The horse racing broadcaster is kicking off the new year with some changes to his column, including tracking the performance of his various features.
Having been new to this blogging lark in 2023, the turn of the year represents the ideal opportunity to set out in more considered detail what the blog will aim to achieve during 2024.
It should be fun, readable but also thought provoking. Whether it be a topical racing issue, a betting angle, or just a discussion about how best to assess performance, it hopefully gets you thinking. Being open minded, deciding which strategies suit you, which views you agree and disagree with and why are some of the key ingredients in improving your interest and betting on the sport. It is the horse you select yourself – rather than blindly following tips – that is both the most rewarding and most embeds the winner-finding processes that suit you.
One of the key aspects in any attempt to show a reasonable long term return is discipline and not kidding yourself about successes while ignoring the failures. In short, keep an accurate record of your bets and identify where you seem naturally to perform well and where less so.
Another aim of the blog is to discuss strategies that will hopefully be useful not just on the specific days of the blog itself. Jockeys for Courses for example will apply whether that rider is at the track on a Saturday or a low key Wednesday, so keeping a list you can refer to on a daily basis may be useful. Similarly, our Stable Tracker horses will be highlighted on any given day that they run so hopefully the relevance extends beyond the full blog days.
For 2024 I will keep track of how the three regular areas of the blog perform, these being the selections, Jockeys For Courses (JFC) and the Stable Tracker horses. As discussed in an earlier blog the best benchmark in my opinion is Actual/Expected (A/E) where the actual winners are compared to the prices that they go off. Many will use Profit/Loss but then can be heavily skewed by a big-priced winner or two. This also reflects the way I personally bet in that rather than level stakes betting I prefer to back a horse to win a certain amount. The reasoning behind this was I felt I was reluctant to back as many outsiders as I should. At level stakes, a 7/4 winner was quickly eclipsed by a couple of bigger price losers and like many punters I didn’t have the patience required to endure the naturally longer losing runs that longer priced horses will ratchet up.
I found that by backing to win a fixed amount, the smaller stakes for the longer prices were more easily absorbed and it also made me much more careful in the bets on shorter prices as they would require a significantly higher stake. It also allowed me to more easily compare similar bets to one another, and ranges of prices where success was greater. I quickly identified that the bigger prices actually generated far better returns than I had realised and, by looking for more of them, this angle become even more profitable. Similarly, reducing the shorter priced selections, which were often just driven by the desire – and sometimes desperation – to back a winner also improved things.
At times on the blog in 2023 I felt the latter was creeping in and that without an A/E to highlight was easily glossed over. I am also interested to see whether the surprisingly big returns yielded by Jockeys for Courses over the last few months can be maintained. Either way – win, lose or draw, the numbers will be there for all to see.
Staking plans and access to prices will vary from person to person, as will the time the bets are placed so, again, in line with all of the other statistics used in the blog it will be Actual/Expected ratio against Exchange SP’s. These are available to all but even with a small amount of work can easily be beaten, not least by accessing some of the improved prices Betway offer on the blog and stable tracker selections.
There will also continue to be regular weekly stable tracker updates listing which horses have either been released, retained and added and where time allows a few summaries of meetings I have been at during the course of those seven days.
The next blog will be for racing in two weeks time but the stable tracker horses will be highlighted from New Years Day onwards.
All the very best for 2024.
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