1:25 Doncaster Racing Tips (28th March) BETWAY BROCKLESBY CONDITIONS STAKES (Plus 10 Race) (CLASS 4) (2yo)

The first two-year-old race of the season. Great to see the Brocklesby opening proceedings. From an original 19 entrants we see a relatively small field of just nine juveniles: colts bar one filly. A mix representative of leading to small stables over 5f on good to soft going.

One name synonymous with the Brocklesby is Bill Turner. This year sees him field Just That Lord, a son of Avonbridge out of Lady Filly, who was similarly owned and trained. The mare ran in the silks of Mrs  M S Teversham and a precocious type running six times in her formative season, winning her first three starts, then far from disgraced when visiting Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2). This home bred chestnut colt is an April foal, so officially not quite two. Turner has excelled in this race and it is no understatement to say he usually sends his best two-year-old to compete. In the last seven races he has won this contest three times and runner-up twice. There is little doubt Just That Lord will be primed and ready, from a good family, and with a valuable 5lb claim from Ryan While I would be expecting a big performance. 

By all account assessing the ability of debutantes relates to breeding and particularly trainer standards and performance. 

Scott Dixon is a charismatic trainer who won this race last year with the talented Cock Of The North who fairly powered home in the hands of Matthew Hopkins (beating Bill Turner's Paddy Again). Cock Of The North proved a class performer competing at Group class including a narrow loss in Solario Stakes (Group 3), while finishing his season in the Racing Post Trophy (Group 1) behind Elm Park. In all honesty it would be a miracle for this year's candidate to reach such dizzy heights. Dixon's hope is Rupert Boy an Irish bred son of first-season sire Frozen Power out of an unraced mare. This chestnut colt was purchased at the yearling sales for 26,000gns by the trainer, running in the ownership of J Radford. Trainers are creatures of habit so it could be a sign of interest and 7lb apprentice David Parkes is a talented pilot. 

First Bombardment is trained by David O'Meara in the silks of Northern Hart Racing & Partner. This son of Pastoral Pursuits is out of a twice-winning mare costing £18,000 at the yearling sales. This stable can ready a horse to win on debut although they feature a relatively poor strike rate. Money would give greater hope although a horse I would rather watch. 

Brian Ellison doesn't have many debut winners but a shrewd trainer. General Alexander is a son of Zebedee out of a winning Irish mare. This grey colt is quite an early February foal, meaning he is just over two and purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales for £30,000. Mrs J A Martin is a good patron of Spring Cottage Stables (Northgate Lad won on debut as a two-year-old at Beverley). This horse is bred to be an early type and the betting is the best guide. 

Mark Johnston had two horses entered to contest this race but Ravenhoe will be the first juvenile runner for Kingsley House. This chestnut son of Bahamian Bounty cost £16,000 at the yearling sales when purchased by the trainer for established owner David Abell. The mare was a prolific sprinter with Kevin Ryan, who won on debut at Doncaster. There is nothing in the breeding of this horse to put you off. Mark Johnston has a fair win rate with his two-year-olds making their racecourse bow although I find him something of an enigma. In general, his better juveniles appear in May and even then it can be very difficult to pick the wheat from the chaff. His horses either win easily or prove disappointing losers. I would have to take a watching brief.

James Given has a brace of runners: one colt and the sole filly of the field. He fielded Magic Florence in this race last year, who won in her two-year-old career although proved a frustrating individual at times. 

Sir Dudley runs in the same ownership of The Cool Silk Partnership who know a good horse. This bay, an Irish bred son of Arcano, is the oldest in the field (10th February). He is out of a winning mare and cost £52,000 at the yearling sales and half-brother to Apostle. In general, the stable's juveniles are better on their second start although they can go well if fancied in the betting. If priced 4/1 & less I'd expect a big run but weak in the market a watching brief. 

Given's saddle the only filly in the field Silk Bow for The Cool Silk Partnership. This daughter of Elusive City cost £31,000 when purchased by Athony Stroud at the yearling sales (10,000gn foal). The mare raced at three and won over a mile. The betting is the best guide and most probably the second string for Mount House Stables. 

Teversham is handled by Chris Dwyer. This bay colt is a son of Kheleyf out of a twice-winning mare trained by D Cosgrove. An 8,000gn foal, purchased by the vendor. This juvenile races in the familiar silks of Strawberry Field Stud, connections of Basil Berry. The stable are a canny outfit but their two-year-old usually progress with racing. Unless seriously backed, best watched.

Last but not least is Tim The Taxi trained by Natalie Lloyd-Beavis, who was granted her trainer's licence in 2012. This bay colt is a son of Compton Place out of a winning mare trained by Rod Millman, similarly bred by The Pocock Family. Originally purchased as a foal for 8,000gns by Oliver St Lawrence Bloodstock, latterly by Tim Suttle as a yearling for 3,000gns. Best watched. 

Conclusion: The beginning of the Flat turf season. The Brocklesby has been won by a few talented juveniles including Mind Games, Hearts Of Fire & Cock Of The North. Nineteen horses were entered for this race and those original entrants are worth noting. All Stakes race entrants/runners often prove up to winning maiden contests. With no form we have to use our experience to assess these. Bill Turner is always worth noting in the Brocklesby as he has made it his own. Just That Lord is bred to be precocious and fast. With a relatively small field the only negative may be the price. I wouldn't bet at short odds but if an each-way price must go well. The betting is key for most and money is never a bad sign. Sir Dudley would have sound win and place claims if priced 4/1 & less. Ravenhoe could be anything but Johnston's debutantes are so hit and miss I would watch this horse. 

Review: Disappointing to see a small field, no doubt diluted by two other juveniles races on the same day - at least two other horses gave the Brocklesby a miss to compete at Kempton or Chelmsford City. Only four horses made any impact in this race: Ravenhoe, First Bombardment, General Alexander & Just That Lord. All horses entered for or running in this race are worthy of interest on their next starts. Stakes races are often a good source of talent. However, the form of these early two-year-old races can only be assessed with time. Certainly the final furlong was slow. Mark Johnston's Ravenhoe was quite well backed and not best away but ran to the line. The stable fielded all three juvenile winners on the day and they looked - physically - fair horses. This colt just held First Bombardment who touched below 1/10 in-running. David O'Meara's horse was a touch keen and always in a nice position just behind the lead. He lost nothing in defeat and looks a straightforward juvenile who should win. General Alexander had a slow start and then a touch outpaced, switching on the outside before switching back to the rail. Brian Ellison's juvenile wasn't pressed but ran on encouragingly. This colts should improve and not a million miles away from the first two. Just That Lord is a fair-looking colt and showed a professional approach, plenty of pace and looked to hold every chance until the closing stages when he showed his limitations or needed the run. It is difficult to assess horses at this early stage although he was ridden as if fit and ready. He may have go a stride too fast which could have told in the closing stages although on this evidence looked held. All four horses are likely to be short odds for their next start with valuable race experience. Until the form has been tested I would take a watching brief. Mark Johnston's winners at Kempton and Chelmsford City both caught the eye. For a filly, Rah Rah has size and scope with a fluent action. That was a tidy performance against Hannon's odds-on shot (Anwar). At Chelmsford City, Buratino looked very inexperienced, hanging and clueless, but beat the opposition without any fuss and is sure to improve for this first start. All three winners have hope of progressing to a higher level and set the standard for stakes race to come.  

Saturday Tipping Competition

The final week of this month's tipping competition. Eric (pro) hit the headlines with a juicy 10/1 winner to lead on 22pts. Gareth (pro) found a winner too and holds second position with 19pts. In third place we have Jodonovan (pro) 14pts, with Shukman (pro) 7.25pts and Winter (pro) 6pts next best. A low scoring month in ways so there might be a surprise or two for this conclusion. Please make sure all tips are in by 1pm deadline. With the Flat turf season starting I need to concentrate on the two-year-old races. 

Tipster selections:

12:40 Meydan   - Frankyfourfingers 1pt ew (Racing Mama) Unp
1:45 Kempton   - Anwar 2pt w (Gareth) (pro) 2nd
1:45 Kempton   - What A Whopper 2pt w (Bird) (pro) Unp
2:35 Doncaster    - *Aetna 2pt w (Jodonovan) (pro) 2nd
2:35 Doncaster - Lucky Beggar 2pt w (Danny) Unp
2:50 Kempton   - New Years Night 2pt w (Emanuel) Unp
2:55 Chelmsford - Blue Smoke 2pt w (Waterhouse) Unp
3:05 Meydan     - Speed Hawk 2pt w (Davidson) (pro) Unp
3:10 Doncaster - Dance And Dance 2pt w (Betmanmike) (pro) Unp
3:10 Doncaster - Yourartisonfire 2pt w (OneEyeEnos) (pro) 3rd
3:25 Kempton   - Yeeoow 1pt ew (Eric) (pro) 4th
3:45 Doncaster - Hillbilly Boy 2pt w (Mark) (pro) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Belgium Bill 2pt w (Me Old Mum) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Fire Ship 2pt w (Longbow) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Robert The Painter 2pt w (Clint) (pro) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Ocean Tempest 2pt w (Inittowinit) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Baraweez 2pt w (Pam) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Gabriel 2pt w (Bobby Talk) 1st (26pts)
3:45 Doncaster - Lincoln 2pt w (Glueythepig) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Hillbillyboy 2pt w (Shukman) (pro)
3:45 Doncaster - Mondialist 2pt w (Stephenson) 2nd
3:45 Doncaster - Lincoln 2pt w (Winter) (pro) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Emell 2pt w (Rawnsley) (pro) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - What About Carlo 2pt w (Fred Pippage) 4th 
3:45 Doncaster - Bronze Angel 2pt w (HCE) (pro) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Robert The Painter 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) Unp
3:45 Doncaster - Mooharib 2pt w (Jerry Banks) (pro) 3rd
4:50 Doncaster - City Ground 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) Unp

Good luck to all

*NR Placed on lowest number fav

Congratulations to Bobby Talk winning the month with 26pts, while Eric won the pro ranks with 22pts. 

French Encore Wins Impressively for Stan Moore at St Cloud, France

Berkeley House Stables started the two-year-old season in style sending their first runner to St Cloud, France to win over 4f 104y. 

A jubilant Stan Moore said: '' Wow we are so excited today we think you probably heard us screaming from anywhere in the UK. First runner of the new season and our first time our two year old French Encore.....won convincingly and impressively at St Cloud today under a super ride by Liam Jones. He jumped fast from the stalls and was in the firing line all the way, so exciting. He has some entries at the end of the week and in to next week so hoping he can give us an ENCORE!''

This bay gelding, a son of Showcasing out of a placed mare, raced in the silks of Mrs Evelyn Yates. This yearling was bought in by the vendor for £2,000. With engagements for the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes (Saturday) it will be interesting to see if this February foal makes a quick reappearance. Congratulations to connections.  

Brocklesby Stakes Stars - Mind Games

For many the emphasis of Doncaster's William Hill Lincoln meeting will be the handicap mile, while HCE will focus on the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes, which heralds the start of our two-year-old season. To celebrate the Flat season, we remember a number of talented two-year-olds which have not only won the Brocklesby but gone on to mark themselves as truly talented individuals. Read this year's analysis on 28th March 2015, 1:25 Doncaster. High Class Equine - the home of two-year-old racing. 

Mind Games

Puissance (6.4f) — Aryaf (CAN) (Vice Regent (CAN) (8.8f)

Trainer J Berry
OWNER: Robert Hughes (shropshire)

2nd foal, half-brother to Able Fun, 1m winner at 2, Prince Ary, 10f winner at 3, & Quiz Show, 1m winner at 3, later dam of smart sprint 2yo Right Answer; dam unplaced at 2-3, half-sister to quite useful miler Peartree House

On the 24th March 1994 Mind Games won the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes by a neck from Jobran, trained by Gay Kelleway, at 4/1 joint favourite. Jack Berry - the renowned trainer often noted for his red shirts - had unveiled one of the most talented horses from the vast string of horses. Berry was well known for his early-season dominance of two-year-old races. This son of Puissance ran seven times at two, winning his first three races with a ready success taking the Norfolk Stakes (Group 3) at Royal Ascot over 5f. He suffered his first loss (5th) when competing at Leopardstown (IRE) in the Heinze 57 Phoenix Stakes (Group 1). Mind Games continued to mark himself as a top-class two-year-old racing at Group level and narrowly losing by a short head in the Flying Childers (Group 2).
A successful career at 3 & 4 saw him race from Listed to Group 1 level, winning a further four races, with the Temple Stakes (Group 2) at Sandown being a notable success. Mind Games raced at Group 1 level on nine occasions but never won at this level albeit finishing 4th in the Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) at York, beaten by two length behind Pivotal. 
Berry's star raced once as a five-year-old before being retired to stud.
In his career, Mind Games raced 20 time, winning 7 races and won total prize money of over a quarter of a million pounds and an official rating of 112.

Horse Racing Systems and Handicapping Basics

If you've been handicapping horse races and trying to make a profit for a while, you realize just how difficult that might be. You also have probably figured out that you need a method or system that works and that you can repeat. When you're betting on horses and don't have any regular steps that lead to good winners, every bet is a shot in the dark.

Like any other endeavor in life, winning at the horses requires certain basic steps and you can never get away from them. It doesn't matter what system you use, it has to start with being able to accurately estimate the frequency or probability of a horse winning the race. Unless you know how often a horse with certain qualifications would win, how do you know what it is worth?

Some people think the key is to compare the odds of each horse to the field. For instance, they look at a horse that is fourth in the betting order and at 6-1 and think that its a good bet because the other three horses that are lower in odds aren't that much better than that one. They think that it has a chance to win and at 6-1 they think it is a good value.

The problem is, their thinking is murky at best because those terms are all subjective. For instance, what is a good chance? Does that mean one in five? Does it mean one out of three? We're dealing with finite numbers so thinking in terms of good and bad, maybe and might are not going to be good enough to make a profit in the long run. That is the difference between a pro and a part time or recreational horse player.

The irony of it is that it is not an advanced concept that you would think only a pro would know or use. It is a very basic factor of finding profitable bets or investments in life. The whole equation comes down to this. Risk < reward = profit. In plain English, when the risk is less than the reward profitable situations occur. Those profitable situations, however, can be accurately identified if you use math and not words like might probably and maybe.

Therefore, one of the very basics of horse racing handicapping is to think in mathematical terms. You don't count your winnings with words, you use numbers to quantify your results. In order to have positive results to quantify you need to start thinking in mathematical terms. It may sound incredibly simple but it is one key to successful horse racing handicapping you can't overlook.

Author: Bill Peterson

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/horse-racing-articles/horse-racing-systems-and-handicapping-basics-4105775.html
About the Author

If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to http://williewins.homestead.com/sharpshooter2.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.

Saturday Tipping Competition

The third week of the tipping competition. I hope my going to Yarmouth last Saturday didn't cause any problems. I haven't been feeling that well of late and it was literally freezing on the Norfolk coast. I didn't feel too lively although the casino was fun. Brother won a few quid and I lost a few quid. Nothing too drastic so it wasn't a problem. I must say, if you are ever in Yarmouth go to the Grosvenor Casino on the front. It is a beautiful Listed building and the food is cheap as cheap because they want you to gamble. No-one is twisting your arm. A good night out and if it is your birthday they bring a cake and give you a beer or two free of charge. But back to the tipster competition. It has been a quiet month but Jodonovan (pro) found a 6/1 winner and sits at the top of the table with 14pts, Shukman (pro) 7.25pts second, Winter (pro) 6pts third and Gareth (pro) & Emanuel (free) 5pts fourth. Still plenty to play for and all it takes is one juicy winner to have me bursting in tears. 1pm Deadline. 

Tipster selections:

2:00 Newbury - Petite Rose 2pt w ( Shukman) 2nd
2:15 Kelso      - Knockara Beau 2pt w (Longbow) Fell
2:15 Kelso      - Cloudy Too 2pt w (Inittowinit) 4th
2:15 Kelso      - Isla Pearl Fisher 2pt w (Glueythepig) Unp
2:15 Kelso      - Sharney Sike 2pt w (Pam) 3rd
2:35 Newbury - Tara Mist 2pt w (Mark) 4th
2:35 Newbury - Kalane 2pt w (Eric) 1st (22pts)
2:35 Newbury - Ron's Dream 1pt ew (Racing Mama) Unp
2:35 Newbury - Morrello Royale 2pt w (Davidson) Unp
2:35 Newbury - Morrello Royale 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) Unp
2:35 Newbury - Tara Mist  2pt w (Jerry Banks) 4th
2:50 Kelso      - Samstown 1pt ew (Stephenson) Unp
2:50 Kelso       - Desilvano 2pt w (Bird) Unp
3:00 Banger    - Popoflora 2pt w (Winter) Unp
3:10 Newbury  - Financial Climate 2pt w (Clint) 3rd
3:10 Newbury  - Imperial Circus 2pt w (Rawnsley) Unp 
3:15 Stratford  - Louhalder 2pt w (Jodonovan) 4th
3:25 Kelso      - Final Assault 2pt w (Danny) 2nd
3:45 Newbury - Golden Doyen 2pt w (Waterhouse) Unp
3:45 Newbury - Lil Rockerfeller 2pt w (OneEyeEnos) 4th
4:00 Kelso      - Robin's Command 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) 4th
4:35 Kelso      - Lucematic 2pt w (Betmanmike) Unp 
5:10 Kelso      - Big River 2pt w (Gareth) 1st (14pts)
5:10 Kelso      - Shotofwine 2pt w (HCE) Unp

Good luck to all

Table Toppers

22pts Eric
19pts Gareth
14pts Jodonovan
7.25pts Shukman
6pts Winter

Sparkling Cheltenham Festival leaves host of unforgettable moments

Whether you managed to show a profit or not over the four days of the outstanding Cheltenham Festival that concluded recently, it’s hard not to have enjoyed the superb racing and series of utterly unforgettable moments that make the fixture unquestionably the premier jumps racing meeting in the world, writes Elliot Slater.
The biggest headline of the meeting was the utter dominance of champion Irish jumps trainer Willie Mullins, who sent out a record eight winners, including four on the first day alone! Amongst those four was a superb effort from the hot favourite Faugheen (4/5) in the Stan James Champion Hurdle. The unbeaten gelding was facing by far his stiffest task to date - up against the defending champion Jezki, the dual former champion Hurricane Fly, and the leading British hope The New One - but his supporters had few anxious moments as he oozed.
Ruby Walsh’s mount simply oozed class throughout the premier two-mile hurdle and once asked for his effort showed a terrific change of gear to power away up the hill, chased home by his stable companions Arctic Fire and Hurricane Fly, giving Mullins an unprecedented 1-2-3 in the great race. Bookmakers have already made Faugheen a hotpot to repeat the dose in 12 months’ time and he is currently evens favourite with 32Red to lift the title once again next year.
Walsh totally dominated the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, also landing the Supreme Novices Hurdle with 2/1 f Douvan and the Racing Post Arkle Trophy with the brilliant prospect un De Sceaux (4/6f).  A truly dramatic success from 6/1 shot Glens Melody (who has subsequently been retired to stud) cane though at Walsh’s expense in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. The winner looked booked for second place at best as they raced down to the final flight with her odds-on stable companion Annie Power, ridden by Walsh, drawing clear and looking certain to land a crushing four-timer of favourites for the Mullins team that many punters had combined in heavy bets on the market leaders.
Image source: Paolo Camera  Caption: Annie Power fell in the Mares' Hurdle
Inexplicably though, Annie Power took off too early and crashed to the ground having had the title at her mercy, stunning the massive crowd of favourite backers who had already been counting their winnings into near silence. Media reports suggested the fall of Annie Power had saved the betting industry many millions of pounds, but it still resulted in another Mullins success, courtesy of Glens Melody, who just edged out Polly Peachum in a driving finish.
Dodging Bullets (9/2), trained by Paul Nicholls, was the centerpiece of a treble for the champion British jumps trainer on the second day of the Festival. Most eyes were focused on the older champions Sprinter Sacre and Sire de Grugy in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but the former failed to finish and is a shadow of his former self, while the latter was simply no match for the principals this time around. Dodging Bullets jumped and travelled beautifully before finding plenty of reserves to see off the admirable veteran Somersby (33/1) to land the two-mile chasing championship and could well prove hard to beat for the forseeable future.
There were a couple of surprises in store on day three. 16/1 shot Uxizandre (trained by Alan King) became Tony McCoy’s first and only winner of his final Cheltenham Festival when given a masterful ride by the all-time great jockey. He led all the way in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase to beat the gallant mare Ma Filleule, and came home powerfully to an unforgettable reception. Forty minutes later, similar tactics were employed by the talented Gavin Sheehan on Warren Greatrex’s Cole Harden (14/1), who showed he was back to his best after a minor breathing operation and found plenty in the closing stages to see off the Nicholls-trained pair of Saphir du Rheu and Zarkandar to win what had always looked a wide-open World Hurdle.
Image source: Paolo Camera  Caption: Tony McCoy waved farewell to the Cheltenham Festival
The final day of the meeting began with Nicky Henderson landing a 1-2 in the JCB Triumph Hurdle courtesy of Peace and Co (2/1f) and Top Notch (7/1), but the day was all about the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in which Paul Nicholls’ Silviniaco Conti was a solid 3/1 favourite, while there had been plenty of money for the younger pair Coneygree (7/1) and Djakadam (10/1).
Coneygree, trained by Mark Bradstock, had only had three previous outings over fences, (he won them all easily) and no novice chaser since the great Captain Christy way back in 1974 had won the Gold Cup. Despite having all the stats against him, Nico de Boniville rode his mount positively from the front and it was clear with three fences to jump that most of his rivals - including Silviniaco Conti and former champions Lord Windermere and Bobs Worth -, were struggling.
Going to the final fence the Irish pair of Djakadam and Road to Riches looked as though they may get the better of Coneygree, but he found extra in the last 100 yards and hung on for a truly sensational victory, rounding off an unforgettable week of truly breathtaking performances all round.

Christatos Aristad: Pro Gambler

Today we feature a singularly interesting and unique job, that of the professional gambler. Many a man has gambled in his day, whether with real money or cookies. But Christatos Aristad was able to parlay his talents in gambling into a real profession, a lucrative one at that. While some may see professional gamblers as a bit shady, Mr. Aristad is of an older school of gambler, and is the consummate gentleman. Recently retired, he’ll be penning a series of articles for AoM on the basics and etiquette of a variety of games.

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Where did you go to school? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, ect).

My name is Christatos Aristad. I was born in London, and I am 52 years old. I went to Cambridge entirely as a product of family connections and spent a completely unspectacular 4 years there mostly drinking and gambling with my fellow students. I then made a go at a Medical Degree to complete a childhood dream of being a doctor and discovered that my patented combination of drinking and gambling did not work at all in the more difficult atmosphere of graduate degrees and dropped out in my first year. I picked up gambling professionally about half a year later at the age of 24 and have been doing it ever since. As you can imagine, there isn’t really a formal education for gamblers. I am currently in the process of retiring, and am trying to figure out where to settle down.

2. Why did you want to be a professional gambler? When did you know it was what you wanted to do?

When I completely flunked my way out of graduate school. I was only ever good at one thing, gambling. I wanted to be a doctor, but I was good at gambling. After I flunked out of medical school, and realized it was because I was going to make a terrible doctor, I decided to try gambling. After playing in small games and small casinos for awhile, I had enough to try larger games. Eventually, I got rung up by a man with a pocket full of cash and a game he wanted to win who didn’t think he could do it on his own. He paid my stake, I played the game, and we both walked away quite happy. That game got me invited to a respectable London betting parlor, The Portland Club, which got me into the scene. After that, I accrued all the contacts you needed in those days to play your way to a hot meal, a firm roof and a clean suit.

3. Many men gamble for fun. How did you move from being a recreational gambler to making it your profession?

A combination of necessity and pure enjoyment. There was no single moment where I just slid into being a professional gambler, but there was a point where I realized I didn’t have any other source of income. At that point, I decided to stick with making money through gambling and keep leaching off of the rich men with dreams of poker, bridge, backgammon, euchre and craps and just keep going. Thinking about it, I guess it’s like being in a band except with shorter hair, no instruments, and regular bathing. The second part is access. Getting the invitation to the Portland Club was, for me at least, the golden ticket. Without that, I think I probably would have settled down and stayed local. But after meeting the people I did in The Portland Club and making the connections I did, especially through the man who invited me, everything else became possible.

4. You often gambled with other people’s money. Will you explain how that worked and how you went about finding people to back you?

The first question implicit in that is how does the backer and booking agent relationship work, and the truth is that it works like any other job where you have a backer; you just have to look harder and in different places. People have money and want to invest in games and players, booking agents act as middlemen and talent scouts, and players act as talent. The problem is getting discovered. To be honest I’m not sure how that works today. When I was playing, it was just a matter of being a poorer but better player, playing for wealthier men who could barely hold their cards, and staying in the business as it evolved. Today the business is changing, as tournaments are becoming more popular among emerging talent, despite the fact that they hold less money over the long term and that people are committing to poker and blackjack over baccarat and craps.

The second part of that answer would probably take a book to explain, and more experience than I have if you wanted an idea of how it works beyond how I do it. My booking agent for most of my career has been my dear friend, Albert Hull, the man who swung me an invitation to the Portland Club. Albert has made his career, and much of my own, finding games for me to play, or money for me to play with. Generally, one of us gets wind of new money in the system, or a juicy game down the pipe, and we start our engines. If new money is in the system, Albert, being a real blue blood, and a man with a legitimate job and some actual connections, woos the financier until they agree to open their wallets and give us a taste, and I just grab the nearest chair with a deck of cards or handful of dice in reach. If a game is in the pipes, Albert taps one of our reliable money people, and I start making waves about wanting a place at the table. If my name checks out, my check clears, and I don’t come across as a complete ass to the people running the game, we’re steady.

5. What is the best part of the job?

The rush. I have done a lot of things in my life other than gamble, but nothing compares to gambling with real gamblers. The rush of slowly coming to control the game. The moment of realization when you know you are in charge, the mathematical reduction of each players stock of chips. The steady duel between you and the other winner. Each of the fine moments that remind you why you deserve to be sitting at that table. Winning is really a letdown after that steep and steady high. If I had my way the game would never end. But if you draw it out forever and never go for the throat, you lose control, and they eat you alive. The price of the high is that YOU have to end it. A rather terrible realization when it comes to you, really. But then it is that moment of realization that separates the professionals from the hustlers. A professional enjoys what he does, but knows at the end of the day that he has to keep what he does about business. For all the pleasure he derives from it, if he loses sight of the bottom line, he is digging his own grave. A hustler never sees what they are doing for what it is. They think you can balance out the fun and the money, and keep riding the rush. They are wrong. In this business, just as in life, you must grow up. For a time yes, you can play for fun and money, and live for rush after rush, but after a time, if you don’t grow up, you are living on the edge of a razor every time you play. Because in every single game there is that critical moment when the fun must end and business must begin, and you must put the competition away. A hustler never learns to see that moment for what it is and wins on luck or skill. That is until they meet an old hand who knows the game well enough to survive long enough to learn their style and drive them into the ground once they run out of tricks. I have seen it happen at least half a dozen times, and it is never pretty to watch a hungry young kid get bled dry by someone who doesn’t really need the money, but sees it as more of a lesson than anything else. I guess it is a commentary on the job that the best part is a double-edged sword.

6. What is the worst part of the job?

Playing sports. Horse racing, college games, professional, whatever. Whenever a backer came to Albert or me with a fat stack of money and told us to make him a mint off the next season of his favorite sport we died a little inside. Playing a game, you can only control 50% of the variables at most. But betting on sports, you control nothing. All you can do is play the odds and that’s just luck. And luck is the biggest bitch in the world. She will leech you dry and then bury you alive under a pile of flesh eating beetles before building an explosive broken glass factory on top of the pile, then burn it down.

The things I have seen luck and chance do to gamblers over the years are damn ugly. Look at a betting pool sometime, and recognize the math that makes it worth your investment. If 200 players invest $50.00 in the pool and only 5 win any money, at a graded rate, then 195 lose their entire stake entirely on non-controllable factors for a non-computable chance of winning 1 out of 5 graded prizes that depend on 195 losers for their value. That is the nature of luck. The tiny percentage of winners are chosen randomly by statistics to suck every penny out of you, the vast majority of players’ pockets, so that the prize at the end of the tunnel is large enough to keep everyone interested and playing. And the word for you, the vast majority of players by the way, is losers. All gambling is dependent on this system, sports betting is just more direct about it so I can’t squeeze my way out of confronting it. It makes me feel like a very bad person. In a game, you can say with some confidence that everyone there is in control and knows the score, but with sports, the entire system is crooked from start to finish.

7. What is the biggest misconception people have about the job?

That it is just numbers. Counting cards, knowing the odds, is really not the point. If you can’t read people, you are going to be wearing a comically large barrel in a very short period of time. What’s more, there is no such thing as a “tell.” People do not play an entire game of poker and reveal themselves with a single tick unless they are really, really bad liars. They have a pattern, a series, a system of ticks and twitches and so on that tell you a lot more than, GOOD! BAD! LIE! TRUTH! If you don’t know people and how they work, you are out of money very quickly. My impression for awhile has been that people think if you sat the internet down at a table that it would be some kind of Rainman winning machine. It would not. Pattern recognition and math are fine and good for beating the house, but for a professional, beating the house isn’t the issue. The issue is beating people who already own the house, a cabin, and several lovely vacation spots. These people don’t need to worry about the odds. They need to worry about you. And you them. It is like playing cards with wolves. They smell fear.

8. What is the work /family/life balance like?

You get one, then the other. There is no balance. When the game is on and the backing is in, you are on a plane. The people who set up the game, and the people who pay for your ticket, do not care in the slightest if your wife is pregnant, your daughter is teething, or your son is in his school’s presentation of the “Parade of Nutrition” or whatever the heck children do. They either find someone else, or they don’t play. I have known some players to have a family, but I wouldn’t recommend it. That hollow look in a man’s or woman’s eye when they sit down at the table during their child’s birthday is probably the saddest thing in the world, and no one can play worth a damn in that condition. It hurts to win when you know the score, and I have always tried to tell them to back out if I knew, but most don’t. A job is a job, and back out even once, and they might never call again. This is not to say that you cannot date, but if you have any intention of forming a meaningful relationship before you retire, I would suggest a more family friendly line of work, like mobster or deep sea diver.

9. Some would say that gambling is not an “honorable” profession. How would you respond to such critics?

I would agree. On the other hand, I never sit at a table with anyone who doesn’t want to be there. The truth is that “real” professionals aren’t usually the kind of people who play at a public table at Vegas with Bob from Idaho who’s betting the farm on that last hand of Blackjack. We do not play at $5.00 tables. We do not sit at $500.00 tables. Unless there is a lack of space, we sit in private rooms, and we play with no limit. We play with big money and know what we are doing. If someone at the table stakes themselves and places a bet that they can’t afford to lose, I have no pity. This is not a game for fun, this is a game for profit, and any good businessman knows you should never risk going into debt you can’t handle. The reward should always outweigh the risk, and no reward in gambling outweighs getting beaten by a bookie or losing your house on the roll of a dice.

And as for people who gamble themselves away in the ordinary casino, I have always had reduced pity for them. Gambling is not a way to make money unless it is the way you normally make money. It is a good way to have a good time and lose your shirt, but anyone who has taken a statistics class know that even if the casinos didn’t tilt the odds in their favor, the odds would already be in their favor, even if you were a statistically ideal player making perfectly rational choices and bets every time. And I have met exactly one person who meets that definition, and I do not know that I would call that young man a person so much as a freak. Casinos know they have you fighting an uphill battle the second you step in. But if you should ever go gambling and earnestly want to make money, all I ask is that you figure out this piece of advice, and it’s importance before you do: Play the other players, not the house.

10. Any other advice, tips, or anecdotes you’d like to share?

Quite a lot actually. But I will break it down to three pieces of advice, and anecdotes and tips on request if I deem them reasonable and that is within the rules of our generous host. These are of course, my opinion, and not universal rules.

Never bet a penny more than you can afford to lose. There is no reward in gambling worth going into debt with the people who are willing to let you play. Only bet money you don’t need. How do I define don’t need? Unless you are a professional I would strongly recommend against gambling with anything more than 15% of your net disposable income for the month. That is the money you don’t need. A fraction of the money you have for frivolities, that month. If you have to save up for months to make big bets, that is a message from God, Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, your Banker, or whoever, that you should stick to the $5.00 tables and keep it tight. Fun should never be so fun that it costs you or a family member something you will regret. Regrets are for love and drinking, nor for gambling.

In a card game containing 5 players, no matter the game or rules, after 1 hour of play or ten hands there are 2 winners and 3 losers. If you don’t know who the winners are, you are one of the losers. If you are one of the losers, walk away. The winners are the winners because they are better than you, not because of luck. Luck never lasts long enough to save you from yourself. If you are one of the winners, try to determine if you are the big winner or the small winner. If you are the small winner, play it safe. If you are the big winner, don’t let it get to your head, or you will magically become the small winner, and eventually a loser. These proportions expand pretty well, but let me simplify the principle. There is always a steep ratio between winners and losers in any game. If you don’t know you’re a winner, you’re a loser. If you’re a loser, count your losses and leave.

Don’t let it ride. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever let it ride. Pocket the winnings, and then decide on a new bet. The dice don’t like you, the cards aren’t magic, you aren’t lucky tonight, and neither is your girlfriend/boyfriend/that cute guy/girl you just met at the bar who you think might have a thing for you who’s gambling with you. You will thank me later. And if you don’t, shame on you for not listening to your mother

Grand National - A Matter of Course

There are many horse racing events which capture the heart and imagination of fans but all come second place to the Grand National. On the 11th April (4:15 Aintree) the world and his wife will cheer their fancy in the greatest steeplechase. Take a look at this years runners and odds for the Grand National

Few races have such a history that even the fences which the horses jump tell a story. The Grand National is run over a distance of 4 miles 3 1/2 furlongs. The horses run two circuits and jump 30 fences.  

There are 16 fences all topped with a least 14'' of spruce from the Lake District, which cushions the obstacles. All sixteen fences are jumped on the first circuit. However, on the second circuit the Chair and the Water jump are bypassed leading into the finishing straight. 

A number of fences have been given names such as Becher's Brook, Foinavon & The Canal Turn. 

But how did they get their names?

Fence 1 and 17 (4 ft 6'') Often met at great speed. In 1951 12 horses fell at this fence. In 2011 the drop on the landing side was reduced for safety.

Fence 2 and 18 (4 ft 7'') This fence used to be called The Fan after a mare who refused to jump this obstacle for three races in succession. However this fell out of use when the fences were relocated in 1888.

Fence 3 and 19 - Open Ditch (4 ft 10'', fronted by 6 ft ditch)

Fence 4 and 20 (4 ft 10'') 

Fence 5 and 21 (5 ft) precedes the most famous fence on the course

Fence 6 and 22  - Becher's Brook (5 ft, with landing side 6-10'' lower) 

This fence takes its name from Captain Martin Becher who fell in the first race and took shelter in the small brook on the landing side while the other horses jumped over his head. Becher was quoted as saying: ''The water tastes disgusting without the benefits of whiskey.''

Fence 7 and 23 - Foinavon   (4 ft 6'')

Named in 1984 after 1967 winner Foinavon who won at odds of 100/1 after avoiding a dramatic accident when most of the field fell or refused to jump.

Fence 8 and 24 - Canal Turn (5 ft) 

A 90- degree left turn upon jumping. Amazingly before the First World War many loose horses continued after the jump landing in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. 

Fence 9 and 25  - Valentine's Brook (5 ft with 5 ft 6'' brook)

Named after a horse Valentine in 1840 who was reputed to have jumped the fence hind legs first. 

Fence 10 and 26 (5 ft)

Fence 11 and 27 - Open Ditch (5 ft, with 6 ft ditch on takeoff side) 

Fence 12 and 28 - Ditch (5 ft with 5 ft 6'' ditch on landing side)

Fence 13 and 29 - (4 ft 7'') 

Fence 14 and 30 - (4 ft 6'')

Fence 15 - The Chair (5 ft 2'', preceded by a 6 ft wide ditch)  

The only fence to have claimed a human life. In 1862 Joe Wynne fell and died from his injuries. This accident brought about the ditch being placed before the fence in an attempt to slow the horses down. This fence was originally known as the Monument jump but renamed The Chair in the 1930s. A judge used to sit at this fence to recorded the finishing order of horses but the practice was done with in 1850 although a monument still remains where the chair stood.  

Fence 16 - Water Jump (2 ft 6'')

Originally this was a stone wall in the early years of the race. The water jump was one of the most popular features until television coverage saw the Chair become the major obstacle of interest. 

The run in is one of the longest in the United Kingdom  at 494 yards.

Realistic Horse Racing Handicapping and Winning Tips

It is impossible to know how many people have ever had the dream of making money betting on horses or how many people thought that horse racing handicapping was a realistic way to make a living. But it is safe to say, that ever since betting on the races began, handicappers have tried to beat the races. There is nothing wrong with trying to make money doing something you love, but if you don't have your eyes open and approach it in a sensible manner, it can be dangerous.

One of the problems with this endeavor is that no one knows for sure how difficult or easy it may be to actually show a profit and to consistently stay ahead. Those who can do this are pretty secretive about it, for obvious reasons. I've been going to the races for over 50 years and I can truthfully say that the number of people whom I've known who were obviously making money could be counted on one hand.

I've known some folks who made a profit every time they went to the track. They're known as employees. The rest of us, whether handicappers, grooms, trainers, owners, or jockeys, take our chances and it is a rough and tumble life. If you like roller coaster rides, then being a professional handicapper should appeal to you. My own success has varied over the years. I am a systems player and always looking for an edge. Sometimes, when I managed to figure out an angle or method to identify horses who were under priced by the crowd, I did alright.

But there are no guarantees and what works well today may not work tomorrow. It seems you no sooner start making a profit and figure you have the game figured out when along comes a change in the weather, track conditions, or the season ends and it is time to move to the next track with a whole new set of variables.

I have learned a few things that I don't mind passing along to other players. Some of this may be old hat to some of you while others may find it useful. If you've been doing this long enough you know enough to listen to everything and then cherry pick the best and usable items and discard the rest. That's how real horse players operate. It is an information game.

First of all, let me say this. If you don't learn to properly manage money, the best handicapping system or method in the world won't help you. Start getting it right with the money. Good money management will get you through times of bad handicapping better than good handicapping will get you through times of bad money management. If you can excel at only one thing, then be a betting expert. Know everything about betting to the minutest detail including breakage, odds, and angles. Take advantage of any perk or offer any race track or online betting service offers. Sometimes that 1 or 2 percent they offer back may be your only profit.

Another pitfall of being an avid horse player is that it gets to be all consuming and takes over lives. Keep it in perspective and never ever judge yourself by your success at the race track. There is a lot more to being a human being than just how well you can spot a good bet. Though any success at the races is something to be proud of, success as a human, father, spouse, friend, is much more important. If betting starts to get bigger than you or crowding important people out of your life, then stop and get help.

Some people have asked me what I consider horse racing to be in my life. I always tell them it has been an adventure. If you look at horse racing handicapping and betting as an adventure, it will be better than thinking of it as something more important or essential. It is like going on a trip. You are the same person when you get back home that you were when you left, though you may have learned some things along the way.

Keep accurate notes and chart your progress. When you go on a trip you take photos and use maps. The same should be true of horse racing handicapping. You want to learn from your experience so keep notes that you can refer to so that you'll know where you've been and how far you've come. Any time I've managed to create a good winning system for myself or have made a profit, it is because I wrote something down and then had it when I needed it.

So along with keeping things in perspective, I'd say the two most important horse racing tips I can give you would be, become a money manager and a betting expert and keep notes.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/horse-racing-articles/realistic-horse-racing-handicapping-and-winning-tips-3684549.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.

Horse Racing Tips - How to Use Them to Find Good Bets

There are all kinds of horse racing tips available to the people who bet on the races. Some of those picks are very valuable while others are just a come on to get you to spend money for more information. Like any other form of investing, wagering requires some planning and good information so that the investor can make a good decision. So the question arises, "Should I use those tips and if so, how should I use them?"

My advice is to proceed slowly when gambling and trust me, betting on horse races is gambling and very risky, in spite of what some tipsters would have you believe. The best way to find good information is to test it first. Ignore the sales pitch and rhetoric and instead, get picks and test them with paper bets or very small bets first.

When you go to a doctor for a serious condition and get a grave diagnosis, your fist step should be to get a second opinion. I advise you to do the same with horse racing picks. You may read what the handicapper has to say about a race and the horses and then read what someone else thinks about that same event.

Do they agree on any points? Do they disagree? Often you'll find that public handicappers like horse racing angles and will spot them from time to time and write about them. Unfortunately, they sometimes place too much importance on these little gems and that's where you, the consumer, have to use your judgment. If two prognosticators like the same runner for the same reason, they may be onto something, but if you get two completely different opinions, how do you know which one is right?

That's where testing and evaluating come into play. If you follow these tipsters for a while and get to know their strengths and weaknesses, you'll be able to tell when they are on track and when they are off course. That is an excellent way to let other people handicap the race for you while you simply handicap them. It doesn't matter how you form your opinions about a race and the runners, it just matters that at post time you can fairly evaluate each horse and then spot a good bet.

When I say a good bet, I mean one that has a positive outcome. In other words, the return outweighs the risk. How will you ever know that? Once again, it comes down to experience and following the handicappers long enough to know when they are on target or when they are off. A big part of horse racing handicapping success is experience and patience.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/horse-racing-articles/horse-racing-tips-how-to-use-them-to-find-good-bets-4284802.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.