March 2008: Greyhound Tipster System Review
Greyhound Tipster is a software and lay service.
As you know, I've been posting the selections here on the blog this week, and tracking the results at this page.
The software uses some proprietary algorithms, based on sectional timings of dogs' previous runs, to identify the slow hounds.
Given that I use a similar approach as a starting point for my Laying System, I had high hopes for this service.
Day one with the system got us off to a flyer, as 11 from 12 choices were beaten, with the winner being an eminently acceptable 6/4 shot.
However, trouble was to follow later in the week as, from 59 qualifiers, a further nine prevailed at the jamstick.
Their odds (mainly from 7/2 to 5/1) seriously munched into the profits generated from the losers.
But here is the rub: if this was a horse laying service, you'd expect to lay at around 16% above the SP, and the market strength (in terms of volume of cash / number of transactions) would ensure that this figure was broadly upheld.
This isn't a horse laying service, and there simply isn't the same liquidity in the dog markets that there is for horses. Take the 20:09 race at Sunderland that has just gone off as an example. There was just under ï¿½6,000 matched on this race.
Compare that with an average horse race, where there will probably be around a million quid matched, and you can see the problem.
Where this becomes material and, in my opinion, makes Greyhound Tipster unviable, is that you have to lay on betfair at something nearer to 40% over SP in order to be sure of getting matched. Now, for sure, sometimes you can lay at closer to SP, but typically you're looking at inflated exposure in this ballpark.
Overall financial performance was as follows:
Loss of ï¿½105 assuming odds to lay were 40% above SP.
Profit of ï¿½6 assuming odds to lay were 25% above SP.
So, if you can be selective about your wagers, it is probably possible to make a small amount using this system.
One other point that is relevant. Looking ahead to the last BAGS race on the Sunderland card tonight, at 21:12 (i.e. in 54 minutes, as I write this), there is a total of ï¿½0 matched. That's not a single wager struck less than an hour before the race.
This means you need to either use software to place your bets, or you have to be in front of your machine when the race is off. There is no way of using the early market to predict the prices, because there is no early market!
On balance then, I think this is a decent product that has no market. I wish I could recommend Greyhound Tipster because I do think there is some clever science supporting it. But, as with all betting systems, the bottom line is the bottom line.
And, with no liquidity in the market, there is no strong chance of making a profit, because you have to chase people's pounds with grossly overinflated odds offers.
I think a similar piece of software, were it made available for horse racing (or indeed any other sport for which the market was strong), would be very interesting indeed.
But, ultimately, I cannot recommend this as there is very limited scope to get matched at a fair price.