Newsletter August 2015

Newsletter August 2015

football fans prices

I write this as a new football season gets underway. I’ve taken plenty of time over my season long football predictions. Come May 2016, some will seem laughable, others sensible and – hopefully – one of the big price ‘flyer’ bets will have paid off.

As was the case one year ago when I tipped Leyton Orient to be relegated at odds of 25/1 in August and again when, incredibly considering there position in League 1 at that time, 28/1 was on offer in October courtesy of SkyBet.

Members of VG TIPS were on, as was I. Personally, I was sorry to see the O’s relegated. But from a financial point of view, it was a result.

This season I’ve gone mad. One club many think will be promoted, I’ve tipped for relegation at odds of 20/1. While another club that had a poor campaign last season,  I have tipped for promotion at odds of 16/1 this time around.

There are also less ambitious bets suggested to members for the outcome in all four English divisions. Promotion, relegation, which teams will make the top 6 or the play offs? There’s something for every football punter.

Join VG TIPS to receive those season long football tips and, don’t forget, tips on matches throughout the majority of the domestic English football season.


Rene Mathis - a big win for VG TIPS members

Rene Mathis – a big win for VG TIPS members

At the races, July saw us end the month ahead of the bookies. Yet again we came out ahead. This time only via a modest three figure profit, not as big as I would have wanted, but profit nonetheless. July profit followed a small loss in June, which itself followed on from a massive profit on the racing in May.

Three months that sum up the roller coaster life of a punter. You must be able to take the ups and downs and enjoy the ride. We’ll always end the year in front of the bookie, which has been my target each year since 1998. A target that has been hit ever since.

Profitable punting is not a quick fix. If you need one of those, look elsewhere.

One of the more enjoyable wins in July (though I enjoy them all) was victory by Rene Mathis in a competitive handicap at Newmarket. I had reason to believe Fahey had prepared Rene Mathis specifically with that race in mind, and so it proved.

I tipped Rene Mathis the night before racing when 25/1 was available. I took that price. Rene Mathis won at SP odds of 16/1.

Dream Destination won for us at odds of 6/1. The SP was a mere 5/2. Legatissimo won another big race for us at an odds against price, as did Tashaar, while Toofi, a 20/1 each way selection, came second and returned some good profit for members.

On the day when all the attention was on the Speculative Bid mishap at the stalls, we won with Tanzeel at odds of 8/1.

Tanaza at 11/4 and Fireglow at 9/4 were also profitable punts for members of VG TIPS in July. The list goes on. But something for all tastes. That’s what I try to offer punters whose own tastes vary.

I try to offer a win and each way selection in the bigger field handicaps. Some members aren’t interested in 3/1 winners, they want a 33/1 each way punt. Others are not interested in speculative punts. They just want to know which horse I think may win a race.

I try to cater for both sets of people. And existing members understand that. But they would. They are nice people. Clever punters. Unlike some of those I saw on television recently…


Andy, one of the few sensible punters on display

Andy, one of the few sensible punters on display in ‘Britain at the Bookies’

The BBC series ‘Britain at the Bookies’ appeared to divide opinion. I cannot watch any television programme without wearing my TV producer (1980-2005) hat. This three part series also interested me because of my career as a profitable punter.

But the programmes gave the wrong impression of punters, did not ask enough tough or challenging questions of the big online bookmakers and must have confirmed the prejudices of those watching who have long thought gambling to be the work of the devil.

I know from my contact with them, that there are happy, intelligent, careful, sensible and successful punters out there. I’m in touch with them weekly. People who would not be so daft as to put hundreds or thousands of pounds in a FOBT machine. People not stupid enough to chase their losses.

On Britain at the bookies almost all punters were made out to be either boring, or gambling addicts, or mentally unwell people who can’t make toast without burning it!

After part 1 people were saying the show would damage the reputation of Coral, the bookmakers who had boldly opened their doors to the programme makers. I beg to differ. One of the often used phrases in the corridors of power at such companies is: “Any publicity is good publicity.”

I don’t believe in that saying myself. But I bet they do at Coral. Do you know how much it would have cost Coral to acquire three hour long commercials on independent television? For that is what they got courtesy of the BBC.

With one exception in part two of the series, punters were made out to be a bunch of losers – in every sense of the word.

Andy was that exception. He bet within his means, punted with small stakes but took time to study form and even the body language of owners in the paddock. Why asked Andy, were the members of a syndicate paying more attention to one of two runners they had? Andy noticed that all the attention seemed to be surrounding the outsider of the pair.

His curious nature paid off. He had an each way bet on the double figure priced horse in question, which promptly won. Well spotted Andy. Nice one.

Independent bookie Keith Johnson was one of the few sensible contributors

Independent bookie Keith Johnson wins and says: “One up to the good guys.”

In part three the Coral PR guru Simon Clare told us the company would be entertaining some of their “most loyal customers” at York racecourse. Free lunch, drinks and Simon even offered them some racing tips. ‘Most loyal’ to bookmakers means those long held customers who, overall, lose.

Bookies don’t take winning punters for a free lunch. They close their accounts. I know!

I thought the programmes were a missed opportunity. No TV programme can please all of the people all of the time. I know that only too well. But this was cut and paste TV. A three hour long puff piece for Coral. A programme that set out to prove what the programme makers wanted it to prove.

It was a lazy production. Rather than employ in depth research, and find pleasing on the ear and eye characters, they chose instead to concentrate on some individuals who were not playing with a full deck of cards. And if they were, they’d lose!

There is an informative, illuminating and entertaining series of films to be made on the topic. These were not they.


I've put my towel down already!

I’ve put my towel down already!

Holiday!!! Yes, for the first time since the autumn of 2003 (yes, two thousand and three!), yours truly is taking a two week break from punting and from tipping.

After the York meeting between August 19th and the 22nd, I will be on a beach. I’m not travelling abroad. Profitable punting all these years allowed me to move to Spain ten years ago and I’ll be taking the bus to the beach. Doing what I have long seen other people do. Normal people. People who have holidays!

Frankly, it is crazy that I have not had a proper, switch everything off holiday for twelve years. Madness on my part. But then I was warned years ago that turning tipster would do this to me.

Jim McGrath of Channel 4 Racing is a friend (and a fellow profitable punter). For many years he ran Timeform. He did nothing else but study form for every race meeting, every day. He told me tipping and not just punting would result in a life of not going out and one which, were I not careful, would end with the men in white coats coming to collect me. He was right. I can seen them on the horizon. So I’m off for a paddle.

As members who have been around for a while know, I have reduced the number of days per year that I offer racing tips. There really is too much racing and too much of it is crap. So far the new system of only tipping at the better quality meetings has worked out well and I am appreciative that members understand.

Football, of course, goes on for most of the year. I won’t get a break from that in the summer of 2016 as we’ll have the European Championships.

So I am taking an official holiday break between August 23rd and September 8th 2015.

There will be racing selections for meetings on Wednesday September 9th and for football matches played on the weekend of Sept 11-13th (when domestic action returns following a week of International games).

If any existing member wishes to complain and ask for £5 refunded because I’m taking my first break in 12 years… e-mail me

But, before all that and available to members only, the season long football tips are ready, as are football tips for this weekend, the first of the new season.

After Saturday August 8th, the next racing tips will be for meetings on Friday August 14th and Saturday August 15th. Then, for four days from Wednesday August 19th, we have the wonderful, high quality meeting on the Knavesmire at York.

After which, the only communication from me will be if you find yourselves on the same beach as me. You’ll spot me a mile off.

I’m the one with the white body!



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