No review of the month just gone is going to make for happy reading. Thought I'd split the review into four parts. Figures in brackets are year to date figures.
4PA: Staked 32.5pts, -3.481pts, roi -10.71% (Staked 91pts, +2.706pts, roi 2.97%). In the most recent email from the service, they are obviously aware that the standards that were set in 2010 have not yet been matched in 2011. What I like about this chap though is that he is very matter of fact. I don't know if he means to, but when things aren't going particularly well, his emails always convey a total belief that it is only a matter of time before it all clicks into place again and a hugely impressive roi is achieved. I also get the impression from the guy who runs it that an roi around the 10% mark is hardly worth raising oneself from one's bed for and that anything short of 20% is a disappointment. Perhaps I'm reading this wrong, but I kind of like it. It inspires confidence.
Certainly the service is going to make the beginning of May interesting - we have been put on alert for a busy week with the Punchestown festival starting tomorrow and the big Chester meeting from Wednesday of this week. We could get off to a flyer or it could be a disaster. One thing is for sure, it won't be dull over the next few days.
Chasemaster: Staked 14pts, +4.796pts, roi 34.25% (Staked 50pts, +12.484pts, roi 24.96%). A real success story in 2011 so far, Chasemaster is going from strength to strength. Many, many things to like about the service, not least the low subs costs which means that it represents real value for money. There are two areas that I have not been exploiting properly though. First is the laying side of the service which seems to be profitable (I have not been recording lay results so I can't say with 100% certainty). It's a personal thing, but I have never been keen on laying and when the SBC originally reviewed Chasemaster, their recommendation at that time was to follow the 'backs' only, essentially due to a lack of data around the lays. However, when you consider that the review must have been published well over a year ago, there is much more data to hand now and I will be asking Peter if he could provide it. I'm not going to start with the lays this month, but my thoughts are that I would like to start following them in the not too distant future. Generally speaking I would like to introduce some laying to the portfolio, and this would seem to be a good place to start. The second area that I am going to change from this month is with how I stake the service. In previous monthly reviews I have written that I have been aware that I have slightly understaked Chasemaster in relation to some of the other services. I was reluctant to change during the height of the National Hunt season just in case there was a sudden increase in bets which would push me too far the other way, but I think that scenario is unlikely to arise during the summer months. Like Skeeve, I also wanted to resist upping staking levels until I was 100% comfortable with everything, and now I am. Perhaps I should have done so earlier, but you know me, conservative as ever. It's not a large rise, but should be enough to bring Chasemaster into line with the staking on the likes of ProBandit, Winning Racing Tips and 4PA and it is now a really core service of the portfolio.
ProBandit: Staked 27.375pts, -4.695pts, roi -17.15% (Staked 112pts, -4.142pts, roi -3.69%). Obviously a disappointing month for ProBandit in what has been an underwhelming year so far, but I'm still a big fan. I read an interesting article by Mr Gekko of the SBC not so long ago that pointed out that with most services, you spend an awful lot of time below the high water mark. In other words, you often have to spend months not making money from a service before a surge takes you through the high profit mark. I'm sure this is what is happening with ProBandit at the moment and I'm optimistic that we'll soon see some good profits coming in. The service may be running to stand still at the moment, but better that than be moving backwards.
There has been a lot of talk recently too about the worth of the NQ bets and the proposition that backing the System bets only will increase the roi. I'm sure there is a lot of truth in that and if that's the way folks would like to follow the service, then I'm not going to say it is the wrong approach. My own take on it is that I will continue to follow the NQ bets for the reasons Paul has given as to why he supplies them...they provide a less bumpy ride. I guess it boils down to the assertion that I would choose to take a lower roi with a smoother ride than a higher roi with more volatility. Some gambler I am! Seriously though, each to their own and I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do things in this regard.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 17.6pts, +2.817pts, roi 16% (Staked 65pts, +10.154pts, roi 15.62%). Well, Paul managed to turn April around in the last week to ten days or so with a lovely winning each way double and another winner or two on top. Trouble is I wasn't aware of them at the time as they happened in the period that Helen took over. The last involvement I had, it was looking like it was going to be a pretty poor month for WRT. There is a reason why I regard WRT as being a "core" service - consistency in approach. Good times or bad, it is the same method, week in week out. Never a deviation.
Pretty quiet today. ProBandit found a winner at Warwick (Aggbag - 7/2) and that proved to be the only real success of the day on the horses. WRT had their selection place at 5/1 so stakes returned. Northern Monkey has had a sticky start to the month and only found one to place from four today. On The Nose picked the same horse as one of Northern Monkey's losers as their only bet.
Total loss on the horses of £36.24.
One bet from Sportyy on the tennis today and a nice winner.
Total profit on sports of £58.75.
Monday 2nd May: Staked £265, +£22.51.
Week to date: Staked £265, +£22.51.
Month to date: Staked £625, +£70.64, roi 11.3%.
Finally today, I want to draw attention to a new addition to the blog roll on the right. I read about 'From Ireland' on Dean's 'Playing It Safe' blog last night and when Connor left a comment asking for a link exchange, I was happy to oblige. Always interesting to follow someone or a service from Day 1. I don't know Connor's intentions, whether he'll be posting up his progress on the blog, but I thought it worth a look. If not, you can still follow performance on 'Playing It Safe'.
Probably just a "results" post tomorrow - want to watch that Messi fella play for Barcelona. Got potential, that kid. One day he's going to be a good player, you mark my words. I've an eye for these things.