A warm hello to all of you who have made kind comments about the last couple of ‘blogs’ and apologies for the delay in writing this. I hope you were directed to the little piece I did for Stephen over at http://www.bettingexpert.com/racing . I was originally a little reticent about it as some pieces like this can seem a little self-indulgent, but I thought the list of questions Stephen set were interesting and relevant, so I gave it a go. I have agreed to write another short piece (I won’t work for nothing forever Stephen !) on the ‘Five things that improved your betting’ too, hopefully this will appear soon and be of some small help to someone…. If you haven’t had a look at http://www.bettingexpert.com/racing yet I would heartily recommend it (I am not affiliated to them, so this is a genuine recommendation), interesting articles and consistent profitable daily selections.
Apart from a couple of short bouts of mediocre health I have no excuse for not posting since January, other than my annual bout of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I find these days that it’s not just the dark mornings and evenings that get me down, it’s the paucity of decent fare between January and April, a relentless stream of low grade, crooked, small field 0-60 all weather handicaps (provided to keep the addicted and educationally sub-normal in the shops to play the FOBT’s day and night, whilst the major bookmakers cry ‘foul’ on a daily basis after demanding it !) allied to a succession of poor quality ‘gaff’ jump meetings from Sunday to Friday each week, is enough to get anyone ‘down’ who’s only income comes from betting on horses.
I won’t bore you all with the long list of ‘ones that got away’ early this year or how I managed to make an arse of the final 2 days of Cheltenham, or how I came up with a short list of 2 for the Grand National (Pineau and Balthazar) and decided to sit the race out !! Suffice to say, it was another poor start to the year, however, the ship has got back on track now and it’s been full-steam ahead (small stakes, but building up steadily) for the last 5 or 6 weeks. I am convinced that this is in no small part due to the fact that, with rain around and watering at a minimum, although the ground has not been predominantly ‘fast’, it has been GENUINE, without the sloppy, sludgy top layer that pervades watered ground. As ever, after the knocks to the confidence that ‘rattling the crossbar’ for months brings, it’s been small stakes to get back on track, but now it’s time to up the stakes and have a go (if only I had more accounts !!). I don’t know how others operate, but for me, I have to get what I’m going to get between now and when the weather ‘breaks’ properly, usually sometime in September these days.
It had looked, for a little while, that I might be doing some part-time work this summer for one of the larger firms who, although ‘botted-up’ due to the large number of markets they cover, were gonna let me come in and ‘do my thing’, deliberately getting a position when I thought it prudent. I was rather looking forward to getting out and about a couple of days a week and getting into a trading room again, there is no finer place to work when the team is good and things are going well, alas, it was not to be. Those in control of the purse-strings were unwilling to pay for experience (believe me, I was viewing it as pocket money and wouldn’t have demanded the Earth), instead, a decision was made to employ another kid at £12 an hour and ‘train’ them to press the ‘refresh’ button on the Betfair link full-time. This (as I have covered before) is the essence of why only a handful of companies (usually larger independents) lay any kind of size now, prices are being thrown-up from minimal liquidity on Betfair, those making them have no confidence in them (and little experience) and are living in a culture of fear where accountants after-time them every time someone bets a winner. The safest thing for them to do to keep their £12 pounds an hour safe is not to lay anyone, you can’t lose it if you don’t lay…. I can’t blame these kids, however, it get’s sickening to hear Odds Compilers of very limited talent and PR reps from major bookmakers on TV and social media ‘give it the biggun” about how clever they think they are, or how much they have laid to historical massive losers on a regular basis. Whatever happened to laying a bit to a shrewd customer and regarding it as a ‘mark’ ? Moving the price on the basis of their business and making a book !! The ridiculous thing these days is that this simple premise seems anathema to the big firms now, the 23 quid available on the jolly on Betfair must be right, the technology has been paid for, we have to use it ! I would have thought after the Stephen Arnold affair (no not the one where the BHA alerted offshore based firms, who pay no levy on that business, that the guy had tweeted he was having a small Lucky 15 on some of his own horses and recommended they may want to suspend betting on those races!), where it was shown that markets could be manipulated for very small mounts in the morning on the exchanges, that someone, somewhere in the bookmaking industry would’ve realised that their business model was flawed and make the break away from it. It appears there is no such insight left… I know Willie Power mooted the idea years ago that, to guarantee the ‘truth’ of exchange prices, all firms should put a monkey at their price up on Betfair (at least at the front of the market). 10 firms going 3/1 would mean a guarnateed 5k on the machine at each price for fancied runners, negating the chance of falsely shortening favourites to knock out other runners at little expense. This idea, I understand, was blocked by the ‘big-boys’, I just can’t fathom the logic…..
Apologies again for the delay. I hope, when time allows over the summer (probably on evenings and Sundays of summer jumping, which are many) to keep commenting on the injustice of it all to any who will listen, who knows, there might even be some good news in there too !