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Wednesday, 11 May 2022

The Significance of the Favourite in Horse Racing Betting

Every horse race has at least one. 

Sometimes two or three. Odd times (presumably in a small field) each and every horse. 

We are talking the good old jolly. Betting on the favourite. The horse favoured by the populous of punters, if not, the lions share of the money bet on a given race. 

Are you a favourites, man?

I'm not saying that to trip you up or a leading question to tell you where you are going wrong. Why? Because you may be doing exactly the right thing. How do you know if you are doing the right thing when it comes to betting?

You are winning money long term. 

No easy feat even if you know more than most. 

I wrote a popular post on one of my other websites called: The Significance of the Outsider. It looked into the data of which trainers can win at big odds with their two-year-old debutantes. The surprising things was that it wasn't just those small canny stables which hit the target. In fact, a few large stables had a decent supply of debutantes winning at double-figure odds. Often very classy horses which, somehow, slipped under the radar. 

One of the best trainers to hit the target with big priced two-year-old debutantes is Michael Dods. In fact, he has an exceptional strike rate with placed horses at giant odds. And by that very token of getting placed, a few would go one step closer and get their head in front.

It's the same story for two-year-old horse trainers when it comes to them winning on debut with favourites. 

You get some who are very hard to stop. Consistent. Although very few are better than price to chance. 

However, looking through the data a number of trainers with a hot favourite shouldn't be viewed as a positive at all. 

Why?

Because if you saw their record for the last decade or more you would be filled with horror. For example horses priced 11/4 and less sp have a stat from a large enough sample suggesting they are more like a 7/1 shot. Now, no one is saying that it's a guarantee the next horse is a loser waiting to happen because each horse should be judged on its merits. 

I remember in the good old days Luca Cumani had a stat for his two year old horses on their second start which was truly desperate. It was horses relatively fancied in the betting too. 

I remember being at the course with my two cousins and said exactly what the data said and the horse won by about six lengths. 

Next time I kept my mouth shut. 

But what I'm saying is that from the wealth of information you have at hand and how prominent the betting is for all of us who like a flutter. It's remarkable how little we understand what the betting truly means for individual horse trainers. 

Like the ebb and flow of the tide, statistics can, and do, change over time. So perhaps we shouldn't be too dogmatic about what the data is predicting. You can only get so much info out of Mystic Meg or the tarot cards. 

However, their is one stat every gambler would like to know, that's a dreadful debut stat for a fancied horse. If you knew your hot favourite had a dire record, would you still be interested in betting? 

Perhaps all this data is just something and nothing. Who cares what it might imply. I know my horses and I'm betting to defy the odds. 

I'm pretty sure I could make you question that thought. 

Who knows, perhaps you're betting on the good favourite.

But wouldn't you like to know?

A little bit of digging can help you understand the significance of the favourite just like it does the outsider. 

Betting is all about having confidence in your understanding. 

Good luck. 

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution but given 

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Betting Like It's 1984

How many times have you searched Google for winning racing tips? 

What did you find? 

You may have found a number of successful websites including one of ours called Eric Winner. The trouble with so many punters is that they are not looking for long-term profits but an instant return on investment. Nothing wrong with that thought. In fact, it is something that all gamblers, bettors, investors would love to have in their armoury.  

Reading the literature to many ''Get Rich Quick'' schemes you kind of notice the fancy font that's highlighted in bold.   

I guess many people are not really looking for a gamble at all. Just a way of pretty much guaranteeing that they will win. 

Would you like a crystal ball?

Now you are probably reading that last sentence thinking I am making fun of the situation that so many gamblers find themselves. Who can tell the future? 

However, all investments are basically trying to foretell the future. If only I could see five minutes into the future! For starters, I would win Lotto. That would be a cool million or so even on a bad Saturday night. I guess if we could do that we would be hoping we could choose when we had that five minutes just to take advantage of the Euro Lottery for a £100M. 

Sadly, we can't see into the future. Well, not just yet. 

You've seen the film Groundhog Day?  Re-living the same day time after time, in the hope of making it to a perfect...day.  

I have found a novel approach to gambling which is very much like a cross between Groundhog Day with a touch of uncertainty, but giving enough confidence that you should make a profit. 

Interesting. 

Here's an interesting question. Would you like to know which horse is likely (ideally definitely as we are talking Groundhogs here) to be backed? 

You are watching the betting pretty much sure Joe Bloggs racing in the 4:20 Wolverhampton is going to be backed. Substantially backed. 

It would be like knowing the future. Wouldn't you like to know how to do that?

You won't believe this...

I'm going to tell you how to do it for free.

How? 

Well, you may never have considered that non-runners are very interesting. Frustrating. Yes. You notice a non-runner when eight runners turn to seven and your each-way bet comes third. Bloody non-runners. 

However, these non-runners are like a goldmine.I know you have a puzzled look on your face. You're thinking I've either been drinking grandpa's medicine or taken a knock to the head or wallet. 

They are a goldmine!!!!!!!!!

Here's what you are looking for. A non-runner which is heavily backed. It's as simple as that. Because you can pretty much guarantee the same horse, running at a similar level will be backed next start. I've seen it happen time after time. Obviously, you need to be betting on the exchanges to make a profit or hold a juicy no-lose gamble. But it is a glimpse into the future without the need for a time machine or crystal ball. 

Don't believe it works? Watch and you will see. 

Should I Follow the Money When Betting?

Did you see that well-backed horse - hosed up!


How many times have you seen a horse backed off the boards win? When you flick through the results they all seem to win. But is that really the case? I don't know many different areas of horse racing, but I do understand two-year-old horse racing to a very high standard. After studying this niche for over 30-years, I can speak with some authority. However, in truth, the only way to make an objective assessment is to run a statistical test on the data to see if it is significant.

Data has power and limitation. 

I have little doubt following money within two-year-old racing is worthy of note from a trainer perspective. I have run studies on all juvenile trainer debut runners and horses making their second start. A good few trainers are very consistent and this is backed up by regular profits.I don't want to detail any specific names because this information is hard to find. It is similar to following the seam of gold and hope it leads to a major find. 

What I would say, is that two-year-old horse trainers have a much better strike rate on their second start compared with debut. Hardly surprising, hey? Although a couple of trainers feature just about as good results on both starts. This proves how fit some trainers get their horses. It is important to understand the intent of owners and trainers. If they don't want to win on debut they are very unlikely to do so.  

Interestingly, the betting is very important for most horses racing on their second start. In fact, I would suggest that a small drift from one price to the next can be the difference between winning and losing. Anything can happen in racing. Even the biggest, most powerful stables, can win a 50/1. Simply because they prove a surprise package or the opposition are poor or a favourite disappoints. 

In general, the betting of most two-year-old horses is significant. Smaller trainers can get lucky and have a real star in their stable but even these are usually known as a talent before the start of the race. They are backed. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track

It sounds too good to be true. 

American, Jesus Leonardo, walked into a betting shop without placing a bet and walked out with $9,500. 

The man from Midtown, Manhattan, makes a tidy profit from visiting bookmaker's and racetracks, sorting through betting slips thrown in the bins or scattered on the floor. He's known as a ''stooper'' and pockets cash by picking up tickets that others have thrown away as rubbish. 

In fact, over the years he estimates he has collected nearly half a million dollars. When you consider that uncashed winning tickets at bookmakers and racetracks in New York totalled more than $8.5 million over a two-year period there seems ample opportunity to take advantage of others misfortune. 


''It's difficult enough to find winners but these people have won and thrown their winning betting slip in the trash'' 

Jesus Leonardo has not even placed a bet.

He said: “It is literally found money,” he said on a recent night from his private winner’s circle. He spends more than 10 hours a day there, feeding thousands of discarded betting slips through a ticket scanner in a never-ending search for someone else’s lost treasure. 

“This has become my job, my life,” he said. “This is how I feed my family.”

“He’s a legend,” said Paul Pepad, 57, an out-of-work musician who lives in Manhattan. “Everyone knows that this is his turf, that all the tickets thrown out belong to him, period. It’s just been that way as long as I can remember.”

The fascinating endeavours of stoopers captured the interest of journalist T. D. Thornton who wrote a book in 2007: Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track.

He said: “Stoopers are the gleaners of the racetrack world. Stoopers have a relationship with horse tracks that goes back to the advent of parimutuel betting in the early 1930s. There is an unwritten code in racing that says stoopers are tolerated as long as they are not perceived as harassing or stalking customers.” “They are allowed to live on the fringes,” he added.

Leonardo says he makes a good living from stooping making from $100 - $300 a day and more than $45,000 ay year. 

He said: Last month, he cashed in a winning ticket from bets made on races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., for $8,040. His largest purse came in 2006, when he received $9,500 from a Pick 4 wager (choosing the winners of four consecutive races) at Retama Park Race Track in Selma, Tex. It is all taxable income.

“I file my winnings with the I.R.S. every year,” Mr. Leonardo said in his thick Dominican accent.

Friend, Freddy Perguero, detailed:  

“Everybody in here loves Jesus,” he said. “When Jesus wins, we all eat, and we all drink. Jesus is a very generous man.” 


Once upon a wager on a race run at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, Mr. Leonardo, who lives in Wanaque, N.J., became a stooper by accident. In 1999, he walked into that same OTB parlor in Midtown and placed a bet. He watched the race, was sure he had lost and threw away his Pick 3 ticket. “But just as I was leaving, I looked up at the screen and realised an inquiry had been made,” he said, referring to a review of the race to check for possible rules infractions. “All of a sudden, the results changed and I actually won $900.”

He recalled the moment when trying to find his winning ticket almost in tears asking the manageress for help:   

“She said there was nothing she could do about it,” Mr. Leonardo said. “I was so upset, almost in tears. Finally, she said, ‘Look, if you want to take the garbage home with you and look for your ticket, go right ahead.’ ”


Amazingly, he couldn't find his winning $900 ticket but found two others worth almost $2000


“I couldn’t believe it,” said Mr. Leonardo, who had been supporting his family and his dream of writing songs by working odd jobs, including painting homes and cleaning windows. “I started thinking, there’s probably winning tickets thrown in the garbage every day.”

He decided it was a winning job and returned every day waiting for the betting shops to be placed at the curb and picking through hundreds of slips. 

“At first, my wife thought I was crazy, but then she realised I was finding a lot of money in winning tickets, sometimes $200 a day,” he said. “After a while, she didn’t think I was so crazy.”

He hasn't got any intention of stopping.

“Look here,” he said to Mr. Peguero after pulling a credit voucher from the machine for $6. “Another winner.”

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Dumb Pro Gambler | Can This Be True?

Sometimes you just need to stop for a moment and smoke a cigar...

The other day I was contacted by someone via email with: ''You really need to hear about this''. I thought, right!. 

Someone named James [H******] sent me an email with the subject line: Professional Gambler's Info...

Considering I run a website called Professional Gamblers I just imagined it related to that, wanting information etc. However, the email continued to explain how someone very well known within the racing media had contacted them with a get rich scheme about betting and winning big. I looked at this detailed summary which identified a way of manipulating the exchanges with a simple method. I thought this must be a load of rubbish. 

It's interesting that on first review it was actually well worked. Like most of these approaches, it looks very simple when you see the formula. I was asked to look at this info for this bloke who was skeptical. Anyway, I'm restricted by what I can say because it's his info. I will, though, find a way of detailing a variant of this stuff for readers if it actually amounts to something worthy of your time. 

All of this ''keep it to yourself'' info made me remember a time I knew a trader on the exchanges.

Someone who actually made very good money from their knowledge. I will not say any names because it wouldn't be fair. They used to work in an executive position and gave that up to work from home, more time with the family and making more money. I know for a fact, they made very good money. The interesting part, is that they were, perhaps, a touch greedy and wanted to get a bit of extra cash and considered they could afford to let a few people into their idea. They did seem pretty stern in noting that if they ever saw someone trying to sell this idea that they would sue them. I'm a man of my word, so I had/have no intention of undermining them or being untrustworthy. I paid a three-figure sum.  In fact, it was £250 for the equivalent of reading about 50 words.The cost put off a lot of people. Although there were only about 10 places being sold so it was on a first come first served basis. 

I received the info. It was pretty basic but logical. I could see how it could be used and appreciate that it worked. I use Betfair, but not the ladder trading. Take a look at this link if you want to read more about this style of betting on the exchanges. It was so alien to the way I work that I didn't even attempt to use it. This style of trading needs an ultra quick mind and reflexes as fast as an excellent gamer. 

It's like shooting space invaders but making money. 

It was just something that I could never get to grips with. It made my style of working look old and outdated. I didn't care if my way was old hat because it makes me money as it still does to this day. 

I lost track with the bloke who I bought the info from so I don't know what he's up to these days or whether he went broke or sitting on a yacht in the Bahamas. The info he sold me still awaits the day I decide to do something with it. 

Even though it sounds expensive, it was worth every penny because I know something that most people will never know... 

I wonder what email I will get tomorrow? 

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Race Horses, Trainers & Broken Dreams

Give a moment's thought to horse trainers big and small. It must be a tricky business to try and make a living. I can't say I have any great connections to the training world. I've helped a few promote their services on our website Horse Trainer Directory. The ones who need that little extra promotion are generally thankful, grateful and appreciative. We promote trainers for free because without them we don't have a website. I live by the mantra: in giving we receive. The ugliness of the self is never attractive even looking in a circus mirror. 

I have known a few trainers in passing. Unless I buy a share in a racehorse or dip my hand further into my pocket to buy a whole horse it is unlikely we will have any meaningful conversations. However, you never know who is interested in what you have to offer and I have been surprised by the generous nature of many people who I wouldn't really expect. I remember receiving a phone call from Peter Doyle, the bloodstock agent, who took the time to contact me about a horse he once purchased called Western Art, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in the ownership of Matthew Green and Ben Sangster. This son of Hennesey won at Listed class but struggled with injury at three to a point he was purchased as a riding horse for a lovely lady who I later become friends. I researched Western Art's (Artie) life story: from foal to ''champion'' racehorse. His breeder, Nellie Cox, of Rose Retreat Lodge, in the United States, remembered him well and the two ladies, who both loved him most, had the opportunity to chat about horse and foal detailing those interim years with caring words. 

This story originated from my brother, Tony, a plasterer, who while working on a private job many moons ago got talking to the customer about horse racing. They had a livery business and low and behold ex-racehorse Western Art was stabled there by his owner. It's a small world. 

Western Art stuck in my mind because I follow two-year-old horse racing and, by all accounts, he was a class horse. In truth, racing did this beautiful gelding no favours. He suffered many racing-related injuries which sadly lingered for the rest of his life.

Serendipity. 

By this chance encounter, a story came to life and the opportunity to meet some lovely people who I am still in contact today. Friendship is a creation of coincidence based on shared interests.The love of a horse from a racing perspective and a beautiful thoroughbred who without question was loved most greatly by his last owner who paid the price for others hopes and dreams. 

The pursuit to win. 

I guess it is too easy to consider that every horse trainer is a millionaire. Perhaps money makes its own luck. When you consider leading trainers such as John Gosden, William Haggas et al it is undoubtedly true. They are very wealthy individuals with the luxury of hugely rich owners. For many, money is no object. Their success is an ingredient of money and talent. Others, it is blood, sweat and years (of unpaid work).  

Smaller trainers have to fight for each and every horse, owner and success. Many, I suspect, live a hand-to-mouth existence. The National Hunt has a big heart. The story of a farmer with a horse. Perhaps that is the truth of horse training. The story built on ambition, hopes and dreams. Whether rich, poor or vagrant on the street we can all see through those eyes.  

We have all seen new trainers come and go. Imagine the passion in each individual who follows their dream. Especially so those younger trainers who are reliant on someone backing them financially. Money only goes so far and, I guess rightly so, those paying the bills can be very critical of their performance. Time is never on anyone's side and so often these fledgling trainers fall by the way. 

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Big Deal: Poker Player Robbie Box Made TV Gold

So few TV programs do gambling justice. Who can remember the ill-fated Trainer? What a horrendous attempt at what ever they thought it was. 


We've seen a few fly-on-the wall documentaries about problem gamblers. Depressing. True, it is real to a point. Although the term demand characteristics pop into my head when I see anyone acting strangely in front of a camera of any kind. Don't you just love the staff in the shops who tell the bloke who is bashing the FOBT to death, to go home after he has lost all of his dough. Very ''When The Fun Stops - STOP!'' 

For so many people betting is bad news. Unless you look at it as a full-time job or you are happy betting 50p a week then PLEASE don't get caught in its net. 

One program I'm sure many readers have truly fond memories is Big Deal starring the talented Ray Brooks. This British comedy-drama was broadcast on the BBC between 1984 - 1986. The series created and written by Geoff McQueen. Unknown to me, he also created other noted TV programs as the Bill. Sadly, McQueen died in 1994 at the age of 46 from a aneurysm. 

Well, Robbie Box [Ray Brooks] was a small-time gambler with a poker addiction [I think more of a way of life than addiction but I may be splitting hairs].   

It was an excellent 3 series. There are a few episodes on Youtube and the BBC did have the wisdom of selling one or two series but then ceased their involvement to the irritation of many who were willing to pay good money to have this worthy DVD collection. 

In all 30 episodes were made. 

Here is the very first episode of this great gambling series. 

Photo: Pixabay free no attribution