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Tony Keenan: Some Views on Garnering Viewers

My first memory of watching racing on TV is the 1991 Grand National. My father had backed the eventual runner-up, Garrison Savannah, but my puritan eight-year-old self was horrified at the thought of losing hard-earned money on horses jumping over things, writes Tony Keenan. My mother’s background as a banker and consequent financial rectitude played […]


Why Sectionals Matter

One of the more surprising stories to emerge from Irish racing in the past few weeks was a revelation from Johnny Ward of the Racing Post that SIS plan to back the establishment of sectional timing at all Irish tracks from the start of 2017, writes Tony Keenan. This news was unexpected on a number […]


The Handicapping Process: An Approach

The horse’s name, the colour of the jockey’s silks, a favourite number. These are all legitimate ways to choose a horse to bet. Sadly, they are all destined to be long-term losers for the committed (i.e. should be committed) follower. As a reader of, you obviously already know that, and are probably adopting a more […]


Breeders’ Cup 2015: A Homecoming for the Ages

Breeders’ Cup XXXII, hosted for the first time by Keeneland racecourse, in Lexington, Kentucky, was billed as a homecoming for the franchise. As the birthplace of so many champions – Kentucky can boast to have bred 78% of all US-bred Breeders’ Cup winners, and 64% of all winners since inception – this was a venue […]


Mr Huge: The Legend of Alan Woods

This article, which is about legendary Australian gambler Alan Woods, was written by Tony Wilson, and is reproduced from The Monthly, Australia’s answer to The Economist. * I had my first bet the day I turned five. It was Cup Day 1977, the horse was Reckless, and for a kid on 50 cents pocket money […]


Racing Maxims and Methods of Pittsburgh Phil (Part 3)

In this final part of our serialization of the legendary racing gambler, Pittsburgh Phil, looks at the concepts of time, and class and weight, when it comes to horse racing. Although incredibly prescient at the time (written in 1908), some of this has been superseded by more modern thinking. But still, plenty holds as good today […]


Racing Maxims and Methods of Pittsburgh Phil (Part 2)

Pittsburgh Phil, aka George E. Smith, was one of the most famous and successful horse racing gamblers of all time. His wisdom was condensed into a book written in 1908 called “Racing Maxims and Methods of Pittsburgh Phil”. And, as you’ll see in this second part of the serialization, he was a very long way […]


Racing Maxims and Methods of Pittsburgh Phil (Part 1)

George E. Smith, aka Pittsburgh Phil, was one of the most famous horse players of all time. Operating in the late 1800’s through to shortly prior to his death in 1905, Smith aggregated close to $100 million in today’s money from his on track gambling. Before he died, he shared his ‘maxims and methods’ with […]


Pool Betting: Placepot / Jackpot / Win6 Techniques

In the first part of an Oc-TOTE-ber series of articles on tote betting, I’m going to look at multi-race tactics. This post is specifically focused on selection methods, whereas part 2 – which will follow tomorrow – will look into optimal staking strategies. Both hemispheres will improve your ability to navigate the choppy waters of a […]


Value Value VALUE

In the good old days, punters used to talk about ‘the three D’s’. These were discipline, discipline and discipline. Many of you – like me – will relate to that readily enough, as selectivity is generally the key to success in betting. But in the modern day betting supermarket, where the exact same product (i.e. […]


A New Beginning for

This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend, the end Of our elaborate plans, the end Jim Morrison had it about right, when he warbled the above with The Doors. After deep consideration, and with a very heavy heart, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to walk away from […]


Dealing with Non-Triers

The Punting Confessional – Wednesday, June 5th – The Non-Triers Recent weeks have been black for racing with a high-profile corruption case and the Al Zarooni/Sungate steroid scandal; the latter is certainly the darker cloud at present and there remains a strong suspicion we’re nowhere near the bottom of it yet. This column aims however […]

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