In a fortnight of revelations and announcements, dear reader, it's time for me to share my second piece of news with you. And it coincides with the 20th anniversary of all weather racing. It's hard to believe that it is two full decades since Lingfield opened its gates for racing on a new artificial surface called Equitrack, way back on 30th October 1989.
Cast your minds back for a moment to those dark(ish) days... Dear Maggie (bless her!) was still on the throne Prime Minister; Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers were at number one with the all-time classic "That's What I Like" (who? what?!); and Arsenal were league champions after that amazing day at Anfield some five months previous.
Yep, it's been a long old time since that first meeting kicked off a monumental TWELVE race card at 11am, with Niklas Angel taking the spoils for Conrad Allen and Richard Quinn.
Proceedings were rounded out at 4.30 with Division FIVE (!) of the claiming contest being won by a chap called Lanfranco Dettori on Hackworth.
In the intervening twenty years, there have been some remarkable developments. All weather racing has worked extremely hard to earn its reputation and credibility from the traditionalists and nay-sayers of the flat turf / flat earth society.
Some of the interesting facets of all weather racing have been:
- All weather hurdles races - they knackered many a mule, and were eventually withdrawn on veterinary advice. But, in their brief time, they produced some incredible multiple winners such as Suluk, whose hurdles form figures were
- New courses come (and gone!) - to the original trio of Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton, was added the name of Great Leighs. Despite the delays and the rhetoric of gusto from owner John Holmes, Great Leighs opened and closed within a few short months. Based on my trip there on its first day of racing on 20th April 2008, it was never ready for punters, even though the surface was fine for the horses.
Kempton on the other hand has attracted a lot of the bigger name stables from the get go. Despite this slightly higher quality fare, attendances have dropped to one man and his dog on many evening meetings, and some consideration needs to be given to how to bolster these figures (hint: do NOT have a band playing while a race is being run!).
- Some above average horses on all weather tracks have gone on to be excellent money-spinners in the States - Hail The Chief, a former winner of a Class 5 handicap at Lingfield in November 2000, won Â£205,479.45 for his victory in the Hawthorne Gold Cup on 18th May 2002. Having his last run in the States in February 2003 before returning to the UK, what an absolute stand out bet he was when he appeared in a Class 3 handicap at Wolverhampton in January '04.
Sent off a ridiculous 11/2 on his first all weather run back, he hacked up by four lengths. He might have been a 2/11 shot that day, such was his superiority on form over his rivals.
I have to say that I'm a big fan of all weather racing. It's sheer consistency narrows down the number of variables to consider to a far more manageable number. They never move the running rails, the going is almost always 'standard'; horses generally have a defined liking or disliking for the respective surfaces.
And those who take their time to master the subtle nuances, such as the variances in the surfaces between the courses, and the impact of the draw, and pace, have a huge advantage. Which brings me onto my announcement...
You may remember a while back I mentioned a chap by the name of Steve, who was one of my 'students'. By student, I mean he was keen to take his excellent and highly profitable information and share it with a few other lucky punters. Steve spends about eight hours a day poring over the form, and - I hope he won't mind me saying - is a bit of an anorak (sorry Steve!)
He asked me to help him to launch his service, and at first I declined. As you might imagine, I get many such requests every week from people keen to get started.
But Steve was different from most of the others, and he knew how to press my hot buttons. Basically, he sent me a spreadsheet with stacks of data on it - just the sort of thing I love! - and I could see that his approach was both novel and successful.
Steve is a 'dutcher'. For those of you who aren't familiar with dutching, it is the practice of backing more than one horse in a race. Using this principle enables Steve to keep losing runs to a minimum and still back value odds horses further down the betting markets.
His results have been impressive - whilst tipping to me on a daily basis, he showed a handsome profit over a six week period. In fact, I was sufficiently impressed to do something I VERY rarely do, and that was allow him to print a testimonial on his sales page from me. It reads:
[To clarify: during the time Steve proofed to me (over a six week period in the Summer), the ROI was 22.2%. Over the course of the last ten months, the ROI stands at a still excellent rate of 13.9%]
Like I say, this is a real rarity for me. Partly because I just don't do this, and partly because there are so few services of merit out there.
But Flat Racing Select (Steve's catchy title!) is excellent. He'll send you an email each day - probably in the middle of the night, such is his penchant for almost literally burning the midnight oil - telling which horses to back and in which races. And that's it! You get the email, you back the horses. Simple.
What's more, as Steve provides his service through Clickbank, you're covered by their 60 day money back guarantee. This means you can dry run or paper trade Steve's info for a bit and see if it's for you. If it is, great. If not, you get your shekels back. No argument, no sweat.
And, if you're thinking about maybe starting your own similar venture, you really should take a look at Steve's sale page here: it's a very good, no-nonsense example of how to present an offer without any of the hyperbole that usually appears on such pages.
In fact, you should take a look at it anyway - I like his story, and I think you will too.
His service starts on Monday, and there's only 100 slots available. He's going to sell out, I expect, as he has a few other 'big names' helping him promote it (and they're names who don't normally do this kind of thing - more testimony to the legitimacy of Steve's offering).
If you bet on the all weather over the winter, I suggest you give this strong consideration.
Now then, Thursday is fun day, so let's see what I can find in the archives for your entertainment this week. (By the way, if you've any personal favourites, do leave a comment and I'll try to track them down).
This week, another favourite of mine (very self-indulgent, I know), Yes, Minister.
That's it for today - keep your eyes peeled for my next announcement, most likely on Monday (and that's one you definitely don't want to miss, I promise. Hint: top drawer free horse racing tools).
And in the meantime, go check out Steve's story here.