Trading software

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday's bets

The S&P took off like a rocket yesterday when Ben Bernanke announced that QE will continue. It's really a tale of two halves as Europe is a bit dodgy with Italy and other issues whereas the US is nearly hitting all time highs on the stock market. I had no open positions so I didn't win or lose either way but as I mentioned a few times recently, I certainly wouldn't be a bear on the S&P, certainly not in the short to medium term.

I've hit bet number 95 on the favourites strategy - I said I'd go for 100 bets and take a look at it. So far, the stats are:
Bets: 95
Wins: 45
Strike rate: 47%
Average Betfair SP: 2.91
Profit to Betfair SP at 5% commission: 13.53ps

While 13.53pts is a decent return, it's been tough going lately - the profit was 20pts at one stage and has fallen back lately over the last 20 or 30 bets. I've started recording the place prices lately so I'll see how that performs too. Anyway, one bet on this today, priced around 7/2. Here's Timeform's comment:

4.00 Ludlow - Ifyousayso
Dual bumper winner last term and off mark at first time of asking over hurdles at Carlisle (19f) in November. Just respectable effort last time but opening mark reasonable. Tongue tied.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday's bets, Italian election results, Apple share price

It was quite upsetting to watch one of yesterday's bets, No Way Hozay, break his leg just as he was about to win. Forget the money though, it is upsetting to watch an animal in distress and you could clearly see what was happening on the TV. I feel sorry for those involved and, of course, for the poor horse. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes but it's not always nice.

On a positive note, Franklin Roosevelt won at a reasonable price which added some profit to the favs strategy. I've one bet on that today, here's Timeform's comment:

3.20 Bang - Corrin Wood
Winning pointer who landed odds at Carlisle in December. Got back on track after lesser effort when third in handicap at that venue (25f) 3 weeks ago and races from same mark here. Shortlisted.

On the handicaps, I'm looking forward to backing Gizzit in the 4.00 at Wincanton. Not only does he get to run off the same mark which he won off last time without a penalty, the jockey is claiming 7lbs too. Should go well around 5/2.


I enjoyed yesterday's course with Alan Rich and it's good to get some insights into how other people trade but I have to be completely honest and say that I was a bit disappointed to see the second part of the day was a sales pitch for the market scanning software which he has developed. He showed us a lot of really good swing trades but the catch was that to identify these trades, the software is needed. But to give him credit, he's an interesting guy and I did pick up some ideas which I'm keen to try out.


 I haven't done a trade on the financials this week so I missed all the madness and mad swings over the Italian elections. It's still not certain what will happen. It's a bit mental really, one of the biggest parties is now the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. I'm not really sure what they will bring to the table but it could be crazy for a while! Yer man seems a bit of a header:

Expect some more turbulence.


I've often talked about Apple shares on this blog, and while I suggested they may be a sell, I never had the guts to get involved. The price has now dropped down below 450 which is a big slide from 700:

 Speaking of Apple, I haven't been their biggest fan this week. My iPhone battery keeps overheating and then dying. I dropped in my phone to be fixed yesterday and it might take a week or two :-(   I haven't been without a mobile since 1997 so it felt very strange and I felt very disconnected! I eventually got a replacement (an ancient Nokia) but it's so weird not being able to go on the Internet when I want. I'm kinda disappointed with myself that I missed it so much but I'm well and truly reliant on it.


I went for a run last night - done around 6K which was a decent enough workout. Hope to get out a few more days this week.

Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Alan Rich trading course

I'm going to a trading course today run by Marketspreads and given by Alan Rich:

He's quite well known and has a good CV so I'm hoping I come away with a few bits of info or a few light bulb moments. Today's course is mostly about swing trading which is not something I do much of, so I'm looking forward to learning something new hopefully.

A win yesterday at 2.1 with Jupiter Rex was welcome on the horses - I've one bet on that favs strategy today:

3.00 Leicester - Franklin RooseveltBlinkered (back on) when winning handicap hurdle last spring for Warren Greatrex. Off the mark over fences with easy win at Southwell last week and sure to go well again under a penalty.

On the handicaps, No Way Hozay looks a few lbs well in under a penalty at Catterick (4.50).

Sorry for the short write up but I'm off out to the course - I'll report back tomorrow.

Enjoy the day,


Monday, February 25, 2013


Could be an interesting day on the markets with the Italian election results due out later this afternoon. Think I'll leave it alone for the day as there are a few things going on which make the direction difficult to figure out.

On the racing, there's one short priced one on the favs strategy:

3.40 Plumpton - Jupiter Rex

Sunday, February 24, 2013


The betting bank took a bit of a hammering yesterday - Nacarat was disappointing but just couldn't recover from that blunder mid way. The favs strategy has also took a hit lately so I hope that picks up. There's one on that today, see below.

On a positive note, the financial trading has been going well lately and I've increased my bank by 20% since November. This is a great return although the stakes have not been huge. I'm being very selective and mostly trading the S&P500 at the moment. I have about one trade a week on average and so far it is paying off. I'll try to keep building that bank although I'm acutely aware that a bad run can quickly wipe away any gains.

2.10 Fontwell - Seebright
Dual bumper winner, including in the mud at Chepstow last month, and off mark at first time of asking in this sphere at Wetherby over this trip 4 weeks later. Open to more improvement.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday's Irish Independent article

Hi folks,

Just back from a workout with Urban Fitness - it was my second time going down there and it was very though although I think I was a bit better than the last time. Doing things like circuit training and TRX is quite different than going running on your own as there are people around to keep you motivated. Delighted I went though and feel good for the day,

Yesterday, my S&P500 gap trade finally hit my profit target. That was a real roller-coaster (see yesterday's post) but the index rallied back again yesterday and closed around 1515. Hitherto, it's been quite easy to trade for the bulls but Thursday and Friday certainly threw a spanner in the works. But a profit was made so job done.

Yesterday's favourite strategy selection Problema Tic took a right drift in the betting and went off at 9.34. The drift said it all and I knew my fate at the off. I've one on that today, 2.40 Kempton, Molotof:

Grade 2 winner over hurdles at Ascot (2m) in December 2011. Made hard work of scoring on chase debut at Taunton but better than ever when scoring at Warwick last time, and leading player.

In the handicaps, Billy Cuckoo looks a few pounds ahead of the handicapper and could be worth backing as an e/w bet to nothing at 4.40 Newcastle.

I also have a few bets for the Irish Independent today, see below.

Enjoy the day,


Friday, February 22, 2013

Standard and Poor's 500 Index chart, Friday's bets

Thursday's S&P500 gap trade proved to be a rollercoaster and it's still open as I type this at 2.45am on Thursday night/Friday morning.

I've drawn on the chart to illustrate:

The middle horizontal line is the price I bought at (1502.3)
The top horizontal line is where I hope to exit my trade and take my profit (1507.4)
The bottom horizontal line is where my stop-loss is placed which will get me out for a loss if it goes wrong (1494.6).

You can see where I bought at point A around 11.30am. Things were going quite well and the price started to rise. At point B, (around 2pm) I was already counting my money and was sure it would reach my target. But then, it quickly reversed and by about 7pm (point C) it was almost hitting my stop loss. At that stage, I thought the game was up but it has since rallied and now stands at around 1506 (point D).

I'm absolutely knackered as I've been writing horseracing articles since 8am and it's now heading for three in the morning but I hope I wake up in the morning to find some profit. Some people think I have an easy life but 19 hour days are very tough on the mind and punting has got to be one of the hardest ways to make an easy living. A few hours of sleep then it's back to the grind.

In the racing, Tetlami turned out to be a nice winner at 2.32 on Betfair. I've one bet for Friday on the favourites strategy and it should be a decent price- here's Timeform's comment:

3.50 Warwick - Problema Tic
Progressed well over fences last term, winning 3 times. Going well when coming to grief in Becher Chase in December, and very much of interest if that hasn't left a mark.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday's bets

Yesterday's rally on the S&P came to a halt and reversed but we are still above 1500. There's a nice gap opened up this morning so I've bought the S&P at 1502.3. I will get out and take profit if/when it hits 1507.4 and my stop loss is at 1494.6.  It's a classic gap trade and those have worked very well for me so far in the past few months. In my last ten gap trades, I've got about 8 right which is great as the stop loss is just one and a half times the potential profit.

Starting to get Cheltenham fever in the racing. I've tried not to get caught up with the hype this year and don't have any ante-post bets as I think it is better to have a bet on the day with everything known rather than getting attached to a horse too early. However, I'm writing an article for a Cheltenham magazine today and I can't help getting excited. Can't wait!

One bet for today on the favourites strategy, priced around even money:

3.00 Hundington - Tetlami
Useful hurdler who made successful start over fences at Kempton despite an early blunder, and errors again crept in when second to Overturn at Musselburgh last time. This is easier.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

S&P500 all time high

Feel like death warmed up this morning as I've a terrible cold and didn't get much sleep but the markets don't stop for any man so there's no point in complaining. 

The all-time high for the S&P500 was 1576 in October 2007, with the highest closing price being 1565 that same month.

We are heading in that direction again and yesterday saw another big rally to the 1530 mark:

S&P monthly chart:

Of course, any bad news will knock it off course but the whole fiscal cliff thing seems to have died down so if the news stays good, it shouldn't be long before we approach the historic highs. I've no open trades at the moment but any short term trades that I do are on the bullish side as I don't want to swim against the overall tide. It's one to watch with interest.

On the racing, there's one selection today on the favourites strategy, priced around 13/8 - here's Timeform's comment:

7.30 Kempton - Free Spin
Accounted for host of subsequent winners in a 1m maiden at Dundalk for Mick Halford in August, and good efforts in polytrack handicaps twice since (new yard latest). Drop back to 6f should suit. 

I was out running yesterday - just done around 3.5K which was fine - I won't get out today as I've a lot of work on and I have my psychology course this evening at Trinity. Wednesdays have come to be a long day but I like it and the course is going great.

Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Just one for today on the favs strategy, 4.35 Southwell, Naughtybychoice, priced around 2/1:

Promise when third in C&D handicap after 7 months off, green under pressure. Should do better with that behind him.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fast Food Nation

Hi all,

Not related to betting but I watched a good movie last night:

Fast Food Nation [2007] [DVD]

It's based on a book of a similar name, which I read a number of years back:

Fast Food Nation: What The All-American Meal is Doing to the World

The book exposes all the bad practices that are happening in the fast-food industry, particularly McDonalds and the other large chains. How they mess with the food, exploit workers etc. It's quite shocking really and the film, while fictional, is based on the book and shows how a blind eye is turned to it all. I read the book a while back and while I wouldn't say it stopped me eating fast food, I certainly do it a lot less and think quite a bit about where my food comes from. I tend to avoid most processed foods these days.

While the whole horse-meat scandal was going on, I was actually reading a book called 'Not on the label':

Not On the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate

It's a bit closer to home as it deals with Britain and while it's a few years old, it's well worth reading. The short cuts that take place are shocking and having read that book, the whole horse-meat think doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Anyway, back to the racing - there's one bet today on the favs strategy. Here's Timeform's comment:

3.05 Carlisle - Veloce
Fairly useful up to 1¾m on Flat and didn't need to match form of his runner-up effort on hurdles bow to go one better at Ayr last month (2m). This test should suit and a likely sort on handicap bow.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Irish Independent article, Saturday

Morning folks, some great racing on today. The favs strategy selection is Rocky Creek, one of my selections in today's Indo. Best of luck today,


Friday, February 15, 2013

Warren Buffett strategies

Recently got my hands on a new book about Warren Buffet:

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

There's been a tonne of books (some not so good) written about the 'oracle of Omaha' and plenty of them try to mimic his strategies but unfortunately, the world's most successful investor has never written a memoir himself. This one is more of a biography but it definitely look in-depth. It's pretty large though so it might be a while before I get around to reading it as I've a few others I want to get through first. I don't think it's the type of book for those looking for new strategies but it would no doubt be informative to read about his very interesting life. Has anyone read it? If so, let me know what you think.

Buffett is in the news again as his fund Berkshire Hathaway has bought Heinz for around 25bn:

It's a typical Berkshire Hathaway strategy of buying well established 'value' companies with good credentials. 

Anyway, billions aside, let's get back to the real world..... !

The S&P gap trade worked perfectly yesterday and a nice profit was earned. At around 3.30pm Irish time, the price started rising and the gap closed, eventually going right through last night's close price. 

On the racing, it was also a good day too with Coverholder winning handy enough, albeit at a short price. So between the financial trading and the racing, I won a couple of hundred. Not exactly Warren Buffett stuff but for this blogger in Ballybrack, it was a welcome cash injection as I was a bit low on funds with quite a lot of bills coming in this month. 

I've one bet on the racing today, 1.50 Sandown: Relax. - currently priced around even money.

He looks a good thing to me on all known form - he has a 7lb automatic penalty for a win at Doncaster last week but I don't think it will be enough to hold him back, provided that race hasn't taken too much out of him. Here's Timeform's comment:

Fourth success for in-form trainer in 3m Doncaster handicap last week, easing clear. Manner of that success means he's likely to go close again under penalty.

It's a nice spring morning out there - I doubt I'll get out for a run as I've to write for tomorrow's newspaper but it's good to see a bit of sun :-)  I was out running twice this week and I may go again at the weekend if I get a chance. Enjoy the day,


Warren Buffett:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

S&P 500 gap trade

No time for a write up as I'm rushing out the door.

A gap opened on the S&P around 11.30am so I've bought it at 1512.1. The idea is to take my profit when the gap closes to last night's close price at 1516.6. The stop loss is 1505.6. I've drawn horizontal lines at the key prices here:

A welcome win yesterday on the horses although I could do with a few more. One for today:

3.40 Kelso - Coverholder
Came good at second time of asking for Tim Vaughan in Catterick handicap in December and further progress when bolting up for this yard at Doncaster last week. Unpenalised and hard to beat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Don't want to sound like it's sour grapes but I don't think I've every seen worse refereeing than I did in last night's Celtic match against Juventus. Fair enough, Celtic were soundly beaten but when they were one nil down, they were playing much better football but the Juventus 'defending' was more akin to wrestling, especially on the set-pieces they feared. Had Celtic got a goal, who knows how it would have went but the referee somehow didn't spot it or else he ignored it so now it's almost impossible for Celtic at this stage. That's football I guess but it's frustrating nonetheless.

The racing proved frustrating too with Nazreef trading at 1/2 in-running before getting beat. A load of them lately have traded at low prices and then get beat so I'm going to have a look at that strategy again where I lay them in-running and see if it would have made a difference. For example, I could leave an order to lay the selection at 1.5 in-running. If I use the same stake as the backing stake, there are three outcomes:

1. The horse never hits 1.5 and loses: I lose my stake as normal.
2. The horse hits 1.5 in running but loses the race: I lose my back stake but gain on the lay (so I break even).
3. The horse wins the race: I win the back bet but half a point is knocked off the profit for the lay.

I'm not going to go changing things now just because I'm in a losing patch - but I think it would be no harm to look at the stats and see (on paper) what would have happened. Anyway, I've one bet on that today:

3.30 Lingfield: Cousin Khee
Fairly useful hurdler who showed plenty of speed to win 2 jumpers' bumpers at Kempton and here this winter. Good effort on Flat debut 12 days ago and capable of better now upped in trip.

 Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday's bets

I could do with a nice-priced winner on the favourites strategy - the profit is down to €141 to a ten euro stake. So far, I've had 39 winners from 81 bets but I'm in a bit of a sticky patch of the moment so hopefully I can get out of it.

I've one for today - 3.15 Southwell, Nazreef.
Best on AW, winning couple of handicaps around 1m last spring in headgear. Folded tamely last 2 starts but is 4 from 4 around here (all at 1m).


On the S&P, there's a nice gap opening so that could be one to trade - I'll see where it is around 11.30 and go from there.


In the football, Celtic take on Juventus tonight. It's times like this I wish I was having a few pints with the lads but I'll stick it out and stay on the dry. It's a huge achievement to get this far and while Juventus are just a shade odds-on, I think it could be closer than the market suggests. The crowd will play a big part as usual and it's a hard place for a team to come and play in.  Looking forward to it!

Monday, February 11, 2013


In a hurry so a quick post this morning - one bet on the favourite strategy, priced around 3/1. Here's Timeform's comment:

4.10 Catterick - Brave Spartacus
Hugely progressive, making all here on his last 3 completed starts, 2 of them at this trip. Raised 18 lbs since his latest success a month ago, though, and may not get it all his own way up front.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flemenstar & Cheltenham 2013

Well, I have to eat humble pie and admit that Sir Des Champs was the better horse yesterday. I had worries about the trip for Flemenstar and it was confirmed beyond doubt yesterday that he doesn't stay 3m. Where next for Cheltenham? I think the Gold Cup would be a mad choice at this stage so it will probably be the Ryanair or maybe even the Champion Chase at 2m?

Anyway, for now, I'm looking forward to the rugby match (see yesterday's post). I'm still off the gargle so I don't know whether to go to the pub and have a coke to watch it for a bit of atmosphere or just watch it at home. Times like this are testing when you are off it! I'm full of aches and pains from yesterday's workout which is a good thing I guess.

I've a couple of racing bets today - Naas has been abandoned but on the favs strategy, I've Puffin Billy at Exeter (2.30):

Has created a striking impression when winning all 4 career starts (first 2 bumpers), readily landing small-field Ascot Grade 2 just before Christmas. Looks a top prospect.

In the handicaps an hour later, Rout Et Blanc looks well-in under a penalty.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday's Irish Independent article, Ireland v England

Hi folks,

Just back from a workout with a crowd in Dublin called Urban Fitness. A mate asked me to go down - he's been doing it for a while. Absolutely shattered! Great workout though. I'm quite fit as regards running but I haven't done any circuit training since I was in Karate about 7 years back so it was very tough. Feeling much better for it though and I'm glad I went - think I'll give it a go again and see if I have 'come on for the run' to use a racing expression.

There's one selection on the favourites strategy, 2.40 Warwick - Fago. However, it clashes with my selection in today's Irish Independent.

Absolutely can't wait for the Hennessy at Leopardstown. I could be made look like a right wally here but I really can't see why people are so forgiving of Sir Des Champs. 

Today's Indo article:

MOST bookmaker markets couldn’t separate Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs throughout the week for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown (3.20) but having watched plenty of re-runs of the Lexus Chase since Christmas, it’s a pure no-brainer for me and Flemenstar can be backed with confidence at 5/4. As it turned out, both horses were beaten but Sir Des Champs definitely ran the worst of the pair and I’m struggling to see why punters are so forgiving. Fair enough, he had a fantastic novice campaign including a very impressive win in the Jewson at Cheltenham - and while it would be foolish to dismiss any Mullins runner after one bad race, it was difficult to ignore his mediocre jumping last time out and he simply didn’t sparkle. He was off the bridle very early looking laboured throughout (clouting the tenth fence), and despite rallying well and staying on for third, he never truly looked like winning. Those who backed Flemenstar at 1/10 in-running were left cursing Ruby Walsh and Tidal Bay who snatched it at the death; but otherwise Flemenstar put in a solid performance and looked the best horse in the race until the dramatic finish. On any other day, he would have claimed the prize and he deserves a chance at redemption before he heads to Cheltenham, even though the three-mile trip might not be ideal. In the rugby, Ireland host England tomorrow in what could be a championship decider, even at the early stages of the competition.  We have a great record against the old enemy in the championship in recent years and haven’t lost at home since 2003. Both sides were impressive in their opening round wins last weekend but I reckon home advantage can see Ireland over the line.  Many of Ireland’s main injury concerns have not materialised and England will be weakened by James Haskell replacing Ben Morgan and Billy Twelvetress retaining his starting berth ahead of Manu Tuilagi. If the Irish set-piece and breakdown operate near the levels of last week, then the superior back-row and backline of the home-side should be enough to secure the win. I’ll take a chance on backing Ireland at just over evens; but the standout bet for me is Ireland/Ireland in the half-time/full-time market at 7/4 (Boylesports).  If they can get parity at the set piece then I think they’ll have greater firepower out wide and they should start well and hold England at bay. It’ll be a feisty encounter and England will try to do what Wales didn’t by preventing Ireland getting quick ball at the breakdown.  Therefore, the 1/2 on there being a sin-binning (Paddy Power) is as close to free money as one can get.  

I was chatting to Gordon Elliott about Cause Of Causes recently and it was clear by the tone of his voice that he holds the gelding in very high regard. Considering Elliott’s record with overseas raiders, I was tempted to back him in today's Betfair Hurdle (3.35 Newbury) but you can't help feeling that off 152, the handicapper has his measure for now. Instead, a chance is taken on the Emma Lavelle trained Claret Cloak which is somewhat unexposed having tackled hurdles just four times. He’s up 3lbs to 136 following his third place in his handicap debut at Ascot in November which is lenient enough considering he's won three races from six. Don’t be surprised to see him finish in the money today, priced around 14/1.

Horseracing: WITH seven wins from seventeen runners, Paul Nicholls knows the sort it takes to win the Denman Chase (2.25 Newbury) and Silviniaco Conti can add to that tally this afternoon, priced around 8/13. A bold ride from Ruby Walsh saw the seven-year-old pick up his first Grade One in the Betfair Chase and with his jumping quite polished, he’s clearly a star in the making. Whether he’s ready for the Gold Cup remains to be seen but for now, he can continue his progression into chasing’s top ranks.
Soccer: I’M still not convinced that Manchester United have rectified the problems across their backline and with Everton playing some decent football of late, the Red Devils could have their work cut out for them in tomorrow’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford. That said, the Toffees are also vulnerable in defence and with United scoring two or more goals in all but one league game this season, the ‘both teams to score’ bet could be the weekend football banker, priced around 8/13. 

* Last week’s double was successful on both legs at an overall price of 2/1.

1.30 Warwick: Kells Belle
2.25 Newbury: Silviniaco Conti
2.40 Warwick: Majala
3.20 Leopardstown: Flemenstar
3.35 Newbury: Claret Cloak (e/w)
Rugby: Ireland to win
Rugby: Ireland HT/FT
Rugby: Sin-bin to occur

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday's bets

A good day yesterday with Pine Creek winning at 2.46 on Betfair. It was one of those interesting ones that drifted significantly on Betfair (from 2.0) but never followed suit on-course with the traditional SP being 10/11. I'm always worried when I see a drift on Betfair like that but thankfully in this case it proved unwarranted.

The financial markets have been in a funny mood lately and the S&P swung fairly wildly yesterday. It dropped right down then came back as the day progressed - I hadn't found any trades by noon so I wasn't involved but I know some people who lost a fair few quid. I'll check back later on that for any gap trades that might be available but I think the stops might have to be widened for now. It is riskier to do that but I need to allow for some volatility until the market finds its direction.

I've one bet today on the favourites strategy, Pete The Fete, in the 4.00 at Kempton. He should go off around 2/1 and a win would be nice as it would bring me back over the 20pts profit mark. Here's Timeform's comment:

Further progress, despite winning spree coming to a halt, when third in a valuable staying handicap at Warwick last month. Likely to go well again, despite further 3 lb rise.

Pete The Fete:

Thursday, February 7, 2013


In a bit of a hurry today so not much time for a write up.

One bet on the favs strategy around evens. 4.05 Doncaster - Pine Creek.

On the S&P, there's a small gap forming on the downside. If it drops to about 1502, I'll be a buyer with my exit point at last night's close.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dell to leave the stock market

I spoke about Dell before on these pages and it's interesting to see that amongst another group, the founder Michael Dell is to take over the company again and take it private.

Like IBM, it seems that they are going to try and move away from purely the computer manufacture business and more into software and support. In fairness, the pc market has more or less gone down the tubes (certainly for leisure) and more and more people are accessing the net on mobile devices. Dell just weren't really in that mobile business and suffered accordingly. What it means for the Irish workforce remains to be seen but I've one or two friends who work there so hopefully the jobs will be safe enough.

A few years ago, I would go straight to Dell as soon as I wanted a new computer but they just seem to have dropped off the radar. Having said that, he's still one of the richest people in the world - not bad going for someone who set up the company in his bedroom - fair play to him.  It will be interesting to see what direction they take over the next year or two.

Michael Dell:

Another winner on the favourites strategy yesterday albeit at a short price.

At the moment, it's showing 38 winners after 75 bets and a profit of €177.90 to a €10 stake:

As you can see from the chart, it hit a high of around €200 some time back before hitting a losing streak. It's going in the right direction overall and I don't think there reason to be hugely concerned although I do admit that I will be delighted if or when I get it up past €200 again. I know it's a psychological thing but it's always nice to break new highs. I've one bet on that today but once again, it's odds-on:

2.40 Ludlow - New Years Eve
One of last season's best bumper performers (second at Cheltenham Festival). Promising second to River Maigue on hurdling debut at Kempton on Boxing Day and sure to be going one better soon.


Having fallen back down to below 1500, the S&P 500 index shot right back up yesterday. I'm slightly bullish on the S&P in the short term so if a decent size gap opens between now and noon, I'll buy it and wait for the Americans to close it in the afternoon.

It's a long day for me today as I have to do a fair bit of work and then I have my psychology course this evening so I won't get out for a run. Think I'll head out in the morning though. I downloaded a new app 'Runkeeper' which is quite handy as it tracks your speed, distance and all that lark.

Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2013 Champion Hurdle Betting

Very sad news yesterday that Darlan's fall turned out to be fatal. He had huge potential and I'm sure it's devastating news for McManus and Nicky Henderson. Hate to see these things happen.

Still though, the world keeps spinning and the Champion Hurdle market had to adjust accordingly. I swore this year I wouldn't have an ante-post bet although I've been tempted to back Hurricane Fly at certain stages. He's in to 7/4 now which is a small bit on the short side for me but come race-day, I may see it differently. I lost a fortune on 'the fly' last year so perhaps I'm being a little over-cautious but once bitten, twice shy and all that.

A win yesterday on the favs strategy but the handicap bet unseated his rider. I've one bet today on the favs strategy but once again it is odds-on.

1.30 Market Rasen - Bordoni
Best of these on the Flat and promising hurdles debut at Warwick. In full control when running out at Ludlow next time and can make amends.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Morning all,

Not the best day on Saturday from a betting point of view although my double with Captain Conan and Dublin came up so that was a welcome few bob. I actually went into Croke Park to watch the Dublin match with my daughter. Fair play to the GAA, the tickets for adults were thirteen quid and a fiver for the kids. She enjoyed it loads and she understood it a bit more this time as she is now playing Gaelic Football in school. In fact, we went out to the field yesterday for a kickabout as I had bought her new gloves recently - It's a hell of a long time since I played football but I still scored a few nice points and the dream of getting a call up is still there! Seriously though, some good performances from the Dublin players and a good start to the league.

On the racing, there's one bet on the favourites strategy but it's currently priced around 1/2 so nothing to get excited about. Here's Timeform's comment:

1.20 Doncaster - Utopie des Bordes
255,000 purchase after winning 2¾m Grade 1 chase in France in November from Fago (impressive winner for Paul Nicholls last month). Holds plenty of Festival entries and should be very hard to beat.

In the handicaps, Mujamead is an interesting one in the 4.05 at Doncaster and could be worth backing each-way. He won on Thursday but doesn't get a penalty and runs off his mark of 90. The jockey also claims a few pounds so he could be well-in.

My daughter and I at Croke Park:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday's horseracing tips

A good day was had yesterday with Artful Lady winning at a price of 3.59.

I've had so many horses trade at short odds in-running and get beat lately but this was the opposite and hit 139/1 in-running at one stage. I thought my goose was cooked but somehow, the Excellent Art filly pulled it out of the bag.  More of those please!

One bet on the favourites strategy today (although it does clash with my e/w selection in today's Irish Independent).

2.05 Ffos Las - Oscara Dara
Useful in bumpers and better still over hurdles, winning twice last spring and taking Lanzarote Hurdle last month, value for more than 3½ length margin. Handicapper has had his say, though

Today's Indo article:

I COME from a family which has a long history of ticker trouble so I don't want to make light of the subject. But did you know that the rate of heart attacks among passionate sports fans is significantly higher than that of the regular population?  When faced with acute stress, humans have the in-built 'fight or flight' mechanism whereby the heart-rate is increased and adrenaline is released to prepare the body for violent muscular action in the form of fighting or running away from danger. This mechanism served its purpose for our ancestors who faced aggression on a regular basis but these days, our body gets confused when we get ourselves worked-up over things like sport and the stress response is invoked far too often which can actually be damaging to the heart. Penalty shoot-outs in football are particular culprits and researchers at Munich University Clinic found that heart attacks more than doubled in Germany during the 2006 World Cup. English researchers confirmed the findings and statistics show above average cardiovascular complaints during the summer months of 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2012; all of which saw England involved in a penalty shoot-out in a major tournament. I dread to think what the highs and lows of horseracing are doing to my own heart each day and last week's equine action certainly didn't help. Imperial Commander, which was the main bet of the day, was trading at 1/100 on Betfair in-running as he came up the hill at Cheltenham but my hopes of collecting a big payout from the bookies were quickly dashed as Cape Tribulation battled back to take it on the line. As if that wasn't hard enough to take, my next selection (The New One) traded at 1/50 in-running before getting beaten by a neck. Such agonising highs and lows in the space of an hour can leave you feeling dizzy so here's hoping that Fourjacks can give me a stress-free win in the Grade Two Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby today (3.20). A useful novice hurdler, he comes to chasing relatively late in the day (aged eight) but he put in his best career performance to date when winning a novice chase at Wetherby three weeks ago which his first race over fences. While we don't have a lot to judge him by, Tim Easterby's gelding displayed all the attributes that make up a good chaser; he jumped well, travelled fluently throughout and found plenty at the finish. While he's yet to prove his stamina over the trip, his racing style suggests he can stay and he looks a solid enough selection, priced around 4/1.  Super Duty, which won the Shloer Novices' Chase at Cheltenham last time, won't let him have it all his own way however, and is likely to prove a significant danger to the bet.     

THE Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Double Ross looks set to go off at a double figure price in the William Hill Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las (2.05) and that's a fair deal considering how well he raced in the competitive Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot back in December. The two-mile distance was not ideal that day so he had to force the pace which probably cost him in the end, but he shaped better than the bare result which seen him finish fourth. The handicapper leaves him in with a chance and the front-runner should prove dangerous back at the two and-a-half mile trip on heavy ground. 

Gaelic Football: FOLLOWING their All-Ireland win in 2011, the Dublin football team got cocky last year and it finally caught up with them in the semi-final when they let Mayo take a lead that couldn't be reeled in. This year, the fight for squad places will be fierce and manager Jim Gavin has named a fairly fresh side to meet Cork in tonight's league opener at HQ. The Rebels are looking to secure their fourth league title on the trot so it's bound to be close - but Dublin have a new sense of urgency, and a number of 'home' games at Croke Park this season can only help their cause. Back the Liffeysiders get their league campaign off to a positive start, priced at even money.
Horseracing: HE'S sure to go off at a very short price but Captain Conan is impossible to impose in the Grade One Betfred Mobile Lotto Challengers Novices' Chase (2.25 Sandown). Unbeaten over fences, Nicky Henderson will be hoping he steps up to two and-a-half miles with ease, and victory today will surely temp connections to skip the Arkle and head straight to the Jewson Novices' Chase at Cheltenham. 

2.05 Ffos Las: Double Ross (e/w)
2.25 Sandown: Captain Conan
2.40 Ffos Las: Alfie Spinner
3.20 Wetherby: Fourjacks

Friday, February 1, 2013


A frustrating day yesterday with Secret Millionaire finishing second. To make it worse, the gelding traded at 1/16 in-running and looked the winner all over but such is life and a loss is accepted. I remember some months back, Scott Ferguson said it might be worth taking out 'insanity' insurance on the horses your back - that is, laying them at a short price in running, purely to avoid the frustration that comes with having horses go so close only to get beat. It's happened me a few times recently including Imperial Commander, which traded at 1/100 in-running on Saturday.

Speaking of Scott, he brought a video to my attention on his site the other day. If you haven't seen it, take a look. It's one of the most blatant attempt at stopping a horse ever seen, over in Belgium. It's almost comical, although you wouldn't find it funny if you backed the horse and watched it come second. The jockey, who had her licence suspended and awaits a hearing today, is practically standing up in the irons:

Had a look at the S&P500 Index today which is hovering just under 1500. Can't find any trades though and besides, it's too risky with the non-farm payrolls out today. Those results should set the tone for the rest of the day and early next week.

I've a busy enough day ahead - I'll be writing tomorrow's newspaper column and doing a few bits and pieces from home. I hope to get out for a run later this evening and maybe spend a bit of time with my daughter and watch a few films. Just one bet today on the favourites strategy. It should be around 2/1:

2.00 Lingfield - Artful Lady
Improved back on polytrack this winter, winning at Wolverhampton in November. Poorly placed when fourth there last time but Ryan Moore takes over now.