal in form as Main Sequence mistakenly allowed the winner to have the run of the race and left it too late to make a challenge. Thought Worthy, a brother to 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno, will stay the mile and three-quarters but the pace will be different to what he's experienced before and how well he'll adapt remains to be seen. The selection is also the staying type; he was finishing strongly before he ran out of room in the Grand Prix De Paris and his fourth place that day does not reflect his efforts. He does tend to find trouble for himself in-running  so Ted Durcan will need to get the tactics right and keep him out of traffic. In the Irish St Leger at the Curragh (6.05), FAME AND GLORY is worthy of the favourite tag, priced around 2/1. He finished well down the field in the Gold Cup at Ascot last time but it was clear that something was amiss and that piece of form can be discounted.
Take a chance on KALDOUN KINGDOM in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster (3.00). It's well over two years since he registered a win but his mark is on the slide and he's now back down to a level that gives him a realistic chance of making an impression. He produced a seasonal best when fifth of nineteen runners at York last time and early odds of 14/1 are a little inflated.   
Soccer: With four goals in three appearances, ROBIN VAN PERSIE'S move to Manchester United is already paying off. The 29 year-old has scored no less than 52 goals in his latest 58 Premier League games and although taken off as a precautionary measure in an international match midweek, Alex Ferguson has confirmed that he's fit for selection as the Red Devils play host to Wigan this afternoon. Back the Dutchman to score any time at 8/11 (Bet365).
Horseracing: If ESTIFZAAZ goes off anywhere near his forecast odds of 11/10 in the Stellar Group Maiden Stakes (3.20 Chester), I'll be first in the queue with a fist full of cash. There was plenty to like about the Invincible Spirit colt when narrowly beaten in a maiden at Sandown last time and unless a newcomer can spring a surprise, this looks like a straightforward penalty kick.
2.50 Bath: Dr Yes
3.00 Doncaster: Kaldoun Kingdom (e/w)
3.20 Chester: Estifzaaz
3.40 Doncaster: Main Sequence (e/w)
6.05 Curragh: Fame And Glory

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday's bets

Actually only have one form study bet on the races today, going to go with Stage Acclaim in the 2.40 at Uttoxeter. Here's Timeform's comments:

Won twice in June, including C&D seller. Below best when 1¼ lengths second to Nether Stream in Huntingdon seller under this rider last time but is weighted to reverse that form on 3 lb better terms.

American Art is the obvious danger but I think the selection might just have enough at the weights.


I got stopped out of yesterday's S&P gap trade for a loss of around €37. Looking back, it was a bit of a naive trade. Gap trades on the upside are always a bit less likely to win - you are selling as you hope the gap will close downwards - but the S&P generally goes up over time - so you are against the long term trend.

Plus, it was September 11th - Perhaps it's not significant and I haven't checked the historical data for this - but on this of all days, the Americans are bound to be a little patriotic and get behind their stocks.

There was a downside gap that closed around 7.30am yesterday and I missed it - I guess that was the trade.

Anyhow, we closed the day up yesterday which left another gap on the upside so I've decided to try it again today, albeit with cautious stakes.


Elsewhere, the Apple story continues today.

We've got the launch of the iPhone 5 which is quite exciting as the last iPhone launch was pretty much an upgrade and a little disappointing. Shares are still floating around the all-time high figures and whether or not this product launch has been built into the price remains to be seen. The other phones have made inroads though, and it will be interesting to see which brand is the biggest at Christmas. It's also interesting to me as a consumer - I have what's now considered the ancient iPhone 3GS and am looking to upgrade soon. A while back, I would have got an iPhone no question but some mates now have the Galaxy and others and they are damn good phones. I'll wait until I see the price of the new iPhone and how good it is before I make the switch. 

PS: I won't be posting tomorrow as I've loads of stuff on - best of luck with your trading/betting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Busy time, S&P trading

Haven't had a chance to post here much - I've had a very busy week at work and have been away from the markets.

I had a wonderful day out at Leopardstown on Saturday - I brought my daughter (who will be eight in a couple of weeks) and we backed Snow Fairy so she was over the moon. It was the first time she really understood what was going on and I explained a bit about the betting to her. I think she's hooked!

No bets on the horses today. On the financials, I'm just going to try the S&P gap trade, which is on the upside today.   If anyone is interested, here's a fantastic article explaining how the gap trade works by John Carter, author of Mastering The Trade.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday's Irish Independent article

IT'S not very often I’d put a monkey (€500) on a horse so when it happens, the event gets deeply engraved into the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. When looking at the entries for Leopardstown this weekend, I had a flashback to the 2002 Irish Champion Stakes; a race I remember vividly for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was the first time my Canadian girlfriend (now wife) had gone to watch horseracing and I was eager to impress. It was also the first time I had put a large amount of dough on a horse in the 'new' euro currency. I figured Mick Kinane and Hawk Wing wouldn't let me down so I confidently swaggered up to the bookmaker and handed over ten crispy fifties. It was all the money I had in the world but I was certain the bookie would be only be minding it momentarily. To my surprise, he barely batted an eyelid taking the bet; but the horse was 8/11 after all and I soon realised that I wasn't the only one having fairly hefty wagers. Internet betting was an infant back then so the betting rings of Ireland were buzzing; it was the early days of the Celtic Tiger and people like me couldn’t hold on to a bob for five minutes. We went up to the stands to watch the action unfold but two minutes and four seconds later, this red-faced fool had to get the Nokia 3210 out to call the brother and ask him for a lend of the taxi fare home. Looking back, it was actually a cracking race and Hawk Wing was pipped on the line by Grandera, with a certain Lanfranco Dettori doing the steering on the latter. Ten years have passed but we will be back up again for the 2012 renewal and as it happens, Frankie is also back in town riding SNOW FAIRY (5.45). Grandera was the last raider to win the race and while I cursed Dettori a decade ago, I'll be cheering him on today with Ed Dunlop’s mare likely to go off in the region of 2/1. Today's favourite, Nathanial, is being trained with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in mind so connections won't want him to have too hard a time in Ireland. John Gosden has suggested that the colt may not be at his peak although the market isn't buying it and the four-year-old still remains strong in the betting. He's consistently performed well at the top this year and it's hard to find faults; but at 5/4, his price is simply too short in what's likely to be an extremely competitive affair. Snow Fairy is equally as consistent and it's ages since we've seen her race in anything lower than a group one. In her latest eleven races at that level, she's almost always won or placed and her victory at Deauville last time proved that she's over and injury which kept her away from the racetrack for the previous nine months. Throw St Nicholas Abbey into the mix and we have the makings of a great race. Both William Buick and Frankie Dettori will have to do a helicopter dash across the Irish sea to get to Dublin as both have assignments in the Betfred Sprint Cup (3.25 Haydock) with Buick’s mount ORTENSIA is a worthy favourite at 9/4. A prolific winner in Australia, the seven-year-old has proved equally impressive in the UK; most recently when flying home to victory in the Nunthorpe Stakes having been behind the pace for most of the race. She's improved with age and experience and I suspect we’ll witness another huge performance this afternoon.

A son of Galileo, MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT caught the eye when second to the useful Kirthill in a class two handicap at York last time. He tends to get distracted, but a visor helped his cause on that occasion and is fitted again today. Take him each-way at 12/1.
* Last week's each-way selection was placed at 20/1.

Hurling: At 11/4, it's got to be worth taking a chance on Galway to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Kilkenny were not at full strength when hammered in the Leinster final, but the tribesmen won it fair and square and have since taken the scalp of Cork along the way. Don't rule out another historic performance tomorrow afternoon.
Horseracing: Enery is likely to go off as favourite for the Betfred Mobile Casino Handicap (4.45 Kempton) but I rekcon an 8lb penalty for his Epsom win last time will be enough to hold him back. LYSSIO makes more appeal at 6/1 - he was back to his best when taking a minor event Epsom last time but at 87, the handicapper has left some room for manoeuvre.
3.25 Haydock: Ortensia
4.45 Kempton: Lyssio
5.45 Leopardstown: Snow Fairy
4.15 Ascot: Martin Chuzzlewit (e/w)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mario Draghi and the euro

I didn't get time to go through the racecards this morning so no bets on the horses.

Mario Draghi's comments on the plans euro yesterday saw most markets rise - but I was short on some so I took a bit of a hammering! Thankfully, I had some stops in place so it wasn't total wipeout but I lost around €100 which was disappointing. Perhaps I should have got out of my trades as I knew the meeting was coming up but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I've opened a couple of trades on the EUR/AUD and the AUD/USD. It's my first time trading the Aussie Dollar so fingers crossed I can find my feet.

Mario Draghi, the man who cost me a ton:

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Rushing out the door so no time for a write up. One bet today on the handicaps, going to go e/w:

6.50 Clonmel - Definite Knockoff

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday's bets, trading oil, the S&P500 gap trade

Very much a mixed bag yesterday - both my horses won which was great. The prices were short enough and I got both at just over even money but it was a nice little boost to the overall funds as my trade on the Dow saw me get whipsawed. Basically, this when the trade goes against you, hits your stop loss, but then comes back. Very frustrating but part and parcel of the game, especially on a strategy that uses tight stops. I lost €25 on that one but as I say, the winners on the horses more than made up for that.

Just one form study bet for today:

2.40 Hereford: Union Saint
Runner-up on second hurdles start for Guillaume Macaire in France in 2011, and off the mark at third handicap attempt when landing 2m Uttoxeter event in July. Up 11 lb but remains of interest.

Back to the financials - I've a few open positions at the moment:

I've sold Brent Crude Oil, hoping for a small bounce down and I've also bought the S&P500 Index. This buy is based on the S&P Gap Trade I've mentioned a number of times on this page. Not in profit on either yet but we will see what today brings.

I'm keeping an eye on the euro against the dollar as I think it's getting a little high. We've a couple of meetings later in the week but I'm starting to feel a bit bearish again and am watching for a good place to sell at.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

All Ireland Football Championship 2012 betting

I got a Hill16 ticket for Sundays Dublin v Mayo all-Ireland semi final and was gutted to see the Dubs go out. What a mad sort of a match - we were ten points down at one stage but eventually got it back to two down. Nearly scored a goal, which would have been incredible, but in the end Mayo deserved their win.

I think there are more negatives than positives for both sides though. How on earth did Dublin fall so far behind? They were playing catch-up all through the second half and you'd have to think that they may have won had they been a bit less lazy in the first half. I don't know if it's a cockyness thing with Dublin - "Ah sure, we are the champions, we'll catch up".

For Mayo, they had a terrible second half. I'm sure they are delighted to get through but they got out of jail, that's for sure. To be honest, you'd have to say it's Donegal's all-Ireland based on all known form. On balance, Donegal's price of 15/8 on looks about right.

Actually, as I write this, I'm just hearing news that Dublin manager Gilroy is set to step aside:

In the horse racing, I've two form study bets for today - here's Timeform's comments:

2.15 Killarney - Purple
Proving frustrating, beaten at odds on returning from 6 weeks off in 1½m Tipperary maiden last month, having run of race. Hopes rest on fitting of cheekpieces now.

1.40 Musselburgh - Done Dreaming
Well backed when winning 5f 5-runner maiden at Ayr at the end of July. Disappointing when favourite for Thirsk claimer since but this even weaker and probably worth another chance.

With regard to the financial trading, I've opened up a second sell trade on the FTSE 100. I already have a trade open on that which is in profit but I've added to it based on a moving average strategy which I read in a book called Big Money, Little Effort:

I also have an open trade on the Dax (sell) which is a loser at the moment, and I've just bought the Dow and that's just popped into profit a few minutes ago:

Best of luck with your trading and betting today,