Thursday, 3 January 2013

The racing services for 2013.

You know I really am blessed when it comes to the readership of this blog. Two comments were left after the first post of 2013, both of which are well worth reading.

Firstly, Paul left me a link to a website where I can purchase Arsenal pyjamas, and if you're reading this Dear Wife, and if I may be so bold as to drop a wee hint, it is nearly my birthday (August will be here in a flash, you know).

Secondly, this:

"Good luck in the new year, Rowan. I was a bit surprised to read that you seem disappointed with a 5% ROI for 2012. I believe most tipsters aim for a 10% ROI and seeing that it's near impossible to catch their quoted prices and get all bets on, your 5% seems decent enough. Just saying :) Back when I was betting with a big bank I would categorize 5% ROI as a decent year."

As it happens, a mate of mine emailed me on Wednesday to make the very same point, adding that as we all know, ROI isn't the be all and end all when it comes to assessing the success or otherwise of our betting, and reminding me that parameters such as ROC are those we should be paying attention to. But, while we're at it, the Commentor above is quite right and deep down, I'm not really too disappointed with 5% in the overall grand scheme of things. Where I was coming from was that back in the autumn, I was riding a bit of a wave - Sportyy and Summer Of Football were picking winners like there was no tomorrow, Service X was, pardon the expression, shit hot. On The Nose and Northern Monkey were rediscovering their form and Winning Racing Tips racking up the profits. This was at a time when I was looking forward to the British/main European football league season getting underway and I was optimistic that Football Elite, Skeeve and The Football Analyst were going to start weighing into the merry-making too. We know now of course that this isn't quite how it panned out and instead the last couple of months of 2012 were poor ones, and it is more from that perspective that I was writing about being disappointed. Still, quite right, it could all have been a lot worse, and I shall stop being such a grumpy bugger.

Right. To the main business of the evening - an outline of the racing side to the TPI portfolio as we head off into 2013. Let's go through service by service with one or two thoughts on each.

Northern Monkey
This is the start of Year 3 with Wayne, and I'm looking forward to it. There is a subtle change though to the way I will be following. I shall be adopting an approach that I tried last year and quickly gave up on when I found I wasn't entirely comfortable with it. However, with another year's worth of data that Wayne has analysed, I have told myself to grow up and to do what really does look like the right thing to do - follow the more heavily staked bets only (0.75pts+). Again last year, the roi and, more importantly, monetary gain, would have been increased had this policy been followed. There's always a chance that this coming year could be different, but as is stands at this point in time, this new policy is the way to go.

On The Nose
Third year with The Judge, too. The first year was spectacularly successful, last year less so although as mentioned above, the latter half of 2012 witnessed something of a return to form. But, the harsh reality is that we could really do with a good start to 2013 to start boosting the figures covering the last twelve months or so which in isolation, are showing a loss. I have absolutely no doubt that The Judge is a tremendously talented tipster who makes the game look ridiculously easy when things fall right, capable of going on a run that produces 20-40 points profit within a single month. It is this, and memories of how good 2011 was, that leads to my being hopeful that 2013 will prove to be a strong one for the service. A slight change in luck would be useful mind. Two times over the Christmas period horses at double figure prices didn't so much snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as look victory steadfastly in the eye before laughing in it's face, one horse doing a fine impression of the lovechild of Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez in the penalty area when streets clear at the last, and the other a surefire winner had the last fence not been omitted. I didn't so much have time to simply count my winnings before the horses crossed the finishing line, as count them, go to the Amazon website, order my goods and pay for them before these cruel twists of fate denied me. I shall go and find a suitable sacrifice to offer up in return for the fickle finger of fortune to turn when it comes to the performance of the OTN horses that lead approaching the last. It's looking like the days are numbered for next door's cat...

The Sportsman Racing
A relatively recent addition to the SBC's Hall of Fame but a service I have been following since the summer of 2011, since when, in terms of ROI at least, it has been my best performer. It is obvious that Scott has built up some strong connections within the racing world, and allied to a shrewd eye for the formbook, he has a winning combination. Most selections are at short prices, but anyone who says that value cannot be secured at this end of the market should take a look at what Scott does. The odds against most of his selections shorten significantly, and not necessarily through weight of money following him in, as prices tend to continue to shorten on course. If you're backing 5/4 shots that go off at 4/6, then as far as I am concerned, you're securing great value. Such odds movements happen far too frequently to be coincidence.

I shall also be keeping a close eye on TSR's 'Bet of The Day' over the coming months. This is a feature introduced last September, such a selection being given on any day that doesn't carry an official Account bet. Currently running at an roi of 17%, this aspect to the service shows a huge amount of potential and as it significantly boosts turnover, if such performance levels can be maintained - or even drop to the 10% mark - then it would prove worth following with hard cash. I'm cautious as ever though, and will make a decision on this after the summer when more data can be reviewed.

Winning Racing Tips
Other than Football Elite, I've been with WRT for longer than any other service in the portfolio. It is good at what it does - the same methodology is applied ultra consistently and over any decent period of time, it produces positive results. I'll always be somewhat limited by not being able to place big stakes on the selections; if I did then I would very quickly have no usable bookmaker accounts open to me due to the nature of the bets provided, but WRT is a very stable and strong brick in the portfolio wall. 2012 was a very good year. Let's hope for more of the same over the next twelve months.

New Entry - 4PA
Well, sort of a new entry. I've been with this service before, know how it works, and have in the past made good profits. The issue I've had with 4PA previously is securing anywhere near the officially recorded odds but I have a cunning plan up my sleeves, a plan so clever and far-sighted that if I may say so, marks me down as something of a betting genius. It involves getting up earlier on a Saturday morning. I know, I know. Please do leave comments on just how much admiration and respect I've just gained from you and how in years to come you are convinced I will be recognised as a true pioneer in all matters betting.

On a serious note, a bigger issue to me than securing the odds when previously a subscriber, was actually getting my bets on. I'm sure placing large amounts on Pricewise selections is going to be quickly noticed by the bookies and certainly I used to find it a far from easy task to get my full stake on. This time however, my £/point value is lower and so far touch wood, I've not had any problems. Fingers crossed that remains the case. We'll see.

Finally, I should mention that I am drawing to a close, temporarily at least, my experiment with Winning Racing Systems. I made a decision to join based on sound reasons, ie. betting at short prices would hopefully help me to lie underneath the bookies' radar and that the systems were developed by someone I trust and respect. And you know, I wouldn't be surprised if the poor results experienced so far aren't reversed in the months ahead and if they are, then I may well revisit in the future. But, with the rationalisation that I've had to go through that I mentioned the other day, this was an obvious service to press on the pause button.

And so there we have it. My racing portfolio for the start of 2013. Nothing would please me more than if it looked exactly the same on January 1st, 2014. Here's hoping.

Betting: Monday 31st December - Wednesday 2nd January

No betting on New Year's Eve although I was able to secure just over a point of profit by following the advice from On The Oche to hedge the long term antepost bet on Phil Taylor to win the PDC World Darts Championship.

The weather has adversely impacted the racing of course, but that has not stopped me from enjoying a strong start to the year, primarily courtesy of Winning Racing Tips which selected a winning double yesterday (Green Flag - Ayr - 5/4 and Imjoeking - Ayr - 7/2). Northern Monkey too went straight in with a maximum three point bet on Tuesday which produced a winning start to the year (Woolfall Sovereign - Wolverhampton - Evens). The one 4PA bet on New Year's Day reached the frame for a very small loss, and one small On The Nose bet on an outsider at Ayr yesterday failed. The Sportsman Racing got their year off to a winning start though with an easy winner (Captain Starlight - Kempton - 8/13).

Only Sportyy (three winners from six tennis bets for a small loss) and The Football Analyst 7-22 (two winners from five for a tiny loss) in action on the sports side of the portfolio, which will be the subject of next Tuesday's blog post.

Tune in on Monday for a results update (figures and everything) and in the meantime, get through tomorrow and then enjoy the weekend. Laters.


  1. Hi Rowan, I'm a lurker here, visit the blog every other week or so to check in on the daily life here in betshire. Reason for dropping a note is my shared issue with the 4PA and the risks it brings for your accounts. I'd reckon to fully benefit from the system is getting on the 8:30 prices (fortunately for me, I can get an extra hour of sleep since I'm on the continent ;) but you're inevitable flagged sooner or later indeed. I was brainstorming on how to deal with this in the best possible way and maybe some more experienced punter can chip in some suggestions too! Would love to hear how others try to deal with this issue.
    For odds-on selections, BF could be an option (I easily got 3.00 for Taquin Du Seuil last week). For odds-against selection, it's a different matter. My knowledge of how and when bookies decide to restrict an account doesn't stretch very far, but I'd reckon your behaviour looks less shrewd if you place some other bets on with the bookie you used for the pricewise selections. Get some footy in or other racing bets with varying odds and stakes.
    Maybe betbutler could also be helpful, but I haven't checked that yet (and might be no option for me since my country of residence is blocked due to national laws). Maybe you or others have other suggestions on how to appear less shrewd to bookies and thus protect accounts?

    Enjoying reading your write-ups! Keep it up! Maybe wearing those gunners pyjama's when you place your bets brings you good fortune! ;)

  2. Hi Reno,

    Thanks for posting and what I'll do is highlight your comment in the main blog next week to see if anyone has any suggestions.

    Personally speaking, I believe that what alerts the bookies to an account more than any other factor is the liability they face when laying a bet. If they are consistently, with the same punter, accruing liabilities over a certain amount, they will quickly mark that account and then restrict/close it. The answer - if you can - is to make your bets of smaller amounts so the liabilities stay low. That's why, whenever possible, I split my stakes up amongst bookies that are offering the same price against a horse I'm backing. Looking ahead, it may be a case of having "pseudo" accounts and splitting stakes between them, but that's a whole different subject.

    Good luck for the New Year!


  3. Thanks for elaborating! :) I had an interesting conversation with a former (non racing) odds compiler last week. He claims that spreading stakes, like you suggest, is one of the thing you should definitely avoid, as instead one being flagged at just one bookie, you're left with multiple flags at several bookies. The liability a bookie faces plays a part too, of course.
    Goes to show that the unclarity about what triggers a bookie to flag an account or not is worth further discussion.

    I had my SJ account restricted for a while because of a 8:30 bet (at <30 UKP!), but then, they removed the restriction after a week after I continued placing bets on football and tennis. It would appear my overall behaviour is considered, at least at SJ.

  4. Aye, you're not wrong - there are more theories around why a bookie might close an account than there are about who was really behind the shooting of JFK! Truth be told, I would think it likely that it is simply a mix of all the things you hear might flag up an account. All I can say from my own experience is that the account with BetFred that I have in my wife's name is currently a fully viable account after a year of using it, and that has coincided with the time I started to split my stakes up. As you probably know, BetFred are one of the worst bookies out there and my original account with them lasted a little over two months. Similar with BetVictor, Hills and Paddy Power.

    As for Stan James - I've given up with them tbh. No matter what I do, I only ever seem to be able to keep an account open with them for about a week!

  5. when do you think it is okay to increase stakes rowan ..i was given advice look at where you are at every 3 months and adjust staking if you have made a profit in that term

    1. Hi.

      Blimey, that's a question and a half! Do you mean on one service or across a portfolio as a whole?

      Tell you what. This is a subject that deserves (and needs) proper attention. I'll give it some thought and post properly on the subject on Thursday.

      Good question....need to think.... :)


  6. I will outline my situation .. I have two services i have made a profit in the last couple of months and would like to increase stakes every now and again if i continue to make a profit...

    i would expect to have to increase stakes for both services at the same time regardless of which service made the profits ..

    excellent blog ..