Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The sources of information I use to look at racecards are the Racing Post and the Sporting Life (the online version as they are both a free resource - why spend money on hard copy when you dont need to.) Every piece of information you will find will be in the Racing Post, this I use every evening at 9pm. The race cards are usually published around this time. The Sporting Life I use purely to view the odds - I believe the the Sporting life is the most accurate. Having said that it is quite usual to see the Racing Post and The Sporting Life differ greatly with their odds range - for me though The SP is the benchmark. The next action is to discount the poor racing and large fields - anything grade 5 and below and anything with over 12 runners - although there may be non runners so keep in mind the 14 runner races as some runners may withdraw (always make a note of the withdrawn runners as they sometimes run the very next day or couple of days)

Nearly everyday there will be at least one race that fits the over 8 horse under 14 scenario - if there isnt, forget it and look back in the evening for the next day. The biggest weapon I have in my quest to regularly win money is the ability not to place a bet for the sake of it - I absolutely never chase money and try to recoup losses.

Flat Racing

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Using the betting exchanges

Using the betting exchanges can be a simple way to place a bet but can it also be an incredibly easy way to lose money. The process of transferring funds from your bank account into your "betting account" can be done in seconds. Sometimes it can feel as though you are not using real money.

I use probably the the biggest and most well know online betting exchange (the initials are BF.) I cannot remember the last time I ventured into a high street bookmakers. For me, my research is done the evening before and my bets are placed in the morning around 11 am - of course if the ground conditions have changed I may have to revist my selections.

Those that are not familiar with the betting exchanges - the concept is different to simply walking into a bookies and sticking a tenner on horse number 7. There are many ways to play on a horse (or horses)
The two main seperators are... you can back a horse to win, you can back a horse to lose (backing or laying)
Getting to know your way around the betting exchange interface can be a daunting task and something that I may elaborate on in time.
Once a racecard is in view - the runners and riders are listed usually in order of favouritsm - the key points to remember are; anything BLUE is backing, anything PINK is laying.
The very first time I used the exchange I placed a £10 (what I though was a win bet) on a horse at around 5's (this is 4-1, the exchanges present the odds as decimals, so if you see a 3 in a little box this means the total return back to you plus your stake, so in the odds would be 2-1 plus your "1" equalling 3. Its a little confusing.) Anyway the horse won and so I was expecting a payout of £40 - but because I inadvertantly layed the horse I had £40 debiting from my account.

Luckily for me I have now mastered the interface.

As a starting point open a betting account with an exchange and deposit just £20 and trial £2 stakes (£2 is the minimum stake)

flat racing

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Making money from horse racing (part 2)

The early days

I have had an account at an online betting exhange for about 5 years now, The first year for me was a distaster - It is so easy to transfer funds in and out of a betting account (all this from a computer) it didnt't seem as though I was using real money. I was heavily influenced by the so called experts, this was such a frustrating time. I would research a horse that I thought would be a good investment, then ignore my own advice and waste money backing a horse that I hadn't considered just because "a blokle on the telly" said "this horse looks as though he is here to win." the horse that the pundit suggested trots in midfield with several excuses made by the tipster, this would happen time and time again. Now I am blinkered (pun) in my approach, but I still use resources elsewhere to confirm a bet - but not from a bloke on the telly.

Which races not to bet on

For me, there are many different types of races that I keep well away from for varying reasons.
The type of race I completely disregard (this removes half of the available races) is jump races, both hurdles and chasing. This is one part toward removing the gamble - it seems an obvious thing to say but with jump racing your chosen horse not only has to finish ahead of the other beasts but negotiate an obstacle course, not for me I'm afraid.

Banded racing is another biggy to avoid, these are sometimes called bandit races - the horses that participate are usually one step away from becoming cat food, bad horses running against bad horses.

Claiming and selling races are also given a miss as in my opinion these can be open to the odd trainer/owner coup. The weight of the horse comes into play here (claiming races) as the heavier the horse the higher the value of the horse.

Which races to concetrate on.

The ideal sceanrio for spotting a good place bet is using simple mathematics. An 8 horse race (3 to place) is perfect. Your chosen horse has only to beat 5 horses home for you to be successful with your place bet. This makes perfect sense to me. If you were to throw a dart into the race card, ignoring the odds, you would have a 37.5% chance of picking a horse that would finish in the top 3.
I wouldn't even consider a race with 15 runners - the maximum number of runners I would be interested in is 11.

In the next post I will describe how I use the betting the exchanges and how much money needed for a betting bank


Friday, July 07, 2006

Making money from horse racing

I wouldn't say I am a gambler or even a horse racing expert. Quite the contrary, but I do ok at making money on the horses.
In my opinion (a humble one at that) it is neccessary to remove the gamble from horse racing. This is why I very seldom back a horse just to win, I prefer the place market as my main strategy.
Ask the experts and they will disagree "long terms profits can only be made from backing to win" they will say - this is true to a degree but this would involve being able to handle a long losing run. This is something I am not comfortable with. I prefer little profit and often.
The absolute golden rule for me is to never back a short priced favourite. As I place my bets on the online betting exchange the minimum odds range I am interested in is 5's (4/1) ideally a bit higher as I like to get as close to evens as possible for the place.
The other important factor for me is staking - This is not an exact science but a personal preference. Is it better to stake for a fixed return or to back at a fixed stake? Currently I am staking for a fixed return as I find this easier to control how much profit I wish to make each day/week/month.
I always have a target profit for each month and rigidly stick to this - so If I achieve the set target midway through the month I will stop there withdraw my profit and have the rest of the month away from horse racing.

Having the right mindset is so important. I have realised that it is only a few that are able to make a living from this. I am not in this category - in truth I do not want to be as I believe to do this you will have to invest a lot of time and effort and be completely consumed by the sport. My aim is to make £450 a month - this pays my mortgage, I am more than happy with this return.

The first thing to consider before even contemplating spending any hard earned cash is - Am I prepared to lose my money. If the answer is no and it will give you sleepless nights then forget all horse racing.

In the next post I will explain about betting banks, betting exchanges, which races to concentrate and which races to avoid.