Thursday, 23 May 2019

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

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


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

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

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

So how did the season go?

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

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

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

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

I had a feeling of confidence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 22 May 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 the 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 that one day he instructed his punter too, ‘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 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 have an edge. So bookmakers are under siege. Stormtroopers 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 than 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 tempted 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

Monday, 20 May 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, 14 May 2019

Casino Players: Devil Vs Angel

Devil vs Angel
If a gambler had two tattoos - one on each shoulder - the pessimist would probably suggest a devil while the optimist would have their sights on an angel, both whispering words of wisdom. ''Keep that ace up your sleeve''. 

There are so many forms of gambling: horseracing, the stock market, lottery, casino... 

You name it.  The big question for many is where to bet. That's where Codeta Casino come into play. 

Assessing whether gambling is a good idea relates to one major factor: whether you are a winner or a loser. That point varies from one person to the next. Because even though many puritans suggest that gambling is an offensive word, there are many punters who make their betting pay. 

The first time I went to a casino made of bricks and mortar was at the Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth. To be honest, it was a brilliant evening. I managed to win a few quid in the process. I would recommend the experience to anyone. As long as you bet what you can afford to lose you will leave with a smile on your face and not losing your shirt. Far too chilly over this winter period to be half naked on the Norfolk Broads. 

However, joking aside, it's an opportunity to celebrate a special occasion. If you turn up on your birthday month, you'll get a free drink, a handful of free chips to bet and even a birthday cake if you ask nicely. 

The razzamatazz of traditional casino is all good and well but sometimes you just want to bet from the comfort of your home. That's where online casinos come into play. 

Take a look at Codeta Casino because it is a touch different from the avergae online experience. I've just looked and surprised.  

Codeta Casino Review:


Male and female dealers: young, attractive, dressed smartly.

Quote: ''All the dealers at Codeta live casino are good looking young men and women who appear to be in their 20s. 3 of the dealers were Eastern European, while Jake – the dealer for the London Roulette game – was a young English guy who sounded like he was perhaps from Essex. The background for the London Roulette game was very much like an upmarket European casino – ie the sort of thing you might expect to find in the Ritz in London.

The dress code is standard real-world casino, with each dealer, dressed appropriately for if they were in an upmarket casino in a hotel or on a cruise ship. Hands are well-manicured and certainly, there were no physical blemishes on display that could distract you from the gameplay.''

Dealer's Interactivity:

You will find the dealers personable and friendly.

Quote: ''As with many other online live casinos, you can hear other table games being played in the background – especially during the card games. This doesn’t put you off, though, and actually adds to the feeling that you’re taking part in a real-life casino scenario.''

Codeta Casino Technology:

Decent quality and speed of games. 

Codeta Casino Games:

Roulette, blackjack, poker etc...


10% Top-up/Cashback on losses

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

How To Wage A Horse Racing Superstar Like Preakness Stakes 2019

The race track of Pimlico Park in Baltimore, Maryland is now set and ready for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown Series which is the Preakness Stakes. Following the Kentucky Derby which is the first leg and succeeded by the Belmont Stakes which is the final leg, the Preakness Stakes 2019 is expected to be attended by hundreds and thousands of horse racing fans across the world. 

Moreover, on May 18, 2019, marks the 144th edition of the Preakness Stakes and that it is expected that the horse entries who graced the Kentucky Derby will once appear in the Preakness 2019 showing off their true skills and abilities. For those who still don’t know, the Preakness Stakes like the other two jewels of the Triple Crown Series is a race of three-year-old thoroughbred races all competing in the Grade 1 Stakes category. 

Hence, as you excited to take part in this year’s edition of the Preakness Stakes, you might still have a hard time choosing for your bets and still confused on how to bet for your desired horse racer. That said, let us give to you some last minute realistic tips on how you can wage effectively for your most coveted horse racer. 

Stay Simple 

The Preakness Stakes 2019 like other horse racing showdown in a sports gambling game is attended by both newbie and professional sports bettors. Take note that unlike other sports, the categories of sports betting in a horse racing tournament comes in various and different categories; thus, betting in a simple manner will help you win your game. 

That said, you don’t need to go to high-level betting as you might end up losing the betting game. It is highly recommended that you need to bet for the basic categories especially that this year’s edition of the Preakness Stakes is attended by strongest contenders of horse racers in the horse racing industry. 

Outline A Budget 

In general, sports betting is expensive and that you need to outline the right budget before you head on to any horse racing betting game like the 2019 Preakness Stakes. In making a budget, make sure that you prioritize first your needs and wants and your bill of course so that everything is settled before you take part in wagering. 

Besides, this will ensure that you only spend the right amount of money and you do not go over your budget. Outlining a budget will also help you understand that horse racing is gambling and that the result is between winning and losing; thus, it will help you manage your expenses. 

Play With A Team 

If you would like to take part in a profitable and effective betting, you might want to involve yourself in creating a team to formulate your bets. You can have as many team members as you like. Make sure that there is an individual who is an expert in horse racing betting and plays like a leader. Brainstorm with the type of bet you all want to indulge and study each horse racers capability. 

In this way, you will be able to limit the amount you would like to wage and most especially you have a higher chance of winning.

Obtain Tip Sheets 

This might sound like you are a beginner, but this will entirely help you in betting effectively. Even sophisticated and expert bettors are using this betting style. The tip sheets include valuable information of all horse racers. It also includes their previous records in all pre-Preakness Stakes season. Through this, you will have a thorough understanding of how your desired entry will perform in the racing field. 

Bet For Best Names 

Throughout the course of all minor and major horse racing shows, best names or offspring of the previous horse superstars normally carry their culture and tradition of winning. Although there are horse racers who have been doing their best to emerge as a winner thought their parents didn't make it to racing shows like Preakness, most winners recorded like in Triple Crown Series comes from best names.

If you are looking forward to betting for the upcoming Preakness Stakes, you might want to bet for a horse entry who deems the family winning tradition. 

Bet Surely By Looks 

As a better, whether you are professional, one thing that will help you wage the right horse entry is by looks. All you need to do is to take closely each horse entry and study how they stand physically. An efficient and strong horse racer contender possess strong and healthy energy before the racing starts. That said, that particular horse racer entails a winning look so you might want to consider in betting him. Lastly, a horse racer with dapples along his coat is more likely to win than a horse racer with a dull coat.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

UK Horse Race Betting for Beginners

Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of betting out there, horse racing in particular. There is perhaps no venue as archetypal for the gambler as a horse racing track. But for new gamblers, this can be a somewhat overwhelming world to enter into. Here are a few things you need to know in order to get started with horse race betting.

Handicap Races

Handicap races are races in which each horse carries a specified amount of weight with them. This weight is determined by considering the horse’s previous performance and is designed to even the field somewhat. The individually assigned weights mean that weaker horses stand more of a chance against the usual winners.

Number of Runners 

Different horse races will have different numbers of runners. Some people prefer to only bet on races with a number of competitors in a relatively narrow range. However, it is up to you what this range is if you have one at all. When there are fewer runners in the field, the winner is usually a short-priced favourite. This means that returns on smaller races tend to be relatively small. 

On the other hand, the larger the field is the more opportunity for an upset result. You can improve your chances by placing an ‘each way’ bet rather than a straight bet. 

Races to Avoid 

The less uncertainty there is in a race, the easier it will be for you to bet on. Every extraneous variable that might change the performance of a horse and the outcome of a race adds to the level of uncertainty. For this reason, many experienced gamblers choose to avoid certain types of race - in particular, ‘maiden’ races and ‘apprentice’ races. 

The runners in a maiden race will be horses who have yet to win themselves a full race. The horses may well be ridden by a proficient and experienced jockey, but these are still unpredictable races and not a good place for the beginner bettor to hone their skills. 

An apprentice race is one in which the horses are ridden by apprentice jockeys. As with untested horses, these largely untested jockeys add another level of uncertainty to the race. 

Where to Bet 

You can bet on horse races in the UK either online, in person or at bookies. Online gambling has become increasingly popular in recent years. Now that there are widespread high-speed 4G mobile data networks, public Wi-Fi and a smartphone in every pocket, it has never been easier for gamblers on the go to indulge their vice. 

Betting online is a great place to start for a couple of different reasons. First of all, the internet is awash with websites and services set up to either facilitate the placing of bets or to provide punters with horse racing tips. These will help you to place a few bets and see how the whole process works. 

Betting on the horse races is undoubtedly fun and exciting, but it is important to practice in moderation. Make sure that you only ever bet money that you can afford to lose. If you can’t stop yourself from gambling, seek support immediately.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Why Matchbook should be your preferred betting exchange

Here's an interesting question. Do you bet with an exchange or traditional bookmaker when it comes to big races? Exchanges represent a competitive market and there are some excellent options for anyone wanting to enter this exciting and potentially lucrative area of sports gambling. It would be a shame therefore if individual customers are opting to choose a company just because they perceive them to be a ‘household name’. That said, many punters will be looking to place their bets with traditional bookmakers and take advantage of the best Grand National betting offers. This is true for those wishing to open a new account where they can receive attractive bonuses and free bets. The Grand National is such a popular race that many bookmakers/exchanges give punters the chance to bet like never before. This year, you may have the odds in your favour.

By doing this, you may be denying yourself the option to enjoy greater benefits such as lower commissions on trades and a greater range of promotions across the sporting calendar. Matchbook can offer those benefits to every single new and existing customer, allowing them to prosper and enjoy greater benefits than other exchanges can provide.

Low Commissions

Matchbook scores heavily over its competitors by offering much lower commission rates on every single trade. You may have noticed that other providers have recently increased their own levels to a sizeable 7% and on small profits that can make a big difference.

In contrast, Matchbook is able to offer just 1% on each and every bet and customers who keep a keen eye on our current promotions can reduce that even further. Recently, a 0% commission rate on live tennis markets and all live football markets was introduced, while a 0.5% commission rate on all football handicap markets was applied for the biggest football tournament of all – the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

These offers rotate on a regular basis and as football teams across Europe roll into the new season, Matchbook has extended that 0.5% commission on football handicap deal into the domestic football season.


There are many common complaints levelled at some of the alternative betting exchanges. Typically, customers might be concerned at the downtime experienced with one of two of our competitors and when prices are changing by the second, that is an immensely frustrating factor. Additionally, if you want to cash out and your exchange’s site is suffering delays, you could risk losing your entire profit.

If you’re an unhappy customer who has fallen victim to betting exchange downtime, that’s just one of the reasons why you should consider a switch to Matchbook.

Why change?

Sticking with your betting exchange out of habit can be detrimental to your bank balance and Matchbook can give you great value that others can’t match. The liquidity on offer provides great trust within Matchbooks customer base and it allows them to offer such low commission rates.

The growing reputation of has been enhanced by a wealth of customer testimonials and a range of positive reviews from our affiliates. All of these can be freely found across the internet and if, after reading these, you are still unsure, you can always try Matchbook out with a complete risk-free opening bet.

Betting is made easy with simple to use apps and you will find that your experience isn’t ruined by the constant downtime that other exchanges may suffer. Small margins make a big difference and switching your exchange could benefit each customer in the one place where it really matters – the pocket!

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Bill Turner's Brocklesby Stakes Race Winners (1996 - 2013)

Embed from Getty Images

The Brocklesby Conditions Stakes is synonymous with racehorse trainer Bill Turner. 

The first Flat turf two-year-old race of the season simply wouldn't be the same without the Dorset trainer who sends out his better, if not best, juvenile to compete in this significant race. 

The Brocklesby Stakes dates back to 1849. However, in those early days, it was a 12-furlong race for horses of all ages. In fact, it used to take place at the now-defunct Carholme racecourse in Lincoln. 

In this modern era, most racegoers know the Brocklesby as a fast and furious five-furlong sprint held annually at Doncaster racecourse. It takes place late March or early April and presently sponsored by Unibet with the feature race on the card the Lincoln Handicap. 

The Brocklesby moved to Doncaster in 1965. 

Since 1988, an array of horse trainers has proven they can win the Brocklesby, making a bold start to the turf season with hopes of showing a quality horse that can go on to better prizes. That has been the case and a number of very talented two-year-olds have won the Brocklesby Stakes before going on to Group class success, while some achieve the distinction of becoming stallions.

Two very talented colts to do just that are Jack Berry's Mind Games who won the 1994 Brocklesby Stakes by a neck from a horse called Jobran. The apple of Jack Berry's eye [a horse trainer who is known for wearing his lucky red shirt when going to the races and founder of the charity Jack Berry House] saw his sprinter win multiple group races but fell short of group 1 success. 

In 2016, The Last Lion, trained by Mark Johnston, won this Brocklesby in stylish fashion and later that season took the Middle Park Stakes Group 1. He achieved four victories from ten starts at two and was unraced at three when retired to stud for a fee of £7.500. 

Other notable winners of the Brocklesby include: 

The Bill O'Gorman-trained Provideo who won the Brocklesby Stakes in 1984 before setting a 20th-century record for a British two-year-old when he won 16 from 24 races. Surprisingly, his best performance saw him win at Listed class, while Timeform rated him 20lb inferior of the best juveniles of the year. However, he was named British/Timeform Horse of the Year for a feat that simply couldn't be matched nowadays because of the introduction of win penalties. 

Hearts Of Fire is another colt worthy of respect. Trained by Pat Eddery, this son of Firebreak won the 2009 Brocklesby by an authoritative two-and-a-quarter lengths. A versatile horse, he won on all types of going but proved best in testing conditions. He culminated a successful juvenile season when heading to San Siro, Italy, taking the Gran Criterium Stakes (Group 1) in soft ground by a head. Other victories at Listed and Group 3 proved a very talented colt. He concluded his race career in 2011 after racing four times in Meydan (UAE). A racing career of 17 runs, 4 victories and total prize earnings of £326,543 details a Brocklesby winner who achieved much. 

Santry had the potential to be a true star in the making when winning the 2017 Brocklesby by a head. Trained by Declan Carroll, this son of Harbour Watch won his next start under a penalty, then finished second in the Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot. Sadly, he was fatally injured on the gallops. Carroll said: ''He broke a leg on the gallops this morning. I can't belive we've lost him.''   

Bill Turner has won the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes an impressive six times. The first victory coming back in 1996 when Indian Spark thrashed the opposition by four lengths. This remarkable racehorse went on to race 143 times and won 14 races. Very few thoroughbreds come close to this longevity.  

In 2002, we saw The Lord, owned by Mrs M Teversham. This classy son of Averti won impressively by five lengths in testing conditions. He went on to win the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes at Chester after failing to shine at Royal Ascot's Norfolk Stakes (Group 3) in between. The Lord was another fine horse who ran 68 times in his career, winning 8 times and achieving the highest official rating of 105. It was pleasing to see this dedicated sprinter win once at Listed class. A success most deserved. Without question, The Lord was Bill Turner's best Brocklesby Stakes winner, if not the best horse he has trained to this date. 

Spoof Master was something of an anomaly for Turner, being a Brocklesby Stakes winner at Redcar. This was due to maintenance work at Doncaster which saw the race take place at a different northern venue. In addition, Spoof Master made his debut when finishing second place on the all-weather surface at Lingfield Park. This son of Invincible Spirit made the most of that first-time experience by winning the Brocklesby by four lengths. In a racing career which saw him run 65 times, he won just 3 races. 

Next up, just two years later, Bill Turner would win the Brocklesby in 2008 with a filly named Sally's Dilemma.  Very few fillies are capable of winning this race and it must have made Turner's day to achieve this meritable performance for loyal owner E A Brook. She was pushed out to win by half a length from Stuart Parr's Doncaster Rover. She raced just 12 times in a two-season career and the Brocklesby was her greatest and only success. 

E A Brook was jubilant once more when He's So Cool won the Brocklesby on his second start after finishing third of seven on debut at Kempton, a disappointing flop at odds of 5/4. This son of One Cool Cat beat Redair at Doncaster priced 8/1. He raced 9 times at two, winning 2 times before being retired in August that same year.  

The latest Brocklesby Stakes win for Turner came in 2013. Mick's Yer Man won by five lengths. He followed up by winning at Musselburgh. Originally owned by Tracy Turner, this colt lost his form before showing a resurgence in 2014 winning at Listed class.

Later, he was sold privately and trained by T P Yung to race in Hong Kong. Interesting to note that his name was changed to Always Win (no wonder I struggled to find his name when searching the Racing Post database). Hong Kong horse racing has the luxury of exceptional prize money compared to the UK. For instance, Always Win won a sprint handicap off an offical rating of just 62 bagging an incredible £73,557.99 prize. In 2018, this son of Bahamian Bounty won two more races over six furlongs (those two victories alone totalled to over £141,000). Rising in the handicap to 85, with total prize earnings of £328,456 from 22 runs and 7 wins. 

The future looks bright for this Brocklesby winner who changed his name.

Great to see that Turner has Hell Of A Joker entered to run in this year's Brocklesby Conditions Stakes 2019

A trainer who has taken on the biggest stables and proven when it comes to talented two-year-old horses the Brocklesby Stakes is his to win.

Bill Turner Trains Zebra as a Racehorse

Photo: Mick's Yer Man

Want to know the best 2yo horses in training? Group Horse details inside info trainer would rather you didn't know. 

Monday, 18 March 2019

Becoming a Professional Gambler

I found this article on Slipperytoad website, originally published by Punt.Com blog, and it makes fascinating if not a little pessimistic reading.

Forums, blogs, bookies and betting websites are full of people dreaming of becoming professional gamblers. Being your own boss, working when you feel like it, making loads of money and watching sports for a living is certainly appealing to most people. Let this post (and the rest of this blog) be a reality check.

I see a lot of people giving up jobs to do this after a short time trading. They think it’s easy and straight forward, they think it will last forever… They haven’t thought it through.

I’ve been a professional gambler now for over 3 1/2 years. Before that, I gambled for 2 years before I took the decision to do it. It was the biggest decision of my life, certainly not one I took lightly. Giving up a guaranteed income and job prospects to gamble with my own money was extremely risky, to say the least.

When you give up your job, you’re not only going to be risking your money gambling but your entire future job prospects. Let me tell you, gamblers are not viewed in the same way as someone who works in a normal job. Compare the reaction you get when you tell someone you are a gambler to when you tell them you work in a bank. Even if you compare it to being a “day trader”, the reaction is a mixture of contempt, fascination and disbelief.

Most people will flatly not believe you. Gamblers are the vagrants of society. The losers that hang around bookies, wasting their family income on an addiction. No one believes it is possible to win, and if you have – it’s just luck. Like it or not, this is how you will be viewed. Some will feel sorry for you, others will not give you the time of day. You are going to be one of society’s outsiders.

Family relationships can be strained and tested. It takes a lot of understanding from family and friends and this can weigh on your mind whilst you are gambling. Stable family life is important, it spills over into your work – few jobs are affected as much by this. You need stability and space to work well. And vice versa, a bad day at the office should not affect the way you treat those closest to you, can you really say that you won’t be in a terrible mood when you lose £xxxxx on some tennis player that gave up?

Your financial future is now uncertain. You are no longer contributing to society, you are not paying tax – an advantage to the gambler sure, but it doesn’t improve your self-esteem and further enhances the feeling of being an outsider.

Try to borrow money from the bank? It’s easier said than done. This is why you need to try to secure your future financially as far in advance as you can before you make it your sole income

What about future job prospects? If you need to work again, do you really think future employers are going to be happy with you spending a year or two gambling for a living when they read your cv?

How much have you won before you turn pro? It’s hardly ever enough. You need to make many times your current income before you do it. Make sure you have savings that are stashed away, preferably making you a reasonable amount of interest. I might have turned professional a year before I did, but I had to make sure I was safe financially before I did so. Not only for my livelihood but so that I could work confidently and without pressure. You cannot perform in this game if you are too worried about losing your hard earned cash. Pressure on your profit and loss is deadly.

What about when you do take the plunge, your day to day life is going to change dramatically in ways you may not have imagined. Interaction with other people becomes scarce. You will be spending long periods of time alone, clicking away staring at a screen all day. The temptation to live up to the stereotype is obvious. Why bother making an effort when you can get up, do some work and go back to bed again.. Discipline. Working alone throws up serious challenges. Your health and fitness can suffer drastically. The way you interact with other people can take a tumble. Prepare for this in advance.

It’s not all excitement and glamour. It can be downright boring doing the same things day in day out. Boredom for some gamblers can be their most dangerous adversary. You can end up working on things you don’t need to be. Betting too much and over trading for the sake of it.

Gambling certainly doesn’t owe you a living. A normal job pays you for turning up, no one’s going to do that here – they are going to try to take money off you for turning up. It’s you against a world of other people, all of whom have opinions, some of them most definitely better informed than you. Just how professional are you when it comes to the crunch, are you certain you are at the top of the tree? How consistent is your performance going to be to combat everyone else and stay ahead of the game. There are some brilliant brains out there trying to beat you at every turn – be wise to the available strategies and the people you are up against and give them respect – it’s your money and therefore livelihood they are after.

There are very few real professional gamblers, the reasons above outline why. It’s incredibly tough to do. You are going to be tested mentally every day and you will need to guard against developing bad psychological habits. There are reasons why gambling can cause problems for most people. There is a fine line between problem gambling, pathological gambling and professional gambling. Many professionals develop problems, be aware of the risks. Here’s a site about different types of gamblers. It suggests there are fewer than 50 gamblers in the US that make over $100,000 a year. With all the negative problems you can face as a professional gambler, you better make sure you are being compensated. Ask yourself what a fair amount is for enduring these problems if you aren’t already making that then is it really worthwhile.

Think about your life situation and your family life. You are risking your money and theirs. I was fortunate when I began that I was young, single and in a job that didn’t pay that much and I was able to spend as much time as I liked pursuing it, without overheads and relationship damaging consequences. It’s extraordinary time consuming, to begin with, especially as you are going to have to work hard to increase from little to a sum of money suitable to work from. Don’t underestimate the time this takes, and the time you will be spending away from family chasing something that might not even work out.

I know this post is quite pessimistic. I think it’s supposed to be. I’ve heard it said before that professional gamblers are pessimists, I’m not sure I agree completely, but in this post, I certainly think it’s a good idea to be. No matter how much you think you are ready, wait a while longer. Wait until you are sure you aren’t just lucky, then wait some more… Know why you aren’t plain lucky, and be big enough to admit defeat if you have been.