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Thursday, 24 November 2022

The Day My Brother Won £4,000 for £20

It's the kind of bet you just dream about. To bet just £20 in the hope of winning £4,000. 

I know it sounds a flight of fancy. Surely such bets never happen?

It simply cannot be done. 

Now I'm not saying it is easy to find such a horse but make no mistake it happens on a daily basis to some lucky punter. The favourite doesn't win every race: sometimes that win goes to the least fancied of all horses - the outsider.  

I've had a few big wins in my time. My brother is a past master of latching onto a winning angle by spotting a big, big, no bigger than that, priced winner. In fact, he has done it a number of times. 

Remember a horse called Puggy, trained by Roy Kvisla? I doubt it! However, readers may remember the trainer in the UK for two or three seasons venturing from his homeland in Sweden where he still trains today. 

You have to go back a number of years when this two-year-old made her debut in 2006. However, it is a day which sticks in the memory. 

This daughter of Mark Of Esteem cost 75,000G at the yearling sales. She turned out to be a real star turn who progressed to race at Group class at two and even competed in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, finishing 8th, beaten just eight lengths. 

Take a look at her race record here.  

The dream bet. 

What a day. Tony has always been very good at spotting a decent horse just by its look, physique, presence.... It's one of those things that is difficult to put into words but he has found many winners priced 100/1+ when betting on the exchanges. I know it sounds incredible but I can guarantee it is true. 

3:20 Salisbury (31st August 2006) European Breeders Fund Quidhampton Maiden Fillies' Stakes

I didn't even know he was having a bet! The strange thing is that he didn't even know until about five minutes before the off. 

Watching on the TV he noticed Puggy. A good-looking filly. He had that certain feeling. Kvisla was such a new trainer to the UK and bookmakers simply wrote off his chances and priced his horses as if they had no ability. That was a lesson some layers would learn to regret. 

Puggy wasn't some cheap buy, she had good breeding, and was priced with bookmakers at odds of 66/1. 


Mega odds. 

I had no idea of any of this until I received a phone call a few minutes after the race. I had been watching the race myself as I follow the two-year-old racing. 

He sounded very excited. 

This is what he said:

''I just had a bet on Puggy. I bet £20 on Betfair at odds of 200/1 and won £4000.''

He was ruing his luck because he tried to place another bet of £20 in-running at similar odds but the bet wasn't taken. 

All because he liked the look of a horse.

Puggy won by one-and-a-half lengths, readily. It was the only race she ever won. Not because she was limited, simply because she raced at the highest level. She was beaten at Listed class on her second start by a short head, placed third behind Finsceal Bio in the Rockfel Stakes (Group 2) at Newmarket. This bay raced fourteen times in her career and achieved a highest official rating of 102. 

As a broodmare, she passed on her ample ability to Avenir Certain. Sired by Le Havre, she cost just 45,000E at the yearling sales. Trained by J-C Rouget, in France, she won her first six races including two Group 1 successes. She achieved an official rating of 112 when finishing third at Newmarket in 2015. Her total earnings: £864,922.

Sometimes those big priced winners do happen. 

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution 

Friday, 4 November 2022

Gambling: When the Fun Stops, Stop!

Watching TV.  One thing you may have noticed is the amount of advertising from leading bookmakers. Casino. Slots. Two flies crawling up a wall. 

Any random sporting event on TV. (What's the odds of a bookmaker ad?) 

Love a bit of darts action. But what do we see each and every advert? More reasons to gamble on just about everything! 

The problem with gambling is that it isn't, for many, as easy as saying: 'When the fun stops, STOP!'

What a ridiculous statement. Seemingly negating any responsibility for those who can't stop gambling. Addiction is clearly a problem for many people. I have never had a gambling problem simply because I am very disciplined and don't bet for fun. I would suggest that most people shouldn't be for 'pleasure'. Firstly there is nothing fun, funny, humorous about losing money. If you want to bet for any reason than making money, then play with matchsticks or casino chips you can buy without any great cost. You can learn how to bet more successfully. When you consider it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert (it takes longer) then a novice has much to learn.

Why shouldn't you bet for fun? Because it encourages people to not take their gambling/investing seriously. Money is a serious business. Gambling is even more serious because not only do you have the opportunity to make lots of money but the majority it is an opportunity to lose what they cannot afford. 

That's why I would suggest if you bet for fun then take a moment to re-assess why you are betting in the first place. 

There are lots of very naive gamblers attracted by adverts promoting 'fun'. They suck people in who simply do not have the experience or understanding to appreciate what they are dealing with. It's akin to playing with that ouija board and daring to ask the question: What date will I die?

Perhaps that question is going beyond what people ask before, during or after gambling. They could simply ask: How much will I win (positive) or how much will I lose (perhaps, realistic if you are betting for 'fun').

People need to appreciate that gambling isn't fun. To win you need to be better your opponents. You wouldn't fancy your chances racing Usain Bolt over 100m and you shouldn't fancy yourself to beat a bookmaker, layer or informed bloke in the pub if he is willing to take your bet. Unless you are very confident you will win.

In legal terms they say buyer beware. It is a good maxim for those who wish to bet. Gambler beware.

The bookmakers filter people like a sieve. 

If you win too much they will soon close your account. They need new 'clients' and as long as you lose they will allow you to bet. That's why you are best to use betting exchanges. 

I do have concerns about the impact of children watching sport and being tainted by bookmaker advertising. 'Can I bet, Dad?'

What are your thoughts on gambling advertising? 

Thursday, 13 October 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. 


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.


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. 

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Different types of betting

Most people who bet on sports assume they'll get good odds on their bets. This isn't always true though. There are three main types of betting: fixed-odds betting (FOB), pari-mutuel betting, and bookmaker betting. Find out which type suits you best, and why FOB might offer better value for money. Let's see the different types of betting in the article below.

Fixed Odds Betting

Fixed-odds betting is one form of online casino gambling where the payout depends solely on the outcome of a sporting event or game. It's a fairly simple process. A gambler enters an amount they wish to wager, and that is then matched by the house with a similar amount. The difference between these two numbers determines how much the gamblers win or lose and if the match takes place. It's important to note here that all forms of football betting (including this type) usually have strict rules about what constitutes 'over/under betting. If your stake exceeds £10, you cannot be over 2 units short for any match covered by the bookies.

Pari-Mutuel Betting

A pari-mutuel system is used when there is no betting shop at a stadium. In such cases, the money is placed in a pool and each participant pays an entry fee according to their level of participation in the online baccarat Australia game. These funds are distributed among members depending on the final score as well as other factors including time played and the number of goals scored. To ensure fairness, each member gets an equal share of overall winnings. This method has been around for many years but still provides some interesting matches because it means everyone can win. Some bookmakers may use a 'pay per head' system, which keeps track of the total earnings and makes sure the winner doesn't lose money.

Bookmaker Betting

Bookmaker betting is when someone places a bet with a particular bookie. They will pay out based on whether or not the team wins and how much they've staked. Bettors should make sure they choose a reputable bookmaker otherwise they could end up losing more than just money! When choosing a bookmaker, make sure they list all the games you want to bet on in full detail. You want to avoid getting scammed as easily as possible.

In conclusion, there are 3 main types of betting. FOB, Paris-mutual and bookmaker betting. FOBS generally provide more certainty of winning but doesn't allow you to adjust your price until after the match starts. Bookmaker betting is like walking into a bookmaker's store directly from home.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Monday, 12 September 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.


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. 

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Betting Strategy

What's your betting strategy? 

Gambling, betting, investing...name it what you will. I've noticed something disturbing about people who bet. Even the most intelligent, calculated people lose all sense when they catch the gambling bug. Let me correct that point, most people lose objectivity, logic, sense. Some take their betting very seriously, as they should. 

Perhaps the main problem for many punters is they bet for a buzz. It's an adrenaline kick. To be fair, most people bet for fun. Even people who have been betting for decades. Why do I say such a thing about seasoned gamblers? Because for all their years of betting, very few learn how to bet in a disciplined manner. 

They have a basic understanding, idea, thought and it often stays at that fledgeling level. It's like learning basic French but they stay on at college for a decade without progressing to the intermediate or higher level. It isn't that they cannot achieve a higher level but they just don't try satisfied with a thought they know enough. 

Interesting question: How do you select a tip? 

Answer: Like everyone else! 

That's the mentality of most people who gamble. However, if you know anything about horse racing, poker or a skill-based sports betting you should find that answer quite funny, worrying or terribly shortsighted. There is a world of difference between a naive and professional gambler. 

The major point is that they don't bet for fun. 

Betting for most people can only be considered fun because they don't have the skills, experience or knowledge to be viewed as professional. They may think they have a level of knowledge but the majority of punters don't. You need only to scratch the surface to appreciate there is no depth or understanding. Most lack a basic understanding. Even if they bet serious money it doesn't make them professional. The point is they don't realise they are lacking. 

Fun betting, for the buzz, is, in my opinion, bad news. If there is no reason or rationale to why someone bets then everything is a potential bet. That's why people bet, chase their losses, lose even more and their life falls apart. Betting may seem a pretty innocent pastime but without discipline, understanding, consideration and planning it is a bad decision. It's a matter of how much you will lose. 

The principles of betting are more important than the selection itself. The wise man doesn't build his house upon the sand.

The phrase: Bet what you can afford to lose. It is a basic principle that will help most save them losing their shirt. However, if you don't have an answer to a question, when will you see the word STOP? Guidelines, built on knowledge, are key to success. 

Too many people do not appreciate their true naivety when it comes to gambling. Experience comes with time if you have an open mind. Horses aren't the only ones who wear blinkers.

Betting in a routine fashion is brainless. The man who routinely pops into the bookmakers to bet on the machines. If he calculated how much he lost over one year it would be staggering. 

There are hundreds of examples of betting without thinking. 

Don't bet for fun. Don't bet for the buzz. Bet because, on balance, you know it is a wise investment based on knowledge, experience and skill. 

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Psychology of Slot Machines

The old-style fruit machines. 

Just a bit of fun. I doubt too many addicts would agree. However, the mentality of gamblers varies from one extreme to the other. Some bet and walk away, while others simply cannot stop pulling that one-armed bandit or pressing a flashing button until they are broke. 

Interesting how people vary so much. People do their own thing. Some, I guess, are more likely to be addicted to gambling or a certain type of gamble. When over 50% of the population bet, it is a worry for those who realise too late that a ''seemingly'' innocent pastime has cost them their home, marriage and life. 

Fruit machines are one of the most addictive forms of gambling. 

As a child, I used to go to Caister-on-sea for our annual holiday. Every September, missing the first week of the new school year because dad loved his racing at Great Yarmouth. Holidays were cheaper. I didn't like school so I would have opted for one long holiday fifty-two weeks a year. Anyway, the arcade on the holiday camp was ideal for two brothers who liked the look of the fruit machines. It was in the 1970s so we were talking pretty basic stuff. They even had a few of those old, chromed numbers with the Indian head, the class one-armed bandits which these days are collector's items and go for a few grand a piece. We were in our element. A pocket of twopences and motivated by the lights, noise of coins paying out willingly. The smell of hot dogs drifting in the air. Mum and dad listening to the entertainment. Dad with his brown and mild. Happy times. We played those machines with spirit. Not sure, thinking back, what was going through my mind. I guess it was the thought of winning. When you have a pound's worth of change in your pocket anything seems possible! 

Win or lose it didn't make any great difference. Basically, it was fun. I don't regret betting or my parents suggesting it was okay or acceptable. Like father like son. I will be forever proud of my dad.    

In some respects, betting from such an early age may have been a good thing. It brought a realisation that to win at gambling you need to have intelligence and discipline. By the time I was a teenager I was bored to death with fruit machines. I realised they were fixed odds, so long term you simply couldn't win. 

I hadn't played a slot machine in years but thought I'd have a bit of fun on Saturday evening. I use Betfair for betting horses on the exchange but they have everything on the website including online slots. 

I thought I'd bet a tenner. 

Slot machines are very different from the good, old days. But one thing that came to mind was the amount of psychological research which must go into making these games big money makers from casinos, bookmakers or whoever sets these businesses up.

They are made to keep you betting and they have cracked that aspect of betting without question.  

I won £200, so good luck favours the brave. Stopped playing and very much doubt I will be playing for a good few months.