Yesterday, Winning Racing Tips gave a selection at 16/1. It wasn't staked heavily, 0.25pts each way. To my staking levels, that equated to a total stake of £30. I had to spread that stake across three bookmakers. Victor Chandler allowed me £4ew, and Stan James £7ew. I had to make up the rest at BetInternet who were offering only 12/1. I know for a fact that Paddy Power would have severely restricted my stake on this horse, and I wouldn't be surprised if Coral would have had a problem with it too, judged by the number of bets of mine that they are referring to their traders.
I appreciate that backing horses at long odds each way in non-handicap races is not a strategy likely to warm a punter to the cockles of a bookmaker's heart, but really, three of the bounders to stake £30! Pathetic it may be, but as a serious punter (serious in terms of adopting a strategy you understand, not in terms of size of stakes - I'm no JP McManus!), this inability to get what you want on your service's selections is an issue that must be resolved, and there is no point in merely wailing against the system and gnashing one's teeth! Instead, thought has to go into how to overcome this obstacle, and unfortunately, I'm beginning to think that the solutions may lie in a fundamental rethink around how else we can achieve our aims. In other words, perhaps we have to change our means to reach our ends.
I think I have mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but I never stake more than £50 on any one horse with one bookmaker, even if this means accepting slightly lower odds than those advised by the tipster. I also note which bookmaker I have placed a bet with and ensure I spread my bets as evenly as possible amongst the different firms. But despite these measures, Chandler has already closed one account of mine completely, Corals are referring me to traders more and more frequently, and Paddy Power restrict my stakes on anything other than horses running in the important weekend/festival races. And therein perhaps lies an important point. As yet, I don't have any problems getting my stakes on horses running in handicaps, and although the 4PA selections are staked much more heavily than those from other services, I never have a problem getting these on either. I'm sure this is because the horses picked are running in the races with the strongest markets.
So, does this mean that in the future, choosing which services to follow really is dictated by the likely ease with which it is possible to get the money down on their selections? Does this mean that other services may have to be dropped for no other reason than the nature of their selections are going to produce difficulties in this respect? Does it mean that over time, we have to accept that horse racing services are going to have to step back a little in favour of an increased portfolio weighting on football betting, which will allow the more robust Asian bookmakers to be utilised? If so, I would suggest that judging from the difficulties I am beginning to come up against, this phasing in process may have to be started sooner rather than later.
Don't get me wrong, I am not pulling the plug on Winning Racing Tips specifically and nor do I have the cards of some of the other racing services I follow marked. I have been a member of WRT for two years and made darned good money with them in that time. I can still get on their selections, it is just becoming a little trickier, that's all. I would also say that their style of betting is so well in alignment with my own psychological gambling profile that I would be loathe to give them up and in fact would encourage anybody to seriously consider them, or those who bet like them, as part of a balanced portfolio. No, what I am actually saying here is that moving forward, it is becoming apparent that the overall "look" of the portfolio may have to change slightly as circumstances dictate. Let's see what happens.
Rather ironically in the light of all the above, there has only been racing action to concern us today. It did produce the fourth consecutive profitable day though, and the largest contributor to this today was ProBandit which played three horses in one race, two of which finished first and second. The winner was Interchoice Star (Southwell - 7/1). Good to see ProBandit pick up a couple of points and I'm really hoping that this signals a real return to form - there have been one or two small signs of that happening this week. Fingers crossed.
Elsewhere, the other winner finder was (again) On The Nose (Laterly - Huntingdon - 7/1), their only tip today. Winning Racing Tips found one placed horse from two selections and a small loss overall. Chasemaster followed yesterday's heroics with a blank day from three selections, and Northern Monkey Punter continued in the doldrums with 0/2.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1.25pts, -1.25pts.
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, +3.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.575pts, +2.425pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.3pts, -0.42pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.875pts, -0.875pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £64.30.
Thursday 24th February: Staked £228.50, +£64.30.
Week to date: Staked £1,605.50, +£602.39.
Month to date: Staked £14,037, +£389.12, roi 2.77%.