The Winning Approach System Review

The Winning Approach System Review

The Winning Approach?

There has been quite a lot of hooplah and hullaballoo around a product called 'The Winning Approach' in recent days, and it is due to go on sale tomorrow. Not for the first time recently, you'll note I haven't promoted it. I have however seen it, so I thought I'd offer you my view on The Winning Approach.

It's written by a bona fide Betfair-accredited trainer (I'm still not sure specifically what that means), and a very good chap, called Jonathan Burgess; and much of it is researched by my friend and colleague, David Peat, using the formidable tools.

So far so good.

The product consists of a number of manuals which focus on the four all weather tracks, and the vagaries therein. An excellent concept indeed, and something that really plugs a gap in the market.

The manuals are comprehensive and contain reams of stats and angles with which to play.

So why, you might ask, am I not promoting The Winning Approach?

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Simply because of this: I believe this product is a first draft that should have been edited to about a quarter of the size it is, possibly less. The total volume of pages is well over 300, and this is far more than even the most avid stats buff would want to consume. I should know, I am a most avid stats buff.

Moreover, the consumption of these stats will likely lead many seasoned punters to indigestion, as - whilst the tables present the facts - many of the inferences are somewhere on the scale between tenuous and nonsensical.

As a simple example, in the 'Lingfield favourites' section, we are told to back favourites in February, July and August. There is no reason whatsoever that I can think of why one would select these months, other than the convenience of a profit and loss column in the black. Nothing I can think of supports or rationalises this statement.

And that's the nub of my issue: as a first draft, as a totality to be whittled, this is a great start. And those who are patient, experienced, and have much time on their hands will be able to find the statistical diamonds in the 'lies, damn lies and statistics' rough.

For the rest of us, we'll either have to guess which are pertinent stats, or risk losing when we expect to be winning. Dangerous indeed.

My other major gripe with The Winning Approach, and this really is major, is this. All of the research is done at SP. Fair enough. But there are a LOT of laying strategies in the manuals, all of which are predicated with the assumption that you can lay these horses at SP odds or shorter.

The justification for this - which I'm afraid I don't buy - is that you can generally lay them in running at shorter. I don't buy this because the ones that are shorter are the most likely to win. Furthermore, who wants to lay in-running, or even necessarily at all?

I'm afraid I don't like this product, which reminds me of the Grolsch adverts (shtop, this product isn’t ready yet)... and I think it will cause a lot of people a lot of confusion, and some people a fair amount of cash. It seems that recently I'm becoming increasingly isolated by my views, but I do need to tell you what 'the Geegeez view' is, as so many people email and ask me.

So, there you are. Not for me. There IS value in The Winning Approach. But you need to go hunting for it, and I'd suggest that you need to be reasonably experienced to recognise a 'golden goose' stat from a 'red herring' stat. And be wary of the lay strategies.


Have a great weekend, all. I'm away on another stag weekend, this time as the best man, so I'll be back on Monday or Tuesday. Until then...



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20 replies
  1. A Perkins
    A Perkins says:


    I really appreciate these honest views. You have stopped me wasting my money on 2 items recently and I know from what I have read that I would have been disappointed had I bought them. Thanks again.

  2. craig
    craig says:

    It takes guts and great integrity to go against a product produced by well regarded friends and colleagues. Much easier to go with the flow and rake in some affiliate profits, but Matt is the most up front and honest guy in the business.

    Jonathan and David are good guys too, but their products do tend to rely on an interpretation or ‘method’ which requires significant insight and knowledge from the user to make it profitable., rather than a straightforward system which anyone can apply by following a set of rules. Simple systems rarely if ever produce profits and there is much rubbish of this nature on the market. Messrs. Peat and Burgess are much better than that, but it seems they are simultaneously trying too hard to provide ‘value for money’ in the form of a quantity rather than quality..

    Racing is not that easy to profit from, so products which offer the chance to learn how to apply method to logic ARE potentially great value as long as they are based in a sound, logical premise. But in this case it does seem that it is an overblown, unrefined hotchpotch of concepts based on research criteria which may well be coincidental rather than relevant. And therefore could lead people down into dubious betting strategies predicated on misleading or unreliable data.

    Let’s hope they have a rethink and bring out a ‘2nd edition’ which kills off the red herrings before they have chance to spread a nasty dose of fiscal ‘e-coli’ to those who consume them!

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Craig, that really is an excellent idea. I sincerely hope those guys release a version 2, with their thoughts on the ‘top 20’ (or whatever number) stats to use for profit on the all weather. I had suggested they condense before, but clearly Jon thinks I’m missing the point.

      Buyers of course will make their own minds up on that score.


  3. Arthur
    Arthur says:

    I know which side of the bread the butter is on.

    False Favourites and Signor Burgess duly added to spam filter. Thanks Matt.

  4. craig
    craig says:

    I’ve just read Jon’s rant after posting my considered comment. It doesn’t do him any credit. I haven’t seen the product in question, though I did buy False Favourites which was a good read and inexpensive. Even that however, requires the user to apply the sorts of things which EVERY sensible bettor already needs if they are going to succeed in laying horses.

    Common sense, discipline and patience. It’s a good manual for reinforcing those notions but it doesn’t go much beyond teaching common sense when it comes to finding horses that are not running in favourable conditions.

    Regardless, if Jon truly believes in his new product he shouldn’t need to demean himself by acting in such a petulant manner here. Sell the product, and the product will sell itself Jon. Slag off other people’s products/services/opinons in defence of your unsubstantiated claims and it merely diminishes your reputation, which is a shame.

  5. Colin
    Colin says:

    Many years ago I bought a tome from Mr Burgess which was o.k. as an introduction to racing but left me in the air somewhat as to what to actually do!
    Another hard drive filler, I’m afraid.
    It was sold with the promise of “lifetime updates” – never had one.
    I have not read the latest offering so cannot comment on it directly, but as regards in-running betting, unless you have access to some very fast equipment you havn’t got a chance. As Matt states, the ones dropping in price are the ones likely to win so if laying you are likely to lose on those while you will not get on the ones that are going to lose their race ‘cos the price is likely to go out.

  6. David
    David says:

    Thanks Matt. Honest as always! I’ve bought Jonathan Burgess’s previous books but quite honestly they did nothing for me. I emailed him on numerous occasions suggesting that he started a tipping service based on his books but, of course, that never happened because this guy only likes selling ideas and it’s up to you to interpret what he says. I agree with you and had no intention of buying this.

  7. james
    james says:

    It seem jons post has been deleted….is matt exercising censorship these days? how about a fair right of reply in defense of his product?

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi James

      In actual fact, that was a copy of the email discourse between him and me. I subsequently decided that, for his sake, I would remove it. It does nobody any favours to launder soiled garments in public.


  8. Majid
    Majid says:

    Always appreciate your comments and views Matt. Your one of the few people whose opinions I take seriously. Thank You.!

  9. T Craven
    T Craven says:

    Good informative review and nice to see objectivity applied to ‘The Winning Approach’ system. Much of the publicity about many systems are long winded and vague. Matt’s review gets to the crux of the system quickly and informatively. Hope it saves people time and money!

  10. Peter Colledge
    Peter Colledge says:

    Honesty personified, Matt. It’s always sad when a well-intentioned person starts producing a statistically-based system and allows the stats to run away with him. The great problem with a database is: where do you stop? I always like the analogy of applying a database to a hotel; while it may be good to know what a guest likes for her breakfast and record it on the database, it becomes much more sinister when each movement during the day gets logged and recorded and used to pre-empt what happens next.

  11. craig
    craig says:

    We all have opinions, but in the end what matters are facts. I think Matt and Jon are knowledgeable and honest in both regards, but I’ve read nothing in Matt’s review that appears to be unfair or unreasonable about the tools a successful punter needs. I have read the sales page for The Winning Approach and I can say the same about that.

    The difference is that Jon is offering sound, common sense at a price, whereas Matt gives it us for free! The title of the product sums up the notion that in the end it is as much about the attitude, intelligence and mindset of the bettor as it is about the actual systems or strategies employed. It is the correct ‘approach’ to betting that differentiates the winners from the losers, such that two people employing the same system can result in one shrewd winner and one foolish loser, because the first has factored in value and the 2nd hasn’t. He’s just looked at the system and decided that the system works regardless of when he places his bet.

    For example, the manual apparently reveals which trainers and jockeys perform badly at certain all weather tracks at various times of the year. I don’t doubt the research, but trainer stats. are not a new angle and markets will factor such things into the price anyway reasonably accurately. That’s why every horse trained by Peter Grayson goes off at big prices these days, but even he has a winner a couple of times a year and you’d have to lay them at a price that would wipe out the profit on the 100 or so losers!

    The problem is that there has to be a price ceiling above which any system becomes unprofitable. And the more people who become aware of the profitable angle, the more people will be laying those horses and this WILL have an impact on the price at which they can be laid pre-race such that the lay price is too high to turn a profit in the long term. The mistake a lot of layers make is that they look at the system and don’t consider that if they are laying a 10/1 chance at 20/1 or even 2/1 chance at 4/1, they are in trouble!. Not necessarily today, but sooner or later they are will lose because they are giving the value back to the backers.

    If the way round this problem is to try and get the bet matched at a much lower price in running, then in theory it could work as the horses are unlikely winners according to the system, but in practice you’ve still got to get matched in competition with other Winning Approach punters trying the same tactic and also if there are flaws in logic of the system or not enough runners with positive profiles running against the layed horse, then you can quickly become unstuck. And if the horse is that bad it won’t run well enough to get matched and if it isn’t that bad, or up against another load of negative runners or simplu gets lucky, it may be that you only end up getting matched on Peter Grayson’s annual winner and losing your shirt on it!

    How depressing is that?

    In conclusion ‘The Winning Approach’ is a concept that every successful punter needs. Logic, common sense, discipline and strategies that oppose the market in order to exploit value. All that is good in regard to Mr Burgess’s product. What is not so good is that by selling the strategies that oppose the market to all and sundry, before long you’re no longer opposing the market, but following it, like a lamb to the slaughter. And that is The Losing Approach to making money on the exchanges!

  12. Jason
    Jason says:

    Whilst I’ve not yet received detail ‘the winning approach’ (must be about the only mailing list I’m not on considering the amount of bilge that piles through my letter box), it’s great to see Matt producing yet another solid overview… one of the genuine good guys out there.

    Anyone heard from Colin Davey recently?

  13. Kelvin Brown
    Kelvin Brown says:


  14. James
    James says:

    Very informative stuff. I have been looking at loads of systems on the net and often find that once you look and declare an interest then the bombardment of emails to your inbox commences. This may be old news to a lot of readers but has anyone ever used Brimardon? They send me emails all the time and have dropped their price a lot. Are they as good as they make themselves out to be? Any views would be welcome.

  15. Robert Grimes
    Robert Grimes says:

    Hi Matt,
    Been with you for a couple of years now, love your reviews, they are first class and to the point, no bullshit, I do not make much but at least I am not throwing money away, appreciate your honesty, top man.

  16. Hugh
    Hugh says:

    Just want to add my support to your impartial review. I nottice that Darren from betting school and graham from cash-master have written less than fullsome reviews on Winning Approach. I wonder what thay would have written if you had not stepped in first.
    The area that that concerns me is the fine line between niche systems (micro systems) having enough data to be statistically significant or just having these results by chance. (This also worries me about TTS but this does produce the goods). I notice on the sales page for the Winning approach that by drilling down through race type, class etc CE Brittain had a good record at Wolves with 13 winners in 27 rides but this was over 6 years – an average of 4/5 rides a year meeting certain conditions. Again, 12 trainers are listed having never won in February with 156 rides. Assuming this is also over 6 years that is about 2 rides per trainer each February. I don’t think I will rely on that for my laying system.


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