Sunday, 16 December 2018

Horse Racing: Understanding the Basics of Betting

Welcome to the world of horse racing, one of the prestigious and most popular sport for betting on! Horse racing attracts a huge amount of wagers, especially on major event races such as the Kentucky Derby and the 2018 Pegasus Cup wherein the vast majority of the audience have their money bet on and is at stake to their chosen racehorses. 

If not for the love of the sport, the betting would what most appeal to the fans out there of horse races, and it actually is what makes it alive. Betting on their chosen horses is what makes the races interesting for them since their experience wouldn’t be the same if they don’t have a horse to cheer on. 

So, if you have found the brand-new world of horse racing and has come to love it, here are the things that you need to understand first before going out and cheer for your horse in betting. 

Understanding the Sport

A global sport— that’s what horse racing is perceived as, making it especially popular in regions such as United States, United Kingdom, and Australia and other countries where racing takes place on a daily basis. 

What you should know firsthand about this sport is that the differences of it in various parts of the world. Thus, there might be some minor changes in rules and regulations depending on the country the horse racing is taking place. 

To further understand this sport, you should know that there are several different types of horse racing. Which are mainly named as the following: flat racing, jump racing, endurance riding, steeplechasing, quarter horse racing, and harness racing. These are just some of the examples of horse races which you need not learn in detail but needs to learn as much as possible for you to plan what and how to bet on. 

Knowing Horse Race Betting

It is very easy to get started with horse racing betting, but you still need to know that even though it is not especially complicated, you have to learn more about the complex aspects as you go along. 

Fixed Odds Betting 

This type of betting is the most popular way in horse racing betting. Fixed odds betting is where you place wagers with a bookmaker at specified odds. Now, if your wage wins then you get paid out at those odds. However, if your wage loses then the bookmaker keeps your stake money. 

Exchange Betting 

This type of betting is where your wagers strike with other individuals rather than with the bookmaker. In this form of betting, your strike wagers with other individuals rather than the bookmaker. This type of betting offers a few advantages over the other two options. 

Tote or Parimutuel Betting

Parimutuel betting is different from other types of betting since there no odds involved. The payouts are mostly based on how much was wagered on a race in totality and how many people have picked the winning horse. 

Top Tips for Beginners on Betting

If you have joined in the world of horse racing because of the sport itself, not caring about betting, then that’s great! You wouldn’t be so anxious as to how much money you have gained from the horse racing since you shouldn’t be expecting to make money out of horse racing as a beginner. 


Thus, here are the tips that have been provided to help you in approaching things the right way, avoiding unnecessary mistakes. 

Starting with Small Stakes 

Although it’s true that the higher the stakes the bigger is the amount of money given back to you if you won, as a beginner it wouldn’t be a wise choice. Thus, start at small stakes first and observe horse races and learn more so that eventually you’ll get comfortable in betting on horses with big stakes at hand. 

Don’t Bet on Every Race 

Betting on every race isn’t that wise too since that results in splurging a considerable amount of money for horse racing. Thus, avoid betting on every race so as to save money and not putting your efforts in vain. 

Avoid Parlays 

Parlay is a type of sports bet wherein you combine multiple individual bets which are typically 2-10 bets into one bet or “card”. This gives you worse odds to win yet you will be rewarded with a larger amount of money, because apparently, the larger the amount of wagers that are included in your parley, the larger is the payout you’ll receive. To briefly tell you, avoid parlays in betting since it’s not even in a 50-50 chance win. 

Takeaway

Horse racing was a luxurious entertainment century ago, but it has been a local entertainment and sport for quite some time now. Thus, getting yourself being indulged with horse racing isn’t a surprising thing to do, you only need to know and be educated so that you will know the ins and outs of horse racing.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Mecca’s Angel Wins Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) (Twice)

Mecca’s Angel Wins Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) (Twice)
Foaled in Ireland on February 11, 2011, Mecca’s Angel is a daughter of Dark Angel, who won the Middle Park Stakes as a juvenile and has since proven himself as one of the best stallions in Europe, from whom she inherited her grey colour. Owned by David T. J. Metcalfe and trained by Michael Dods at Denton Hall Stables in Piercebridge, near Darlington, County Durham, Mecca’s Angel raced, almost exclusively, over 5 furlongs and was ridden, almost exclusively, by Yorkshire-based jockey Paul Mulrennan. All told, she won nine of her 19 races, including back-to-back renewals of the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, and earned nearly £680,000 in win and place prize money. 

Mecca’s Angel made her racecourse debut in a maiden fillies’ stakes race, over 5 furlongs, at Thirsk in May, 2013. Easy to back, at 10/1, on that occasion, she came off worst of all in a four-way photograph for first place, finishing fourth, beaten a nose, a nose and a nose. Nevertheless, the in-running comment in the Racing Post finished with the word ‘improve’ and thereafter, according to her trainer, that’s all she did.

After a fair, if unspectacular, two-year-old campaign, she won the first two starts as a three-year-old, in handicap company, by wide margins, before trying her luck in the Prix Texanita at Maisons-Laffite. In the latter contest, run over 5½ furlongs on very soft going, she was gradually left behind in the closing stages, eventually finishing fifth of 10, beaten 4 lengths. Even so, 2014 proved a breakthrough year because, on her return from a 121-day break, in September she opened her account at both Listed and Pattern level by winning the Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster and the World Trophy at Newbury. 

In 2015, Mecca’s Angel ran just three times, nut made her first foray into Group One company in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York. On the Knavesmire, she faced the two-year-old filly, Acapulco, trained in the United States by Wesley A. Ward and the winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot on her previous start in June. Unusually described by Timeform as a ‘big, powerful filly’, Acapulco was arguably the biggest juvenile filly to ever set foot on a British racecourse yet, under the race conditions, received a 24lb weight age allowance. Unsurprisingly Acapulco started favourite, at 13/8, with Mecca’s Angel third favourite, at 15/2. Nevertheless, relishing the good to soft going, stayed on strongly in the closing stages to overhaul Acapulco, who had led on the far side from halfway, to win by 2 lengths in a lightning-fast time of 57.24 seconds.

In 2016, Mecca’s Angel returned to York for the Nunthorpe Stakes as defending champion, but again started second favourite, at 9/2, behind impressive July Cup winner, Limato, at 15/8. This time, on good going, Mecca’s Angel was close up as first Take Cover and then Thesme took the 19-strong field along, but led inside the final quarter of a mile and kept on strongly to beat Limato – who chased her, in vain, in the final furlong – by 2 lengths. Her winning time, of 56.24 seconds, was only fractionally slower than the course record, of 56.16 seconds, set by Dayjur in 1990.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Famous racehorse commentators

Famous Racehorse Commentator: Peter O’Sullevan
With billions of pounds generated each year, horse racing is one of the most lucrative sports around. Hundreds of races take place every year and the upcoming King George VI Chase is one of the major races coming up. The King George race odds suggest that last year’s winning Might Bite is the favourite to win the race for the second consecutive year, but all of the horses and their trainers will be aiming to cross the finish line first.

Horse racing is an enjoyable sport to watch on its own, but the race day experience is even better thanks to the commentators. Although their primary aim is to inform the listeners or viewers, they also provide entertainment by going above and beyond what is expected by giving them a sensation racing experience. Here’s some of the most famous and memorable horseracing commentators of all time, which helped the sport grow into one of the biggest in the world.

Peter O’Sullevan 


The late Peter O’Sullevan was arguably one of the most famous horse racing commentators of his generation. For the entirety of his career, O’Sullevan became the ‘voice of racing’ due to his long-standing run as the BBC’s leading horse racing commentator. During the 50 years he was on the air (1947 – 1997), O’Sullevan commentated over some of the greatest moments in racing history. His most iconic moments came at the Grand National were he provided commentary for Foinavon’s outside win in 1967, and at the infamous 1993 Grand National race.


Peter Bromley 

Another famous horse racing commentator from the BBC was Peter Bromley. Whilst O’Sullevan was the voice of horse racing on the television channel, Bromley made his name as a horse racing commentator on the radio. His first broadcast came in May 1959 when he commentated at Newmarket. Later that year, Bromley officially became the BBC’s first racing correspondent. He would go on to remain in that role until 2001. The veteran commentator came up with many iconic lines such as “Atom Bomb has fallen!” in his first ever commentary. 

Bromley also commentated on TV briefly with ITV in the early 1950s, but quit this role after a few years in order to take up his role on BBC Radio. 

Michael O’Hehir 

Whilst O’Sullevan and Bromley were dominating the horse racing commentary team in Britain, Michael O’Hehir was the voice of racing in Ireland. However, the Irishman originally started out his commentary career by commentating over the Irish hurling and Irish football games. Sports broadcasting was fairly new in the country at the time, but listening O’Hehir’s commentary quickly became a common thing for many listeners. As a result, O’Hehir was considered the first ‘Voice of the Gaelic games’. 

He eventually ended up getting involved in horse racing in the mid-1940s as a sports sub-editor as well as continuing to provide commentary on the radio. His rise in Ireland led to him being awarded a job as a racing commentator on the BBC. His first commentary was for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but O’Hehir became famous for his annual coverage for the Grand National. He provided some memorable moments during his lengthy spell as Grand National commentator, including in 1967 where he was able to identify the unfavourable 100/1 outsider ‘Foinavon’ who eventually won the race.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Professional Gamblers: Jack Ramsden

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

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


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


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


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





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


More pro gambler tales:


Dave Nevison

Phill Bull
A Tale Of A Pro Gambler

Saturday, 1 December 2018

The Art of Winner Finding

The Art of Winner Finding
Another great article from the Horseracing Pro. Foreword by Bob. Here's another of Spy's inimitable views. When you read it take some of his modesty with a pinch of salt! He actually does very well with his betting and racing has provided him with a living for some 20 years now! But I absolutely agree with his fundamental point. One man on his own just hasn't the time or the ability to go through all the racing, form lines, videos and sift views from a stable of contacts in 24 hours.

You need help. Help from experts. Expert form advice, expert race readers, and expert contacts.


To do well in this business you would be well advised to do one of three things. Either

•Build a team


◦ ... of form experts, race experts and contacts whose opinion you trust implicitly. This does NOT mean you will always be right no matter how good the team is. Apart from the normal good luck/bad luck in racing from time to time team members will fall for "put-aways" and be put away by connections, just like anyone else. It's part of the game. But a good team will identify more fancied horses and spot more "moody" put away plays than most do.


◦This is the most satisfying as you will enjoy the camaraderie of your team (albeit mostly by telephone as generally they are widespread geographically and incredibly hardworking because they love racing and they love the challenge of solving the racing puzzle)


◦ It will also be very expensive because your overheads will be enormous and the only income is generated by betting. The more successful you're betting the harder it will be to get bets on (in your own name) It's a wonderful "Catch 22" and yet we all love the buzz of this business so much we are hooked for life!


•Bet for a Professional Gambler


◦ ... Find a Professional Punter or group of Professional Gamblers and bet alongside them. You wouldn't ask a road sweeper to perform brain surgery so surely it's smart to take advice from someone who already has proven he can win and not someone who just claims he can.


◦The best way is to place bets on them but you will need an enormous float if you do and you must be VERY sure you are dealing with a Genuine Professional Punter who really can't get bets on or you could be ripped off - too many con artists use this sort of story as a scam. To handle a Professional's business you will probably need to be able to guarantee getting bets of £1,000-£5,000 on at a time, secure prices and be on call 24/7 as well as the ability to move large sums of money in seconds. If you've ever bet live horses you will know how hard that can be! I have many clients who have already had their accounts limted for betting "live" horses in hundreds let alone thousands!



◦PS If you can get £1,000's on, can secure the odds and will guarantee to pay me when I win then please email me right away!


•Work with a Genuine Professional Gambler


◦ ... and share the burden of expenses or getting money on. This is the method I offer as it makes it possible for a part time Trader to enjoy access to genuine information without a huge financial committement.

I OFTEN START my pieces with anecdotes and see no reason to break that precedent today. The story that precedes this offering concerns a boxer faced with the doctor during a bout at Madison Square Garden. It had been a bad night thus far for the pugilist, who was slumped in the corner between rounds whilst his seconds frantically worked on his cut face. As was his job, having witnessed a punishing round, the doctor needed to establish the battered fighter was Compos Mentis. Correct with the number of fingers held before him: next the question if the fighter knew where he was. ‘Sure I know where I am,’ he replied, spitting blood as he spoke, ‘I am in Madison Square getting the shit kicked out of me!’


Told he could continue for the next round, the boxer then had to listen to all the advice from his corner. ‘If you’re so god-damned clever, you get in there and finish it off for me!’ he replied before the clang of the bell.

Boxing is a tough game – it is a tough as they come. It requires a team of experts to groom the boxer to give his best in the ring. And the paradox is that, as with sportsmen of all types and performers in general, those dispensing said advice are theorists as opposed to operators. That is to say - they tell those that can do what they cannot - how to do it! That is the job of a coach and is no reflection on either party.


The same applies to horseracing and betting where there is no shortage of advice proffered to would-be professional punters. Not all the theory in the universe will make you into something you are not. If you are not cut out to be a professional punter, it is important you cotton on to such a fact sooner rather than a few grand later.

We have looked at some of the finer points of punting for a living but one of the most important components in this business is your make-up or personality. For the purposes of the point I wish to make, I will take myself as the role model for this article. I will analyse my qualities and lack of – warts and all.


First, my strong points: I am pretty good at dissected races and quick to jump on a betting opportunity, which often means I can identify a race that presents a distinct advantage. This is where you doubt the credentials of a leading player for whatever reason and feel it is ripe to be opposed. Often I find that, for all the time one can invest, the true good thing jumps out of the paper even before you have waded through the business of deciding whether the formbook suggests it can win. This is something of a contradiction to many of the other scraps of formulae I have passed on. I keep hammering several points home; one of them being there is no actual blueprint for this business. Like the bout of boxing, such a movable feast requires constant adjustment so those who succeed have to think on their feet.


Therefore, technically I know what I am doing. Now to the part that cannot be quantified – the ability to transfer theory into practice. In the case of being a professional punter that is the bit that involves actual betting – the decision as to whether to bet or not and how much to stake. Here, we are talking my weakness. Most successful punters I know have at least one grey area. They identify it and use others to plug up the gap or gaps. Surprisingly, most successful punters know little about actual form, less about horses. But they are good at betting. They are the equivalent of the city traders who can be fearless. Their sixth sense does not come in evaluation of cards and races but in knowing when to lay down their cash.

People who are good at winner-spotting would also make good detectives as there is a fair degree of sifting of facts required. They achieve much of the work on instinct and intuition.


Successful backers take all the advice on offer, have a knack of deciphering the difference between a message or opinion that reflects hope as opposed to confidence, and act accordingly. And when they bet, they bet. They pull up serious money and make it count.

One of my biggest weaknesses is timidity. I have to admit I am not a fearless punter. I keep my head above the roaring ocean waves without going under but am never on the prow of the ship. And I like to make my mind up on the day’s proceedings in advance, hating to be at the whim of messages that may trickle through during course of a day, particularly in races in which I have no view. I do my work either the day or night before, finish it in the morning and that is it as far as I am concerned! This is a failing but one I cannot address. I am not intolerably opinionated, but I dislike putting myself in the hands of others. I will always listen, in some cases bet solely on messages – some of which are top class – but I dislike striking a bet that has not been properly thought out – at least by me. That is my approach and it means I miss backing plenty of winners. Subconsciously, I feel I have done the work on the day and that there should be no need for further reference to the formbook. Instantly unfathomable messages are largely ignored. I repeat – this is a failing.


My best course of action would be to employ someone to listen to what I say, to my evaluation of races and then who, in a dispassionate manner, places the wagers. There would surely be no shortage of applicants for such a position; but I am equally sure such a relationship would not work. The reason is I like to maintain control and am reluctant to delegate when it comes to money. Therefore, as a result, my business suffers, as it would be far more effective if I worked in tandem with someone else.


However, importantly, I know and recognise this weakness and work round it. Personally, I will never be a Bob Rothman, Harry Findlay, or a Patrick Veitch. That is not solely because they are richer than I am, but that they have the temperament to take enormous risks when the time is right. They will increase stakes when winning, whereas I tend to protect profit and throttle back, playing it safe. That means I jog along, not getting into too much trouble but not roaring round London in a Ferrari either.

If you are tempted to try this business, then it is important you give yourself a reality check. Even if you fail to become a big-hitter in the ring, it should prove beneficial. Eventually, betting on anything – be it cards, roulette, horses or football – will expose your weaknesses from which there is no hiding place. Kid yourself you are right when all around can see you are not and you will pay the price. Punting does not allow a margin for error. But consistency can make up for deficiencies. I am not advocating being consistently wrong, but so long your actions are consistent, to a degree you can work round your shortcomings.

Being a professional punter is akin to being a professional in anything. You are effectively in the same position as writers, actors and sportsmen. There is no one paying your National Insurance stamp, no one shelling out sick and holiday pay, no guarantee that you will be insured by the trappings those conventionally employed enjoy.


As I said at the beginning, some are better doing the fighting others saying how it should be done. So long as the mixture is correct, it can work. The problem comes when the fighters are doing the directing and the corner men the fighting!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Professional Gamblers: John Aspinall

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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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



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

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Weird and Amazing Facts about Horse Racing

Horse racing is a thrilling and fantastic game for many people. But as there is money involved, it becomes a great sport for betting enthusiasts. Getting to know the amazing facts about horse racing can make you peep into all new world of stallions. 

How it started and a few records?

For the successful horses, the owners would pledge their lives. Yes, they can earn more on stud than on the racecourse, and $100 million is involved in horse racing every year. It all started with the chariot races of Rome, and they are the organized form of horse races, from where today’s horse races are derived. These races trace back to 4500 BC in Central Asia. 


  • Till date, there is no record that a horse more than 18 years of age has won the race. 
  • A racehorse on an average weighs 1000 pounds, and the recorded that is lowest for a jockey is 49 pounds. 
  • The highest aged jockey was Levi Barlingume, who raced till 80 years of age, which was until 1932. 
  • Humorist was the winner of the Epsom Derby in 1921 that ran with only one lung.


Big-hearted horses have more chance to win 

You will also be excited to know about the organs of the racing horses. Yes, only the horses with large hearts have a great chance to win, compared with the rest those who have smaller or average-sized hearts. 

If you are one of the groups who thinks that horse racing is not very animal-friendly, and they have stopped putting money in it. You have options to participate in other sports or you can play casino games at Betfair to get the same thrilling experience. 

Slow or fast? 

If you are looking for something funny then here is some amusing fact for you. Time is significant when it comes to winning a race. In 1945, the recorded time for winning that is the slowest of all time was set. Never Mind II, the horse refused to move from a fence, and the jockey had no other go, but to abandon the horse. But, to his joy, all the runners of the race had either been disqualified or fallen. So, he rushed back to complete the 2-mile race in 11 minutes and 28 seconds. This means he would have been at leisure. 

Facts about different breeds

Most of the times, you will find that the thoroughbred horses are chosen for their speed, agility, and determination. They had Arabian ancestors and were produced in England. The Arabian racehorses that raced more than 1000 years ago are of just ½ the size of the thoroughbred horses. Compared with these, the quarter-bred horses that are specially bred for quarter-mile races are smaller and less muscular. For harness racing, the standardbred horses are used. They are best suited for trot than gallop racing. 

Dangers associated with horse racing

While it can be seen a great sport, no one can deny that many a times horse racing involves the fatal end of the horses on the race course, with broken spines. Horses are also killed because of the use of drugs that are meant for improving speed but are illegal and restricted. Thousands of former racehorses end up at slaughter beds. Even younger horses, say of age 3 and 4 are made to risk their lives on tracks.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

The Gambler's Mindset: Luck

Successful pros like Joe Hachem may seem to have more to smile about, but it's a chicken-and-egg situation. You might not be able to magic up a lottery win, but you can certainly increase your chances of being one of life’s winners. Lucky people smile twice as often as the unlucky and engage in more eye contact. In our everyday experience, it can seem that some people ‘have all the luck’ and others appear to be jinxed.

We can all think of lucky people who seem to be in the right place at the right time, meet the right people, win all the money at the gaming tables and go from one success to another. I recently read a news story on the internet highlighting that luck is indeed about being in the right place at the right time. The story concerned a waitress at a Las Vegas casino who won $362,259 during her lunch break. After playing for 15 minutes, she won the largest slot jackpot payout ever. However, only three months later, her car was hit by a drunk driver who had 17 previous arrests for drunk driving. She was seriously injured and her older sister was killed. This time she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.


McGambling’s golden arches


When applied to the world of gambling, our belief in luck has huge political and financial ramifications. Until 1978, Nevada was the only US state where gambling was legal. By 2005, almost all states had a lottery (although ironically not Nevada), and today, casinos have even sprung up on Indian reservations. This ‘domino effect’ phenomenon has been described by media commentators as the ‘McGambling’ and ‘Las Vegasing’ of the US. In short, politicians view legalised gambling and people’s belief in luck as a magic bullet to cure ailing state economies that are motivated by the ‘pathology of hope’. The UK doesn’t appear to be that far behind. Canada also now has a large number of casinos and not just confined to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; with the business case often trumping the social or moral case when planning decisions arise. Unlike the U.S though there's a lax regulatory regime managing internet casinos with Canadians able to deposit and play quite easily at these types of offshore casino sites.

Given people’s widespread beliefs about luck, there’s been relatively little psychological research on the subject. Professor Richard Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire has spent many years studying luck and believes he’s discovered four principles of luck and knows how to help people improve their good fortune. The results of this work reveal that people aren’t born lucky. Instead, lucky people are unconsciously using four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives. These could also be applied to gambling situations. Wiseman’s research has involved him being with those who define themselves as either lucky or unlucky and examining the reasons why. Wiseman started by asking randomly chosen UK shoppers whether they had been lucky or unlucky in several different areas of their lives, including their careers, relationships, home life, health and financial matters. Of those adults he surveyed, 50% considered themselves lucky and 16% unlucky. Those lucky or unlucky in one area were more likely to report the same in other areas. Most experienced either consistent good or bad fortune. Professor Wiseman, therefore, concluded that luck could not simply be the outcome of chance events.


So what do lucky people do that is different from unlucky people? Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities by networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences. Also, lucky people listen to lucky hunches. They make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. For example, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts. Thirdly, lucky people expect good fortune. They are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure and shape their interactions with others in a positive way. Finally, lucky people turn bad luck into good. They employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on the ill fortune, and take control of the situation.


So can ‘lucky’ people win at gambling without trying? Professor Wiseman tested this proposition by getting 700 people to gamble on the National Lottery. The ‘lucky’ participants were twice as confident of winning as the ‘unlucky’ ones. However, results showed that only 36 participants actually won any money, and these were split evenly between the two groups. The study showed that being lucky doesn’t change the laws of probability!


Luck is a mindset


Research has also shown lucky people use body language and facial expressions that other people find attractive, smiling twice as often as the unlucky and engaging in more eye contact. Also, they’re more likely to have a broad network of friends and take advantage of favourable opportunities. Lucky people view misfortune as short-lived and overcome it quickly. Those who expect to fail may not even try. Lucky people try to achieve their goals even when the odds are against them. Luck isn’t a magical ability or a gift from the gods. It is a mindset, a way of perceiving and dealing with life. This is something gamblers should know and try to apply to their daily gambling activity.

Read more fascinating gambler psychology stories here: Bet You Buy The Red Car




Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The Concept of Value Betting

Concept of value in 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, 17 October 2018

Great Yarmouth Casino Night

The luck of the devil. 

Tell's face it, to win at the casino you need a bit of luck. I have played the tables online and you can place one here if you fancy a flutter. 

I've not been to many brick and mortar casinos. Visited a few here and there: Great Yarmouth, Nottingham & Luton. I've won money at all bar Nottingham. I don't think I lost much there, perhaps forty or fifty pounds. 

They are all owned by Grosvenor who have many across the country. Readers will know I go to Great Yarmouth quite regular. This coastal town is like most - beyond the glitz of the Golden Mile is a community who are largely deprived. Seasonal work doesn't help but people live where they live. I love Yarmouth because I have fond memories of school holidays at Caister-on-sea. Who hasn't been to Regent Street for a wander? There is plenty of things to do. Sadly the old House Of Wax closed a few years back. It was featured in a few big publications as being something of a comedy show because the waxworks had melted a touch and they looked nothing like they were meant to. I went there a few times as a child and it was kind of funny if not spooky. 

Anyway, let's get back to the casino action.

I've been to Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino plenty of times. Believe it or not, I'm actually winning money.  

I love people watching. You see a diverse mix of punters. Some rich - some poor. Some, not being nasty, look and act as though they have crawled from under a rock. 

Take these examples:

Graham is a regular. He bets big money. In fact, he is the only person I have seen there with the illusive £1000 chips. They aren't chip-shaped, more of a rectangle, so not sure what they call them. Anyway, he likes to bet. Always on the roulette table. Scattering chips across the table. I've seen him winning many thousand - losing too! Makes me smile, as sometimes his wife sits close by drinking a cup of tea. How can you win money at fixed odds? The fact of the matter is that if you play long and hard you are guaranteed to lose. 

An example of someone who clearly has a gambling problem is a little Argentinian bloke who makes his living driving a taxi. He sits at the three-card poker table and vanishes every so often to take a fare before coming back to lose the fee. A cheery man with a smile. Someone who loves his football. But, sadly, someone who cannot stay away. 

I guess there have been a few big spenders at this venue. If you bet big and often you need a lot of money because you can easily burn through a £100,000 over a year by betting relatively small sums. 

The only time I went to Luton casino an Indian bloke was playing. He never took less than a £50 note out of his pocket. He must have had some money. His luck had gone for a burton. He lost £15,000 as I played at the roulette table. His £50+ bets sitting heavy next to my 50p chips. Like a skyscraper next to a bungalow! However, my money was lucky while he threw his wonga into a crock of shit. It seemed strange, but his face was expressionless. I wanted to see him win just to see if there was a light in his eyes. I very much doubt win, lose or draw it would have registered. I don't know what he did for a living but he wasn't short on money. Strangely, like Bryan, his wife sat nearby supping away at a cup of ''earl grey''. 

Later, I went to cash in my £75 winning chips. 

Low and behold, he was there at the counter cashing in more money. Clearly, the £50s had run dry and he used his card to get some chips. The whole counter was covered with £500 and £1000 rectangles. I really should have stayed longer just to conclude his story. 

My cousins Danny and Paul were there, along with other members of family and friends. Paul had a bad night made all the worse when he gave up the ghost and Danny took his seat and won the next hand. 

I'll be back at Great Yarmouth before Christmas. Let's hope lady luck is smiling. I wonder if I will see my familiar ''friends'' there?

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

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

Rambling...


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


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

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


So how did the season go?


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


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


I started small laying juveniles to win five pounds a time. That may seem a pittance but it can be a costly affair if a 20/1 shot has an exceptionally long neck. I'm pretty sure I laid a couple of 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.