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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Walking The Blogs: HCE

If you want you a great way to publicise your blog then follow in the footsteps of The Portfolio Investor & Patient Speculation and we will turn on the limelight with the very popular Walking The Blogs. If you want to learn about the person behind the blog then this is for you. Well, just to show I am a real person and not a robot, I am in the hot seat. HCE Walks The Blogs...

What inspired you follow horse racing?

I have been interested in horse racing since my teenage years and inspired by my father who every Saturday placed a small win yankee. We always went to Caister, Norfolk, for our holiday in September and that meant we had a day or two at Great Yarmouth races. There used to be a gathering of many family members and friends, which made for some very memorable times. With hindsight: wonderful times. What really inspired me about two-year-old racing was my brother, Tony. Being a twin we always thought alike and had the same interests. Tony was quite amazing in that he took an interest in Group-entered two-year-olds. In fact, he researched this area for years. His findings were published in the Weekender by Nick Mordin who noted that it was the first study of this kind in the world. Two-year-old Group-entry declaration stages have changed to some degree over the years, but we still use them as the backbone of our unique analysis. This knowledge is very interesting and worth its weight in gold. From that point we were hooked.

What got you interested in blogging?

I have never been the most technical of people but the Internet is truly a vehicle to reach the world. My youngest brother, Gareth, has been a Webmaster since leaving university and has been involved with a number of very successful websites. He took an interest in HCE and helped set up High Class Equine blog and related websites to start our horse racing information service and give others an opportunity to see what we have to say. As any blogger knows, it can be a very time consuming endeavour and at times frustrating. But what has really made a difference this year has been my attitude to blogging. At first I didn’t really pay much attention to other blogs. I guess I saw them as competition rather than kindred spirits and friends. Being part of our blogging community is very important to me and you would be surprised how many posts I read each day. HCE has, with time, become very popular and it is my passion. It has its own life force and it can lead to exciting opportunities. It has allowed me to converse with so many interesting, knowledgeable and intriguing people.

Do you enjoy gambling?

It is funny but in many ways I am not a natural born gambler. When I bet, what to me is serious money, I do so because I feel it would be mistakes to let such an opportunity go by without a wager. I guess that is my indicator to value. Perhaps in ways it is a good thing that I don’t enjoy betting for the sake of betting. It gives me objectivity. Over the years we have been quite successful with our investments and steadily moved forward. Each year there is always something new to learn. It is like polishing a stone. It is getting brighter but still needs time and effort to see a reflection of a successful gambler. The last two seasons I have learned so much. A wise man remembers those lessons. Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference. It doesn’t take a big mistake to lose a lot of money and conversely sometimes the smallest glimpse of insight or knowledge can make a wonderful betting opportunity. My only regret is often missing some fantastic priced chances for trying to be too careful or clever. They are truly moments that stick in my mind because they could have been life-changing bets. If I have one piece of advice it would be to always have a bet on speculative-priced fancies. In this day with exchanges, it is possible to bet on a horse at 100/1+ (and fancy your chances) so it pays to follow that niggling voice deep inside your mind. Listen to yourself. That unconscious mind tries to tell you it’s found a dream winner if you take note. I am looking forward to this new Flat season because I feel I have an answer to the majority of questions needed to make it a success. There will be times I learn something but that is to be expected. It is the way it should be – natural progress means moving forward. I am very disciplined when it comes to betting, perhaps too rigid at times. A successful gambler needs to make use of every opportunity. Think – and I say this to myself – can this bet make me money long term? It needs to. I don’t profess to know everything – I don’t need to. What is important is that I know the two-year-old racing because it is our niche. I watch every single race throughout the season. Not one is missed or goes by without analysis. It is demanding, tiring but my passion and when a good day comes along I feel like I am walking on clouds.

What are your favourite sports to punt?

In a professional light I simply bet on two-year-old racing. Generally, I look for each way selections although I do back straight wins. I am not against a win place bet at times. There are always opportunities so it doesn’t pay to say I don’t do this or that bet in a routine fashion because there will be a day when that is the best bet and through stubbornness it will be missed ‘because I don’t do those bets’. That is the problem all gamblers face at times. It truly pays to have answers to questions because they save you thinking about the same thing time after time (and they usually happen when there is no time to think and mistakes are hurriedly made) but we all need the flexibility to realise when to step away from the path and stick your hand in the bees nest to get some honey! It’s a difficult line to tread and reason why so much of gambling is a paradox.

What would you do to improve racing?

Firstly, make it cheaper to go to the races. And the price of poor food on course is nothing short of scandalous. I do think that things have improved a good deal and customer service is something that registers these days. Clearly more money needs to be pumped into racing, as prize money is terribly low. When you think of all the money made from any given race through bookmakers, exchanges, TV rights etc it doesn’t make sense that a race cannot be worth a minimum of 5k to the winner. It is such a small percentage of what is made by these big concerns but sadly none want to pay the price. If they don’t want to pay perhaps there should be some implication because there is only one reason why they continue with horse racing and that is because they make money from it. What do you associate with bookmakers? Most would say horse racing. All that can be said is that racing continues to be popular and that owners of horses clearly love the sport enough to make it work. With new initiatives such as the EBF and the success of the many and varied two-year-old sales races it isn’t all bad news. All of the powers that be need to pull together. The numbers of bookmakers and recently Betfair moving to Gibraltar to pay less tax is a reflection of why no one is willing to pay a fair prices for racing to thrive. Investment would truly make this the sport of kings.

Why not tell the blogging world about your passion:

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