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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chester draw bias

The draw bias at Chester is well known so it's surprising that some profit can still be made from backing the low drawn horses.
Chester is Britain's tightest racecourse so the advantage of getting a low draw on the inside rail is significant. The handicap sprints can prove particularly lucrative especially if the horse is one of the top horses in the ratings.
Here's a quick little system which has made me a nice few bob down through the years:

* Race is a handicap sprint (5 and 6 furlong)
* Horse is drawn in stall one or two
* Horse is in the top three in the weights
This strategy has produced 32 winners from 114 bets since 2003 and a profit of €494 to a €10 stake at SP. Since Betfair SP was introduced in 2008, the profit has been €525 to a €10 stake, assuming you were on the maximum 5% commission.
For this reason and more, I'll be backing Royal Rascal in the 2.30, as discussed in today's Irish Independent article

Have a good day,


Chester racecourse:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The week just gone

Having recorded a profit of €424 last week, I'm afraid this week didn't go so well and the loss in the last seven days was €128:

Not the end of the end of the world but it was a frustrating time nonetheless. Thursday was particularly bad and I got hammered with about seven or eight losing place lays in a row. With a strike rate of around 56%, I suppose eight losers in a row is unlucky but also to be expected now and again.

Today proved poor too and nothing clicked.

On a positive note, I somehow managed to show a small profit of a score on the football, having been well down at one stage last night. I backed Read Madrid in the Champions League final but they really underperformed in the first 80 minutes and Ronaldo barely got a kick of the ball. He's a bit too flash for my liking but when he's having a good day, he can be very special. Anyway my screen was red but with a few minutes to go, Real were giving it socks and I took a chance and backed the draw. That got me back to even, and then I re-invested forty quid for the extra time. In the end, I came out twenty quid in front which is not a lot in the grand scheme of things considering I showed over a ton loss for the last seven days but it was satisfying nonetheless as I'm not the biggest football punter in the world.

Another positive was the Irish 2,000 Guineas. I baced War Command each-way but he was withdrawn. I thought Kingman was a bit short at 8/11 but as it turned out, he was available at 1.90 shortly before the off, despite War Command's absence. So I had a few quid on at the last minute which was a nice boost.

Didn't get to trade too much as I'd a lot on. While it's dissappointing to show a loss, I'm not going to change anything going into next week. It was just one of those times were a couple of bad times came together.

Ronaldo had been to the hairdresser before last night's match:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh

AIDAN O'Brien's stranglehold on the Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.20 Curragh) was broken by Richard Hannon's Canford Cliffs in 2010, but it's been business as usual since for Ballydoyle who have now won five of the last six renewals. While quite a few raiders have landed the prize over the years, O'Brien's namesake Vincent O’Brien is the only other Irish-based trainer to win in the last 25 years (Prince Of Birds in 1988). In fairness, Aidan O'Brien does throw a number of darts at the board every year and he's responsible for 36pc of the field this afternoon with his team of five runners headed by War Command, which was ninth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The red-hot favourite, of course, is John Gosden's Kingman, which was narrowly beaten by 40/1 outsider Night Of Thunder in the English Classic and at the time of writing, the best you can get about the Invincible Spirit colt is 8/11. Just like at Newmarket, I'm finding it hard to say anything negative about Kingman other than his price. Odds of 4/5 suggest he has a 58pc chance of winning but purely based on ratings, he's only 1lb superior to War Command and I suspect that this may be a bit more competitive than the market suggests. It would be harsh to describe War Command's Newmarket display as a total flop and once it became clear that he wasn't firing on all cylinders, Ryan Moore didn't punish him. His first run of the year was more lazy than anything else, but he looks the type to come on for the run. Indeed, Aidan O'Brien's Power came second-last in the Newmarket Guineas before winning the Irish version in 2012 and Roderic O'Connor travelled a very similar path a year before. At the prices then, it makes sense to swerve Kingman and back War Command each-way at 7/1, despite some concerns about the softer ground. Dermot Weld hasn't won this race since he sent Flash Of Steel in 1986 but his sole entry, Mustajeeb, also has claims at 6/1. He likes a bit of cut in the ground and despite the fact that he was getting weight all round, there was plenty to like about his victory over some older horses including Brendan Brackan in a Group Three at Leopardstown last time.
Across the water at Haydock, Kevin Ryan's Hot Streak (9/4) is tipped to reverse the Palace House form with Sole Power in the Group Two Temple Stakes (2.40). While the ground was described as firm yesterday, rain was expected overnight and soft ground would put Sole Power's participation in doubt. His trainer, Eddie Lynam, said he'll leave it as late as possible to make a decision as he wants to keep the horse in shape for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. On the flip side, the owners of Hot Streak and Pearl Secret would like some give in the ground and they'll also consider withdrawing their horses if they are not happy with the going. Hot Streak, to be ridden by the highly regarded Oisin Murphy, showed plenty of promise as a two-year-old and shaped well on his return to racing when third under a 3lb penalty in the Palace House Stakes earlier this month.

SHOT In The Sun steps back up to a mile for the Betfred Mobile Casino Silver Bowl Handicap Stakes (3.45 Haydock), having finished runner-up over seven furlongs in a handicap at York last time. The Richard Fahey trained filly has only finished outside the top two once in her latest eight races but would still appear to have room for manoeuvre off a mark of 84 today. At 8/1, she can be backed each-way. 

SOCCER: CRISTIANO Ronaldo missed a couple of Real Madrid matches due to a thigh problem but he’s back for tonight’s Champion’s League final against Atletico Madrid and his presence can make all the difference. Credit goes to Atletico who have reached the European Cup final for the first time since 1974 but they’ve a poor record against their La Liga rivals, who have been in cracking form in Europe this term. Real can just about shade it this evening at 21/20.
HORSE RACING: PRICED in the region of 4/11, no-one will get rich backing Sitting Pritty but Tom Dascombe's filly is impossible to oppose in the maiden at Haydock (5.45) and is sure to be included as the banker in plenty of accumulators up and down the country today. She's rated 19lbs clear of her nearest rival in the betting Goadby, and jockey Stephen Craine should steer her home without breaking a sweat this afternoon. 

Today's selections
2.20 Goodwood: Gatewood
2.40 Haydock: Hot Streak
3.20 Curragh: War Command (e/w)
3.45 Haydock: Shot In The Sun (e/w)
5.45 Catterick: Sitting Pritty

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The good, the bad and the good

A bit of a rollercoaster week which ended up nicely profitable in the end to the tune of €424:

However, I only began my €1,000 challenge on Thursday so I won't be counting all of that profit in the challenge.

I had a great bit of luck on Wednesday when I layed Aidan O'Brien's Timbuktu for a place which was as short as 1.12 in a maiden at Naas:

 It's great to get these ones up and that added around €158 to this week's total after commission.

On Thursday, I posted about doing a €1000 challenge and true to Murphy's law I then went and lost around 120 quid on Friday. I have to say, I was pretty peed off a about it as I was hoping to hit the ground running. That's racing for you though.

I'd an OK day on Saturday and my main tip in the paper, Olympic Glory, won the Lockinge at Newbury at 11/8. But unfortunately, I didn't have as much as expected on the damn thing. I had a small few quid on him on the exchanges but I planned on having an extra ton on him with good old fashioned cash. I went to Cashel with the family for a little break and was hoping to pay for some of it with Olympic Glory. But between the driving down and getting checked into the hotel etc, time ran away with me and before I knew it, the race was off. Still though, it was a good win and at least I earned something.

Arsenal let me down in a halftime/fulltime bet and it just goes to show that the FA Cup can still throw up shocks. Yes, Arsenal won but not as easily as I'd thought.

I went into today with my €1000 bank down at around €890 but, believe it or not, I managed to lay another one at 1.12 for a place and get it beat. The horse in question was Marinero for Tony Martin's yard and it finished fifth in the bumper at Limerick today. Happy days! It's not often you get a 1/8 shot beat so to get two in the same week is fantastic:

That earned me €166 before commission and brought today's P&L up to €188.31.

As I say, I earned over four ton this week but as regards the €1,000 challenge, I'll only include money earned since Thursday, which was just over 83 quid.

So the new total for the challenge is €1083.30. 

As mentioned before, I don't want to set too many targets for now for the challenge, I'd rather just see where it goes. But to double the bank, or even get to €1500 would be great and I could review from there.

I'm at the dentist tomorrow getting a shit load of work done all at once. I'm terrified of the dentist so I'm actually getting sedated and getting about seven things done including an extraction. Can't say I'm looking forward to it but I'm told that I won't care because of the drip so I'll see how it goes. I'll have to get my bets on in the morning as, apparently, I'll be up in the clouds for half the day. I know it's a bit silly for a grown man to fear the dentist so much but the last time I got a tooth pulled, it was a horrendous experience. Anyway, I digress.

To sum up the week, it was great, then terrible, then great. This morning, I certainly didn't expect to be in profit with my challenge so I'm very happy to be in the green this evening.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Lockinge Stakes at Newbury

Going to have a decent enough bet on Richard Hannon's Olympic Glory for the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury. O'Brien's import looks the danger horse.

I've have him up in the paper as my main tip so I hope he delivers as he's a short enough bet to be putting up:

Best of luck with your saturday bets. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

€1,000 challenge

It's been a while since I done any kind of challenge on the blog so I think I'll kick on off with a grand for a bit of fun and hopefully to make a few bob along the way. I always find that my dicipline is improved when people are reading/watching so a betting challenge now and again can be a good way to keep on the straight and narrow.

I won't set a target for the moment - I guess doubling the bank would be a great success initially and if I get that far, I'll reassess. 

The selections will be mostly the bets I proof to RacingIndex for Wayne Bailey Racing although there will be a few other backs, lays and trades thrown in too. I don't want to be a slave to posting daily profit and loss updates but I'll do a P&L at least once a week, maybe on Sundays. I'll kick it off tomorrow. 


Two monkeys:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Nice profits in the Betfair place markets

It's been a pretty good seven days with a profit of just under €450. Most of that came from the place lays that I do for Wayne Bailey Racing so I'm pretty pleased about that. I had 60 successful bets from 132 in the week so the profit is excellent from such a good strike rate. It also puts me well ahead of any other lay tipster on the site I proof the tips to RacingIndex. 


I don't want to come across as smug - I've had plenty of weeks where I've lost a lot but as mentioned a couple of days ago, I've been trying to enjoy the successes a little more as the bad days certainly hurt.
More of the same next week, please God!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday's bets

Morning folks, a quiet enough day of racing today quality wise - we do have the Derby Trial at Lingfield though. Here's today's Irish Independent article:

THE Aidan O'Brien trained Mekong River is as high as 40/1 in the betting for next month's Derby, a long way behind his stablemate Australia which currently trades at 6/4 for the Epsom Classic. While Mekong River most likely lacks the talent to win Britain's most prestigious race, he should at least have what it takes to make his presence felt in this afternoon's Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield (2.55), priced in the region of 4/1. This race was relegated from Group Three to Listed class last year so if the truth be told, it's a Derby trial in name only. Indeed, not one of today's nine entrants are priced any lower than 33/1 for the actual Classic itself. Still though, the presence of Charlie Appleby's market leader Sudden Wonder (11/4) will ensure that Mekong River is not the only horse rated above 100 going to post so hopefully we'll get a reasonably good race from a field that lacks any real star quality. In fairness to the organisers, an extra £40,000 has been added to the prizemoney to bring it up to £100,000 so it's a race worth winning in its own right. O'Brien has won it three times since 2008 and Mekong River comes here in good shape following a successful juvenile career in which he won his first four starts, and he then signed off by finishing fourth in a French Group One in November. That Criterium de Saint-Cloud loss came just six days on from his previous win at Leopardstown and should certainly not be seen in a negative light. O'Brien also saddles Blue Hussar (5/1) which looked a bit green when winning his debut at Leopardstown although there would appear to be plenty of scope for improvement. Sudden Wonder is a son of 2008 Derby winner New Approach and has put in some smart performances to date in a number of minor events . He should have more to come but as it stands on paper, he's still got 5lbs to make up with the selection - although that gap is negated somewhat with Mekong River carrying a 3lb penalty for winning a Listed race at Leopardstown.
Just over an hour later at 4.0, Annecdote's price of 4/1 looks generous in the Group Three Chartwell Fillies' Stakes. She beat Winning Express (7/2) in a career best in a Group Three at Goodwood back in August, although Winning Express did finish one spot ahead of her since when fourth in a similar race at Doncaster. On that occasion, Annecdote was carrying a penalty for her previous win but the placings can be reversed today on level terms. Alan De Royer-Dupre won this in 2008 so Dalayna also commands respect at 11/4.  
Earlier at Haydock, Paul Nicholls' Vibrato Valtat gets the nod at 7/2 for the Grade Three Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (3.30). Third in the Imperial Cup at Sandown off a mark of 130 back in March, he went on to win a novice hurdle at Ayr last time although I do admit that he was extremely lucky on that occasion when the odds-on favourite, Sign Of A Victory, was hampered badly by a loose horse. But from a handicapping point of view, Vibrato Valtat appears to be well treated off 131 and it will be a big surprise if he doesn't go close. 

DONT Bother Me was second behind Fort Knox in the 2000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown for Niall Moran last year and he was far from disgraced when fourth in a valuable handicap last time at Haydock for new trainer Marco Botti, off a mark of 99. He remains on the same rating for today's Victoria Cup at Ascot (3.50) and with jockey Marc Monaghan claiming 5lbs, the four-year-old should find himself thereabouts at 14/1.

RACING: IT'S been three years since Bear Behind last tasted victory so trainer Tom Dascombe has taken the bull by the horns and dropped the useful handicapper right down in class to contest the Thirsk Racecourse & Conference Centre Selling Stakes (6.10). On official figures, he's 22lbs superior to nearest rival Cape of Hope and at 5/4, this looks a straightforward penalty kick this afternoon.
SOCCER: BETTING on football can be a tricky business at this time of the year and Norwich, who have been effectively relegated, welcome Arsenal to Carrow Road in a largely meaningless fixture tomorrow afternoon. While some have suggested that The Canaries will want to exit the Premier League with a bang, Arsenal should still have too much firepower at 10/11, despite the fact they'll have one eye on next week's FA Cup final. 

Today's selections
2.40 Ascot: Harris Tweed
2.55 Lingfield: Mekong River
3.30 Haydock: Vibrato Valtat
3.50 Ascot: Dont Bother Me (e/w)
4.0 Lingfield: Annecdote
6.10 Thirsk: Bear Behind

Friday, May 9, 2014

Winning and losing

Isn't it amazing how a loss can have a much stronger effect on us than a win of a similar size?

I read about this concept in psychology and it definitely applies to gambling. Psychologists reckon that we feel the pain of losses twice as much as we feel the joy of winning. So if there was some sort of happiness scale, a €100 win might be worth 100 points but a €100 loss would see the scale drop by 200 points.  That might sound like hogwash but I tend to agree and experienced these feelings this week.
On Wednesday, I won €143 which wasn't too bad:

However, I can't say I was overjoyed. I was happy, don't get me wrong but I was acutely aware that bad days can be just around the corner. In other words, I didn't enjoy my win all that much.
On Thursday, I lost €152 which is only slightly more than I'd won on the Wednesday:

Yet the emotion from the loss was much much stronger. If I was rational, I should have been acutely aware that good days can be just around the corner. But it's hard to think like this when you lose and I can't help being nervous about Friday's figure. 

That's the way our brains are built and most of us feel the pain of a loss stronger than we do the joy of a win. Being aware of this fact won't make you stop thinking this way but I suppose it's good to know you are not alone. I guess the moral of the story is that we should enjoy our wins a little more than we do, and try not to beat ourselves up as much over a loss. Easier said than done though and I head to bed with my tail between my legs.

Tomorrow's another day!