Does anybody else remember the original SMARTsig hard copy newsletter, dear reader, or is just me?
For those of you who are, yet again, left wondering what I'm wittering on about, SMARTsig stood for 'Systems, Methodologies and Rational Thinking special interest group', and it was a fascinating monthly tome, full of interesting and sometimes obscure ideas.
Indeed, for those who might be interested, it's been reincarnated as smartersig online. You can get a feel for the kind of articles they publish here: www.SmarterSig.com. No affiliate link there, in case you're wary of such things. 😉
Now then, the reason for the headline is due to the ongoing kerfuffle relating to this most contentious of ebooks, Smoke And Mirrors.
dictionary.com describes a system thus:
any formulated, regular plan of procedure
Further, it describes a method thus:
a manner or mode of procedure
A subtle difference, but an important one to my mind. I understand the difference to be that a system is an absolute set of rules whereby everyone gets the same results, whereas a method is a technique one applies to achieve the same 'manner' of results.
In essence, I see a system as providing unarguable outcomes, and a method as delivering a narrow range of possible interpretations of outcome.
My point - tardy as ever - is that, judging by the comments from both users and the author of Smoke And Mirrors, I have been interpreting the system wrong (or maybe just plain getting the selections wrong).
The interesting element of the (very welcome, by the way) commentary is that each person to tell me I've got it wrong, has had a different view of the 'truth' to the others. I have no idea who has it right and who doesn't, and I'm not sure there's any way of proving this.
Moreover, one of the oft voiced concerns with Smoke And Mirrors, is that you can sometimes only see the patterns when it's too late, i.e. after the off. This occasionally renders the system inoperable or, worse, puts you on the wrong horse.
Anthony Greenaway has been good enough to email me a number of times about his system, for which I'm grateful. The poor man has taken something of a buffeting over the last week or so, with not one but two people taking large chunks of his material and passing it off as their own.
And I'd welcome Anthony's further response to my view on Smoke And Mirrors:
It's a complex system to understand - not in principle with the four signals, more in terms of their interrelation. And there is a lot of scope for confusion / misjudgment.
As such, it wouldn't be for beginners in my view.
Moreover, and perhaps more concerningly, I fear it is only possible to get the 'correct answer', in terms of the selections for each race, after the race is off.
This does still offer the possibility of betting in running, but the odds at that time will be aligned to the in transit position of the horse in question.
One final observation with this method (I don't believe it's rigid enough in practical application to be a system per se) is that there are big swings in profit and loss terms. For instance, whilst tracking, I had a minus fifty plus points day. Now, even if I'd got a couple of those selections wrong, and I'd missed a 10/1 winner (which I didn't), I'd have still had a minus forty points day.
That, clearly, is not to everyone's tastes.
In the interests of balance and fairness, it is certainly correct to say that I only looked at Smoke And Mirrors for a few days and, during such a short review its usually difficult to be categorical about a system.
I'd welcome the thoughts of anyone who has been using this method for a longer period.
Ultimately, I'm afraid this one doesn't work for me, due to:
- the commitment to watch and react to the market prior to each race (large time commitment)
- the fact that some signals don't manifest themselves until after the off
- the difficulty I've had (could have just been me!) with interpreting the inter-relationship between signals
- the large swings in betting bank due to obscenely bad AND good days
Moving on, I had a fantastic day yesterday in the company of some racing gentlemen. As well as hooking up with Gavin from Nag3, and David Peat, Mr FRP (another nice winner yesterday, which he showed us all in the room why he believed it was going to win), we were also joined by eight other learned racing folk who took their first steps to being the next Gavin or Matt.
We got together in the ultra-plush Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, London, and had a long and full day talking about everything from finding an angle for a racing system idea, to tools to build that idea, to pulling it all together.
I'm not sure about the other attendees, but by the end I was absolutely wired. I'm really looking forward to catching up with these guys on a regular basis to monitor their progress and help them along, and I'm certain I'll be introducing the first of them to you soon...
Finally, it's been a while since I've put a horse up on the blog, but there's one I've a small fancy for one today at Southwell.
The horse in question is Silent Hero in the 3.45. Trained by in-form Michael Jarvis and ridden by Philip Robinson (his only ride today), he's the only one in the race with winning course form and will really appreciate the return to an easier surface after bashing his hooves against the firm turf last time.
Draw 14 is not really a problem here and, if he handles the kickback, he should at least make the frame.