Saturday 9th March: First Avenue (ew) - WON 22/1
Wednesday 13th March: Lord Windermere (ew) antepost - WON 20/1
Wednesday 13th March: Meister Eckhardt (ew) - 2nd 16/1
Thursday 14th March: Smad Place (ew) antepost - 3rd 20/1
Thursday 14th March: CARRICKBOY (ew) - WON 65/1
All hail The Judge! The Judge for Pope (before that Argentinian chappie settles in)! The Judge for Prime Minister/Governor of the Bank of England/Secretary-General of the United Nations/General Big Cheese of the World (delete as applicable).
I mentioned yesterday that Pont Alexandre had been responsible for my biggest ever loss suffered on one horse. Yesterday's heroic performance from Carrickboy went into my personal history books as being the highest priced winner I've ever had. I was so moved that I had to resort to a simple and sraight to the point message sent to On The Nose via Twitter - "F**k me!". Those two words summed up rather well, if a little crudely, how I was feeling two minutes after the race.
There is a very serious message behind all this though. We read about the importance of patience in our betting. We learn that dropping a service at the first sign of a lean spell is not the right thing to do, however tempted we might be to do just that. But of course, I think we all realise that this is easier said than done.
Timing is of such crucial importance. In my first year with On The Nose, I made some very good profits, and it is was with this in mind that I determined to persevere with the service this year, after 2012 proved to be disappointing. Had I joined at the beginning of 2012 and not 2011, would I still be following now? I would like to say that being a gambler who tries to adopt a professional outlook on running a portfolio, then yes, I would. But that would be dishonest of me. With hand on heart, I really doubt whether I would have renewed at the beginning of this year. I would have looked at the 12 months' performance from January to December 2012 and I imagine I would have drawn a line.
The reason I didn't, was that I saw just how talented a tipster The Judge is through 2011. It gave me confidence and a desire to persevere as long as I could in the hope that he would rediscover his mojo. Even then - and I'm bearing my gambling soul now - I was reaching the point where I was beginning to justify to myself reasons for perhaps not renewing when my subs were next due for renewal in a month's or two time. I really didn't want to take this course of action. I like The Judge as a person and one thing I have never doubted is his desire to do well both as a tipster and as someone who runs a professional, customer-focused tipping service (and the two are not necessarily the same thing), but ultimately I try to run my betting portfolio as a business and with any business, bottom line performance is ultimately the be-all and end-all.
This past week's performance from On The Nose has led to me inserting a fundamental principle into the rules of how I run my gambling. I will now judge a tipster's performance over two years/seasons of results, not one. If at the end of a two year period, the returns are insufficient, then I will have to call time on that service's place in the portfolio. The only reasons why I might bring this deadline forward from that two year period is if the service suffers a drawdown equivalent to the size of the bank dedicated to it, or for poor customer service (which might include a significant and unjustified rise in subscription costs).
Due to a laptop meltdown, I lost my betting records up to August 2011 (a lesson learnt there!). Since August 2011 though, my personal record for On The Nose is 76.877 points of profit at an roi of a very respectable 12.71% and an ROC of 76.87%. That's not at all bad, and bear in mind that those figures do not include the performance achieved in January/February 2011 which I remember as being very strong. Up until last Saturday, that 12.71% roi was about half that. Like I said a couple of paragraphs up - a lesson learnt.
Thursday 15th March
I don't know if I've mentioned it, but On The Nose gave a 65/1 winner (Carrickboy - Byrne Group Plate). This rather overshadowed an excellent performance in other races. The winner of the Ryannair Chase was identified too (Cue Card - 4/1) and a long-priced antepost bet in the World Hurdle finished in the frame for another return (Smad Place - 20/1).
A break even day when including unsuccessful antepost bets for 4PA. The place part of an each way double paid out (First Lieutenant and Tartak) fairly handsomely, and another to place was found in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir (Romanesco - 8/1). The week's betting with 4PA has made me realise something too, this time to do with the bookmakers and my vulnerability now that the choice of which I can use is somewhat limited. I'll write more on this shortly, suffice to say for now however, that restrictions meant that I was a little way from mirroring the performance officially achieved by the service itself. I really do need to start work on finding a solution.
After all the excitement in the Cotswolds, the sports section of the portfolio was somewhat overshadowed, but it would be remiss of me to not mention a nice winner from Sportyy (Gulbis to win the first set vs Nadal at 3.00). On The Oche had just the one DNB bet in the evening's premier league darts, a bet which saw stakes returned.
4PA: Staked 9.5pts, -0.062pts.
On The Nose: Staked 4pts, +19.827pts (gulp!)
Sportyy: Staked 1pt, +2pts.
On The Oche: Staked 0.5pts, N/A.
So, what chance of an On The Nose repeat today then?