Apologies for the lack of posting recently, dear reader, as various issues have required my attention over the last week or so. I'm hopeful that at least some of the 'behind the scenes' work that's been going on will be to your benefit in due course, but I'm afraid I can't say more than that at this stage.
Enough of the stuff I can't really talk about and onto the stuff I can!
In today's post I've got a request for 'guinea pigs'; an update on the Bookie Demolisher review; my view on the Prix Morny 2yo Group 1 yesterday; and another question of the week for you...
First up, I've been working with a very knowledgeable 'handicapper' called Steve over the last couple of months, with a view to helping him put together an all weather tipping service. This guy eats, sleeps and breathes racing form and the results since I've been tracking have been pretty impressive:
WEEKÂ WINSÂ BETSÂ % WINÂ +/-Â Â % +/-
1Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 6Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 39Â Â Â 15.4Â Â Â 2.78Â Â Â 7.1
2Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 7Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 43Â Â Â 16.3Â Â Â 6.35Â Â Â 14.8
3Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 6Â Â Â Â Â 21Â Â Â 28.6Â Â Â 4.84Â Â Â 23.0
4Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5Â Â Â Â Â 33Â Â Â 15.2Â Â Â 7.63Â Â Â 23.1
5Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5Â Â Â Â Â 41Â Â Â 12.2Â Â Â -8.85Â Â Â -21.6
6Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5Â Â Â Â Â 32Â Â Â 15.6Â Â Â 21.85Â Â Â 68.3
7Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 28Â Â Â 14.3Â Â Â -4.12Â Â Â -14.7
TotalÂ Â 38Â Â Â Â Â 237Â Â Â 16.0Â Â Â Â 30.5 Â Â Â 12.9
More than thirty points profit over seven weeks is pretty impressive. And a 12.9% return on investment is also extremely healthy. An extra Â£85 or so each week for Â£20 stakes is good going, no?
So why is Steve looking for people to receive his daily information without cost? Well, it's quite simple. When he offers his service to the public (likely some time in October), nobody will have heard of him and, therefore, nobody will know if he's any good or not. It's a perennial problem for people introducing products to the market for the first time.
I had originally offered to do the launch of the service for Steve, which is why I'd been receiving his selections each day. But I subsequently decided against the launch, as I'll not have sufficient time to do it justice. And, besides, it'd still only be my word for the fact that his service was any good.
The long and short of my typically verbose introduction? Steve wants twenty (or so) people to receive his daily information (no charge) starting next Monday. The catch, such as it is, is that you have to be prepared to offer constructive feedback on the service (e.g. number of selections, odds, staking, etc). It'll require you to send no more than a short email a week.
IMPORTANT NOTE: this is a 'dutching' service, which means Steve often gives out two, three and occasionally four horses in the same race. If you're not comfortable with betting more than one horse in a race, then please don't apply this time, as it won't be fair on those who do 'enjoy a good dutch' (as it were).
If you'd like to receive this service (it's entirely up to you whether you back the horses or not. My advice - as ever - is that you should paper trade until you're comfortable with things), just add a comment below this post in the big blue box, saying you're interested.
The trial starts next Monday!
Now then, talking as we were of system tests, my thanks go to John for his excellent coverage and tracking of the Bookie Demolisher system, which fared quite well. Not brilliantly, but not without merit either. John completed his trial yesterday, and his review can be found here.
One unanswered question (until now) was how did the service fare to Betfair SP? As so many of us use the exchanges these days, it is reasonable to publish those results alongside industry SP to offer a comparison.
The answer was that it didn't make a lot of difference, but it did turn a slightly unprofitable system into a slightly profitable system, which is never a bad thing! Remember, there's no jiggery-pokery here. All winners and relevant placed horses are quoted to the Betfair win and place odds, with a 5% deduction to account for commissions.
As you'll know if you read that review, 60 of the 144 qualifiers were placed in the first three, with 25 winning. To bookies' SP, the system showed a loss of 9.33 points. To Betfair SP, that was converted into a profit of 7.88 points.
Like I say, it's not earth shattering profitability, but profit is profit, and there were a number of misfortunes along the way. (That said, misfortune tends to even itself out over a test, so I'd not place too much store in that, although there was a 25/1 'winner' discounted due to its high odds...).
If you'd like to take a closer look at the Bookie Demolisher, you can do so here:
The racing this past weekend was pretty moderate fare. More McDonald's than Gordon Ramsay. A notable exception was the card over in the beautiful surrounds of Deauville. Britain has some delightful race courses, but the tracks at Deauville and Chantilly are, for me, more than a match for the best of the home parks.
And yesterday, the racing was as sumptuous as the gourmet grub those overfed Frenchies were doubtless tucking into as the action unfolded (jealous? moi?!).
Schiaparelli reiterated that he has a leg in each corner by trotting up in the three-runner Prix Kergorlay, a Group 2 for stayers.
But the highlight was without doubt the Prix Morny, a six furlong burst for two year olds. Lining up were the unbeaten duo, Arcano and Canford Cliffs. The first named was a battling winner of his two previous starts whereas the Cliffs had won his two races by seven lengths and six respectively, the more recent victory being in no less an affair than the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
They were joined by, amongst three others, Special Duty, who currently takes high rank amid the Gallic juvenile brigade.
The race itself was a real curio. At the finish, Arcano preserved his unbeaten status by a short neck from Special Duty, with Canford Cliffs vanquished for the first time, a further neck away. That the two 'also rans' were only another neck and a head back, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was a dawdle and then a sprint in the last furlong.
But no. When I saw the time of the race, I had to watch it again, and I hand timed it myself. They did actually complete three quarters of a mile in 67.9 seconds, equivalent to 11.3 seconds per furlong from standing start gate break to full tilt finish. Wow!
Not only was this a new 2yo track record, but it was a new all age track record. That is, no horse of any age has bettered that time. And the winner wasn't receiving lumps of weight here, as Radiohead was when trying to beat his elders on Friday in the Nunthorpe at York.
The evidence suggests that all horses ran broadly to their marks, with Canford Cliffs possibly a pound or two behind his Coventry win (this was a hotter race for sure), and the 40/1 rag dolly, Dolled Up, running a couple of pounds better than might have been expected (she was only beaten a length and three quarters by Special Duty last time off level weights, and here she narrowed the margin to half a length - more than plausible).
So, whilst I may be proved wrong on this, and although I may be in discord with most racing commentators, I actually believe the form of the race to be rock solid.
Canford Cliffs is probably slightly better than he showed, and - to my (granted, untutored) eye - he looks a sprinter pure and simple. Arcano on the other hand couldn't live with them early in the race (hardly surprising given the fractions), and was only getting on top at the lollypop (actually, they don't signify the winning post with such crassness in France. Rather, they have that upturned horseshoe type thingie, which I always thought was bad luck...).
Arcano will surely stay further being by Oasis Dream out of a Daylami mare. Seven furlongs looks a 'gimme', and, they'll naturally want to make a miler of him. He's headed for the Dewhurst next, and the extra furlong - combined with the uphill finish - ought to be just the ticket for this chap. I wouldn't be steaming into the 12/1 (Stan James go just 7's !) on him winning the Guineas next May, but he's sure to take high rank amongst his peer group this year.
Lastly for today, I've added another question of the week up top right. This time, I'm interested to know what the most important thing you look for in a racing system is. Depending on your style of betting, or your appetite for risk, or even whether money is the primary reason you follow racing, you'll take a different view on the question.
Do please take a minute to choose the ONE thing that's most important to you. Once you vote, the overall results to date will be displayed so you can see how your response compares with everyone else's. (Remember, there's no wrong answer - just the right answer for you).
Thanks a lot!
p.s. Don't forget to leave a comment below if you're interested in trialling Steve's dutching service, gratis.