Professional Gamblers: John Aspinall

Aspinall's whole life was dangerous and controversial, and in the popular press there was much speculation that he had aided the disappearance of his gambling crony Lord Lucan. But by far the most important part of his career was his work with animals. He insisted on treating them not as beasts to be exhibited, but as friends to be pampered. He ensured that they should have adequate space to live in the same kind of groupings as in the wild, and took the greatest trouble to reproduce the variety of their natural diet. 


His gorillas, for example, were given all kinds of berries, and treats such as roast meat on Sundays and chocolate bars.



"Aspers" himself, determined to annihilate the gulf between the species, delighted to romp with tigers and gorillas. His keepers, usually chosen without reference to qualifications, were encouraged to behave in a similar manner. In his book The Best of Friends (1976), Aspinall insisted on the individuality of animals:

 "There are bold tigers and timid ones, honest tigers and treacherous ones, predictable and unpredictable, noisy and silent, hot-tempered and good-natured."



He himself was an excellent judge of his charges. A Passion to Protect, a film about his work, showed him having his eyelids delicately picked by the gorilla Djoun; receiving newly-born tiger cubs dumped in his lap by the mother; and being surrounded by an affectionate wolf pack. Of his 30 best friends, he once remarked, more than half were animals. In 1993 he was perfectly happy that his grand-daughter should play with gorillas; indeed, he remarked, "I'd rather leave them with gorillas than with a social worker."



While experts were initially sceptical of his approach, they were eventually obliged to admire his remarkable run of breeding successes. Until 1956, no gorilla had ever been born in captivity, and not many more were added in ensuing years. Yet after 1975, gorilla births were common events at Howletts, and eventually passed the half-century mark.


Aspinall also bred hundreds of tigers, including the first Siberian tiger born in Britain. More than 50 other species profited, including the first snow leopard born in captivity; the first honey badger to be bred in a zoo; the first fishing cats in Britain; the first Przwalski's horses for 30 years.


But these triumphs were overshadowed by the deaths of five keepers: two killed by the same tigress in 1980; one crushed by an elephant in 1984; another savaged by a tiger in 1994; and the last trampled by an elephant earlier this year. There were also occasional maulings: of the 12-year-old Robin Birley in 1970; of the model Merilyn Lamb in 1969; of a volunteer at Port Lympne in 1994.


Though Aspinall succeeded in warding off attempts by the Canterbury Council to enforce more orthodox methods of husbandry at Howletts, these accidents evoked criticism which portrayed him as a playboy living out his fantasies. Such attacks were the more virulent because of the provocative manner in which Apsinall set forth his own views. In his mind there had once been a golden age in which animals and humans had been equal. Mankind, though, had launched a vicious campaign against the beasts and Aspinall saw it as a duty to fight for the victims.


He castigated the human race as a species of vermin, and positively welcomed natural disasters as a means of reducing the plague of homo sapiens. He would gladly end his own life, he declared, if he could take another 250 million with him. There was something to be said, he felt, for Hitler's ideas about eugenics. "Broadly speaking," he said, "the high income groups tend to have a better genetic inheritance."


Aspinall's special antipathy was clever women of Left-wing views; they made him fume. His quasi-fascist views earned him obloquy, and tended to obscure the extraordinary nature of his achievement. By 1996 his two zoos contained 1,100 animals, and cost £4 million a year to keep, of which the public contributed a mere £330,000. The task of providing the remaining funds left Aspinall quite undaunted. His panache and self-belief always allowed him to live entirely on his own terms.


John Victor Aspinall was born in Delhi on June 11 1926. His father, supposedly, was Robert Aspinall, a surgeon; his mother, née Mary Grace Horn, was sprung from a family resident in India for four generations. John was the second, and very much the favourite son. Later he gave out that, at 26, he had discovered his true father was a soldier called George Bruce, and that he had been conceived under a tamarisk tree after a regimental ball.


John was largely brought up by an ayah, and in early years was more fluent in Hindustani than in English. At six, he was sent back to prep school near Eastbourne. In 1938, Aspinall's mother, now divorced, married George Osborne (later Sir George, 16th Bt), who paid for John to go to Rugby. There he made the rugger XV, but his boisterous bolshiness caused the school to suggest in 1943 that he might not want to return for the next term. The most influential event of this period was his reading of Rider Haggard's Nada the Lily, which sparked a lifelong obsession with the Zulus and tribalism.


After Rugby, he spent three years in the ranks of the Marines. Afterwards he went up to Jesus College, Oxford, where he soon discovered that he had a talent for gambling. He risked his entire term's grant (£70) on a horse called Palestine in the 2,000 Guineas; it won, albeit at very short odds.


At Oxford he made friends who would prove vital to his later life, notably the Goldsmith brothers, Jimmy and Teddy, and a fellow gambler, Ian Maxwell-Scott. When his final exams beckoned, Aspinall preferred to attend the Gold Cup at Ascot.


At that time it was not permitted to hold games of chance regularly at the same place. Aspinall therefore began to set up games of chemin-de-fer at a variety of addresses. His charm, admitted even by his enemies, attracted such players as the Duke of Devonshire and the Earl of Derby, while his entertaining was conducted in the most lavish style. With his percentage of the stakes guaranteed, he was soon becoming rich.


He married in 1956, and went to live in a flat in Eaton Place, in which, quite suddenly, he began to instal various animals. There was a Capuchin monkey, then a nine-week-old tigress called Tara, who slept in his bed for 18 months, and two Himalayan bears. Inevitably, the neighbours were disturbed. Seeking for alternative accommodation, he put down a deposit of £600 on Howletts, a neo-Palladian house with 38 acres. A successful bet on the Cesarewitch enabled him to pay off the remaining £5,400.


At the end of 1957 the police raided a gambling party he had organised. The subsequent dismissal of the charges was a virtual admission that private gambling would be sanctioned, and indeed the Gaming Act of 1960 opened the door to casinos. In 1962, Aspinall opened the Clermont Club at 44 Berkeley Square. Though he was in a parlous financial state at the time - and thus allowed Mark Birley to establish the nightclub Annabel's in the basement - he raised £200,000 in loan stock. Membership, limited to 600, included five dukes, five marquesses and 20 earls.


The success of the Clermont Club, and investment advice from Jimmy Goldsmith, enabled him to finance Howletts, and to see off the complaints of angry neighbours. "You are slipshod and impatient," Lord Zuckerman, the doyen of zoologists, told him. But Aspinall was also irrepressible.


In 1972 he sold the Clermont Club to Victor Lownes for £500,000 in order to devote himself to Howletts. By now he was employing six gardeners and 12 keepers; the weekly bill for food amounted to £3,000. The stockmarket crash of 1973 left Aspinall more or less bust, forced to sell pictures and jewellery so that his animals could eat. Yet he still managed to pay out £360,000 for Port Lympne and its 275 acres, neglected since the death of Sir Philip Sassoon in 1939.


These were turbulent times for Aspinall. On November 8 1974, the day after Lord Lucan's disappearance, Aspinall's friends - but not, to Private Eye's cost, Jimmy Goldsmith - gathered for lunch at his house in Lyall Street to discuss what should be done. The tabloids suggested, without a shred of evidence, that they were all privy to dark secrets, and that Lucan might have turned up at Howletts and implored Aspinall to feed him to his tigers.


Aspinall declared on television that if Lucan showed up he would embrace him, but this was no more than the tribal loyalty which he demanded from his friends. Those, like Dominic Elwes, who were thought to have broken the code, were ostracised. Elwes made the mistake of selling a sketch of the interior of the Clermont to the Sunday Times, and when he found himself cut off from the company that he adored, committed suicide. At his funeral Aspinall, while praising Elwes's gifts, referred to "a genetic flaw" - and found himself punched on the jaw after the service.


Free Horse Racing Tips, Click Here!In 1978 the need for cash forced Aspinall to return to gambling. Within four years the casino he set up in Hans Place was making £8 million a year. He decided to move to larger premises in Curzon Street, and to offer 20 per cent of the shares on the stockmarket. In 1983, he netted £20 million from their sale.

Aspinall and Goldsmith still owned the remaining 76 per cent of the company, though Aspinall's share was made over for the upkeep of his zoos. When the company was sold in 1987, he realised £23 million. But by 1992 he was in financial difficulties again, having lost large sums in Goldsmith's failed attempt to take over Rank Hovis McDougall. In consequence he opened another new casino in Curzon Street in 1992. Within a year it was flourishing.



In recent years he was dogged by cancer. His courage, doubted by none, was exemplified last year by the manner in which he shrugged off a vicious mugging near his home in Belgravia. John Aspinall married first, in 1956 (dissolved 1966), Jane Hastings, a Scottish model; they had a son and a daughter. He married secondly, in 1966 (dissolved 1972), Belinda "Min" Musker, a grand-daughter of the 2nd Viscount Daventry; they had a daughter who died in infancy. He married thirdly, in 1972, Lady Sarah ("Sally") Courage, widow of the racing driver Piers Courage and daughter of the 5th Earl Howe; they had a son.

Professional Gamblers: Jack Ramsden

OK, YOU GO FIRST...
Jack Ramsden quit his job as a stockbroker in 1980 and since then has had 13 consecutive winning years as a professional punter. His successful punting like so many other professional punters is based around speed figures and race times.

He recently stated I cannot stress too strongly the importance of race times. They bind my whole approach together. There are fewer good times recorded over jumps but everyone seems to know about those horses and they are too short to back. Join our professional gambler newsletter by clicking here



Even cutting out the endless looking up of form books, I still spend two or three hours every day working out my bets. Jack continues, I'm constantly on the look out for the 3/1 chance that starts at 8/1. There are 30 or 40 of them a year and they are there to be seen. At those prices, you don't have to be right all the time! His premise is that while a good horse is capable of doing a bad time, no bad horse is capable of doing a good time.


He is unusual in that he has his own bookmaker, Colin Webster. There relationship is indeed unique, Colin pays Ramsden £5,000 a year for his advice and also has the job of getting his bets on with other bookmakers. Another unusual trait of Jack Ramsden is his liking for the multiple bets. His reasoning is that they are an extension of his policy to go for large prices and he reckons that on 4 occasions he has won over £200,000 on multiple bets.


Another piece of advice from Ramsden is regarding each-way bets. His advice is to ditch them. He states: I analysed my betting a couple of years ago and found that if I had doubled my win stakes instead of having each way bets, I would have been much better off. I think all punters would benefit by cutting out all each-way bets and sticking to singles.





Jack met his wife Lynda Ramsden when she worked at the Epsom yard of John Sutcliffe Snr, where Jack, one of Barry Hills's first owners, had horses. Ramsden was working in the City, but the City wasn't working for him. "I was a pretty useless stockbroker," he admitted. The Couple married in 1977 and then started training racehorses in the Isle of Man. I few years later moving over to England and North Yorkshire where they  trained for many years.


More pro gambler tales:


Dave Nevison

Phill Bull
A Tale Of A Pro Gambler

8 Top Tips for Becoming a Professional Gambler by Keith Driscoll

Most folk are under the assumption that professional gamblers have one bet, play one game of poker, or most other form of betting, and then collect the winnings and go back to their castle in the country for a few months rest, before having another gamble!!

I wish it was like that, but in legitimate life it is vastly different. I personally work 10-12 hours a day, 360 days a year, and still do a bit on the days off, including Christmas day. When you see professional poker players they are spending 3-5 days at a table in a tournament every week, sometimes sitting for 12 hours, and when they are not doing that, they are at home playing poker on the computer.

So if you are looking for a relaxing life, do not take up gambling as a profession. Yes it can pay well, very well, but you need to put in a lot of work, and it can be 2-3 years before you are making any meaningful money. Anyone who tells you otherwise is in all likelihood lying just to receive your hard cash.

When you see tipping advertisers stating things like "We made $26,000 to $100 stakes in the last 12 months", it looks breathtaking. However, they need to receive your attention as a 1/8th ad in a paper costs around $500, and they need that funds back before turning a profit. And how many average gamblers have $100 to bet, especially when you need a betting bank, and with $100 stakes, the cash you need before you even place one bet is around $3,500, any less and you can easily blow it all. Then divide the $26,000 by the $100 to work out how countless points you make a year, and that is 260, then divide by 52 to see how numerous points profit a week, and that comes to 5pts a week. Wow!! If you are just starting off you are likely to only be using a realistic $5, so that is $25 a week average. That may not sound much but you have to learn to walk before you can run. If you cannot profit with 10c bets, how the hell will you profit with $100 bets?

Also think why various tipsters advertise every day. This is because they have such a large turnover; they need to keep renewing the customer base. This does not always mean the tipster is rubbish, in various cases they may be profitable long term, but the average Joe Punter always wants profit NOW and every day, and average Joe points more than 5 points per week, whereas a full time professional would be happy with that.

If you are going to gamble to profit, then for the initial few months this should be your basic training were you will be doing a lot of work for little return, but you will also learn how to handle losing runs, how to cope with mistakes, and if it does all go improper and you lose the betting bank, you should have learnt a lot from it for as little loss as possible, as you should only ever bet what you can afford to lose, especially while proving to yourself you can profit. You may have a spare $10,000 available, but prove you can profit with a $1000 bank maiden, and then add to the bank monthly.

So here are the 8 tips you need to learn, and stick to religiously if you want to stand a chance of ever profiting from betting.

1. Patience: If you want big profits now, try the lottery. Building up you betting banks takes time a lot of time.

2. Betting Banks: If you do not have a betting bank to inception with, and you are just betting from whatever is in your pocket, you will never make a profit. It is as simple as that. Most punters lie to themselves that they are breaking even. Do not do that, be truthful.

3. Staking: You see betting plans for sale on EBay, most of them may make you a few dollars quickly, but it is 100% guaranteed they will bust your bank as these are designed by amateurs who have no understanding of betting maths in the actual world. Always inception with levels, if you cannot make bankroll with that simple staking plan you will not make money with anything more complicated. Once you have proven over a few months you can turn a profit with level stakes, and then you can switch to each bet being between 1%-3% of the bank. Most professionals will emergence at 3%, but get it down to 1% as the bank grows.

4. Bank Management: Managing banks is not just staking, it also involves listing every bet on a spreadsheet so you can monitor things like average odds, strike rate, losing runs, etc. If you do not list every bet, you will have no idea where you stand, and no way of having data to look back and learn from.

5. Risk Management: Most people follow one tipster, or one system. This is usually suicide, you do not see the big boys in the city markets investing everything in one stock do you? No. They spread it around, and so should you. Use a number of systems, proven tipsters, method bets, etc. And ensure you have a separate betting bank for each (you can use the same betting account, as the spreadsheets you keep will explain you the amount which is in each bank).

6. Alcohol: NEVER drink while gambling, you will bet more than you should, you will bust banks, you will play bets you would never do when sober.

7. Forums: Join a forum where you can bite ideas, this can prove a huge facilitate, but make sure it is a good one, and not full of idiots just spouting off how good they are!

8. Fun Bets: You are often told not to do any 'fun bets' if you wish to turn professional, but this will not happen, as it is hard to break kind of habits at earliest. The best way to treat fun bets is to handle them as you would any pro bets. Separate betting bank, list all bets, and it will not be long before you lose the bank and realise how wonderful your own tipping is!

This advice goes for betting in any country, on horseracing, greyhounds, soccer, NFL, poker, etc.

You can also find various free horse racing systems, staking systems, poker systems, on the web, ignore them, they are only free for a reason, as they lose hard cash.

These days it is possible to get horseracing software, poker software, etc that can benefit you, they will only make you hard cash if you are already doing so, they just enhance your skills, not make them. Search the internet for reviews on every product before parting with any bankroll; ask people on forums which software is the best.

Keith Driscoll has been a professional gambler since the late nineties, and now runs many sites, forums and blogs as Managing Director of Win2Win Limited. You can visit my site at http://www.win2win.co.uk Free Horse Racing Tips

Is Matched Betting Risk Free, Can I do it?

matched-betting.jpgGambling is for losers, or is it? We hear so much about how gambling causes so many issues for many people around the world, but many are hooked, and consistently are down on their investment.

So what if I could tell you that is you step back, don't be so hasty, and plan your bets, you could then always be beating the bookies, sound good?

Well, there is a form of betting that will work for you, it's not necessary to win huge amounts of a short space of time, but to build small smalls that collective over time turn into big amounts each month.

So what is this, I hear you ask, well it something called match betting.

What is matched betting?

I’ve tried explaining the concept of matched betting to some people I know, but I it always a little difficult. Fundamentally, match betting is not that close to gambling in general; this is because it take advantages of the free bet offers that many booker makers make. The idea is you take advantage of the free bet offer by a bookmaker;

You then bet on all possible events of the outcome, with you free bets and any small deposit you made, so if it is a horse racing, you would bet on the horse or bet against it (Lay bet).

Now that's a loose explanation, but it gives you an idea in a nutshell. The main thing from this is that you really can't lose, as long you use a trusted matched betting tool, which will not only guide you to where to find your free bets, where to bet but will work out and store a history of all your matched betting bets & balances.

There is a article on the theguardian.com, which touches further on the subject.

Is matched betting for anyone?

In one word, yes. Anyone, whatever age or experience can make money from matched betting. Patients and having some spare time is the only ingredients you need, and of course a computer and an internet connection.

Students & matched betting


With students, are you one now reading this thinking, hmm, I could really make a quick buck here, I know I use my student loan!

Wait, there is always a risk, be it small of losing when matched betting, this is mainly down to a lack of understanding and rushing into it with a desperate need to make some extra cash for the weekend. If you put it to theory matched betting itself is risk-free!

I would recommend that, as mentions earlier on in this post, that you, find a matched betting service that offers free support & guidance, video tutorials, and allows you to find free bets easily plus monitor and track what you are doing.

Many of these matched betting service websites, offer free accounts, plus the option for more premium options, which cost around £15 per month.

So while matched betting is risk-free you do have to invest a small amount each month in making sure, one you are organised, have the best direction possible and have quick access to all the possible free bets open to you online.


Monday's Racing Tips (25th September)

Monday 25th September - 

Love two-year-old horse racing? Well, Group Horse have forwarded there juveniles of interest for this Monday's racing. 

1:50 Kempton - 

Noted juveniles: Deviate.

2:00 Leicester - 

Noted juveniles: Misty Spirit & Felisa.

2:25 Kempton - 

Noted juveniles: Graffiti Master.

3:05 Leicester - 

Noted juveniles: Alkhawaneej Boy & Porth Swtan.   

4:05 Kempton - 

Noted juveniles: Heptathlete, Isle Of Avalon & Power And Peace. 

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for horse racing?

There is still plenty of top racing to get stuck into during the rest of 2017 and it will be to the north of England that attention turns later in August.

York’s prestigious Ebor Meeting gets under way on Wednesday, August 23, with the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes the undoubted centrepiece of the four-day meeting.

Run over a mile-and-a-quarter on the Knavesmire, it attracts some of the best Flat horses around and could well see Churchill, Barney Roy and Ulysses go head to head.

Barney Roy heads the ante-post market at 11/4 and Richard Hannon will be looking for some payback after losing by a nose to Ulysses (3/1) in the Coral-Eclipse.

A repeats of his display in taking the St James's Palace Stakes would go down well for connections but Churchill (9/1) might also have say in proceedings especially if he can bounce back to winning ways at Glorious Goodwood.

Another Group One contest, the Yorkshire Oaks, brings together many of the leading three-year-old fillies over a mile-and-a-half.

King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Enable has been slated for an outing and is as short as 1/3 to claim the spoils.

However, Aidan O’Brien’s Coronation Stakes winner Winter, currently on offer at 12/1, might have a say in proceedings.

A few familiar faces may well line up in the Irish Champions Stakes on September 9, with Cliffs of Moher (6/1) and Jack Hobbs (10/1) thought to be in the frame for a Leopardstown run out.

The former was runner-up to Wings Of Eagles in the Derby but fourth in the Coral-Eclipse while Jack Hobbs has fluffed his lines twice since winning a Group One in Dubai back in March.

Doncaster’s Group One St Leger takes place on September 16 and the world’s oldest Classic might well see a rematch between Aidan O’Brien’s Irish Derby winner Capri (3/1) and Cracksman (6/1), who was just beaten a neck on that occasion.

Scottish racing will be to the fore in late September, with the six-furlong Ayr Gold Cup one of the season’s most sought-after sprint handicaps.

My Racing has all the best free tips available for online betting and provides betting offers and a nap of the day for all the biggest meetings.

Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire Meeting follows soon after which includes the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes but as Halloween approaches, it will be back to Ascot for British Champions Day on Saturday, October 21.

There is something for everyone, with sprints and longer distance contests and, while it is too early to safely say which stars might grace the Group One Champion Stakes, Almanzor has been priced at 8/1 to defend his crown at the Berkshire track.

The four-year-old has not been seen since claiming the spoils under Christophe Soumillon but it is sure to be a tough task with the quality on show.

National Hunt racing will take prominence later in the year, with the prestigious Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Newbury always popular for jump racing fans, while Kempton’s King George VI Chase over the festive period might well see the likes of Thistlecrack (3/1), Sizing John (4/1) and Douvan (6/1) do battle once again.


Hard Times Gambling Tips to Make Money

As the economy worsens and many people find themselves in a downward financial spiral, many will consider trying to win money to solve their economic problems. I've owned and raced horses, handicapped horse races for profit, and counted cards at the blackjack tables in casinos. I've made money at those things, but never got rich and found it to be more work than a regular job. It isn't glamorous or sexy to sit at a blackjack table for hours with drunks trying to tell you how to play your cards and the pit boss eyeing you suspiciously.

There is also nothing fun about walking out of a race track with empty pockets. The truth of the matter is that if you are one of the consumers of gambling, that is, not the casino owner or owner of the race track, then the game is against you from the get go. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to quit playing, but I hate to see people risking what little they have trying to get lucky.

If you really want to get lucky, work for the casino or at the race track. I've never worked for a casino but have worked at a race track and I got paid every day no matter who won the race. If none of this has discouraged you or convinced you to quit, here is a little advice that might help.

First and foremost, set limits and know when to quit, especially when you're ahead. At some time in their visit to the casino, almost every gambler has a time when he or she is ahead and yet, most leave a loser. How do you know when to quit? Gambling, like most things in life, is streaky, or cyclical. You will have times when you win a few bets at the horses or hit a jackpot at the slots or a big pot at the poker table.

Nine out of ten gamblers proceed to keep betting and playing and give it all back. The longer you play the more likely you are to lose due to something called churn. Casinos and race tracks love churn. It simply means that each time you bet, the house or track gets a piece of your bet. It may only be a few percentage points in the casino or 20% at the track, but it adds up.

One of the few successful gamblers that I know is a lady who plays trifectas at the horse races. She is one of the cheapest people I know, but she still takes $60 per week and plays the ponies. If she loses it, she goes home and waits until the next week. When she wins, and she does, she usually hits trifectas that pay well. She will take the money and put it in the bank and use it to pay her bills or buy things she couldn't usually afford.

The next week, no matter how much is in the bank account, she only takes $60 and goes back to the track. She loves to handicap and doesn't look at it as the only source of her income. She knows that if she loses, she hasn't lost everything. In other words, there is no big pressure on her to win. She simply does her best to pick good trifecta combinations and then she plays them.

Over the years she has spent quite a bit of money on good books about handicapping and money management, which brings up another important point. Invest in yourself first. An investment in good information that you can use or a good education is the best investment most of us can make. She doesn't gamble with scared money and can stay within her limits.

So when you get hot and find yourself ahead, be realistic and quit. Take whatever you have and call it a day. The race track or casino will be there next week. Use most of the money to pay down that credit card or mortgage and just save enough for your next trip to the track or casino. You will be amazed, if you follow this simple gambling advice at how you cut your losses and maximize your profits.

Author: Bill Peterson



Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/online-gambling-articles/hard-times-gambling-tips-to-make-money-4131887.html
About the Author

If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to http://williewins.homestead.com/truecb.html and get the truth. Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill's horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill's handicapping store.

The Slowest Racehorse Ever!

We've all heard those positive cliches about the fastest racehorses in training. ''It's been catching pigeons on the gallops''

Sadly the converse can also be true where a horse makes a name for itself because it is decidedly sluggish. That's being polite to one or two who can only be described as horrendously slow. One horse to take this unflattering accolade is A Definite Diamond

Trained by Milton Bradley, pictured with The Tatling, who raced 176 times, won 18 races and achieved prize winnings of £687,000, retiring at the age of 14 when winning his final race at Wolverhampton is a stark contrast to this two-year-old filly. A Definite Diamond is a homebred daughter of Assertive, racing in the black and yellow silks of beleaguered owners Paul & Ann de Weck. 

The chestnut filly must have been struggling to catch snails at Sedbury, Gloucester. And definitely not a girl's best friend.

Racing over a variety of distances - from 5f to 1 mile - she has finished last in each of her six starts to date. She's been trounced by 54 horses, more than 200+ lengths.

In her most recent effort at Bath, over the minimum trip, she showed healthy pace only to tire at the two-furlong pole some 23 lengths behind her nearest rival. 

Sadly this March foal hasn't escaped her harshest critic on the racecourse - the official handicapper. 

The higher a horse's rating the better its ability. A horse rated 60 has to be considered poor. 

So what is the rating of A Definite Diamond? 

It doesn't look good. In fact, it is terribly low. Amazingly she has been given a rating of just 1.

Is she the slowest horse in racing?

Luckily her owners have tasted victory with 7 winners since 2003. The best of their horses named April Ciel, although he is trained by Ron Harris. 

Sometimes Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend.  

Friday's Racing Tips

What A Winner Looks Like!
Friday 11th August 

A busy day so not much time to look too in depth. 

1:50 Wolverhampton - 

The three big guns in the betting and all held in high regard by their respective trainers. MokaatilCorinthia Knight & Moseeb have significant entries. Moseeb seems a touch temperamental and disappointed at Ripon last time. Mokaatil doesn't have to shoulder a win penalty which is a clear advantage. I can see a few punters fancying Corinthia Knight as a fair each-way bet if drifting a touch in the betting. A fascinating race. 

6:35 Newmarket - 

A big maiden. Plenty of horses with reputations. Wafy is worthy of note for Charlie Hills. 

My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe...

One of my favourite quotes is that even a broken watch is right twice a day. As a gambler I think most of us would like to have a better strike rate! Damn Watch.

Rambling...


Nothing changes, hey. I'm either quiet or you suffer from unending prose. The blog timeline details: spam, nothing, more spam, and My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe. [written 2013]


That latter topic sounds much more interesting. This adventure related to my laying horses to lose. That's two-year-old horses. I don't  understand anything else. Now, I'm not going to talk too much about my approach or the philosophy behind my laying tactics because it is a work in progress and rather boring in its written form. 

I must admit I don't find any form of gambling particularly pleasurable. My reasoning is that I have the odds in my favour. As every speculator will appreciate, that betting slip (in mind if not in hand) often morphs into a stick of dynamite.  The fuse burning too damn quick. Lay betting can feel rather daunting. When you've laid the rag and it's travelling with the zeal of a six-to-four jolly it makes the eyes bulge, the heart race, and your pocket has a kind of lost empty feel. Not very jovial. Well, that's the nature of the beast. Equine. You know, those things the commentator keeps talking about. 


So how did the season go?


Well, I was amazed. I know what you are thinking? Is that a good or bad amazing? I just took a double-take to see if my hand had been blown off. 


For the most part it was amazingly good - with a slight disaster at the finish.


I started small laying juveniles to win five pounds a time. That may seem a pittance but it can be a costly affair if a 20/1 shot has an exceptionally long neck. I'm pretty sure I laid a couple of giraffe this year.Last time I go to the bloody zoo and say what lovely creatures. I'm not against laying a good few horses in the same field. Races would come and go. I'd be winning ten, twenty, fifty pound a race. Everything was going well. Amazingly so. After winning several hundred pounds I considered it was time to lay each horse for twenty pounds. I knew it was a risk but time is money and all that. It made me a little nervous. The  bets ranged from laying favourites to huge outsiders. It can be slightly unnerving to lay a horse which could cost a couple of thousand. I always hope they fall out of the stalls and as fat as a pig. In that moment my potential terror of what could be turns to joy. Righteousness. Being right rather than religious. Obviously, there is good reason why I lay such horses. There is understanding, reason, professionalism. I'm not pinning the tail on the donkey - just trying to find it. However, that doesn't mean any horse cannot win. They do. The beasts. Those chestnut giraffe can be killers. 


To be fair I laid an incredible run of losers. In a matter of months I had turned my five pounds to four thousand. In a sizable field of maidens I would win up to two hundred a race. However, this approach doesn't allow you to just take any old race and wave my stick of dynamite. For starters, on many days there would be a limited number of two-year-old races. Certain race types were ignored.


I had a feeling of confidence.


For a moment I considered however fast that fuse burned if I filled my lungs with joyous - winning - air I could blow away that hellish spark.


On occasions I got my fingers burned. You have to remember that although I follow a professional approach there is something very different about working in practice to paper trailing. Thankfully I wasn't hit by a 100/1 shot. That would have been hard to swallow. But if you lay a bet you should never be surprised if it wins. It is probably sensible to imagine it will blow your socks off. I laid a couple of horses which won at 20/1. Not good. Although from my understanding I wasn't wrong in my approach. Horses win, horses lose, that's how it works. I must admit that in those early months of laying what must have been a hundred plus losers on the trot it all seemed ''amazingly'' straight forward. At the back of my mind (often at the front...and certainly in my pocket) I didn't believe it would last. I didn't expect it to follow a scenic path. I've watched  The Wizard of Oz. You have to meet a scarecrow, tin man, lion and a couple of flying monkeys before you get a chance to melt a green-faced witch and steal her bloody shoes. Although - thinking about it -hadn't she already lost them? 


I hit another couple of winners. A few bets cost a good few hundred. Financially it wasn't a problem but psychologically it was tougher. The next few lay bets made me really need them to lose. With a few winning days under my belt I shrugged off the loss and by a week or two I was back to an all-time high. 


However, little by little I hit a plateau. The four thousand pound mark became a wall. Each time I would climb the ladder to look over the other side I would be beaten to it by a giraffe who stuck out an incredibly long tongue. Sure the thing blew a raspberry before it came into view. I went from four thousand. Three thousand. Back to four thousand. Kicked in the nuts by wilder beast. It was a struggle. I didn't feel the approach was wrong. A few of the decisions come down to a photo finish. Prolonged agony. I realised that I needed a tweak here and there. Knock a few trainers on the head because they had done my brain in. That learning curve felt as though it was tying me up in knots. I'm sure that watch stopped when I wasn't looking.


The end of the two-year-old season was on the horizon and I was looking forward to a rest. One of the last bets was a killer blow. It didn't finish me off but it dampened my spirits which were already low. Of all days. I had been to the funeral of my aunt and switched on the races to see a Luca Cumani debutant which I laid for twenty pounds. The favourite struggled. In turn I had an uneasy feeling...which continued to cause concern. The beast travelled like a gazelle. I gave up trying to work out whether its neck was long or short. Its legs moved fast. It hit the front, cruising Kempton's final bend and lengthened clear into the straight. The loss I had expected materialised costing nearly eight hundred pounds. It wasn't the best of feelings. 


I'll be back next year with my tranquilizer dart.



Debating Betting Odds: What's the Shortest Price You'd Bet?

Betting. It's a subject that has fascinated the everyday gambler to the greatest philosophers. I wonder if many readers have heard of Pascal's Wager? 

Pascal's Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–62). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or that he does not. Pascal argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas they stand to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).

Pascal's Wager was based on the idea of the Christian God, though similar arguments have occurred in other religious traditions. The original wager was set out in section 233 of Pascal's posthumously published Pensées ("Thoughts"). These previously unpublished notes were assembled to form an incomplete treatise on Christian apologetics.

Historically, Pascal's Wager was groundbreaking because it charted new territory in probability theory, marked the first formal use of decision theory, and anticipated future philosophies such as existentialism, pragmatism and voluntarism.

Source: Wikipedia

I guess most of us who like a flutter aren't musing if we should back heaven or hell unless they are the names of two greyhounds in a race at Wimbledon. Perhaps we should! 

However, it is interesting to consider the logic of Pascal's wager because have you ever questioned the types of bets you choose? Making the right or wrong bet could well be the difference between winning and losing. 

You could be a budding philosopher.

I'm sure you have been chatting with a friend about a bet and they haven't so much questioned your selection(s) but the bet itself, especially the price. It is interesting because most gamblers are creatures of habit and often find it difficult to break or perhaps even notice they stick with a given bet which by its very nature dictates a certain mindset. Perhaps it isn't broken or in need of change.

There's one thing you can guarantee - everyone has an opinion. 

I have often placed an each-way treble and been criticised for having an even money shot perched somewhere in the three. Comments of ''Good luck with that...'' clearly showing an element of disdain or bemusement of thinking they or the royal we knows better. 

It's a tricky subject. Well, it might be. Perhaps it isn't an issue at all. Definitely ''No bet!'' It's definitely ''Bet!'' 

It's all about opinion. 

Who is to say what is a good or bad bet? I'm sure someone will be thinking, even myself included, that doesn't look a good bet. 

However, how do we measure any bet? By one criterion - long-term profits. If you have what many would consider the most ridiculous bet ever placed but you are in profit year on year. I'd say those laughing should, with wisdom, be laughing at themselves. Perhaps in ten years time, they will be laughing at you because you have been proven to be a loser.

If I placed a £50 each-treble on:

2:30 Romford: He's Lucky 4/1

4:50 Chester:  That's Too Short 1/1
6:00 Goodwood: Icing On The Cake 7/1

Who likes or dislikes the 1/1?  Without know the horse, form, tipster quality....which way the wind is blowing that day. I can guarantee a number of people will be citicising the even-money jolly. 

''Each-way even money? That must be wrong! 

One-fifth of the odds 0.2 for a place. 

Criminal!!!!!!

But what about the man who bet a place on Betfair at the same odds? What about the gambler who bets at 1.01 in-running?  

It's a matter of debate. Perhaps, when it wins, you'll say that's one hell of a god bet. 

At the end of the day if you are in long-term profit isn't that the true test of whether a bet is correct win or lose.

Feel free to comment.