Tuesday, 12 February 2019

3 Horses Facing Cheltenham Festival Choices

With a number of horses holding multiple entries in the build-up to this year's Cheltenham Festival, there are some major decisions to be made by the trainers and owners involved. 

Which high-profile horses are facing choices about which event suits them best ahead of the four-day National Hunt spectacular in March? Here, we take a look at three. 


Proven form at the course is a huge plus for any Festival hopeful, and few in training have a better record at Cheltenham than Paul Nicholls' seven-year-old Frodon. His partnership with female jockey Bryony Frost has caught public attention after they put together a string of solid races at the Cotswolds venue. 

Frodon has run over three miles on several occasions with mixed success, but doubters were silenced when he made all in customary bold jumping fashion to land the Cotswold Chase - the official trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

Nicholls was then quoted as saying he is very tempted to go and contest the big one, but the ante-post Festival betting suggests Frodon has a better chance if he runs in the Ryanair Chase again. This is a view shared by the expert bloggers at betconnect, a social betting network that allows bettors to follow the selections of pros in today's horse racing cards, who have tipped the bay gelding to put in a strong showing this time out. While he was fifth and last to finish in the race last year, he's rated a 7lb better horse and still has youth on his side. 

He remains unexposed at trips over three miles-plus and, with the Gold Cup picture looking fairly open, it's easy to see why connections may be keen to take their chance.


Connections of Irish raider Min must surely be keen to swerve meeting the unbeaten Altior at a third Cheltenham Festival. Whether it's been over hurdles or fences, Willie Mullins' charge has never got within seven lengths of the Nicky Henderson stable star. 

That leaves owners Rich and Susannah Ricci with a dilemma. Do they contest the Queen Mother Champion Chase over two miles, or step Min back up in trip for the Ryanair? Since winning the John Durkan at Punchestown in early December, the eight-year-old has successfully defended his Dublin Chase crown around Leopardstown.

Min is thus a horse with Grade 1 win victories over both two and two-and-a-half miles. He's second-favourite behind Altior for the Champion Chase, but heads the betting for the Ryanair. It's a big decision for everyone involved.

Apple's Jade 

There's arguably no jumps horse in training in better form than Gordon Elliott's Gigginstown House Stud mare Apple's Jade this season. She is one tough and versatile cookie, who has recorded Grade 2 victories in hurdle races over in Ireland over three miles, two-and-a-half, and most recently when dropping back down in trip for the Irish Champion Hurdle. 

Apple's Jade has always been seen by her powerful owners as Mares' Hurdle material. She won that middle-distance contest at the Cheltenham Festival two years ago and was then a below-par third when found to be in season 12 months ago. 

In a campaign where the initial plan was to aim the much vaunted Samcro at the Champion Hurdle, he’s disappointed this season and connections must be tempted to switch the mare’s target. Trainer Elliott is certainly keen to contest the two-mile championship race on the opening day of the Festival. 

Bookmakers have reacted to this by pushing Apple's Jade out for the mares' race and shortening her for the Champion Hurdle. She also holds a Stayers' Hurdle entry, but at this stage, it looks the least likely engagement for her.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

How Do I Use Betfair While In The USA?

Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, Florida
It's great to go on holiday. Even better the chance to visit West Palm Beach, Florida. All parts of the state are beautiful and there is plenty to see and do. 

But there's a problem. I love UK horse racing. In fact, it is my business to follow the Flat racing season. Also, I need to place bets on the betting exchange. I have a Betfair and Betdaq account. So what's the problem? Have you ever tried to access the betting exchanges while on holiday in the US? If you have, you will know what I'm talking about. 

Your access to the site will be blocked!

Annoying. You may question why this is the case. America has a very different view of gambling than other countries. To be fair each and every country has its own little ways. Many prohibit gambling full stop. The main problem with the US is that they are interested in looking after the bandwagon which is known as Las Vegas. No wonder the city in Nevada is synonymous with gambling. The Strip. The shows. The casinos. The lobbyists who are paid good money to make sure that potential wad of cash goes into the pockets of the few.

I think the only state in America where you can access Betfair is New Jersey. However, that's not much good if you are in Florida or any other state for that matter. 

So what do you do? 

You may have heard people using VPNs which help disguise where you are accessing the internet and website. However, this isn't legal and it has been known for Betfair to suspend people's accounts because they realising they are breaking the law of the land. 

Another alternative may be to use Team Viewer. This still may be illegal but it would probably be very difficult to prosecute. Team Viewer allows you to access another computer even from a different country. So you could have a laptop switched on in the UK and access it in Florida. So technically you are using your laptop at home. It makes life easier. It is also a lot easier to access all those things on your laptop at home because it's not practical to carry your desktop and monitor across the pond! 

Anyway, it is a way to gain access to your Betfair account as long as you have wifi. 

Don't be restricted.

Personally, I phone my brother in the UK to place bets for me as it is both legal and easy to work. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Getaway Trump Could Be Surprise Winner at Cheltenham

Getaway Trump naturally captures the attention of the average racing spectator for his name alone. However, the Irish horse was born long before the controversial US President came to power. Residing in Paul Nicholls’ yard, the six-year-old is one of the contenders for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival. He has a decent pedigree, although it will take a special performance for the bay gelding to take his place in the winners’ enclosure on day one of the prestigious event. 

Nicholls’ charge will face stiff competition from Angels Breath among other contenders and it will be worth monitoring the latest news ahead of Cheltenham, https://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/cheltenham/, to be informed before placing a punt. Nicholls has a strong pedigree at the Festival and will be ready for the challenge ahead to attempt to secure his first win in the race since 2011. Al Ferof was his last champion in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and will take a flawless effort from Getaway Trump to defeat the host of talent that will be present at the start line. 

The five-year-old only made his debut in early February 2018 at Kempton Park in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race over two miles. Sam Twiston-Davies took to the saddle and ensured that the Irish horse put forward a strong performance on debut. He had every chance of claiming a win on his opening bow, but he did not have the pace down the stretch and was forced to settle for fourth place. Getaway Trump was considered the favourite for his next outing at Wincanton in the Open NH Flat Race, but he failed to rise to the occasion placing down in sixth with an underwhelming display.

Nicholls’ charge was put forward for the Maiden Hurdle in Chepstow at the beginning of the 2018 National Hunt campaign. Harry Cobden took the reins and found rhythm with the Irish horse, who was able to challenge for the lead three fences out. However, he failed to hold on to his position and was shunted down into fourth place off the pace of the leading pack. Getaway Trump made his breakthrough in the Novices' Hurdle at Plumpton, http://www.skysports.com/racing/results/full-result/863402/plumpton/19-11-2018/strong-flavours-catering-novices-hurdle. The five-year-old made a steady start to the contest and made his way gradually through the field. He moved into contention three fences from the end of the meet before making his surge after the final jump. The Irish horse was able to close out the victory by four lengths ahead of Talktomenow. 

Getaway Trump continued his winning run with a fine performance at the National Hunt Novices' Hurdle at Exeter. With Cobden in the saddle, the five-year-old was able to find his pace to match the leading group and when it mattered the most, he found his surge to pull away from his nearest rival Tedham to take the crown. However, his run of form came to an end at the Challow Novices' Hurdle. The bay gelding enjoyed a fierce battle with Champ down the stretch, but on this occasion he did not have the pace required to claim the winning, finishing two-and-a-quarter lengths behind his rival, http://www.racingpost.com/news/champ-a-festival-favourite-after-living-up-to-his-name-in-challow-hurdle/359211. Getaway Trump has a great deal of talent and could be worth an outside shot for a punt at the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Do Professional Gamblers Need Luck to Win?

Professional gamblersVery few gamblers get to the point of winning money. 

Even fewer win money on such a regular basis to be termed a professional gambler. It is a tricky way to make a living. Few people appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes to get anywhere near the point of realising the ''dream''. Becoming a professional gambler is a popular topic of conversation with many fascinating stories of winners and losers. While many punters have ambitions to leave their job and change it with being a pro gambler - few achieve this goal. 

The stereotype of a man dressed in a trenchcoat, walking around the members' enclosure at Goodwood racecourse. A chiselled jawline leads to a mouth which speaks equine truths stuffed with a Cuban cigar which puffs out clouds of expensive smoke. In one of those big pockets sits an even bigger wad of cash.

Perhaps that was a reality in the good, old days prior to this computer age. Legendary gamblers such as Phil Bull or Alex Bird. Names synonymous with the archetypal professional gambler detailing a glimpse of an envied trade. In the mind of many, they are still kings of the betting ring. A place where imagination and nostalgia flicker like a projected black and white film. 

Today's pro gamblers are more likely than not to be found sitting in a quiet room, laptop on the desk, using betting exchanges to place bets manually or by bots which work quicker than the human mind. However they work, it is a different world. Times change, evolution sees a different kind of beast. Much has changed but the gambler's mindset - those foundational principles - do not to any great degree. It will never be an easy task to beat the layers whether they are bookmakers, a reclusive character sitting in a room, a man controlling a drone flying high in the sky above a random all-weather course. 

Whoever, whatever, knowledge is power. 

You may win because you know something or lose because you don't know enough. 

But what about the luck part. Does luck play a part in the gambler's profit and loss? From a knowledge perspective, luck has nothing to do with your potential to beat the bookmakers. Without hard work and knowing more than most it is very unlikely you will win money gambling. Lady luck can fill your pocket with cash for a short time but unfortunately, you can't buy a season ticket at any price. Long term, those averages find a middle ground of good and bad which resembles your average punter sitting in a bookmakers shop. They hold an image in the mind of Alex Bird but the mindset, knowledge and understanding of someone who needs to try harder. 

Luck can play it's part in any horse winning and losing. A myriad of factors from a blind being removed a fraction to slow to the site of a horse breaking down in the dying strides of a race. In turn, those who placed bets: one happy to win, one disappointed, if not enraged, by an unfortunate loss. 

If you ever need a touch of luck, it is when you have a potential big win. A bet to win a few grand or several hundred. I know which horse I would rather have the luck of the devil and scrape home by a nose. 

Knowledge is power but sometimes a little bit of luck can see a gambler win big.    

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

C. F. Orr Stakes 2019 Ante-Post Preview

C. F. Orr Stakes 2019
The C. F. Orr Stakes is the first Group 1 race of the year and it will attract a strong field to Caulfield on February 9. It is a weight-for-age contest run over 1400m and it can yield winners from either end of the weight scale. Specialist sprinters have a strong track record here, but it is also contested by middle distance runners and stayers en route to further Group 1 races. Some stayers resuming after the Spring Carnival have emerged triumphant in this race, along with youngsters starting the three-year-old preparation, so it always provides an intriguing mix. 

This Group 1 race is named after Charles F. Orr, a former chairman and secretary of the now-defunct Williamstown Racing Club, where it was first held in 1925. That year The Night Patrol stormed to victory with a dominant performance. It moved to Moonee Valley Racecourse in 1941 and it moved around between there, Flemington, Caulfield and Sandown before gaining a permanent home at Caulfield in 1997. It has seen all manner of notable winners, including Heroic, Gothic, High Caste, Rising Fast, Lord, Leilani, Hyperno, El Segundo, Typhoon Tracy and the legendary Black Caviar. Manikato and Vo Rogue each won it on three separate occasions, making them the most successful runners in the race’s long and distinguished history. In 2017, Black Heart Bart won the C. F. Orr Stakes to announce himself as a superstar. Last year, fans witnessed a thrilling contest as several well-fancied runners were in with a shout as they turned into the stretch. But seven-year-old Authorized emerged from midfield, took the lead in the dying seconds and held off a late rally from Single Gaze. Brave Smash was a nose away in third. 

All the talk in the aftermath of the race was about Hartnell having another crack at the wondermare Winx. He had finished second to her on no fewer than four occasions, but many commentators speculated that he could finally vanquish her after such a strong showing in the C. F. Orr Stakes. Godolphin trainer James Cummings, grandson of the legendary Bart, said: “My grandfather taught me to never stop learning and never stop experimenting. Off the back of that I experimented, winning a race with him [Hartnell] first-up last preparation and he’s been able to do it again today.” Yet Hartnell has never gone up against Winx again and his fortunes have been mixed ever since. 

One trainer to look out for is Peter Moody, who has secured a remarkable five victories in this race since 2010. He saddled Typhoon Tracy, who won it in 2010 and successfully defended her crown in 2011, and he also trained 2012 winner Black Caviar, plus Moment of Change and Dissident, who won it in 2014 and 2015 respectively. 

Specialist sprinters with decent residual fitness are often attractive betting prospects, ahead of resuming runners that will move on to races with further ground. Five of the last 10 winners have been first-up. The most successful lead-up is the 1200m Australia Stakes, the first significant weight-for-age race of the year. Champion trainer Darren Weir saddled four of the 10 runners at this year’s Australia Stakes and one of his candidates, Whispering Brook, took the top prize. Weir is now considering whether he should take her to the C. F. Orr Stakes, but either way he is sure to have a strong hand for this race. 

Mares have done well in this race of late, as Suavito and Perfect Promise have both tasted success, along with the aforementioned Typhoon Tracy. Barrier 1 is the most successful, yielding seven winners since 1983. Barriers 4 and 5 have each had six winners, while 7 has seen four winners. The least successful barriers are 3, 8, 9 and 15, which have each yielded just one winner in the past 35 years. The favourite has triumphed in seven of the past eight years, which is certainly worth bearing in mind. If you check out top Australian horse racing futures here, you will note that the early favourite for this year’s C. F. Orr Stakes is Land Of Plenty, another runner from the Weir stable. He could only finish third in the Australia Stakes, but Weir predicted that Whispering Brook would have the edge on him before the race, because she had more runs under her belt. Land of Plenty is seen as one of the big movers this year and he should improve with every race, so it is unsurprising to see him heading the betting for the C. F. Orr Stakes. 

Hartnell is considered a long shot for this year’s race, but he could spark some each-way interest. Kementari, Alizee, Grunt, Brave Smash, Fifty Stars, Pierata and Voodoo Lad are all in the mix in the early betting lines, highlighting the level of quality that should be on show on February 9. It marks the start of the Victoria Autumn Carnival and it should provide exhilarating entertainment to get proceedings underway. Be sure to keep checking the odds over the coming days, as they are likely to shift about, but right now Land Of Plenty looks pretty formidable.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Red Rum: The Life of a Grand National Winner

Red Rum
It's a race that captures the attention of the world. 

The Grand National 2019 - April 6th, 5:15pm. The greatest National Hunt Steeplechase. 

Four and a half miles. Thirty jumps. Two circuits of blood, sweat, tears, sometimes sadness and joy. 

The history of this race details the ultimate three-time winner Red Rum who triumphed over adversity. His trainer, Ginger McCain, nurtured his favourite horse to prove that with love, care, hope and joy anything is possible. 

From galloping at Southport beach to winning the Grand National

Victorious in 1973, 1974 & 1977. 

Over the years, the Grand National has been a medium for many remarkable stories.

Here is a brief biography of the horse synonymous with the Grand National.

Red Rum

A champion thoroughbred steeplechaser. Grand National winner 1973, 1974 & 1977. Scottish Grand National victory in 1974. 

Like so many champions, Red Rum came from humble beginnings. 

This Irish-bred bay gelding was sired by Quorum out of a mare called Mared. Foaled 3rd May 1965 at Rosennara Stud in Kells, County Kilkenny. His breeder, Martyn McEnery, gave Red Rum his name (the last three letters of the mare and first three of the sire). 

A horse bred to win over one mile, few would have guessed in those early years, that he would be a champion over four and a half miles. 

Many readers may not realise that Red Rum started his racing career on the Flat. He dead-heated in his first race over 5f at Aintree, which then held Flat racing fixture whereas today it is National Hunt. 

He ran eight times at two. A juvenile winner over 7f at Warwick alongside his victory at Aintree, and Doncaster at three in one of two races that season. 

Did you know? He was twice ridden by Lester Piggott and his stable lad was none other than comedian Lee Mack!

However, for all his early achievements, the best was yet to come when purchased by Ginger McCain for his new owner Noel le Mare for 6000 guineas. Two days later Red Rum was found to be lame. However, this didn't cut short the determination of man nor horse. McCain remembered seeing how sea-water helped rejuvenate old carthorses. This daily gallop helped Red Rum to be fit and ready for the greatest test of his life: The Grand National. 

In many ways, the rest is history. 

In 1973 he made his debut in the National beating the outstanding Australian chaser, Crisp who carried 23 pounds more. In truth, Crisp was one of the most astounding chasers in history. After being 30 lengths clear at the last fence, he tired and Red Rum won in a remarkable race. 

Red Rum retained his title in 1974. A year which saw him win the Scottish Grand National. The only horse to win both National in the same year!

1975 & 1976 saw him finish runner-up.  

The following year, Red Rum, now twelve, won for a remarkable third time. A historic moment never matched. 

While being prepared for his sixth National, he suffered a hairline fracture the day before the big day and retired. 

This equine celebrity didn't let the grass grow under his feet annually leading the Grand National parade. He opened supermarkets, adorned all manner of merchandising. 

Red Rum passed away on 18th October 1995 aged 30. His death made headline news across the world. 

Red Rum was buried at the finishing post of his beloved Aintree. The place of his first and last win. 

A three-time Champion of the Grand National. 

Saturday, 26 January 2019

The Concept of Value Betting

It is one of the oldest arguments in betting: are you better off looking for value or looking for winners?

To me, it is a no-brainer. Value is king. I am amazed anyone considers it a matter of debate, yet many do. Their thinking goes like this: what is the point of backing something because you think it is a big price if it has little or no chance of winning?

They will hold up as an example a football team that is playing away to the opposition that is generally accepted to be superior. Fulham against Manchester United at Old Trafford, for example. Fulham may be 12-1 but if you dare suggest that is too big a price, you are liable to be shot down in flames by those who believe that because the Cottagers are such big outsiders there is no point even contemplating whether or not they actually represent a value wager.

There is no point backing a string of big-value losers, they will reason. Refrain from getting embroiled in a debate with people who think this way. They are irrational and cannot possibly be winning punters in the long run. In betting, and in football, in particular, the value lies more often than not in the bigger-priced contenders. This is largely because of the average punter's fixation with the very shortest prices on the weekend football coupon.

Bookmakers can usually tell whether they will have a winning weekend simply by looking at the results of the top teams in the English Premiership and Scottish Premier League.

In the autumn of 2003, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Celtic and Rangers all won on the same weekend eight times out of 11.

This caused a drop in bookmakers' profits as punters landed some significant accumulators. By the start of December, a blind £10 weekly five-timer on the quintet was showing a profit of £310. With their profits being dented, the layers reacted by strangling the match odds of the five teams that were hurting them.

Predictably, it did not prevent punters steaming into the so-called Big Five, even when they stopped winning so regularly. And with the hotpots shortening, their opponents were offered at even longer odds, leading to some decent paydays for those punters who took the rational view that the value lay with the long-shots.

The bottom line is that everything becomes good value if the price is right. You may head out of the house one day armed with £20,000 with the intention of buying a Mercedes. On the way to the showroom, you pass the Toyota dealership where the comparable car in their range is on offer at £14,000.

Your heart was set on the Merc but here is a car every bit as good for £6,000 less. You don't know why it is being offered so cheaply, but it is. You buy it and, whether you bank the six grand or use it to take the family to the Caribbean, you have made a value investment. So it is with betting. You intended to back Manchester United, but when you saw the prices and realised Fulham were so big, you backed them.

Many punters would, quite rightly, not dream of having a bet without searching for the best possible value, yet there are plenty who have no grasp of the concept of price-sensitivity and just back their fancies with the same bookmaker, be it on the phone, the net, or, more commonly, in the shop (internet punters tend to be more sophisticated and more aware of the basic premise that if you take the trouble to root out the best possible price you have a far greater chance of being successful over a long period).

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Bookies Glean Information From The Bets They Accept

There is an old story of the punter who liked to back short-priced horses. He seemed to believe that the shorter the price, the more market confidence it carried; so therefore the bigger certainty it was. He used to attend race meetings and had an entourage of different punters to place bets on his behalf. The story (not to be taken too literally) goes than one day he instructed his punter to, ‘Hurry up and take the 10/11 before if goes Evens,’ about a certain horse. 

Such thinking, if it ever existed in real life, has long been eclipsed by the value-seekers; those looking for odds they feel represent a cut above true odds. I have addressed this subject before; pointing out that Indefinite Odds as opposed to Absolute Odds [those that are incontrovertible], are based on opinion.

As a result it is very important that punters back horses they fancy rather than getting sucked into bets purely because of prices on offer. Overpriced horses are often overpriced for a reason. Some horses fail to win. Welsh Emperor is a prime example. He always has a greater chance in Listed and Group 3 events than his price suggests, but he rarely wins. In his case, although his technical chance is greater than his odds reflect, his track-record means he is an unlikely winner of whatever race he is contesting. Horses like him make up the numbers, take up a percentage, but invariably get in the way.

Be aware that the danger of seeking out value for value’s sake can mean you are about to step into a minefield.

Bookmakers know what they are doing most of the time. Vulnerability tends to exist when they are pricing races the day before. As race time approaches, the more likely they are to be correct even if they have to make several adjustments. Their vulnerability crumbles as bets start to trickle then flood in and before long, the position between punter and bookmaker becomes reversed. Whatever advantage you felt you had over the bookmaker a day before a race, dwindles as the bookmaker’s intelligence system kicks in. And as he starts to record bets, so a pattern unknown to you, emerges. Every customer that wins money (distinct from a winning account), or has a proven record of backing the right horses from certain yards, is tagged-up. That is to say, within seconds of certain bets being placed, traders are informed. The bet may be small it may be large. Some big punters have an incredible strike rate with certain yards. But once they get in front, they start having £100 Yankees and backing race by race, often with their thought processes considerably diluted by champagne or wine and can lose everything they won and more on a cleverly crafted coup by throwing money at hunches. Others can be small players – £5 or £10 a throw being all they risk – but the fact they have a 64% strike rate with a particular yard means their transactions will not go unnoticed. They could be a friend of the trainer’s family, a cleaner, the bloke who delivers the paper. The fact is that once a bookmaker has established a link, he is getting his card marked merely by laying a bet. 

Consequently, a race you might have considered a three-horse affair may contain six serious contenders as far as the bookmaker is concerned. In blind ignorance, you stick to your theory that a certain horse is overpriced but if you knew what Jolly Joe knew, would you be so keen to take the odds? On such occasions, bookmakers hang on to their prices for a long time, confident that they will field enough money to be in a position to make a book. As the time goes on and their odds remain the same, it becomes increasingly obvious that, whilst there may be nothing wrong with your logic or information, your horse faces serious competition. When bookmakers slash a price, trying to wriggle out of their odds, you know they are genuinely worried. 

Pricewise is a good indication of how the situation is developing. We all know that when Tom Segal is in form, which he is now, there will be money for anything he nominates. Everyone gets involved. Those that arb will take a price they know can be sold back later and Joe Punter will back the selection because it is the closest thing he gets to having an edge. So bookmakers are under siege. Storm troopers are busting down the doors to avail themselves of the 10/1 and the expectation is that the horse will start in single figures. Now, there have been occasions when Tom Segal, just like the rest of us, has made a mistake or been forced to nominate a horse he thinks is a poor effort – a half-hearted attempt at coming up with something in a race he has no particular feel for. At first the odds tumble. Then, let us say someone with a connection to the yard comes on for a bet but it does not include the Pricewise selection. Even better, from the bookmaker’s standpoint, he actually backs against the horse. Ask yourself what you would do in such a position. Try if you can to see inside that thick hide beneath which lurks the bookmaker. Instead of shortening the horse further, now he is prepared to stand up to it. He is not going to risk going skint. If he has been in the game five minutes, he knows what can go wrong, but he has a major mark against the horse – a big clue that it may not win. There have even been occasions when Ladbrokes have pushed out a Pricewise selection. Like them or love them, they are the best in the business. Their information is the best. No doubt, they pay for it one way or another – either by lavish entertainment, or by allowing widespread facilities to those who bet with them and whose bets can be used as cast iron marks. We know they are in cahoots with several high profile stables and I make no comment on that. It is their business and they run it well.

But with the advent of Betfair, all be it a depleted market these days, punters do not have to be railroaded into showing their hands quite so early. At one time bookmakers would see a tremendous amount of warm business between 8.30 and 9.30 am. It was almost a game of musical chairs. Those with the information would be on to the traders, shopping their business in return for an inflated price for a few hundred pounds. The bookmakers had the mark for little potential outlay and could protect their morning business by ensuring the 16/1 laid was no longer available. That was the way it used to work. These days, times have changed. But the principle is the same. With the slow advance of the hands on the clock, so the bookmaker becomes better informed. Most information is like water; it will leak. Some, however, known to perhaps only the owner or trainer, does not enter the public domain until much later and can, at times, wreck the best-laid plans of the layers.

This leads me to mention the information trail that most novice punters are so desperate to pursue. Information is useful in a wide range of capacities. Often what you are not told (unfancied horses) can be more useful that what you are. Never forget though that information is only someone else’s opinion. And very often that opinion, unless it concerns something of such magnitude you could not possibly know, is not as good as your own. Some yards are very good yards. They churn out winner after winner and you might be empted to believe that if only you had someone who could help you with such messages, you would have it made. You may be surprised that some of these yards, good though they undoubtedly are, will iron you out if you listen to what they actually tip. Some stables, like the Richard Hannon yard, send out horses fit and ready to win 90% of the time. If they are not fit, they don’t run. So it is a good yard from a punting point of view and one where you are capable of marking your own card. Form an opinion about one their horses and invariably you will get a run for your money and if it fails to win, it is more likely to be you that has called it incorrectly. Sadly, not all yards operate in such an open and straightforward way. When I have worked out how to ensure I am not leading our lawyers down the Private Eye route, I shall return to this issue and make a few observations you may find helpful. Source: Horse Racing Pro

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Hard Times Gambling Tips to Make Money

Horse Betting
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.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Converter Shows Class on Debut for Mick Channon

Converter win readily at Nottingham
What I enjoy about two-year-old horse racing is that it is full of surprises, potential, hope and dreams. 

I'm not saying that other age groups of horses don't have a similar feel because horses will always surprise. The handicapper which goes from a 50-rating to 100. From plating races to listed class. 

However, those who love two-year-old racing know that it is a fleeting time. I, personally, only work within this niche. When then next Flat turf season arrives it is a blank slate for me to write the names of new stars of the future. I follow this subject matter to the highest of standards. I managed to achieve a 2:1 degree in reading Psychology at the Open University. This racing knowledge far exceeds any academic endeavour I have followed. It is a battle of wits: HCE Vs Bookmakers (layers). Sometimes they win - sometimes they lose. Long term I bet myself to beat anyone else who tries to lay horses against me. Why am I confident? Because I work harder than most people, have vast experience and appreciate what it takes to do exactly what I do. 

I run Group Horse Daily, which details the best unraced and lightly raced two-year-old colts & fillies in training. If you have never seen this website before, then take a look by clicking the link. 

Today was very busy. A hell of a lot of juvenile races - 14 to be precise. Far too many. However, there were some very interesting horses. A number well regarded. 

The 1:30 Nottingham (caught my eye). 

Charlie Hills favourite Qutob ran well on debut when narrowly beaten. 

The 8/13f ran a decent race but finished second to Mick Channon's Converter. This son of Swiss Spirit is held in high regard. I detailed this point before the race. With such a short-priced favourite it can slightly skew the betting. Few of Channon's debutants win on debut when priced over 8/1. It's a fact. If you have the software to check these things you will see the strike rate is terribly low. Converter drifted to 16/1. It is intriguing to consider what trainers think. I am sure connections hold this bay colt in very high order. But did they think beating the favourite was too much? Well, Converter was held up out the back. The reason why he touched big odds in-running on the exchanges. Racing up the rail, he coasted to the lead and won by a length or so in ready fashion. 

Interesting that I state that very few of his debutantes win at double-figure prices. There have been a few. What have I learnt about these winners? When they win a big odds on debut it details a very talented horse which is likely to contest pattern class.

This won't be Converter's last win. 

Saturday, 29 December 2018

How Gambling Killed Kenny

Ken Uston, blackjack,
Ken Uston was a professional gambler with a love of blackjack. Born in New York in 1935, his mother a native of Austria and his father a Japanese migrant businessman.

Uston went to Yale University at the age of 16, then studies an MBA at Harvard. He had varied jobs including Senior Vice President at the Pacific Stock Exchange. 

He enjoyed playing blackjack at weekends and read Thorp's Beat the Dealer becoming a genius card-counter. 

In 1983 Blackjack Forum interviewed Uston. He said he became fascinated by blackjack and its strategies after meeting professional gambler Al Francesco in a poker game. Francesco had launched the first ''big player'' type of blackjack card counting team and recruited Uston to be his main team player. A team of card counters would wait until a table became extremely positive and the ''big player'' would place big bets. Uston was promoted as the ''big player''. He later co-authored a book called The Big Player which effectively barred Fracesco's team from playing in Las Vegas. 

In 1978, Uston started his own profitable blackjack team. He was soon barred from casinos in Atlantic City. In 1979 he filed a lawsuit claiming casinos did not have the right to bar skilled players.

''In Uston v. Resorts International Hotel Inc., 445 A.2d 370 (N.J. 1982), the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Atlantic City casinos did not have the authority to decide whether card counters could be barred absent a valid New Jersey Casino Commission regulation excluding card counters. To date, New Jersey casinos—by statute—are not allowed to bar them. In response to Uston's legal victory, Atlantic City casinos began adding decks, moving up shuffle points, and taking other measures to decrease a skilled player's potential advantage. ''      

Uston adopted a number of disguises to continue playing blackjack. He had an aggressive, flamboyant playing style. 

In an article in Blackjack ForumArnold Snyder describes playing with Ken Uston at Circus Circus Las Vegas near the end of Uston's life. He states that Uston was disguised as a worker from Hoover Dam and got away with spreading his bets from table minimum to table maximum on a single-deck game. Since this took place at a time when card counting was well understood by casino executives and managers, and since the primary clue by which casinos detect card counting is a card counter's "bet spread" pattern, most card counters would also consider Uston a genius of disguise, and/or "card counting camouflage".

Uston went on to write Million Dollar Blackjack detailing his winning techniques.

He was the subject of a 1981 segment on 60 Minutes, and in 2005, he was the subject of the History Channel documentary, "The Blackjack Man"

On the morning of September 19, 1987, Ken Uston, age 52, was found dead in his rented apartment in Paris. The cause of death was listed as heart failure.