I have taken many days, and great care, to come up with a plan that helps us all. One that ensures we no longer fall victim to the proliferation of low class racing being staged in the first half of most weeks. Racing that exists purely for those who feel they must bet on something each and every day. In other words, bookie benefit race meetings.
In seeking to avoid such racing I am far from alone. There now exists a large and growing army of punters who are turning their backs on the average or below average racing on offer in the first half of most weeks. As a consequence, too many race meetings are now sparsely attended. The racing authorities have only themselves to blame for this.
If you are a punter who wants or feels he/she has to bet every day, then I am not for you.
Like long term followers of mine, I too miss the days when I selected 9 winners from 12 races, or those heady days when I had successive days of magnificent 7 winners. But the simple truth is that those opportunities no longer exist. The tail of the British Horseracing Authority is being wagged by the big online bookies and the latter do not care about the quality of racing on offer, merely the quantity.
I’ll be frank with you all. I am sick to the back teeth of looking at race cards in the early part of a week that are awash with low grade maidens or handicaps. And I despair at how many small, often tiny, field races we now see. I cannot look at such tosh any longer.
In weeks when we have feature meetings that begin on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday – that’s great. But they are few and far between. York is coming next month and I am already looking forward to that meeting.
I have sat down with the racing calendar for the remainder of 2015 and I’ve come up with a set of dates on which I will be offering selections at the races. They are detailed below. I will see if I can get some sort of calendar on the website that also displays those dates.
The minimum number of days on which I will be offering racing analysis and tips in any one month is 10 (i.e. £1 per day). In other months, such as July, September, October and December, selections will be available to members on several more days. And, of course, there is always the possibility of my getting an alert regarding a horse I have placed in the VG TIPS ones to watch notebook. A horse I took a shine to last time out and which is entered into a race meeting on a day that is not one of those I have on that list. In those instances, members will be alerted via e-mail and Twitter about that horse and that race.
There will also be the occasional ‘Bonus Sunday’ of racing tips when top class horses are sent racing somewhere on a Sunday (about which we cannot know at this moment in time).
And, don’t forget, the domestic football tips will return in August and run until May 2016.
If anyone who has paid £10 a month now feels as though what they are getting from me does not justify paying that token sum, then contact me firstname.lastname@example.org Have in mind that if you wish to cancel your automatic payment via Paypal, then that is where you must do it. I have no control over the payments to me that you set up with Paypal.
And if anyone out there is part way through an annual membership, having paid £100 for 12 months, and now feels they are not getting value for money; again, please get in touch. I will, if you wish, refund that part of your annual membership that remains.
What a grey day! Magical Memory, right, a 13/2 winner for members of VG TIPS
In the same way that I believe racing would be better off with fewer meetings, not more, then I too am hoping that we will be better off by being even more selective with selections. Between now and the end of 2015 I am hoping to prove that less is more and that we make more profit overall by betting less often.
I hope you stay with me, at least until then. You are such a nice, communicative, understanding and very wise collection of punting people that I wouldn’t wish to lose one of you. If you have shopped around you will know that there are many services out there charging a three figure sum per month for a far less all encompassing service than the one I offer. I find it hard to believe such people can be making money from such overpriced tipping services. But it’s a case of ‘whatever floats your boat.’
There is a myth out there. The one that says tipsters who charge must be coining it in. They are not. Some very good tipsters/punters have given up offering such services in recent times because they have found it not to be financially viable.
Mike Spence is a young racing enthusiast. He says: “I used to run a tipping line, High Rise Racing, which posted a large profit but the time wasn’t worth the money it was generating from subscriptions.”
I get where Mike is coming from. It is something the casual punters do not understand.
The good tipsters spend many hours doing little else that studying form and trying to make sure they can offer subscribers profitable punts. Often the time take to provide such a service can be to their own detriment, in so much as they are so busy concentrating on the responsibility of offering tips to paying members, that they themselves miss out on bets they would have had if they weren’t so busy offering a tipping service to others.
As I have said for years, there are several shrewd and successful punters out there offering their own tips for free, as I used to do. People you can trust. I tell members to follow a handful of other punters/tipsters and compare and contrast our respective tips.
With VG TIPS I have always sought to offer something different, something more. Not just tips. Not only detailed analysis of specific races. But also an advisory service. One that looks at the bigger picture. A service that offers additional facets such as a dedicated Vimeo channel for members at which they can watch my video diary advice. They also get to see first, and in full, my on camera interviews with names from the world of racing and football.
Members were helped when, via the VG TIPS YouTube channel, champion flat jockey told them on camera to look out for when a good jockey travels a distance for one ride at a meeting. That advice has paid off for us several times since.
Of course, the more experienced punters like myself already knew to look out for that. But I’m not here to serve old timers like me! Such punters can look after themselves. I’m here for the people I used to be. As well as studying race and football form – and offering tips for both sports – I aim to be a guide to the newer, or still learning punter. Though I happen to think we’re all still learning.
What I have learned this past year is that we should not go on betting in crap races at crap meetings. It is time to call a day on that bad habit. Instead, let’s concentrate on quality racing.
2, 3, 4 (incl Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and racing at Doncaster, Epsom, Haydock & Newbury)
10 & 11 (incl Darley July Cup at Newmarket and racing at York & Ascot)
16, 17, 18 (incl Epsom, Doncaster, Newmarket)
23, 24, 25 (incl King George V1 & QE Stakes at Ascot and racing at Doncaster, Sandown & Newmarket)
27, 28, 29, 30 & 31 AND August 1st (Glorious Goodwood & Galway Festival)
6, 7, 8 (incl Haydock, Sandown, Newmarket)
14 & 15 (incl Newmarket, Newbury, Doncaster)
19,20,21,22 (incl York, Sandown)
VERNON WILL TAKE HIS FIRST HOLIDAY SINCE 2004 BETWEEN AUGUST 23rd and SEPTEMBER 5th (inclusive)
7, 8, 9,10,11,12 (incl the St. Leger at Doncaster and racing at Galway, Epsom, Chester and Sandown)
17, 18, 19 (incl Ayr, Newbury and Newmarket)
24, 25, 26 (incl Chester, Haydock, Newmarket)
3rd (incl Sun Chariot Stakes at Ascot and racing at Newmarket)
9, 10, 11 (incl York, Newmarket, Curragh, Goodwood)
16 & 17 (incl York, Newmarket and QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot)
Two months that summed up the rollercoaster ride of life as a punter.
As seems to be my tradition, I bashed the bookies big style in May. We finished the month of May well ahead of the men of the turf and nicely in profit. There’s something about May that does it for me on the punting front. Perhaps it is the freshness of the new flat season or, more likely, the quality meetings on offer in that month. But year after year it continues to be a profitable one for myself and my followers.
We even had a winning Bank Holiday Monday. Magical Memory, at odds of 13/2, just one of the profitable punts that day.
But, as mum would have said, pride comes before a fall. And I fell from my chair in June. Most notably at Royal Ascot, where my 17 year history is a mixed bag. Some years brilliant, others hopeless. This year fell into the latter category, for which I humbly apologise. Had we simply bet on Ryan Moore rides, we’d have all been able to buy a racehorse by now.
KAUTO STAR ATE MY COAT!
And just imagine if, like Clive Smith, we could have owned a horse like the majestic Kauto Star.
His death was announced this week and, so far at least, I cannot bring myself to write about his passing. It’s as though if I did, I would be accepting I’ll never see his face again. I cannot stand the idea of that.
Racing needs equine stars and Kauto Star was the best steeplechaser I’ve seen racing since the mighty Arkle. Of course, I only saw the latter race via black and white television pictures.
Kauto Star I saw race in the flesh and I met him at what should have been his forever home, The Manor Farm Stables at Ditcheat. There he was looked after supremely well by Head Lad, Clifford Baker (who was closest to Kauto and is suffering now). Travelling Head Girl, Donna Blake. Her able assistant, Rose Loxton, and, of course, the Champion trainer himself, Paul Nicholls.
I interviewed Paul (available on the website and YouTube) in front of Kauto Star, who kept trying to take a bite out of his trainer. When the interview was finished I got up close and personal with a horse that attracted thousands of spectators to racecourses up and down the land. It was then that Kauto Star bit off a piece out of my coat. It didn’t matter. I never liked that coat anyway and, today, you could have fitted two or three of me in it.
I will, eventually, gather my thoughts and write my own obituary for Kauto Star. In the meantime I have sent my best wishes to Team Ditcheat. There are many tears down there right now. The manner in which he left the stables three years ago was regrettable. As was Clive Smith’s idea to send the greatest chaser of his generation to be a Dressage competitor.
But now is not the time for recriminations. It is a great shame that Kauto Star did not have a happy retirement in the fields close to the stables at Ditcheat – where he was a huge tourist attraction. But we’ll always have the video footage of his incredible wins.
And I’ll always have my own memories of him.
The day I saw him fall at the Cheltenham Festival, and feared the worst. I did not know that an intake of breath by thousands of spectators could be so loud and the hairs on the back of my neck are erect just recalling that day. And then, best of all, when he got to his feet and jockey Ruby Walsh gently guided Kauto Star back to the paddock.
The cheer was louder than the one that greeted the eventual winner of that race.
Happy days. Thank you for the memories Kauto Star. Until I lose my marbles, I shall never forget you.
ROUND THE HORN
The next selections will be for racing on Thursday July 2nd. That’s two days before the star of this flat season (so far at least) races in the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.
At the time of writing, Golden Horn is some daft short, odds on price to win. Not surprising when you consider his performances so far this season. But not a price I’ll be taking. I guess it will be one of those races which we should simply watch and enjoy.
Could it be true?
I saw Bet Victor offering odds of 3/1 for Chelsea to win any competition this coming season. That included the Charity Shield. I was not surprised to see them limit stakes to £10 pounds or 10 Euros per person. I thought I might as well go ahead and, regardless of how long I had to wait, make an easy £30.
Ah, but there’s the catch! The price being offered when you placed the bet was something like 2/5. Once Chelsea won a competition you would indeed be returned £10. But £8 of that would be as a so called ‘free bet.’ And a bet you had only 30 days in which to use.
If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.
And be careful when betting in the ‘next manager’ market. Bookies love you to do that. They work in cohorts with odds comparison websites to float a different favourite every so often. They might tweet that the price for Joe Bloggs to be the new manager of Snodbury United has been cut dramatically and that the time to get on is now. Only for them to say the same thing about a different fella the following week.
The classic came on Tuesday. When Nigel Pearson was sacked as manager of Leicester City some bookies offered you a price for the ex Captain of Sheffield Wednesday to become the new manager of the Owls. Only one problem. Sheffield Wednesday had already appointed Carlos Carvahal.
He had already signed a player or two and attended one training session. The club simply hadn’t got around to announcing it yet. They did so once I and fellow Sheffield Wednesday fans asked them to send the new man back to Portugal and, instead, hire Pearson. But the bookies knew Wednesday had already appointed Carvahal. I wonder how many bets they took on Pearson.
If you are insistent on betting on who will be the next manager of Leicester City, then Neil Lennon (photographed) looks to be a good price at 4/1 with Ladbrokes. A return for Martin O’Neill at odds of 16/1 is an attractive price, but he would not commit himself until such time as the Republic of Ireland had not qualified for the European Championships.
One lovely member, Robert, had a bet on Leicester City to be relegated next season at odds of 9/2. He placed that bet 24 hours before Nigel Pearson was sacked. Time will tell if that was the unluckiest piece of pre-season punting, or an inspired bet. Robert will not know until May 2016, but he’s prepared to wait.
Good man. As I am fond of saying, patience is the best friend a punter can have. And that’s what my new punting plan is all about. Being patient and picking our moments to bash the bookies.