One of the great 'perks' of this 'job', dear reader, is that I get to look at many of the systems and services that are out there. And of course, I also get to trial some of them in front of you, the 'live studio audience' (as they say in the States).
That's the case currently with both Lowlay and The Protege. And I've made it much easier for you to track the progress of the system trials now. After much mulling, I decided to add a button to the top of the page, which I've called - helpfully enough - Current System Trials. Click that link and you'll not be surprised to find a further link to all the posts for each system trial. Two clicks and you can track the daily progress.
Incidentally, currently, both are having... erm... disspiriting runs. But it's early days, and setbacks are part and parcel of any systematic approach. We'll continue to track these two for another fortnight or so, and see where they are at the end of the period.
Now then, when was the last time you backed a 40/1 winner? Actually, if you follow the blog or the excellent Festival Trends guides, you might have backed a couple lately. But when was the last time you backed a 40/1 winner on the football?
I have to say I can't remember if I've EVER done that, and it's my own fault. You see, like I say, I get a number of systems, newsletters and such like sent to me, and one of the best is a monthly letter that I receive in the post, called The Insider.
It's packed full of ante-post advice for the big sporting events, as well as some of the more novelty stuff (that Gavin seems to love, but which totally switches me off!)
Well, the point is I read it from cover to cover each month, and have followed them in on a number of occasions. But... I didn't follow their February advice to back Werder Bremen to win the UEFA Cup (or whatever its called now). They advised backing the titanic Teutonics at 40/1 ew. Fast forward three months, and next Wednesday sees the final of said cup competition with said Germans taking on dangerous Ukrainians, Shakhtar Donetsk.
If I'd taken the advice, like so many readers did, I'd be sitting on a guaranteed 20/1 payout just for reaching the final. And given that Bremen are now 10/11, I'd also have all sorts of hedging opportunities to ponder.
If.... Well, I didn't and I'm a bit annoyed.
But... I did follow The Insider's advice in the snooker (a sport I used to follow but lost track of, and now know little about), in the March issue. They said John Higgins and Shaun Murphy were the ones to be on each way at 16/1 both. Well, blow me if they didn't contest the final, meaning not just a nice 16/1 winner, but also two nice 8/1 place payouts. It's the first win I've had on snooker for yonks.
It needn't have been, because they also tipped up Higgins to win the Grand Prix event at 14's. Personally, I'll only ever think about betting on the main event in snooker these days. It's a bit like Cheltenham in that you know that all the players go there gunning for the title, and nothing else.
Just flicking through the back issues, I also note - but didn't back - the following tidy winners:
- Chester to be relegated at 6/1 (I couldn't back that because I already wanted it to happen, to save my beloved Bournemouth from the drop!)
- Barcelona to win the Champions League at 6/1 (now 8/11 or thereabouts) - I backed Lyon, d'oh!
- Ronaldo to be top Premier scorer at 12/1 (now a best priced 2/5). I backed Darren Bent - why didn't you play him, Harry?!!
Plus some novelty nonsense on the Bafta's and the Brit's, whatever they are! (I have a telly, which is for watching horse racing, football, other sport, The Simpsons and Family Guy. Nothing else!)
Of course, a problem with a monthly ante-post newsletter is that sometimes things change during the month, or - worse - some cracking value comes up that has gone by the time the next letter goes to press. Well, the beauty of The Insider is that they also send me an email at least once a week with other value bets to follow, like match betting on tennis or snooker or golf or football or... it goes on. I reckon that's a very cool service for keeping me and other punters informed of opportunities as they happen.
The reason I'm telling you this is because I've spoken to the editor over at Oxfordshire Press (the company that prints The Insider). I told him that I really liked his letter, and I thought some of my readers would too, and could he do anything for them.
I'd like to say he was reluctant and I had to twist his arm, practically beg him, etc., etc. But the truth is I didn't have to do any of that, because he came up with a fantastic offer that gobsmacked me.
The Insider normally costs Â£129 a year (about a tenner a month, and pretty reasonable at that). But the guy there said he'd be happy to offer you:
55% off (more than half)
the first issue free - no money will be taken for a month, so you can cancel at any time and pay nothing
a further three month money-back guarantee!
So, you can trial it with zero risk for one issue, then you pay less than half for the year, BUT if you don't like it any time in the following three months, you can get a full refund.
The Insider comes from the same legitimate, straight talking 'stable' as Nick Pullen's excellent Horse Racing Focus e-letter that I know so many of you enjoy.
And the reason that I've put up this gushing recommendation is predominantly because it's an offer that's hard to refuse. You have total control and get to try before you buy. Top stuff!
Here's the link - go sign up and enjoy the May edition which is just out:
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do (if you don't, you know what to do!).
And finally today, I don't know what you made of the Dante yesterday, but for me it was a bit of a damp squib. I was expecting a stellar performance from a horse, and perhaps a couple of others emerging with reputation enhanced. But they finished in a pile, and it revealed nothing about Epsom.
There's a view that says they were all good horses and the Derby could be massively competitive. And there's a view that says, discard the Dante and look instead to Sea The Stars and Fame and Glory. Honestly, I'm absolutely stumped, and will be asking Gavin to sort out the stats for me. But, actually, it strikes me as the kind of year when an outsider might win the race. Stately Home perhaps?! He runs tonight, and he's about my last serious hope ante-post (him and Rip van Winkle).
Finally finally, if you're having a punt in the Yorkshire Cup today, and you fancy Geordieland, your blushes have been spared as the mule is a non-runner. I can't think of a more capable, less willing animal in training. Given that Frankie said less than flattering things about Veracity in an interview yesterday, I'd be giving that one the swerve too.
Staying races are for slow animals, and the quickest of the slow might just be Fiulin. He'll have no problem with the ground or the trip, has had a pipe opener this season already, and would surely be two points shorter if trained by Godolphin or Stoute. At around 6/1, he looks good each way value.
Best of luck with your Friday wagers, and take a look at The Insider over the weekend.