Ladbrokes has been seeking to expand its empire for the last 18 months. Yesterday they announced that they had agreed a £25m deal to take over the Betdaq betting exchange. The final transfer of business should happen in late February Read more
There was good news for racing with the prospect of record levels of prize money next year. This was the outcome of the Levy deal for 2013/14, which was announced yesterday. Read more
A black cat must have crossed Paul Nicholls’ path recently. He's already been putting in an extra shift in an effort to get Kauto Star fit and ready for next week's Cheltenham Gold Cup. Last weekend, it was the turn of Niche Market, his fancied horse for the John Smith's Grand National to have a run out in preparation. Read more
As I was driving home yesterday I passed Newbury racecourse and it was quite obvious why Betfair Day had been called off on Saturday. Despite the optimism expressed last week, the snow came and there was still an inch or so on the track yesterday afternoon. Read more
Nicky Henderson will take the radical option of an all-weather bumper race to complete Oscar Whisky’s Cheltenham preparations. Flat racing warm-ups? It's certainly different, but hard times call for desperate measures. Read more
Around 100 Betfair customers were last night considering taking legal action after the company declared all in-running bets void on a race at Leopardstown yesterday. Whilst backers thought they had scooped an unexpected Christmas bonus, one client was breathing a huge sigh of relief as his account was showing a liability of close on £23m. Read more
Yesterday's crop of suspensions had nothing to do with the whip. Amidst chaotic scenes at Wetherby nine jockeys were banned after they failed to pull up when a yellow "void race" flag was waved signalling them to stop. Read more
On 6 October 2001 the England football team had an important World Cup qualifying game against Greece at Old Trafford and the Tote Cambridgeshire was run at Newmarket. Few people will forget Beckham's glorious free kick in the third minute of additional time that gave England the draw they needed to qualify for the finals in South Korea and Japan. Fewer will remember the significance of that day for racing. Read more
A quick Saturday post, dear reader, to advise you that the annual 'get new customers' jamboree is under way.
Yes, in the midst of all the hype and buzz of first the Champions League quarter finals, then the Cheltenham Festival, and then the Grand National (and then the start of the flat season!), the bookmakers are clamouring to convince you to place your investments with them.
Which is good news for everyone. Because in order to persuade you to wager with them, they are offering f-r-e-e m0ney. Jolly decent if you ask me. (Obviously, they're not skint, so they do expect to recoup most of their generosity, possibly multiple times!)
Betfair has taken an early lead in the offer stakes by encouraging me to encourage you to sign up with them. Now, of course, I know that most of you already have an account with Betfair. If you do, fine.
If you don't, I'm not sure why not, because typically you'll get 15% or better odds than the bookies. Would you sooner pay £3 a pint (which I'm afraid it is in London), or £2.55? [Stupid question, I know.]
Anyway, here's the deal. You sign up with betfair using a special code, and you will get £50 if and when you bet (or lay) £50. Me? I will get £40 if and when you've had £150 matched. So, if you only ever bet £50, that's very cool: you get £50 from Betfair, I get nada.
And if you like the better odds there, and you end up betting more than £150, I'll get my forty notes. You're a winner guaranteed; I might be a winner too.
Note, you can only get the bonus cash if you use a 'Refer and Earn' code, and mine is 9ACDL9RV9
The link to open a Betfair account is here:
And you need to answer 'Yes' to the 'Refer and Earn' question at the bottom of the application page, like so:
I know this is a bit of a spammy post and for those who already have an account with Betfair, it's probably no good to you, unless you are going to open another one to take advantage of them.
So please forgive the Saturday intrusion.
Good weekend to all,
The results are in, dear reader, on the seven question survey I asked for your input to last week. And interesting reading it makes too.
I've copied the details at the link below:
It's worth pulling out a couple of points, I think:
- As we know (or might guess), most of you lovely people are male (92.6%), and most are aged 36+ (93.3%).
In fact, three fifths of you are 50+, so we have an experienced audience.
- Almost 80% of you have been reading my ramblings for four months or more. Thank you! :o)
- Your rating of how experienced you are was extremely interesting, with a linear scale running from 1 (complete beginner) to 7 (pretty experienced). There was just one person who claimed to be a complete beginner, then 6 (2), 8 (3), 15 (4), 22 (5), 30 (6), 41 (7). Thereafter, there is a smaller community who in the experienced category.
I find it interesting (and slightly flattering) that two thirds of you consider yourselves to be reasonably experienced or better, and read my regular scribbles.
- As for reasons to bet, again this was very interesting (to me at least). Whilst - perhaps unsurprisingly - 85% of you listed 'to win money' as a reason to bet, this was only the primary reason for betting in 58.7% of cases.
So why else do you bet? Well, just about half listed 'I love to watch horse racing' as your #1 or #2 reason, and a third of you wanted to 'solve the puzzle' for choice 1 or 2.
- I asked what, if anything, you do with trends information with regards to betting, and 43.6% of you said that you factor it into your overall form study. 14.1% of you were hotter than this on trends data, using it as a primary betting pointer; meanwhile, 40% of you rarely or never use trends info. This was quite surprising to me personally, as it's a key tool in my betting and has been for many years.
- Finally, I asked the somewhat leading question: what do you expect from a betting system? Whilst 10% expected to win a lot of money (this is possible if you stake a lot of money with a good system), a whopping 78% said you expected to win a little money. I salute your good sense!
Summary: So what did I learn from these numbers?
Well, firstly, the demographics of age and gender are consistent with previous surveys I've done. Nothing extraordinary about that.
One of the more interesting things that dawned on me as a result of this survey is how closely aligned the 'average' reader is to myself! I am a 36+ year old male, and I consider myself to be a 8 on the knowledge scale. I bet to win money, to solve the puzzle, and because I love watching the bloody things race! I factor trends into overall form study, but usually major on the trends (i.e. it's one of the most important study aspects for me); and I expect to win a little money from any system I buy.
The overall impression I got from this little questionnaire was, and excuse my sycophancy, what a well educated and realistic lot you are. I'm very proud to have such a smart /savvy bunch perusing my epistles, and it makes my job easier, because it means I can just write what I think, mindful of the fact that - generally, at least - you'll be on a similar wavelength.
Fascinating indeed! (For me, anyway).
Thursday today, so a spot of Thursday Fun is in order. A little known (and little cared for) fact is that I went to school with stroppy Batman actor, Christian Bale. Indeed, I was in the year above him at school, and a prefect (briefly, before my naughtiness saw me stripped of that privelege, but that's another story). I put Bale into detention, because I could, which is pretty shameful behaviour and a measure of the petulant young tw*t I was at that age.
I'm not sure if you heard about Bale's on set tirade when he was interrupted during a scene. If you have, you'll probably love this spliced version, taken from the marvellous Family Guy TV series.
Finally, on the subject of horse racing (yes, we do occasionally talk about that on here), I've got two things to say:
1. It was very interesting to read Paul Nicholls' opinion that he may not have Denman ready as he'd like in time for Cheltenham's Gold Cup. I reckon Denman is the only one of Nicholls' three that can win the race so, knowing this, I will be looking for something trained by someone else as a decent value alternative. More in a day or two.
2. I was emailed by betfair to tell me that they are doing a special promotion currently, which you may want to take part in. Basically, you click the ad top right on this page, open a new account, then bet up to £25 on a selection. If your selection loses, they give you your money back. That is a 'no catch' free bet. And I tested it out. Now, of course, like me, you've probably already got a betfair account. I'm not suggesting you open another just to get a free bet. But it is possible to do that. Not suggesting it, just saying it's possible. ;o)
I'm off to check my advanced review copy of Gavin's brilliant Cheltenham Festival Guide. Top drawer stuff!